design:retail - July 2017 - 42
have you heard?
NEW STORE WATCH
Store Forum 2017
← From left:
Opened: September 2016
CHRIS EDEN PHOTOGRAPHY/
Opened: February 2017
Photo by JAMES KAR
AT&T, San Francisco
Opened: March 2017
Photo by OTTAVIO TOMASINI
Clarins, King of Prussia, Pa.
Holt Renfrew, Mississauga,
Opened: July 2016
Photo by BEN RAHN
Check out additional images of these stores and more
OASTING 300 ATTENDEES, includ-
ing 45 CEOs in retail, the World
Department Store Forum (WDSF)
staged in Toronto June 1-2 with the
future of retail at its core. Organized
by the Intercontinental Group of Department
Stores (IGDS) and hosted by Holt Renfrew, the
event brought together top executives from the
retail world in addition to global influencers.
Leading off the sessions was Craig Wright,
senior vice president and chief economist of
Royal Bank of Canada who gave a "disappointingly normal outlook" for the global economy.
With global low interest rates to support growth,
global trade volume flat, a trend in U.S. dollar
strength and a lower inflation environment, he
said the setting is right for global growth to pick
up. Employment is up globally and wages are
static, also contributing to the economic outlook.
Tim McGuire, senior partner at McKinsey,
painted a grave picture for the audience, stating
that department stores have been in retreat for 25
to 35 years, and U.S. department stores have lost
$38 billion in annual revenues since 2000. This has
fueled growth to discounters, including T.J. Maxx,
Burlington and Ross, among others, he said. Millennials, he added, are now the biggest generation,
and while they are known for spending their dollars on experiences, travel and electronics, they also
spend more on apparel than their predecessors. "Be
aggressive," he said. "I encourage you to take more
offensive steps, because defense is not enough."
Innovation was top of mind for the discussion
with Liz Rodbell, president of Hudson's Bay and
Lord & Taylor. She stressed that innovation and
taking risks without the fear of failing is so key
to this business, saying that it's the question that
is not asked that is the stupid one. "If you're not
a risk taker, you'll never have the opportunity to
win," she said.
Susan Plagemann, chief business officer
of Vogue USA/Condé Nast, reiterated those