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The two-day German Trade Congress in Berlin ended on 16 November 2018. Around 1,500 participants attended the event organised by the Handelsverband Deutschland (HDE) together with the Management Forum of the Handelsblatt Media Group.
The German Trade Congress 2018 was attended by around 1000 speakers from the fields of trade, politics and business. These included Sabine Bendiek (Microsoft), Tina Müller (Douglas), John Ryan (Newstores), Lionel Souque (REWE Group) and Martin Wild (MediaMarktSaturn).
The presentation of the German Retail Award 2018
The German Retail Prize was awarded to the Dehner Garden Centre in the category of medium-sized businesses. Aldi Süd Dienstleistung-GmBH & Co. OHG and Aldi Einkauf GmbH und Co. OHG also jointly received the retail award in the category of large companies. The Lifetime Award went to the Managing Director of Vinzenzmurr Vertriebs GmbH, Evi Brandl.
Phillip Lahm, football world champion and entrepreneur, praised the development of discounters in his laudatory speech for Aldi Süd and Aldi Nord: “The company was founded because clever merchants consistently pursued their ideas and visions and always had their finger on the pulse of their customers”.
Julia Märtin from the organic food shop BIOase was appointed as the face of the trade. The Innovation Award of the trade was presented to Idee GmbH. The winners of the German Retail Prize were decided by the participants in an audience voting.
The exhibitors of the accompanying trade fair Retail World
The German Retail Congress was accompanied by the Retail Wort trade fair, at which 60 exhibitors presented themselves. At the trade fair operated by Universum and heideplay, innovative solutions from the fields of payment, point-of-sale and tablets were presented live to the visitors. In addition, at the “Brain Snack Stage”, which took place on the occasion of the trade fair, short presentations were given on the topics: Reputation Management, Selfcheckout or Marketplace Solutions.
New opportunities for the retail sector
The opening speech was given by Josef Sanktjohanser, President of the German Trade Association (HDE), who spoke in favour of an open society: “The climate of intolerance and exclusion is a deep concern for all of us. As retailers, we stand for diversity and tolerance”.
Marc Opelt, Chairman of the Executive Board of Otto GmbH & Co KG, made the following comments in a strategy forum on artificial intelligence: “AI has long ceased to be science fiction. Thanks to artificial intelligence and self-learning algorithms, we can already improve the shopping experience on otto.de today.
Trade & Politics
Journalist Dunja Hayali moderated the two-day congress programme.
The German Trade Congress serves as a platform for an exchange of views between trade and politics. This year Peter Altmaier, Federal Minister of Economics & Energy and Hubertus Heil, Federal Minister of Labour & Social Affairs took part in the exchange at the German Trade Congress.
“In our country we need a realistic confidence that we can shape the future from a position of strength,” said Hubertus Heil about the economic situation in Germany.
In the light of the EU plans for platform regulation, Peter Altmaier called for: “We want fair competitive conditions for all forms of distribution in the retail trade”.
Cooperation between Corporates & Startups
In the dialogue forum “Innovation meets Size – How Startups and Corporates Together Make Retail Sustainable” Christian Athen, Venture Lead, odc by Liquid Labs GmbH, Sylvia Dudek, Program Director, Metro Accelerator powered by Techstars Hospitality Digital GmbH (METRO AG), Thomas Flick, Head of Operations, Otto Group Digital Solutions GmbH, Jan René Fricke, Founder & Executive Chairman, Caffezza GmbH and Dr. Jörg H. H. H., Chairman of the Management Board of Caffezza GmbH, discussed the future of retail. Christian Wulff, Partner and Retail & Consumer Leader Germany, PwC, the opportunities arising from various cooperation models.
Martin Wild, Chief Innovation Officer at MediaMarktSaturn Retail, sums up the strategy of the consumer electronic retailer: “Innovation is very important to us, and we prefer to do this together with start-ups. Startups give us the opportunity to try out new things very quickly and to validate the major trends that are driving the industry.
When will the German Trade Congress 2019 take place?
The German Trade Congress 2019 will take place on 20 and 21 November at the Maritim Hotel Berlin.
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Image: German Trade Congress