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The rise of Connect Lille

The rise of Connect Lille

This season is full of events. As you may have noticed, the calendar offers a plethora of events for retail professionals. Indeed, this week in mid-November, I could have been in Brussels, Luxembourg or even Paris. But I chose Connect Lille, an event that is becoming a must and that takes place in the heart of Lille's Retail Valley. 


A rise in power

Having already visited the event last year, I had already noted the interest of participating in Connect Lille. Indeed, in 2021, in a period of reopening after covid, I had been able to appreciate the quality of the content of the conferences, as well as the networking with the various participants and start-ups. 

This 2022 edition wanted to do even better and took the gamble of gathering its public over two days rather than one. For my part, this bet was successful. Compared to last year, there was clearly a higher participation rate. 

As far as the content is concerned, the round tables, which were animated alternately by Michel Koch and Cédric Ducrocq, reached their targets. Indeed, the participants with quality profiles played the game and shared concrete ideas and opinions instead of vague PR statements. For example, Rami Baitieh from Carrefour France and Patrick Stassi from KIABI shared their views on the pyramid of inverted management, the round table on disruptions reviewed the major trends of the moment but also identified opportunities to be seized in the near future, the business cases presented were concrete and quantified ... in short, I could quote you many other interesting interventions. To sum it up, the promise of "quality content with no double talk" was kept and for that reason alone, the trip to Lille was worth it. 

As for the exhibitors, I also noticed that the companies and start-ups selected by the organisation were more numerous than last year. There were some with interesting ideas and concepts, some of which should find their way into future publications on 20/CENT Retail. I will keep you posted. 


Lessons to be learned

As a bonus to this visit report, I'll give you a few points on the most important lessons to be learned and the trends and breakthroughs that you can't miss in the coming weeks and months: 

  • CSR or Corporate Social Responsibility is no longer an afterthought. It must be an integral part of your concerns, as it already is for your consumers and partners.
  • Now, in this period of successive crises, purchasing power is under pressure. First of all, the consumer must be reassured and offered affordable healthy and ethical alternatives 
  • Metaverse, cryptos, web3 etc... are indeed to be studied. However, it is still early days and perhaps not for all types of customers and businesses. But certainly, these are technologies for the consumers of the gaming and digital generation. 
  • The business model is changing. Just saying as a retailer "I have a product and I just resell it with a margin" is not the future. We need to evolve the model and create other sources of revenue. The time has come for retail media. Data and the monetisation of the relationship with the consumer is a serious avenue for any retailer today. 


My 20/CENT 

In conclusion, let me reiterate that Connect Lille is an event that is taking an unavoidable position in the retail calendar. Any professional interested in innovation and technology must go and see it. All the more so as from the point of view of the participants, we meet agencies, start-ups, services but also and above all real retailers. 

In short, this is an event that is growing in strength and proves that resilience pays off in these difficult times. 












Connect LilleDiamart ConnectMichel KochRami BaitiehKiabiCarrefourRetailEvent