October 22, 2019
Christmasworld’s keynote speaker urges urban regeneration

Christmasworld’s premium business program will provide details, information and insights. On Jan. 27, 2020, it will bring together representatives from city and town marketing departments, local administrations, the retail trade and shopping centers, and invite them to take part in exclusive guided tours of Christmasworld, an international trade fair for seasonal and festive decoration, that is held in Frankfurt, Germany.

There will an emphasis on ways to make social and consumer spaces more attractive. Keynote speaker Ibrahim Ibrahim will focus on the needs of consumers and urge towns and cities, as well as the retail trade, to give greater weight to story-telling, services, emotional experiences and convenience in the future. His agency, Portland, is one of the leading international branding and retail design agencies. Here are some questions Ibrahim responded to.

>>ALSO SEE: Christmasworld trends for 2020/2021.

What do you mean by “liberation” of shops when you say: “The internet will not kill shops, it will liberate them!”?

As transaction and fulfillment moves away from physical shops, they will become creative platforms for customer recruitment and retention. That will liberate the shops to become wonderful social experiences for interest and brand communities, combining shopping, hospitality, entertainment, co-working and learning. The consumer experiences in these shops will be ephemeral and will thrive on the power of surprise. The new shops will create ‘happiness’ (on the principle of serendipity).

What would you recommend cities do, in order keep up with the requirements of (future) customers?

It is all about variety and surprise in the retail environment: this emerges through the matching of products and services on the one hand and interests on the other. To involve creative start-ups, a variety of spaces with different rent levels must be offered. Additionally, we need to create some affordable accommodation again in town centers. And traffic calming measures can help encourage cross connection of offers on both sides of the high street.

How can shopping centers survive?

The concepts that have the best prospects of success are those which offer retail and F&B services in combination with community ones. By offering well-known brands alongside new labels, we can achieve synergy effects which attract customers. Interesting multi-cultural offers, which appeal to local ethnic population groups, as well as to customers who value authenticity and local specialities, make for vitality and variety in the shopping centre.

What are the central concepts for urban architecture in this context?

To drive the design of urban architecture forward, we need to understand the cultural context of the people who live there. And then we need to take account of the wishes and needs of the people who use this space to shop or work. Urban architecture must be open to the requirements of various different user groups (students, families, senior citizens, etc.). It should blur the distinctions between the physical and the digital, be part of the urban grain, responding to the trends that will drive future user behavior, and it should be culturally relevant.

Sign up now and secure real advantages!

Premium visitors benefit from some very significant advantages when it comes to convenience and services. These include: free entry to Christmasworld on all days of the show, admission to the exclusive Premium Lounge in the ‘Symmetrie’ room in Hall 8.1, where the keynote speech will be given by Ibrahim Ibrahim. It also includes admission to the Best Christmas City award ceremony, free use of the Tulip Lounge, networking opportunities and guided tours, including all-day catering and cloakroom services, VIP parking in the grounds of the Exhibition Center or, alternatively, free travel on local public transport (RMV).

You can register for the the premium program now through Jan. 19, 2020. For more information, visit Use the registration code CWP280.

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