Emerging markets, technology, legislation and the future of shopping – this year’s World Retail Congress touched on a wide range of subjects. Here’s a selection of the best quotes.

“If I knew then what I know now in September 2010, would I have been so bullish? The answer is no” – Carrefour chief commercial officer Jose Carlos Gonzalez-Hurtado says that, with hindsight, his initial sales forecast for the retailer’s Planet format was too bold.

“It’s important to acquire these consumers before they are ready to do the weekly shop” – Tony Stockil, CEO of online retail consultant Javelin Group, says retailers have to act fast to attract the next generation of shoppers.

“To benchmark is to steal from competitors and to innovate is to steal shamelessly from competitors” – Spar International MD Dr Gordon Campbell on the need to seek “inspiration” from competitors.

“The big challenge (grocery retailers) face is that consumers are becoming smarter”- Dr Ira Kalish, Deloitte global research director, on shoppers’ greater access to information.

“Many provinces have not been touched by modern retail” – Eduardo Carriquiry, commercial vice president of the Peruvian arm of South American retailer Ripley, urges retailers to look beyond major urban centres when entering a market.

“If retailers don’t have that technology, the new consumer will not shop with them – it’s part of their life” – Mike Shearwood, the CEO of Aurora Fashions emphasises the importance of an online presence – whether in fashion or groceries.

“Store-based retailing as a dead industry is wildly exaggerated” – a bit of optimism from Mike Webster, senior vice president and general manager of Oracle‘s retail arm.

“It’s now a political decision that has to be made” – Aditya Birla Retail CEO Thomas Varghese said the Indian government was set to ease rules on foreign investment.

“Retailers are last to the party, but they are going to be the biggest customer” – Mark Edwards, the president and founder of UK-based Red Dot Square Solutions, demonstrating his company’s consumer insight technology.

“A lot of supermarket chains and other grocery retailers have good training programmes that attract young talent and get them excited about the business” – The importance of investing in staff, by Diana McHenry, director of SAS’ global retail practice.