The Global Department Store Summit

GDSS has become the world’s leading discussion platform for department store CEOs and senior executives and their stakeholders including brands, suppliers and service companies to meet, to network and to exchange ideas. GDSS 2018 is organized by Selfridges and IGDS.

Past Summits

. GDSS 2008 in London
The first GDSS was staged in London in May 2008, and was organized in cooperation with Selfridges. The theme of the conference was ‘Growth Opportunities for Department Stores’. Leading executives from the global retail industry attended this successful event and benefited greatly from the dynamic presentations of fourteen highly experienced department stores CEOs. During the Official Dinner, the title of ‘Department Store of the Year 2008’ was awarded to Bloomingdales, U.S.A.; the other finalists were Central Department Store, Thailand, and Woolworths, South Africa.

. GDSS 2010 in New York
The 2nd GDSS saw delegates from 36 countries attending the Summit in New York. On this occasion, the GDSS was organized in collaboration with Saks Fifth Avenue. This Summit carried the theme of ‘Winning in the New Retail Environment’, with fourteen CEO speakers presenting stories of success and strategies of each of their respective companies. Selfridges, UK, won the ‘Department Store of the Year 2010’ Award; the other finalists were Bloomingdales, U.S.A., and Lane Crawford, Hong Kong.

. GDSS 2012 in Paris
The 3rd GDSS was held at the iconic Centre Pompidou in Paris, organized in collaboration with Printemps. Carrying the title ‘Staying Relevant for Growth’, the Summit presented compelling presentations and great insights from 20 highly experienced retail CEOs from America, Asia, Europe and Australia. Selfridges was elected ‘Department Store of the Year 2012’ for the second time; the other finalists were Macy’s, U.S.A., and Woolworths, South Africa.

. GDSS 2014 in Singapore
The 4th GDSS was staged in Singapore, organized in collaboration with TANGS. The conference - held in Asia for the first time - was attended by retail executives and stakeholders from 46 countries, including leaders from 56 department stores. During the two-day event, top retail leaders shared their views and strategies on the theme ‘Capturing the Retail REvolution’Selfridges was recognised as the ‘Best Department Store in the World’ for an unprecedented third time consecutively, and will retain the title until 2016. In competition were two other world-renowned department stores: Macy’s, U.S.A., and Breuninger, Germany.

. GDSS 2016 in Zurich
At the 5th GDSS, major industry figures shared their insights and strategies on 'Delighting Global Travellers at Home & Away'. The Summit was organized by Jelmoli and IGDS, which on this occasion also celebrated its 70th anniversary. Executives from around the world attended the conferences, including senior executives from 65 department stores. Rinascente won the envied title of 'Best Department Store in the World'; Harvey Nichols took home the 'World's Best Store Window Campaign at a Department Store' award and Selfridges won the 'World's Best Sustainability Campaign at a Department Store' award.