On day two of the World Retail Congress in Paris, attendees heard from companies including UK online retailer Ocado and French retailer Systeme U. Here are a selection of quotes from the second day.
“The grocery business has changed dramatically in the last 60 years and we continue to see major channel shift occurring now. Sixty years ago, all groceries in the UK were sold by a man behind a counter and customers queued and somebody introduced self service: J Sainsbury. Sainsbury at the time said he would sell fresh food in a self-service store over his dead body and thankfully for Justin King he’s not here with us today” – Ocado CEO Tim Steiner.
“Whether we’re a retail or service brand, no matter how we think about branding, it’s about a promise. Any brand that can keep its promise will do so across cultures and changes. That never will be an easy job” – Sandy Douglas, chief customer officer of The Coca-Cola Co.
“The model for retail is fundamentally in change now because of the way the consumer controls us” – Ian Cheshire, group CEO of Kingfisher.
“The future is cross-channel. It is time to understand that e-commerce is just another distribution channel” – Jacques-Antoine Granjon, CEO and founder of Vente-Privee.com.
“Disappoint a consumer and their disappointment will flash across the digital network” – Douglas.
“If you’re retailing in western Europe, it is pretty much flat. That is the new normal. In western Europe we are looking at how do we scratch out market share” – Cheshire.
“South East Asia is amongst one of the most dynamic markets in the world. South East Asia is the new China” – Terry O’Connor, CEO Courts Asia Ltd.
“Brands are the future. Brands are the centre, brands create trust and that is the key of the internet and e-commerce” – Granjon.
“France is a market that invented the discount in retail trend” – Serge Papin, CEO of Systeme U.
“For a newcomer, South East Asia is not a shop in a box. If a company is able to customise the risk then it is extremely rewarding” – Marcello Pace, Bata Emerging Markets.
“French politicians don’t understand business. They have never worked in business” – Granjon.