8 — 9 February, 2020
In February 2020, the Hellenic Confederation of Commerce and Entrepreneurship (ESEE) hosted the first conference titled ‘Future of Retail’, aiming to establish it as the leading forum for dialogue on the interpretation of current reality for commerce, the analysis of international trends and finally the drafting of a new proposal for the future of commerce, by providing answers to important questions around its very existence and evolution.
ESEE stated that the conference ‘Future of Retail’ seeks to bring new dimensions to the sector of commerce and to emphasize the idea that its progress is a shared responsibility that benefits all. Distinguished speakers from Greece and abroad, as well as senior executives coming from the international market have joined in order to answer major questions relating to modern business, offering an opportunity to engage in a fruitful discussion concerning the evaluation of the new conditions, which are definitely creating a different landscape for the future of commerce globally.
Placing special emphasis on the role of new technologies in retail, the organizers invited Dr. Constantine Stephanidis, Professor in the Department of Computer Science of the University of Crete and Head of the Human – Computer Interaction (HCI) Laboratory and the Ambient Intelligence Programme at the Institute of Computer Science of FORTH, to talk about the physical store of the future and present two interactive systems ready to be incorporated in a physical store; iEat: An interactive restaurant table, and a Virtual Fitting Room. As Professor Stephanidis pointed out, the traditional physical store and the digital store are not incompatible, but should be seen as complementary concepts, yielding the best results when the advantages of digital technologies are combined with the irreplaceable experience and interpersonal relationship of the consumer with the seller in the presence of the physical object for sale.