IHT 2016

66th International Retail Summit

More than Retail: Leadership 2020

More than Retail: Leadership 2020

Photo: Matthew Millman

The balance of power in retail is shifting. Amazon, Apple, Alibaba – international giants and start-ups from other sectors are creating an increasingly complex landscape. 

Leadership is more important than ever in rapidly changing markets – exchange rates, migration, the threat of mass unemployment and rising government debt all have an impact on buying power and consumer spending. Leaders will need more than just traditional industry experience to be successful. So what skills do CEOs and managers need in the future? 

One thing is clear: trading expertise alone is not enough. The new formula is: ⅓ industry knowledge, ⅓ transformation knowledge and ⅓ digital knowledge. The 66th International Retail Summit will address the most pressing issues for retail leadership in 2020:

    •    How should we lead during upheaval?
    •    What role do instinct and emotion play?
    •    What type of corporate culture will be successful in future?
    •    Which factors will influence us in the newly emerging Europe?
    •    Is size a decisive factor in retail, or are we seeing a renaissance of the small and the agile?

Expect answers from established businessmen, radical entrepreneurs and thought leaders.


Thursday, 8 September, 10.00 – 17.45

Welcome Coffee


David Bosshart (CH), CEO, GDI Gottlieb Duttweiler Institute
From Hierarchy to the Network: Retail Leadership 2020

Joanne Denney-Finch (UK), CEO, IGD
Lead or Lose: Key Skills Required for Tomorrow's Food Retailers

Mark Schmitz (DE), General Partner, Lakestar
Hunting Unicorns: How a Successful Venture Capitalist Discovers Billion-Dollar-Startups

Networking Lunch


Christian Unger (CH), Managing Director, Co-Head Industry Value Creation, Partners Group
Private Equity: What Retail Can Learn From the Digital Industry

Benedict Dellot (UK), Associate Director, RSA
The Second Age of Small: How Innovative Microbusinesses Surpass Big Corporations

Marc Schumacher (DE), Managing Director, Liganova
Fashion 2020: More than Digitisation

Philip Siefer (DE), Founder & Chief Executive Unicorn, Einhorn
Unfuck the Economy: Retail for the Generation Y

Networking Break


Alain Caparros (DE), CEO, Rewe Group
Captain of the Fleet: Leading a Big Company through a Sea of Change

Stephan Fanderl (DE), CEO, Karstadt Department Store
Leadership in Times of Transformation: What Really Matters

Keynote Speech
Hans-Werner Sinn (DE), Professor, Munich University, Chairman Ifo
Europe, the European Economy and the Euro: Structural Crisis, Debt Crisis, Migration Crisis – What Lies Ahead?

Apéro Riche and Networking

Shuttleservice: Transfer to the Hotel Sedartis and Thalwil train station

Friday, 9 September, 09.00 – 14.30


Franz Julen (CH), CEO, Intersport International
One Vision, 67 Countries: Leadership Values for International Success

A conversation with
Ottmar Hitzfeld (DE/CH), Football Expert and Author
Winning the Game – Leading with Data and Emotions: What Retailers Can Learn from Football

Chris Muller (USA), Professor of the Practice, Boston University
Bits over Bites: Learnings from the Digital Disruption in the Food Industry

A conversation with
Rolf Hiltl (CH), Managing Director, Hiltl
A Perfect Fit: Why Retail and Restaurants Fertilize Each Other

Networking Break


Lev Manovich (USA), Professor, CUNY Graduate Center, New York
Un/happy Shoppers: What Selfies Reveal about Your Customers

Jakub Samochowiec (CH), Senior Researcher, GDI Gottlieb Duttweiler Institute
Seven Billion Youniverses: Where to Reach Tomorrow’s Customers

Jonathan Chippindale (UK), CEO, Holition
Augmented Retail: The New World of Post-Digital Customer Experience

Networking Lunch


Ottmar Hitzfeld

Ottmar Hitzfeld

Football expert and author. As a world-class coach, he won the the UEFA Champions League with FC Bayern Munich and led the Swiss national team to the world cups in South Africa and Brasil. As an author, he focuses on team and stress management.

Joanne Denney-Finch

Joanne Denney-Finch

CEO of the UK research and training organisation IGD. She works with the CEOs and presidents of some of the world's largest retailers and food and grocery companies. Equipped with a degree in modern languages and an MBA, Joanne Denney-Finch had previously worked at Marks and Spencer.

Alain Casparros

Alain Caparros

Former CEO of fashion retailer C&A. Until 2017 Caparros was the CEO of Rewe Group. Prior to leading Rewe, Caparros worked for Yves Rocher, was a general director of Aldi France, and a member of the board of the Swiss Bon Appétit Group.

Christian Unger

Christian Unger

Managing Director and Co-Head Industry Value Creation at Partners Group, a global private markets investment company. He has 21 years of industry experience in the media and digital space. Prior to joining Partners Group, he was global CEO of Ringier AG, Switzerland’s largest media company.

