BERLIN, June 1 /PRNewswire/ --

The 14th annual RETAILVISION EUROPE in Berlin surprised newcomers and veterans alike with a positive note amid the general economic gloom for worldwide retail.

Insight from Keynote Presentations provided market research of some commercial value to both retailers and vendors in attendance. United Business Media Ltd., owner of the VisionEvents(TM), elected in this recession to concentrate on high quality content and that decision proved fruitful. Keynoters were able to zero in on the current opportunities at retail level.

-- GfK's Dr. Rudi Aunkofer presented an in-depth look at the pressure on the European market but highlighted his presentation with a list of 30 product categories that are still selling well at retail (despite the economy). He also predicts the PC industry, after some failed attempts, now has an opportunity to introduce all-in-one PCs as a successful form factor in the desktop category.

-- BITKOM's Michael Schidlack, Head of Dept. Consumer Electronics Digital Home, at the German industry association, told how connected TV will create the biggest new opportunity at retail after HD TV.

-- PLANET RETAIL's Greg Hodge, Retail Research Manager, profiled the strategic direction of Media-Saturn, DSGi, KESA, HMV and Carphone Warehouse. He also revealed Sainsbury's plan for non-foods expansion (by 2010, 60 stores will have 1/4 of all space dedicated to non-food).

-- EAMES MANAGEMENT GROUP's Don Eames, the ex-Best Buy executive flown in from USA for this event, shared his inside look at how Best Buy was able to grow into the world's largest IT/CE retailer. He also gave the audience good insight into his work for Russia's retail giant, El Dorado, and into his work in Middle East retail.

In addition to market insight, retailers attend to meet vendors with new products. While the general economy ensured fewer vendors would join this year, the product mix from vendors couldn't have been better if it was hand-picked. Retailers who attended were treated to a mix of products that included TV phones, all-in-one PCs, videogame accessories including a Nintendo-like wand with all the extras you wanted Nintendo to include in the first place, push-up card readers, energy-saving devices, 3D personal viewers, audio (a consumer version of Elton John's preferred microphone and more), software, and many CE/IT accessories.

More than 100 retailers and distributors came at the organizer's expense from more than 34 countries. The widening of the market, job changes, convergence, and economic conditions added new faces to the audience of this established event. Almost 30% of attendees were first-time attendees.

During RETAILER QUESTION TIME, a Town Hall-like discussion about retail trends moderated by industry veteran Bob Snyder of The Distribution Channel Ltd., retailers aired their opinions. Vobis Benelux's Marc van Steenoven, Managing Director, put the recession in context by comparing it to more than a decade of turmoil in the industry. Calling the retailers in the room survivors, van Steenoven noted most will survive this temporary downturn because they have already survived worst blows from the mercurial nature of the fast-paced IT/CE industries. At the same time, Publicworld's Alexis Chalkidis, General Manager, urged the audience to innovate despite the industry downtime: to innovate not as an option but as a necessity to grow the retail business.

Everyone at RETAILVISION EUROPE enjoyed the Gala Dinner and Entertainment sponsored by G-Data, an IT security software vendor. The highlight, after a 5-course meal by renowned Michelin starred chef, Frank Rosin, was a stage show by Berlin's top rock impersonators (from Bette Midler to Elvis Presley.)

RETAILVISION EUROPE drew to conclusion with its annual Award Ceremony. Winners included:

- Best Product: Accessories -- Samsonite (as represented by Anteprima Brands) - Best Product: Software -- Serif PhotoPlus X3 - Best Vendor: Retail Strategy -- Pelikan - Best Presentation -- Serif - Best Product: Hardware -- Blue Microphones

Next year's dates for RETAILVISION EUROPE are May 17-19. After events in Monte Carlo, Barcelona, Paris, Rome and Berlin, the pan-European RETAILVISION will be in London for 2010.


VISION EVENTS(TM) is a leading conference provider for high tech in Europe. Part of UBM, VISION EVENTS(TM) organizes the annual conferences RETAILVISION EUROPE for the retail channel and IT CHANNELVISION for the value-added channels.

United Business Media Ltd. is a leading global business media company. More than 6500 staff in more than 30 countries are organised into specialist teams that serve business communities. Listed on the London Stock Exchange, UBM is the owner of Everything Channel Inc. (publishers of the world's largest channel publication CRN and its famous sister publication, VAR Business).

Russell Morrow of UBM Conferences, +44(0)20-7560-4313,