About the Global Congress Series

About the Global Congress Series

Ian McGarrigle - Congress Chairman and Founder​From the Congress Chairman, Ian McGarrigle

The World Retail Congress was launched in 2007 in response to the rapid internationalisation of retailing and the opening-up of many new markets in the fast-growing economies of China, Russia, India and Brazil.

There was a strong feeling from senior retailers that there was the need for a platform for the industry to come together to discuss the issues that were essential for the future development of retailing.

Since the launch of the Congress, the world has become a very different place, shaped as it has been by the biggest economic downturn for over 60 years coupled with the massive impact of the digital revolution. Retailing is being re-shaped in a way and at a speed never seen before. The World Retail Congress has sought to play a role in furthering discussions on how retailing should respond to these external forces by bringing together over the last 7 years over 10,000 attendees and more than 1,000 industry speakers.

What the Congress team realised quickly was that it would be impossible to reflect all the regional issues and concerns within the global event and therefore decided to launch first the Asia Pacific Retail Congress. This has grown quickly to become an important event for retailers across the region and all international retailers with operations there. In 2013, the Asia Pacific Congress was joined by new annual events for Latin America and the fast-growing African market. 2014 saw the launch of a China Retail Congress, held in Shanghai.

These regional Congresses together with the annual global World Retail Congress continue to place the founding goals and objectives at their heart: to be an essential meeting place for senior retail executives, to hear from leading industry experts and to be able to network with fellow retailers in order to help build sustainable, successful businesses that meet the needs of their customers wherever they operate.

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