The World Retail Congress kicked off today (7 October) in Paris where top food retail bosses have joined the list of over 150 speakers to share their strategies and insights into the opportunities and challenges facing the food retail industry and promising markets for growth. Here are a selection of quotes from day one of the conference.

“If there is one thing that always stays the same in retail it is change” – Georges Plassat, CEO of Carrefour.

“There is undeniable evidence that consumers have changed their shopping habits and there has been an evolution of digital” – Ian McGarrigle, founder and chairman of the World Retail Congress.

“In reality, there are few very big innovators in retail. True transformation in this sector comes only once in a few decades” – Plassat

“The necessities of retailers to transform themselves or perish is becoming more important” – Tony Stockil, CEO of Javelin Group.

“I am convinced that with the measures we are taking today, Carrefour is back” – Plassat.

“The problem is, overall, the retail market in developed markets is not growing. Those that are able to change to new channels are able to have an advantage over their competitors” – Stockil

“I ask the question: Do you think luxury will continue to grow? Maybe not at the level it has in the past, but my answer is yes” – Yves Carcelle, chairman and CEO of Luis Vuitton.

“Click and mortar are the future, I am totally convinced” – Plassat.

“The next three to five years will see the greatest level of disruption and change in how people shop” – Mark Lewis, online director for John Lewis.

“You have to create an environment of change that is so manifestly different that it changes the perception a customer has of the store … and they reconsider your brand in a way they haven’t before” – Steve Gumby, managing director for the Boston Consulting Group.

“Global urbanisation and the rise of the middle class is a growing challenge. By 2025, consumption in emerging markets will more than double from 2010” – Plassat.