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January 27, Frankfurt

How future shopping habits will impact on urban space and retailing

On 27 January 2020, the ‘Premium’ Business Programme of Christmasworld will be suggesting future-oriented incentives for retailing and urban marketing – this time featuring keynote speaker Ibrahim Ibrahim, CEO of Portland Design Associates London. He will demonstrate how the changes taking place to the retail industry will also lead to a process of urban renewal and will show the opportunities for all market participants which this offers.

Not "either-or" but "both at once" – such is the recommendation: in future the parallel worlds of digital and high-street retailing must coalesce better. Consumers want to be served round the clock and via all channels. They have long been seeking for more than just the pure product; they are looking for authentic, meaningful and emotionally charged (shopping) experiences. The players from the sectors involved – retailers, towns and cities, local authorities and cultural institutions – must focus on joint activity on the hybrid consumer of the future.

The Premium Business Programme of Christmasworld 2020 will offer insights into this subject: the keynote address by Ibrahim Ibrahim on the Monday of the fair will be entitled "Urban regeneration: The internet will not kill shops, it will liberate them!" Among the topics which he will address will be that of how future shopping habits will impact on urban space: the functions of town and city centre and the demands which the retail trade must satisfy are subject to enormous changes. Towns and cities, trades and industries and other market players must cope with complex tasks if they are to stay attractive and viable. That can only succeed in a constructive collaboration. The Premium Programme will bring the relevant business partners together for this very purpose and will, in addition, invite to exclusive tours round the leading international trade fair for seasonal and festive decorations. The tours will focus in particular on especially impressive concept decorations and large-scale illuminations. Thus for the Premium guests, this will mean: utilising networks, extending knowledge, and meeting business partners.

A warm welcome to the future of retailing and all that goes with it
"Times are hard for retailers and great for consumers. We know that customers want more and more of everything: more brands, more narratives, more service, more emotionally charged experience and greater convenience", such is the credo of the expert, Ibrahim Ibrahim. Portland, his agency, is one of the leading international branding and retail design agencies. It works principally on brand design, brand loyalty and specific consumer habits in the digital and real worlds; urban change is one of Portland's specialities. Clients come from various sectors: mobility (airports, railway stations), town and city marketing, shopping centres and the consumer-goods segment.

In his keynote speech on the Monday of the fair Ibrahim Ibrahim will speak about the atmosphere and quality of time spent in a city centre. These play a vital role among consumers when they come to decide between digital or bricks-and-mortar shopping. His desire for sustainability and his call for optimum urban infrastructure must be answered even better in future: Ibrahim will demonstrate to the guests at the Premium business programme the interplay between (online) retailing and the function of urban spaces.

This time, therefore, representatives of city marketing, local authorities, retailing and shopping centres are invited jointly to benefit from the business programme on Monday 27 January 2020. The previous year's location will remain unchanged, and thus all participants will meet in the Symmetrie Room in Hall 8 – directly adjacent to the Christmasworld exhibition halls.

"Best Christmas City" competition enters sixth round
The festive conclusion to the joint day will be provided by the prize-giving for the "Best Christmas City" competition. The competition, run by Christmasworld, the German Town and City Marketing Association (Bundesvereinigung City- und Stadtmarketing e.V.) and Public Marketing magazine, will be held for no less than the sixth time. The search is for atmospheric decoration and retail concepts, uniting retailing, food services and the hotel sector, plus further business and social partners, which will attract locals and tourists into town and city centres during Advent. The start for applications will be 1 November 2019. Then all German towns and cities will have until 6 December 2019 inclusive to submit their concept, with fully illustrative photographs, videos and texts, at

The public can vote online for the people's winner until 9 January 2020. The latter will win a professional "Christmas market check" by the Association for Market and Sales Research (Gesellschaft für Markt- und Absatzforschung – GMA). In addition, a professional jury will pick the best submissions in three categories: small towns, medium-sized towns, and cities.* The three jury prize-winners will be announced at the prize-giving on 27 January 2020. As a prize Christmasworld exhibitor MK Illumination will supply all towns and cities coming in first to third place with high quality town and city decorations for the next season.

*Small town = population of less than 20,000; medium-sized town = population of 20,000- 100,000; city = population of 100,000 and above.

Registration for the free Premium Programme runs until 19 January 2020 at Please use Registration Code CWP280

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