5 takeaways from NRF’s inaugural Big Show Asia Pacific

Asia Pacific is one of the world’s fastest-growing markets with limitless opportunities to expand stores and production and reach a growing consumer market
Director, Special Projects and Executive Communications

NRF’s first-ever Retail’s Big Show Asia Pacific in Singapore convened 7,000 business leaders from 52 countries and nearly 300 technology providers from the Asia Pacific retail ecosystem.

More than 100 speakers across 60 sessions, from keynotes and panel discussions to special programs and tours, spoke to the show’s theme, "Fast Track Your Success,” while addressing the latest trends, technologies and strategies transforming the retail landscape in Asia Pacific.

Retail's Big Show Asia Pacific

Check out the highlights and learn more about Retail's Big Show APAC.

The three-day event, held at the iconic Sands Expo and Convention Centre, featured a visit from the deputy prime ministers of Singapore who walked the Expo floor. NRF met with key regional partners including the Executive Director of the Singapore Tourism Board Poh Chi Chuan, President of the Singapore Retailers Association Mr. Ernie Koh, and Singapore’s Ambassador to the United States Mr. Lui Tuck Yew to discuss NRF’s investment and engagement in the rapidly growing Asia-Pacific region.

Leaders from global retailers shared in-depth insight on these opportunities, including 7-Eleven, Aeon Group, Central Retail Corporation (Thailand), Domino’s, Fast Retailing (Uniqlo), Hermès, Moët Hennessy, Nike, Puma, Lotte Corporation, Wumart and more.

Here are five major themes discussed at the event.

Personalization is still king

As personalization technologies continue to evolve, retailers need to build new strategies, prioritize their implementation and operationalize new solutions to ensure they’re delivering the most relevant and engaging shopping experiences. Ken Feyder, vice president and head of IT, Americas, for Hermès, noted that 73% of luxury shoppers are looking for personalized experiences tailored to their preferences.

Implementing sustainability and ethical practices

Retailers are looking for practical solutions and inspiring case studies to navigate the complexities of implementing ESG practices. Anne-Laure Descours, chief sourcing officer at Puma, said, “Sustainability is no longer an expert conversation. It’s a business conversation.” She asserted that one brand alone can’t make sustainability scalable. It requires collaboration across the industry with partners, suppliers and regulators. 

Integration of AI and machine learning

AI’s impact on ecommerce is expected to grow exponentially in the coming years, with the potential to revolutionize how businesses operate and how customers shop. Domino’s Chief Digital Officer Christopher Thomas-Moore (“CTM”) talked about how Domino’s used AI and computer vision to train models to identify pizzas as part of its new rewards program, and how his team is finding ways to use generative AI to make their team members’ and customers’ lives easier.

Evolution of the customer experience

Through all shopping channels — but especially in physical stores — retailers should think about selling experiences, not products. Laurent Boidevezi, president of Asia Pacific, Global Travel Retail & Private Sales at Moët Hennessy, explained how the brand has done this through a variety of offerings in stores like bottle engraving and customization, master classes from wine and spirits experts, and opening a bar in the store environment.

Future-proofing through innovation

The ultimate goal for any retailer is to make its brand and products more appealing tomorrow than they are today. As 7-Eleven CEO Danni Peirce said, “What you’ve done in the past is never going to be good enough for the future. We’ve got to keep adapting and evolving.” CTM encouraged retailers to view innovation as a journey, not a destination. He reminded attendees that innovation doesn’t always mean launching something brand new, but can also include taking an old concept and making it new or unique to your brand.

After a highly successful inaugural year, NRF will be returning to Singapore for an even bigger Big Show Asia Pacific next year, June 3-5, 2025.

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