Apr 20, 2015
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WDSF (World Department Store Forum) about to be held in Rome

Apr 20, 2015

Following Moscow, Shanghai and Singapore, it’s Italy’s turn to host the World Department Store Forum (WDSF), the fourth edition to be held in Rome at the Hotel Rome Cavalieri on April 23 and 24. The forum has been organized every two years since its creation in 2009, bringing together department stores and brands from around the world to discuss the industry's development and future.

The 3rd WDSF in 2013 in Singapore

This year’s edition will focus on "strengthening emotional bonds with customers" and will highlight the success stories of a few brands and companies, explaining how they have adapted their business models to the needs of "clients that are ever-more multi-faceted and technologically savvy."

Nearly 300 participants and twenty speakers have been announced, including key executives from major retailers, suppliers, brands and partners. The forum aims to enable retailers "to learn from one another and to create greater cooperation," said organizers, which this year include Gruppo Coin and the Intercontinental Group of Department Stores (IGDS).

Among the VIPs expected to attend: Paolo De Cesare (CEO of Printemps), Thierry Cheval (managing director of L'Oréal Luxe), Patrice Wagner (CEO of Bon Marché), Stefano Beraldo (vice president of Italian group Coin), Simone Dominici (managing director retailers Coin and Excelsior), Vittorio Radice (vice president of La Rinascente), Oscar Farinetti (founder and president of Eataly), Harald Weste (CEO of Maserati) Nick Hayek (CEO of Swatch), Hiroshi Ohnishi (CEO of Isetan Mitsukoshi), Paul Kelly (managing director of Selfridges), as well as architect Massimiliano Fuksas and speakers from Turkey, South Africa, Brazil, the United States, the Philippines, etc. 

The program includes six panel discussions on various topics - from digital communication strategies to the creation of shopping/brand emotions to the inclusion of food and art in retail environments. 

"WDSF is the only department store platform that allows policy-makers from around the world to analyze the latest and most innovative developments in the largest department stores in the world, learning about strategies and ideas from experienced retailers, while networking with key executives from the retail sector," said organizers in regards to WDSF’s 4th edition. 

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