ECE Retail Meeting 2019: Focusing on digitization

• DECATHLON receives Retailer Award 2019

Winner of Retailer Award 2019: Decathlon
Winner of Retailer Award 2019: Decathlon

Today, the “Retailer Award 2019” was presented to the retailer of the year at ECE’s 17th International Retail Meeting at Fischauktionshalle in Hamburg. This year, DECATHLON received the award, which has been presented 13 times in a row. The internationally operating French sporting goods and clothing manufacturer and retailer has been on the market for more than 40 years. The family company operates 1,500 stores in more than 50 countries with almost 90,000 employees. DECATHLON has approximately 70 outlets in Germany with ten new stores due to open in 2019. During its expansion, the company has already opened stores at three ECE locations, and more will follow.

“DECATHLON excites its customers with trendy products, a high service quality and low prices, as well as a future-oriented omnichannel approach that meets customer requirements to a very high degree,” said Steffen Friedlein, Managing Director Leasing at ECE and member of the Retailer Award judging panel. “The company sells highly functional and sustainable products, and many of them have been developed in-house. That makes the concept a good addition to the already existing and more brand-oriented sports retailers.”

“It is a great honor and joy to receive the ECE Retailer Award,” said Marc Philip Kaufmann, General Manager of DECATHLON in Germany. “In 2019 we would like to set the course for the future by planning more outlets in Germany and by continuing our successful strategy. The aim is to provide access to sports for as many people as possible. The more than 20 new outlets all across Germany are proof that these are not empty words, but a corporate philosophy. After many years of working with ECE, this award has a special meaning to DECATHLON's expansion department. “

The ECE Retailer Award recognizes innovative concepts and achievements of retailers and is presented at the ECE Retail Meeting every year. The judging panel for the Retailer Award consists of experts from research, education, the retail industry and the previous winners.

Focusing on digitization and the omnichannel approach

Like every year during Europe's largest industry meeting, approximately 600 top decision-makers of national and international retailers discuss chances and trends in the retail industry. This year the attention focused particularly on digitization. Alexander Otto, CEO of ECE, and Dr. Philipp Sepehr, Director Digital Innovation & Analytics at ECE, presented the company’s vision of shopping centers turning into “Omnichannel Marketplaces”. ECE has already made significant progress towards this idea by establishing the “Digital Mall” project: More than 500,000 products are currently available through the “Digital Mall” feature at more than 90 shops at five ECE locations, and there are plans to introduce it at further 30 centers in 2019 and to get additional retailers on board of the project.