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October 10, 2013

WORLD RETAIL CONGRESS 2013: Quote, unquote – day three

On day two of the World Retail Congress in Paris, attendees heard from companies including Spar International and Sainsbury's. Here are a selection of quotes from the second day.

On day two of the World Retail Congress in Paris, attendees heard from companies including Spar International and Sainsbury’s. Here are a selection of quotes from the second day.

“Emerging markets offer promise but it remains a promise in most cases. There are many challenges” – Arvind Singhal, chairman of Technopack.

“I see corporate social responsibility and sustainability as part of our business culture, I don’t see it as an issue” – Dr Gordon Campbell, managing director of Spar International.

“In our mind, [CSR] is something that is built in. It is something you have to do day in and day out. It is about culture” – Luke Jensen, Sainsbury’s group development director.

“It’s all about culture in CSR. What you do is less important than what you decided to do. It is about the strategic decision” – Marco Janhunen, VP of public affairs and CSR for UPM.

“Having a commando background is good for retailing in these hard days” – Yilmaz Yilmaz, co-founder and chairman of Koton.

“Omni-channel is to put the consumer at the centre and to try and track the consumer. It’s not about having lots of channels but about intelligence and to track the consumer” – Manel Jadraque, managing director of Desigual.

“There is a growth issue in France. The consumer market in Europe will remain meek over the next few years. If you want to grow you need to grow market share” – Jan Loning, managing director of Yves Rocher France.

“The key thing we try to do is to act, not react. We want to do [CSR] at the top level of our organisation and with our individual retailers” – Dr Campbell.

“We had a smile moment when the UK Government announced DNA testing [following the horsemeat scandal] to great fanfare. We have been doing DNA testing [on meat] for ten years so we were vindicated by our investment for all those years and the only supermarket not to have horsemeat in any of our products” – Jensen.

“Our biggest challenge in the future will be the incredible competition which is making reaching retail space more difficult. Locations and rent will go up. The landlords will be the king because of a lack of retail space” – Yilmaz.

“Don’t even try to measure payback on these things [CSR and corporate social responsibility]. However, payback definitely exists. It may take years but it works” – Jensen.

“Sustainability and corporate social responsibility, for at least the last two decades has been a part of Spar corporate culture” – Dr Campbell.

“Trust is about understanding what people care about and doing the best we can to help that” – Jensen.

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