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Retail is booming in Hong Kong, with the first ten months of 2018 registering a 10% growth in revenue. Retail’s Cutting Edge hosted by Inside Retail, for the third year running at the StartmeupHK Festival, featured experienced retail presenters and emerging players, proven leaders and disruptors. They discussed a variety of topics including new technologies reshaping the customer experience, the seamless merger of buying channels, new retail models, blockchain as a solution to product authenticity challenges and supply chain streamlining to name just a few.

An exciting announcement was made at the event by Jose Blanco, VP Asian Markets for GUESS who, working together with Alibaba Group, will pioneer the first AI concept store in Hong Kong. Discussing the trend in new retail, Pascal Martin, Partner at OC&C Strategy Consultants, talked about how “the online giants are investing in traditional retailers, transforming them into hybrid models”; however he also underlined the importance of putting the customer centre-stage, cautioning that “If you don’t think consumer first, you are likely to be influenced by people who are just selling technology to you.”