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All things retail takes center stage at GlobalShop 2014

The final touches are being prepared for GlobalShop 2014.

With a primary focus on retail design, in-store marketing and technology, this year’s tradeshow is scheduled Mar. 18-20 at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas.

Show marketing touts GlobalShop as having “the most comprehensive array of store fixture companies and more in-store solutions than any live event in the nation.”

For exhibit designers, it’s also a chance to view and display the latest and greatest products in one setting. Industry colleagues can marvel at fixtures and materials and gain exhibit ideas and more.

Now in its 21st year, and once known as one of the top 10 fastest-growing shows in the U.S., the real estate at GlobalShop will span about 411,000 square feet. About 1,100 exhibitors and an estimated 21,000 attendees are expected to experience GlobalShop 2014.

Atlanta-based Emerald Expositions is behind GlobalShop, and the Association of Retail Environments is a primary show sponsor.

Attendees can choose six distinct pavilions of seminar tracks, including fixtures, visual merchandising, and design and digital, among others.

The overall business of retail has changed the complexion of the event, according to Doug Hope, vice president of content, show director, GlobalShop.

“In terms of square footage, we’ve had modest gains over the years. This year, we’ve maximized Mandalay’s halls. We think we could’ve had even better growth,” said Hope.

GlobalShop has seen and experienced continuous growth, mainly due to mergers, acquisitions and co-locations of other shows. The show was born in Las Vegas and has spent time in both Chicago and Orlando.

After being in Chicago in 2013, Hope said he is excited to reintroduce Las Vegas to his attendees and exhibitors.

Specifically for show exhibitors, when asked about the growth rate or maturity of exhibits, Hope was modest in his thinking.

“I don’t think so much, except that many [exhibitors] follow fashion since this is a retail design-focused show, so they are sensitized to the annual color forecasts. So, this year, for example, we may see a bit of purple,” said Hope.

In actuality, according to Emerald Expositions’ Marketing Manager Heather Kuznetz, the color this year is “radiant orchid.”

Hope said GlobalShop’s core audience is made up of retail chains, both national and international.

And with good reason, according to statistics from the U.S. Commerce Department, which cite total U.S. retail sales averaging $4.7 trillion. In addition, the industry employs more than 14.5 billion people, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

With that amount of significance and influence, Hope touched on how national chains interact with consumers, explaining that today’s typical shopping trip is what he called “non-linear,” complete with multiple distractions.

“We are in a period of change in terms of the complexity of the typical shopping trip; the path is no longer linear at all. It’s not about sitting at home, making a list anymore,” said Hope. “There are many interruptions; it’s completely nonlinear.”

In explaining the nonlinear quality, Hope said that modern technology, such as smartphones and tablets, complement the shopping experience.

“No one can deny or avoid the role that the smartphone has in shopping trips. For instance, consumers use their smartphones to be able to scan QR codes to get product information fast, and do price comparisons, or get reviews through Amazon.com or Consumer Reports,” said Hope.

For GlobalShop 2014, Hope wants to ensure independent retailers are not only welcome, but also have a voice at the table.

“The ‘main street’ retailer, the independent retailer, which hasn’t been a core until now – the show addresses their needs, their goals and objectives,” he said.

For more information, visit www.GlobalShop.org.

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