There are relatively few times when the entire retail design world beats a path to Düsseldorf, but this week is one of them.

There are relatively few times when the entire retail design world beats a path to Düsseldorf, but this week is one of them.

Sitting on the Lufthansa flight to Düsseldorf yesterday it was hard not to be impressed by how few German accents were evident. It was also remarkable that although it was a Sunday afternoon in mid-February, the flight was packed and everyone looked as if they were off to something that mattered.

Today is in fact the beginning of Euroshop in Düsseldorf, the triennial gathering at which almost everybody in the world who has anything to do with the business of making shops look the way they look turns up to display their wares. Whether supermarket cash tills are your thing or mannequins rock your boat, this is the place where for four days just about everything that can be imagined in relation to your speciality will be on show.

And the mid-afternoon Lufthansa flight was transporting the store interiors faithful across to Germany’s fashion capital in anticipation of finding something new that might mean the difference between a good shop and one that is merely average.

The show is a bit like taking Birmingham’s NEC and then inflating it four or five times and standing back – there’s even a hall devoted to nothing but shopping trolleys. This does, of course, mean that for many there’s an awful lot that is relatively irrelevant and it’s a matter of honing the search if a lot of shoe leather is not to be needlessly wasted.   

What it does do however is offer the chance to see more or less everything that’s out there at the moment as far as fixtures and fittings are concerned and if you need to know how your store measures up, then this is the place to be. Düsseldorf is an important, but perhaps somewhat characterless modern German city, but this week, as far as retailers, store designers and shopfitters are concerned, it is the centre of the world.

And if you’re reading this and fancy a quick dash over to check it all out, be warned, every hotel room in town is booked, as are the great majority of the flights heading in this direction. It is perhaps worth nothing therefore that Retail Week will be reporting from the show throughout the week. Pip pip.   

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