By Meaghan Brophy
“GlobalShop is a different kind of necessity,” explains show founder Doug Hope. “Most other shows are product shows, this show is important because you need great merchandising.” GlobalShop is one of the top 100 trade shows in the United States, and has held that title for many years. It is the world’s largest annual show for retail merchandising and shopper marketing. With a slogan of “Come Wondering, Leave Knowing,” GlobalShop aims to provide practical and implementable solutions to retailers of all sizes. Their next show will be held March 23rd – 25th 2016 at the Mandalay Bay casino hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada.
This industry-only show is open to qualified retailers, wholesalers, and designers. The show floor is broken out into five different pavilions for different areas of in-store merchandising and marketing. Store fixturing, visual merchandising, store design and operations, digital store, and at-retail marketplace make up the five sections. “We started out as just store fixturings,” explains Hope, “and slowly added other areas as attendees asked for them.” Altogether, the different pavilions display services and products from over 700 different companies.
GlobalShop stays on the cutting edge, and is often even ahead of digital and merchandising retail movements. Each year “there is a centerpiece or focus area of the show to demonstrate trends,” says Hope. “In 1994, we had 10 stores of the future. It took 21 years, but everything in that centerpiece display happened. Last year and this year the focus is on digital and physical worlds combining,” continues Hope. “Most shoppers are using digital before and during their shopping adventure. We can bring the digital world into stores with beacons, GPS, and relevant offerings. These technologies are scalable, so independent retailers can take advantage of some of the same technologies of the larger retailers.”
Although GlobalShop annually attracts more than 70% of the nation’s largest retailers, a lot of their show is geared towards small businesses. “90% of the retail doors in the country are independent retailers,” explains Hope. Many of the exhibitors identify whether or not they are small-retailer friendly. All exhibiting design experts are available on an appointment basis. “Chain stores want to hear what independent retailers are doing. It’s important for independent retailers to hear what chains are doing too,” says Hope.
In addition to the show floor, GlobalShop hosts a conference with a variety of speakers. “The show arranges the speakers in the same way as the floor,” says Hope. “You can choose a la cart.” There are feature speakers, such as Neiman Marcus CEO Karen Katz discussing the evolving notion of luxury retailing. There are also brick and mortar specialists talking about branding. Due to high demand, there are many speakers devoted to the independent retail audience.
Hope’s biggest recommendation is to “Register ahead of time. It’s much less expensive. Get a feel for the show.” There’s an online tool available to those who pre-register that helps retailers plan their visit. You can see the floor plan, search by categories, and set appointments. “Bring photos of your store interior and store front to get more targeted advice,” encourages Hope. To register and plan your trip, visit www.globalshop.org.