“Expo Milano 2015” represents a clear invitation for responsible and accountable way of doing business, confirming the opening for an intercultural journey offering ideas and shared solutions. TUTTOFOOD, the International Food and Agriculture Show, started two days after the official opening of “Expo 2015”, and within this generous framework the works of “SHOP 2015” Conference took place, inviting to reflect on: the retail space as a crucial factor influencing the customer’s feelings; retailers, who should consequently develop a strategy that defines their ideal retail footprint; businesses, which need to continue placing an increased emphasis on integrating their various channels; virtualization, which is disrupting power relationships between companies, customers, and employees; convergence of technology, which will lead to convergence of competition. A competition in offering customers consistent experiences whether they interact with a brand in-store, online or via mobile, by delivering them content fast and seamlessly across all these channels, while also not forgetting that the foundation of retailing is understanding what customers want and need, and consequently developing a deep understanding of the decision journey that the new shoppers undertake. It is argued that, in the future, those retail stores that drive convenience, service, and relevant personalized experiences through the use of digital store technology will succeed.
Romania’s Friend Riccardo Garosci, President MIUR School and Food Committee EXPO 2015, attracted the audience’s attention by arguing that today’s children are the consumers of tomorrow who will change the market, and they need to be equipped with food and nutrition education as a result of the collaboratively working with organisations and institutions. Theodor Purcarea, President of the Romanian Distribution Committee, was part of an international delegation invited by the Italian Trade Agency, comprising representatives from Belgium, Egypt, Romania and the United States of America. He approached the topic of “Distribution, the challenge of the super agility. From following the trends to actually doing something about them.”
Moderators of the workshops were: Oddone Sangiorgi (SHOP 2015), Fabrizio Venturini (General Manager Comufficio and President of the Technoshop business network), Sergio Benini (CEO IBS Group), Marina Bassi (Deputy Editor GDO Week), Maria Grazia Turri (University of Turin) and Ilaro Ghiselly (Supply expert). They kept the listeners engaged, clearly summarized the panelists’ key findings, and opened the debate to the floor. Discussions were lively, allowing the clarification of questions and concerns. We remember with pleasure the significant contribution to debates or the valuable exchange of views with Alain-Jean Tusseau (Founder Alvicom), Dr. Marco Torrani (President of ASSOMAB), Eugenio Casucci (Senior Consultant, E. C. Consulting), Gabrielle Noberasco (Vicepresident noberasco), Fabrizio Molinari (Head of International Division, noberasco), Matteo Ciappina (Area Manager Europe Asia Africa, MAGESSE) and many others.
Mike Neal is Co-Founder and CEO of DecisionNext (which is headquartered in San Francisco, California with offices in Australia and France). He is known for his involvement in applying innovative science to solving merchandising and supply chain challenges. Together with Sarah Xhauflaire (Field Operations EMEA of DecisionNext), Dominique Barbet and Benoit Koutny (both Partners PKHA) they pledged for a new connected supply chain for the long term – “Next Food Alliance” (a new business model based on sustainability values and involving all partners in the Food Value Chain) – considering the rising demand for food, the limited natural resources and the inefficiency in the system (nudging consumers to more efficient items having reduced impact on the planet; enlighten supply chain will closely follow consumers). They argued that this can be achieved by using science (mathematical models), rethinking the consumer role (the consumer as a partner; recovering trust; new ways to access products; review economical model; new consumer experience), and collaborating accordingly (making space for strategy, building capability and culture conducive to strategy, and making this strategy visceral, experiential engagement being essential in this sense).
We also underline the valuable contribution to the opening and the debates brought by Jalal Abu Ghazaleh, CEO of Gourmet Egypt, and by the young Team Manager, Product Development, Gourmet Egypt Food Store, Eslam Atef.
It is also worth to mention that Romania’s Friend Riccardo Garosci, President MIUR School and Food Committee EXPO 2015 (Mr. Garosci was the European Raporteur for „Green Book for European Commerce” in 1996-1997), visited Romania’s food productions exhibition stands at Tuttofood. And the last but not the least, we also salute the significant contribution to the success of the program brought by the representatives of the Italian Trade Agency (ITA): Marinella Loddo (Director ITA Milan Office), Francesca Zadro (Area Manager Center North-West Italy, ITA), Maria Carmela Ottaviano (Manager Intersectorial and International Projects Office, ITA ) and Alessandra Capobianco (Intersectorial and International Projects Office, ITA).