Benedict Dellot

Benedict Dellot

Associate Director at the RSA, a London-based think-tank committed to finding practical solutions to social challenges. Dellot’s work covers economics, enterprise and manufacturing. His recent focus has been on the growth of self-employment and micro-businesses – why they are emerging and how this phenomenon might impact the wider economy.

Hans-Werner Sinn

Hans-Werner Sinn

Economist, Professor at the University of Munich and former President of the Ifo Institute for economic research. Sinn’s fields of interest include risk and insurance, natural resources, monetary trade theory and public finance. His books include bestsellers like “Can Germany Be Saved?”, “Casino Capitalism” and “The Euro Trap”.

Franz Julen

Franz Julen

CEO Intersport International Corp. The globally leading sports goods dealer holds 5700 stores in 67 countries. In 2015, Intersport generated a turnover of 11.4 billion Euro. Julen is vice president of the board of Independent Retail Europe and a member of the board of Valora Holding AG.

Lev Manovich

Lev Manovich

Professor of Computer Science at The Graduate Center, CUNY, and a Director of the Lab Software Studies Initiative. The lab’s most recent projects were commissioned by MoMA, New Public Library, and Google. Author of The Language of New Media (The MIT Press, 2001), which was described as "the most suggestive and broad ranging media history since Marshall McLuhan."

Stephan Fanderl

Stephan Fanderl

Managing Director of SIGNA Retail and CEO of Karstadt, the German department store chain with 82 locations. Prior to that, Fanderl held the position of President Emerging Markets East at Walmart. At the Rewe Group, he was responsible for the German supermarkets and a Member of the Executive Board.

Jonathan Chippindale

Jonathan Chippindale

CEO of Holition. The London Start-up equips luxury retailers like Richemont and LVMH with digital installations. By using augmented reality, holograms, projections and touch-solutions, Holition creates novel customer experiences.

Mark Schmitz

Mark Schmitz

General Partner and founding member of Lakestar, a global venture capital investment firm. Mark Schmitz also is a managing director of Lakestar’s Berlin office. Prior to Lakestar, he worked for international law firm Linklaters LLP and Private Equity and Venture Capital boutique Pöllath + Partners in Munich.

Marc Schumacher

Marc Schumacher

Managing Director of Liganova, The BrandRetail Company. Schumacher previously served as the head of the Tom Tailor Group’s retail division. In this capacity, he was responsible for the global expansion of international, company-controlled retail spaces as well as the systematic expansion of the marketing department. Marc began his career with the Breuninger Group and Hugo Boss.

Rolf Hiltl

Rolf Hiltl

Owner and director of Hiltl AG. Member of the board of tibits AG. The heir of the «Haus Hiltl», founded in 1898, leads the world’s oldest vegetarian company succsessfully since 1998. Hiltl began his career in gastronomy at the Dolder Grand Hotel in Zurich and at the Ecole Hôtelière in Lausanne.

Philip Siefer

Philip Siefer

Founder & CEO of Einhorn, a Berlin-based start-up for sustainably produced design condoms. Breaking records in crowdfunding, Einhorn creates transparency for the entire production chain and invests half of its profits in social and environmental projects.

Chris Muller

Christopher C. Muller

Boston, USA

Chris Muller is a leading academic expert in the field of restaurant management. His research has focused on multi-unit organizations, development and growth, and the training of multi-unit managers and leaders. He has held positions at Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration, UCF’s Rosen College, Boston University, and is currently Courtesy Professor of Executive Education at FIU’s Chaplin School of Hospitality.  He is an author and has lectured around the globe.

David Bosshart

David Bosshart

Author, Speaker, Executive Advisor

Dr. David Bosshart was CEO of the GDI Gottlieb Duttweiler Institute for consumption, economic and social studies from 1999 to 2020. Since 2020 he has been President of the Gottlieb and Adele Duttweiler Foundation.



2 days, 1 person:  
Full price: CHF 2300 CHF

2 days, 2 or more persons:
Full price: 1955 CHF / person

1 day, per person:  
Full price: CHF 1400 CHF

Price for startups:
1 day: 450 CHF
2 days: 600 CHF
(Discount code on request: iht@gdi.ch)


Payment in advance. Reduced fees apply when more than one participant from the same company register at the same time. Any subsequent participants registered separately will be invoiced separately. The conference fee includes all food and beverages (and VAT). Participants registering less than two weeks before the event can pay by credit card only.



German/English (simultaneous interpretation)

Changes to the programme

The programme is subject to change. If an event does not take place, fees will be refunded. Further claims are ruled out.


If you are unable to attend, please let us have your cancellation in writing. The fee will be reimbursed on cancellation thirty or more days before the event. After this term and until five full working days prior to the event we will charge 75% of the fee. In the event of later cancellations we will charge the full participation fee. Substitute participants welcome.

Hotel reservation

To benefit from special rates, please contact Ms Brigitte Fischer at iht(at)gdi.ch 


There will be a free shuttle bus service between the GDI and the Hotel Sedartis Thalwil and Thalwil train station.