11-12 October 2023 | Dubai


IGDS WDSS is the world’s leading discussion platform for department store CEOs, senior executives and their stakeholders including brands, suppliers and service companies to meet, network and exchange ideas. IGDS WDSS 2023 is organised by Al Tayer Insignia and IGDS.


GDSS 2022 in Seattle

Inspiring insights were shared by 27 leading industry figures on issues ranging from optimising AI to transforming retail models and profits, to creating ultimate ‘wow’ destinations, to the importance of properly embedding social and environmental sustainability. Compelling stories on leadership best practice, ways to remain relevant post-pandemic to new customers, as well as how to seamlessly appeal to consumers across omni-channel propositions were also discussed. www.gdss2022.org

WDSF 2019 in Tokyo

More than 20 guest speakers, department stores leaders and experts, architects, and economists, shared their insights and strategies on 'The Role of Department Stores in Megacities' in front of top executives from 36 countries. Zarah Naseem, from Selfridges & Co in England, won the award of World's Best Sales Associate at a Department Store; Visit Promsaka Na Sakonnakhon Siam Paragon in Thailand received the title of ‘World’s Best Personal Shopper at a Department Store'. www.wdsf2019.org

GDSS 2018 in London

During GDSS 2018, 30 industry experts, economists, department store leaders and London figureheads shared their insights and strategies on ‘The Power of Luxury Redefined’ in front of an audience of executives from around the world. Selfridges was the winner of ‘The Best Department Store in the World’ Award in 2018; ‘The World's Best Business Partner to Department Stores 2018’ Award was given to Gucci. www.gdss2018.org

WDSF 2017 in Toronto

Retail executives from around the world, including 45 department store leaders and 120 CEOs, gathered at the Forum. Industry experts, economists, department store executives and academics shared their insights and strategies on ‘Digital and Bricks&Mortar - One Magic Experience’. Sergio Diaz from Al Tayer won the envied title of ‘World's Best Sales Associate at a Department Store 2017’. The event was organized by IGDS in collaboration with Holt Renfrew. www.wdsf2017.org 

GDSS 2016 in Zurich

At the 5th GDSS, major industry figures shared their insights and strategies on 'Delighting Global Travellers at Home & Away'. Organised by Jelmoli and IGDS, which on this occasion also celebrated its 70th anniversary, the Summit welcomed 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. www.gdss2016.org

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’. www.wdsf2015.org

GDSS 2014 in Singapore

The 4th GDSS was staged in Singapore, organised 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; in competition were two other world-renowned department stores: Macy’s, USA, and Breuninger, Germany. www.dssummit2014.org

WDSF 2013 in Istanbul

The Forum was attended by senior retail executives from around the world, including business leaders from 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'. www.wdsf2013.org 

GDSS 2012 in Paris

The 3rd GDSS was held at the iconic Centre Pompidou in Paris, organised 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, USA, and Woolworths, South Africa. www.dssummit2012.org

WDSF 2011 in Shanghai

Delegates from 36 countries - including 54 CEOs from department stores from around the world - attended the second 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. www.wdsf2011.org  

GDSS 2010 in New York

The 2nd GDSS saw delegates from 36 countries attending the Summit in New York. Organised in collaboration with Saks Fifth Avenue, this Summit carried the theme of ‘Winning in the New Retail Environment’, with fourteen CEO speakers presenting their success stories. Selfridges, UK, won the ‘Department Store of the Year 2010’ Award; the other finalists were Bloomingdales, U.S.A., and Lane Crawford, Hong Kong. www.dssummit2010.org 

 WDSF 2009 in Moscow

The first 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 top executives from the retail industry worldwide, presented 14 seasoned department store and retail CEOs. www.dsfocus2009.org  

GDSS 2008 in London

The first GDSS was staged in London in May 2008, and was organised in cooperation with Selfridges. 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 on the topic of 'Growth Opportunities for Department Stores'. During the Official Dinner, the title of ‘Department Store of the Year 2008’ was awarded to Bloomingdales, USA; the other finalists were Central Department Store, Thailand, and Woolworths, South Africa. www.dssummit2008.org

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