Earlier this week, The Conference Group hosted the European store design congress ‘Läden 2014’ in Frankfurt/Main. Under the headline “Connected. Digital. Exciting. What does the store of the future look like?”, decision makers from retail, shop fitting, design, and real estate exchanged their experiences and opinions. To sum up the days’ findings in a most entertaining way, we noted down the best quotes for you.

Prof. Dr. Jörg Funder, Institut für internationales Handels- und Distributionsmanagement GmbH; Hochschule Worms
“Cross channel implies transformation efforts, which are hardly approached in a systematic way so far. It’s not hard to build a website but to integrate all processes!”
“The longtail lie: It’s free to put another product into an existing online shop.”
“The customer does not think in channels!”
"80/90% of all online retailers will exit the market in the medium term. If you do not realize a three-digit million turnover: do not enter the online business.”
“Founding the Online GmbH of an existing retail business is no integration!”
"In stationary retail, the own online shop should not be regarded a thread but an extension.”

Norbert Wittmann, Gruppe Nymphenburg Consult AG
"Customers chose a product before they decide for a channel!”
“40-50% of customers read product reviews by others. They trust non-professionals more than professionals!”
Do I have to say goodbye to some target groups? “If you try to please everybody, you won’t please anybody.”

Ralph Edele, Aesop Germany
“We sell a product that cannot be bought without guidance.”
“None of our stores looks alike. We like to make use of unusual materials and always try to implement local elements, for instance a driftwood bar in our Bondi Beach store.”
“We support art and charity events and host a lot of content (on our website, in our newsletter) that has nothing to do with skincare.”
“We want to become (and remain) the coolest and most respected brand in the skincare world.”

Hans Van den Hout, RetaiLab
“The future of China is in retail, not in manufacturing.”
“The Chinese call copy and call it learning, we would call it stealing.”
“The internet is the biggest opportunity retailers have.”
"There IS a free space between department stores (too much offer) and monobrand stores (restricted offer).”
“I like women because they know how to shop. Women browse, men buy ‘motorway’ style.”
“Stop talking about stores, talk about stories.”

Sebastian Kemmler, Kemmler Kemmler GmbH
“Online is for displaying a full assortment, mobile is for providing contextual information and retail is for creating shareable experiences.”
“Brands are generally in despair to find shareable experiences for their social media channels.”
“Store design should be optimized to produce shareable content, measure its success in posts per square meter not revenue per square meter!”
“Create Instagram optimized environments.”

Maximilian Lang, Hess Natur
“Our challenge is to move transform our image from eco (old) to sustainable (cool).”
“Today, social fairness along the textile chain is taken even more important than green issues.”
“We bet on personal communication. All digital offers in our stores haven’t really found any users.”
“In my opinion, retail is totally underestimated.”

Torsten Steinfels, Metro Group
“In an eco system, diversity is biggest on the borders.”
“Results of cross-channel retailers should be calculated as sales on all channels minus expenditures on all channels – it doesn’t matter where a sale is closed in the end.”

Klaus Ortner, Tahlia Hodling
“You can learn a lot from Amazon. I am always watching their latest developments.”
“Same-day delivery does not play a role in the electronic goods industry.”
“First of all, the quality of your products has to be right. Then we can talk about emotionality.”

Hermann Hutter, Abt Lifestyle-Haus
"The stationary purchase power is declining and therefore rents WILL sink eventually.“

Daniel Schnödt, Team Scio, C3 Consulting.Coaching.Communication
"50.000 POS will close until 2020.“
“Classic shopfitting is out. You rather “collect” your furniture.”
“In stores, customer areas like resting, service and walking spaces are gaining importance over merchandising spaces.“

Klaus Kluge, Bastei Lübbe (Siebter Hinmel store)
“Nothing has changed in book stores for the past 20 years!“
“Instead of the top 20 bestseller list, we show the personal recommendations of our book store staff.”
“You CAN successfully combine books and non-books in a store.”

Andree Josef, Die Etagen (advertising agency)
“We don’t need to wait for the mobile revolution, it is already happening.”
“There are two worlds existing–online and offline–and we need to build a bridge between them.”
“Augmented Reality is the visual expansion of reality, by additional virtual elements.”
“Virtual fitting rooms won’t replace real fitting rooms, but it is another playful approach of bringing the real world together with the online world.”

Volker Katschinski, Dan Pearlman
“Retail means change.”
“Many companies are not able to make the leap of innovation.”
“Everything that can be digitalized, will be digitalized.”

Peter Prisching, Umdasch Shopfitting
“There are seven success factors for a successful store concept:  Addressing, feeling good, orientation, information, stimulation, seduction and trust.”
“You have to give innovation time.”
“Change is the single reliable parameter.”

Dr. Alexander Gepp, Gepp’s GmbH
“Our range of products changes steadily, that’s why we sell what we like to call ‘Fashion Food’.”
“Customers can try between 65-75 products in our stores and through the element of tasting shopping becomes an experience!”

The congress ‘Läden 2014’ was supported by the leading specialist media of the dfv media group: Lebensmittel Zeitung, Textilwirtschaft, SPORTSWEAR INTERNATIONAL and Der Handel.