IHT 2021 Visual

71st International Retail Summit

Moving Closer: Retail in Vulnerable Times

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Uncertainty, vulnerability and ambivalence: welcome back to the world of risk. But just how long can we keep going? Employees are suffering from screen fatigue, members of the public are fearful for the future, and customers are demonstrating ‘trip consolidation’: visiting fewer shops, but buying more from them.
The Covid-19 pandemic has created a longing for closeness, not only in terms of contact with other people, but also when it comes to consumption: regional products, local shops, delivery services. Even brands are moving closer to their customers with the successful direct-to-consumer model.
At the GDI’s 71st International Retail Summit, we explore the implications of these developments for people and companies alike, and present potential success factors for retail during these vulnerable times.

  • What does leadership involve when managers and employees are working from home while, at the same time, ‘essential services’ continue to be provided in logistics and supermarkets?
  • What will remain online after pandemic shopping, and what will go back to ‘bricks and mortar’? What will our shopping experience look like in the future? Will it also become purely virtual?
  • Will the heavyweights continue their crusade of consolidation?
  • Will there be a renaissance in the restaurant industry, retail’s little brother?
  • Organic and vegan, local and regional products are making great strides at the moment. But what will happen to sustainability after the pandemic?
20 % off for early birds until 15 June 2021!

Will be announced shortly.


The speakers' list will be updated continuously.

Duncan Clark Photo

Duncan Clark

Chairman, BDA China and author of “Alibaba: The House that Jack Ma Built”. BDA is an advisory firm serving investors in high growth companies in the technology and consumer sectors in China and other Asian markets. A senior China policy advisor to institutional investors, corporations and governments, Duncan is also a member of the Board of Trustees of the Asia Society in New York.

Javier Goyeneche

Javier Goyeneche

President and Founder, Ecoalf. Ecoalf is a sustainable fashion brand that uses recycled waste plastic in order to turn it into high-quality fabrics and material. The prestigious leadership and management forum, Thinkers50, included Goyeneche on its 2019 talent radar and he was awarded the Schwab Foundation’s Social Innovators of the year 2020.

Mario Irminger

Mario Irminger

CEO, Denner. Irminger worked for eight years at Ernst & Young until 1996, when he joined Heineken Switzerland in the consumer goods sector. As Chief Financial Officer, he played a key role in the strategic development of the Swiss business. Since 2011, he has been CEO of the leading Swiss food discounter.

Anna Gawlikowska

Anna Gawlikowska

Senior Consultant, Swiss AI, a company that models future scenarios with AI. Gawlikowska is a seasoned Executive and Business Developer in complex innovation and technology projects in various industries, from energy, real estate, smart cities, mobility to software development.

Francesco Farinetti

Francesco Farinetti

President and CEO, Green Pea, a sustainable architectural project that extends the former Fiat Lingotto factory in Turin, an icon of rationalist architecture.. Farinetti started working for Eataly Torino in 2007, in charge of the wine section. In 2007, he became Eataly Distribuzione SRL's CEO. In 2019 Farinetti took care of Green Pea's development under the guidance of his father, Green Pea's creator and founder Oscar Farinetti.

Benedict Evans

Benedict Evans

Independent analyst. Evans spent 20 years analysing mobile, media and technology, and worked in equity research, strategy, consulting and venture capital. He writes a weekly newsletter with over 150,000 subscribers and is a partner with Mosaic Ventures and Entrepreneur First.

Stephanie Crespin

Stephanie Crespin

Founder & CEO, Reflaunt. The startup’s technology – blockchain backed digital IDs that trace products from retail to resale  – enables luxury fashion brands to provide a resale offer to their customers. Their aim: a more conscious approach to fashion consumerism. Reflaunt secured investments by MadaLuxe Group, a leading worldwide distributor of luxury fashion.

Andy hunter

Andy Hunter

Founder & CEO, Bookshop.org. Local, independent bookstores are allowed to create their own virtual shop front on this site. By giving away 30% of the profit margin, Bookshop.org financially supports these traditional booksellers.

Thomas Gutberlet

Thomas Gutberlet

Managing Director, Tegut. Thomas Gutberlet is the nephew of the company's founder Theo Gutberlet. He worked at dm-drogerie markt as well as Nestlé before joining the family business. Tegut is a food retail chain that values ecological and regional products, environmentally friendly packaging and sustainable markets.

Eric Harsch

Erich Harsch

Chairman of the Executive Board, Hornbach Baumarkt. Harsch’s areas of responsibility include Strategic Development, Sales and Services, Real Estate, and Corporate Social Responsibility. Previously, Harsch was CEO of dm-drogerie markt.

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.


Reto Brennwald

Reto Brennwald

TV journalist, filmmaker and media trainer. From 2008 to 2011 Reto Brennwald presented SRF's politics programme "Arena". Prior to that, he had been moderator of the "Rundschau" for seven years. Reto Brennwald has been active in the electronic media sphere for 25 years. In 2015 he founded the Talk&Film GmbH for communication, moderation and film production.


2 days, 1 person: 

Full price: CHF 2500

20 % early-bird discount until 15 June: CHF 2000

2 days, 2 or more persons:

Full price: CHF 2125 / person

can be cumulated with:

20 % early-bird discount until 15 June: CHF 1625

1 day, per person: 

Full price: CHF 1500

20 % early-bird discount until 15 June: CHF 1200

Livestream, 2 days:

CHF 1200

20 % early-bird discount until 15 June: CHF 960

Price for startups:

CHF 800 (2 days), CHF 600 (one day), CHF 600 Livestream

(Request for voucher code: iht(at)gdi.ch)
Payment in advance. Reduced fees apply when more than one participant from the same company registers at the same time. Any subsequent participant registered later 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 use the following email adresses and refer to the code: IHT2021

Hotel Sedartis, Thalwil: info@sedartis.ch

Hotel Alex Lake, Thalwil: book here

Hotel Belvoir, Ruschlikon: info@hotel-belvoir.ch

Hotel Ibis, Adliswil: welcome@ibiszurich.ch


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


GDI Gottlieb Duttweiler Institute
Langhaldenstrasse 21
8803 Rüschlikon


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