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A look into the future of retail: Digital Academy provides insights into the Middle Kingdom

5 Jul 2023

The second episode of the Digital Academy of the leading consumer goods trade fairs today focused on the future of retail and took a look at China. With Beryl Hsu, Editor-in-Chief of AD China, and Wayne Xiang, Managing Director of United Home and founder of Likuai Lifestyle Stores in China, two proven experts provided insights into a market of the future and comprehensively illuminated future retail from a consumer and retail perspective.

What will be in demand in the future? Which styles with which products will set the next trends? In the second episode of the new online event series, the editor-in-chief of AD China, Beryl Hsu, got to the bottom of these questions. Under the title Home & Art of Living in the East, the insider opened the doors to selected private flats and houses in China as part of the Digital Academy. Using contemporary furnishing examples, the lifestyle expert showed mainly from an aesthetic point of view, how Western consumer brands can be harmoniously combined with the Chinese way of life. "Consumers no longer only pay attention to functionality – the emotional value and the story behind furniture become more and more important. It’s about expressing oneself through design: Many different styles are mixed and influences from East and West meet. Vintage furniture or antiques are very popular in China. Furniture must be movable and flexible. Plants and beautifully designed balconies bring nature into our homes. At the same time, smart homes and invisible technologies are an important trend", the expert emphasised. Hsu is considered a tastemaker in the Chinese market and the authority on good taste par excellence. She joined AD China in 2013, later founded AD Casa and has since curated annual exhibitions on architecture, design, contemporary art and lifestyle.

A more practice-oriented side of the future of retail was highlighted then by the Chinese entrepreneur Wayne Xiang in his presentation entitled Next Generation of Retail in China: Through which channels will retail take place in the future? And how can European household goods brands gain a foothold in the Chinese market? In a more practical context, Xiang showed internationally relevant changes in Chinese retail trends and took both online and stationary retail into consideration: "In two to three years, around 30 per cent of all sales will be made via social media. Social networks in China no longer reflect only daily life, but promote retail products. These can be bought and paid for directly. The technologies behind it are developing rapidly in China. Social media is the retail channel of the future. Anyone can set up their own virtual shop", explains the market expert. Xiang is the Managing Director of United Home. The company is the leading importer of household products from all over the world in the Chinese market and the first to import household products from Europe there since 1997. With the Likuai Lifestyle Stores, which belong to United Home, Xiang has established the largest chain of shops in China selling imported high-quality household products. The expert has thus already enabled more than 100 European consumer goods brands to enter the Chinese market. In the second episode of the online event series, the entrepreneur now shares his experiences with the international audience from industry and trade.

With the new Digital Academy, the consumer goods fairs host target group-specific online events for exhibitors and visitors on a joint digital platform. The events take place every two months all year round in English and German language and feature expert keynotes with in-depth industry knowledge, food for thought and practical tips. Participation in the 55-minute events is free of charge. To register, go to On this platform, manufacturers and retailers benefit from further added value such as the AI-supported matchmaking tool. This allows to network and exchange business information throughout the year, beyond the visit to the consumer goods fairs.

The episode on the topic of Future Retail in German and English is available in the media library from today. They will then be permanently available on Conzoom Solutions from
17 July 2023.

The 3rd episode of the Digital Academy will take place on 6 September 2023 at 16 CET. and will be dedicated to the topic of female leadership in design: Women Leaders in Design: A Conversation with ByDesign will be held in partnership with the producers of the globally acclaimed design television series ByDesign. Registration for free use of the Digital Academy is at

Ambiente, Christmasworld and Creativeworld will continue to be held simultaneously at the Frankfurt exhibition center:

  • Ambiente/Christmasworld: 26 to 30 Januar 2024
  • Creativeworld: 27 to 30 Januar 2024

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Discover inspirations, trends, styles and personalities on the Ambiente Blog and further expert knowledge on Conzoom Solutions

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Information on Ambiente
New perspectives open up undiscovered opportunities: As the leading international consumer goods trade fair, Ambiente maps the changes in the market with an eye to the future. For five days, it presents a unique mix of ideas and products - and is the platform for global trends. For Table, Kitchen and Housewares, the fair is the unrivalled No. 1 in the Dining segment. In Living, all styles and market segments can be experienced around the home, furnishing and decorating. Giving presents gifts and personal accessories in all facets and will in future offer high-quality stationery as well as articles relating to school supplies. The new Working section fleshes out the working worlds of tomorrow. With its future-oriented HoReCa and Contract Business segments, Ambiente also has a strong focus on the international contract business. The major themes of sustainability, new work, design, lifestyle, digital expansion of trade, and future retail accompany the event, as do a large number of industry events, young talent programs, trend presentations and awards ceremonies. Due to its unrivaled product range in terms of breadth and depth, it is unique worldwide and offers the best connections for making contacts and finding new business partners.

