The World Department Store Forum (WDSF)

On a biennial basis, the WDSF gathers department stores from all over the world and their global brands, suppliers and partners. The Forum addresses the most important issues of department store retailing from both a visionary and strategic point of view. It is designed for all stakeholders of the retail industry in order to enable them to learn from one another and to achieve closer cooperation. WDSF 2017 will be organised by IGDS in collaboration with Holt Renfrew, Canada.

Former WDSF Events

WDSF 2015 in Rome
The fourth WDSF was staged in Rome, organized in collaboration with GruppoCoin. 'Strengthening Emotional Bonds with Customers' was the title of the Forum, which saw a host of CEO speakers revealing their experiences of retailing in a new digital landscape and explaining how they created ‘wow factor’ experiences for their customers. Woolworths won the ‘World’s Best In-Store Campaign' award for its Christmas campaign; Eva Bunzel, from The KaDeWe Group, won the award ‘World's Best Sales Associate at a Department Store’.

WDSF 2013 in Istanbul
WDSF 2013 was attended by senior retail executives from around the world, including business leaders of 45 department stores. 16 high-calibre CEO speakers shared their inspiring and thought-provoking insights - which were further elaborated by moderators during subsequent panels - into the most crucial factors affecting the retail industry during a time of significant technological advancement and challenging trading conditions. The two-day Forum theme was 'Taking Performance to the Next Level'. More details on the event website

WDSF 2011 in Shanghai
Delegates from 36 countries - including 54 CEOs from department stores from around the world - attended the 2nd WDSF in Shanghai, co-organized by Bailian Group and IGDS. Carrying the theme of ‘China Impacts Department Stores and Suppliers’, the Forum invited 18 CEO speakers to present their company’s strategies and successful developments. More information on the event website

WDSF 2009 in Moscow
The 1st WDSF was organized in April 2009 in Moscow, in cooperation with GUM Department Store. The main theme was ‘The Importance and Impact of Flagship Stores’. The Forum, which gathered 170 top executives from the retail industry worldwide, presented 14 seasoned department store and retail CEOs. To learn more about this event, please visit the website

WDSF2013 - Istanbul

WDSF2015 - Rome