The month was off to a busy start for us here at 100%, with RetailEXPO taking place on the 1st and 2nd May at London Olympia. Retail Design Expo (RDE) has always been a big event in the calendar at 100% and this year was not to be missed, as this year also combined the Retail Business Technology Expo (RBTE) and Retail Digital Signage Expo (RDSE). The team enjoyed an incredibly exciting and insightful couple of days, taking in the latest innovations, tech and trends expected to hit the high street over the next year.
As a sponsor of this year’s POPAI Awards, 100% MD Dan Williams had the privilege of announcing the nominees for three different categories over on the Marketing and Branding Stage on day one. It was great to celebrate some great examples of best practice in the industry, and we can’t wait to see who emerges victorious at the awards ceremony in October!
Sustainability and recycling were big themes at this year’s event, which is perhaps unsurprising given the huge buzz and attention it has generated in the media and from consumers over the past 12 months. Over at stand 100% we had a dedicated area for our recently launched redeploy service and distributed copies of our new sustainability report, which proved to be a big conversation starter. Interestingly, we spoke with a number of people with ‘sustainability’ in their job title, yet we found that this is more the case with the people concerned with the input raw materials and design stages of the supply chain, rather than at end-of-life. This is something we found was very much echoed by our research, and by raising awareness of this and our redeploy offering, we hope to see this change over the next few years.
We also received a lot of interest in our international capabilities, particularly our presence in the US, and it was great to hear positive feedback from both clients and prospects about the further reassurance our ‘on the ground’ team in the US offers. Dedicating an additional management structure to the US and Canada allows us to serve customers in their own time zone and bolster those relationships even further.
The demise of the high street was a prominent theme for many of the conferences, and contrary to popular belief, it’s not all doom and gloom. Former Sainsburys CEO, Justin King, argued that the retail market is as buoyant now as it was a decade ago; “The total retail market is worth £360 billion and about £60 billion of that is online. That means £300 billion is still in shops, which is almost exactly the same as ten years ago.” Amongst all the negative reports in the media it was incredibly refreshing to hear this reassuring context. However, it’s important that we continue to drive footfall to our high streets and creating engaging in-store experiences is becoming more important than ever. Tech continues to play a huge role in this, and there was a lot of new AR and VR features on display. We look forward to seeing (and working with) these new innovations as they make their way into stores.
If you didn’t manage to get to RetailEXPO or pay the 100% team a visit this year, you can download our free sustainability report here. Or, to chat to the team about our redeploy offering, please get in touch.