EuroShop, The World’s No. 1 Retail Trade Fair, celebrates its 50 year anniversary this year. Held for the first time in June 1966 with 331 exhibitors (55 from abroad) on 185,000 square feet and 28,762 trade visitors, it has since then developed into the leading international trade fair for the retail sector. It serves as an innovation platform, trendsetter, discussion forum and a creative hub for new ideas specifically for retail.
The impetus for launching EuroShop was provided by a big change in the retail scene: In the mid-60s self-service concepts were introduced, initially in food retail. The small corner stores disappeared and the Albrecht brothers started their revolutionary discount principle. In-store design, open-access shelving, aisles and special-bargain displays took the place of drawers, boxes and glass showcases. This was unchartered territory for both retailers and shoppers alike. With this change, open goods display and store windows gained tremendous importance.
In 1965 Messe Düsseldorf therefore decided together with the EHI Retail Institute (at that time called “Self-Service Institute”) to launch a new trade fair specifically for retail: EuroShop – The European Exhibition and Congress “Modern Stores and Shop Windows”.
Retailers were initially apprehensive about the new trade fair and newspapers reported that nine associations were against and only four associations in favor of the new event. But at the next EuroShop in 1968 criticism had already subsided and the press cheered that “The 2nd European shop fitting trade fair EuroShop has achieved international standing” and “The uniformity of the stand designs […] has given way to the courage to try something new to an extent that even experts had not expected to find.”
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From 1966 to 1972 EuroShop was held every 2 years until it changed to a 3-year cycle starting in 1975 due to the medium-term nature of innovations in store design. In the mid-70s the initial logo depicting a store and a window was changed to the two-tone EuroShop star, which still serves as a hallmark today. While it initially symbolized the totals symbol on a cash registers, it is also synonymous today for the relationship of supply and demand in all the capital goods segments of retail, which were gradually added to the EuroShop product portfolio. While in the 60s the range consisted mainly of shop fittings, shop window design, refrigeration units and check-out systems, EuroShop already featured a larger range in the late 90s, comprising advertising, lighting, exhibition stand construction, IT, MIS and EAS, product surveillance and supply chain management.
From 2002 on EuroShop adopted a new structure to ensure a coherent segmentation and presentation of the exhibitors continually increasing product ranges: EuroConcept, EuroSales EuroExpo and EuroCIS were the four independent but complementary segments of EuroShop until 2014.
A key component of the EuroShop concept was and still is the ancillary program. Special shows and events such as the Designer Village, the Lighting Designer’s Zone, the Architecture & Design Forum, the EuroCIS Forum and the Omnichannel Forum as well as the renowned EuroShop Retail Design Award (ERDA) and the retail technology awards europe (reta) are highlights at EuroShop.
The 19th EuroShop will be held from March 5 – 9, 2017 in Düsseldorf, Germany with about 2,500 exhibitors from over 50 countries, showcasing the latest products and technologies for the global retail sector. Due to the high demand for exhibition space, an additional hall will be used for EuroShop 2017 and a total of 17 exhibition halls will be occupied.
2017 will be another milestone in the development of EuroShop since the previous four segments EuroConcept, EuroSales, EuroExpo and EuroCIS will be placed by seven experience dimensions: POP Marketing, Expo & Event Marketing, Retail Technology, Lighting, Visual Merchandising, Shop Fitting & Store Design and Food Tech & Energy Management. This new concept allows EuroShop to provide more flexibility and possibilities to present future-oriented developments and innovative products for global retail.