A look into the future of retail

Posted by Rachel Westall on 25 July 2023

The second episode of the Digital Academy of the leading consumer goods trade fairs focused on the future of retail and took a look at China. With Beryl Hsu, Editor-in-Chief of AD China, and Wayne Xiang, Managing Director of United Home and founder of Likuai Lifestyle Stores in China, two proven experts provided insights into a market of the future and comprehensively illuminated future retail from a consumer and retail perspective

ladies placing order at craft trade fair What will be in demand in the future? Which styles with which products will set the next trends? In the second episode of the new online event series, the editor-in-chief of AD China, Beryl Hsu, got to the bottom of these questions. Under the title Home & Art of Living in the East, the insider opened the doors to selected private flats and houses in China as part of the Digital Academy. Using contemporary furnishing examples, the lifestyle expert showed mainly from an aesthetic point of view, how Western consumer brands can be harmoniously combined with the Chinese way of life.

"Consumers no longer only pay attention to functionality – the emotional value and the story behind furniture become more and more important. It's about expressing oneself through design: Many different styles are mixed and influences from East and West meet. Vintage furniture or antiques are very popular in China. Furniture must be movable and flexible. Plants and beautifully designed balconies bring nature into our homes. At the same time, smart homes and invisible technologies are an important trend", the expert emphasised.

Hsu is considered a tastemaker in the Chinese market and the authority on good taste par excellence. She joined AD China in 2013, later founded AD Casa and has since curated annual exhibitions on architecture, design, contemporary art and lifestyle.

rolls of pink and white yarns A more practice-oriented side of the future of retail was highlighted then by the Chinese entrepreneur Wayne Xiang in his presentation entitled Next Generation of Retail in China: Through which channels will retail take place in the future? And how can European household goods brands gain a foothold in the Chinese market? In a more practical context, Xiang showed internationally relevant changes in Chinese retail trends and took both online and stationary retail into consideration: "In two to three years, around 30 per cent of all sales will be made via social media. Social networks in China no longer reflect only daily life, but promote retail products. These can be bought and paid for directly. The technologies behind it are developing rapidly in China. Social media is the retail channel of the future. Anyone can set up their own virtual shop", explains the market expert. Xiang is the Managing Director of United Home.

The company is the leading importer of household products from all over the world in the Chinese market and the first to import household products from Europe there since 1997. With the Likuai Lifestyle Stores, which belong to United Home, Xiang has established the largest chain of shops in China selling imported high-quality household products. The expert has thus already enabled more than 100 European consumer goods brands to enter the Chinese market. In the second episode of the online event series, the entrepreneur now shares his experiences with the international audience from industry and trade.

hobby and handicrafts at trade fair With the new Digital Academy, the consumer goods fairs host target group-specific online events for exhibitors and visitors on a joint digital platform. The events take place every two months all year round in English and German language and feature expert keynotes with in-depth industry knowledge, food for thought and practical tips. Participation in the 55-minute events is free of charge. To register, go to https://consumergoods.digital.messefrankfurt.com/

On this platform, manufacturers and retailers benefit from further added value such as the AI-supported matchmaking tool. This allows to network and exchange business information throughout the year, beyond the visit to the consumer goods fairs.

The episode on the topic of Future Retail in German and English is available in the media library and will be permanently available on Conzoom Solutions. The third episode of the Digital Academy will take place on 6th September 2023 at 10am and will be dedicated to the topic of female leadership in design: Women Leaders in Design: A Conversation with ByDesign will be held in partnership with the producers of the globally acclaimed design television series ByDesign.

Registration for free use of the Digital Academy is at consumergoods.digital.messefrankfurt.com

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