Information on Christmasworld
Christmasworld focuses on the strongest-selling and most emotional time of the year and exploits the success factor of experience at the point of sale like no other consumer-goods trade fair. This makes it the world's most important ordering event for the international decorations and festive decorations sector. Every year in Frankfurt, it presents the latest products and trends for Christmas and all other festive occasions. In addition, it provides innovative concept ideas for the decoration of large and outdoor areas for wholesalers and retailers, shopping centres and city centres. Christmasworld offers the entire range of decorative and festive articles - from hand-blown Christmas tree baubles, ribbons and packaging to large-scale light displays for shopping centres and city centres.

Information on Creativeworld
Creativeworld is the world’s leading trade fair for the international hobby, handicrafts and artists’ requisites sector. At Creativeworld, exhibitors show their latest products, techniques and materials for decorative crafts, graphic and artists’ requisites, handicrafts, textile design, graffiti, street art and creative hobbies. And, as a trend and business platform, the trade fair is the first important venue of the business year. Creativeworld is the ideal order platform for the wholesale, retail and specialist trades, DIY markets, garden centres, the internet and mailorder trades. With its multi-faceted complementary programme of events, Creativeworld is a source of new ideas, inspiration and expert knowledge.

Home of Consumer Goods
Under the motto "Home of Consumer Goods – Welcome Home", Ambiente, Christmasworld and Creativeworld will be held simultaneously at one of the world's most modern trade fair centers. The newly created combination of three successful leading trade fairs at one location at one time thus combines their strengths and thus offers an unprecedented, simultaneously available, future-oriented product range in quality and quantity. Global business with large volumes is intensified. Messe Frankfurt will continue to offer the largest platform for global sourcing outside China. Frankfurt is thus the center of the global order season, strengthening synergy effects and efficiency for all participants, and is thus the one, comprehensive inspiration, order and networking event for a globalized industry. This is where the newest trends are presented and the global metatrends are experienced and made visible.

nmedia.hub - The order and content platform for the home & living industry
The digital order and content management for brands and retailers in the consumer goods industry extends the trade fair and enables orders 24/7, 365 days a year.

Conzoom Solutions - the platform for retailers
Conzoom Solutions is a knowledge platform that offers the consumer goods industry a wide range of studies, trend presentations, workshops and guidelines for the point of revenue. It provides a complete overview of Messe Frankfurt's international portfolio in the consumer goods sector – bundling a wide range of information for retailers.

Background information: Sustainable Messe Frankfurt
The Messe Frankfurt Group is one of the world’s leading trade fair, congress and event organisers with their own exhibition grounds. With a workforce of some 2,200* people at its headquarters in Frankfurt am Main and in 28 subsidiaries, it organises events around the world. Group sales in financial year 2022 were around €450 million*. We serve our customers’ business interests efficiently within the framework of our Fairs & Events, Locations and Services business fields. One of Messe Frankfurt’s key strengths is its powerful and closely knit global sales network, which covers around 180 countries in all regions of the world. Our comprehensive range of services – both onsite and online – ensures that customers worldwide enjoy consistently high quality and flexibility when planning, organising and running their events. We are using our digital expertise to develop new business models. The wide range of services includes renting exhibition grounds, trade fair construction and marketing, personnel and food services. Sustainability is a central pillar of our corporate strategy. Here, we strike a healthy balance between ecological and economic interests, social responsibility and diversity.

For more information, please visit our website at:

With its headquarters in Frankfurt am Main, the company is owned by the City of Frankfurt (60 percent) and the State of Hesse (40 percent).For more information, please visit our website at:

* Preliminary figures for 2022