“Trends And Challenges Of Retailing In Greece: Physical And Electronic Markets”(January 11, 2017)

Successfully ended the 2nd One-Day Marketing Event with the theme “TRENDS AND CHALLENGES OF RETAILING IN GREECE: PHYSICAL AND ELECTRONIC MARKETS“. The event was organized by the Marketing Laboratory MARLAB and the Department of Business Administration of the University of Macedonia and was held on Wednesday, January 11th 2017 at the Ceremonial Amphitheater of the University of Macedonia. Although the weather conditions were difficult due to snow and frost, many friends of marketing attended the event.

The first speaker of the event was Mr. Antonis Zairis, Vice President of Retail Business Association of Greece. The theme of his speech was “The future of retail business in Greece: The bet of the recovery in the real economy”.  Specifically, Mr. Zairis underlined that retailing is one of the most dynamic sectors of the Greek economy with enviable contribution in GDP of around 16% and contribution in creating work positions at a rate about 13%. Because of the current financial adjustment, a radical restructuring of the industry by redistribution of market shares between companies, take place in a market which remain stagnant or sometimes shrinks. This means that in the near future is likely to see a positive sign regarding the turnover for many businesses but also a loss of hundreds of thousands of jobs in small firms which will be forced to put a padlock. Regarding to the need of applying a maintaining demand policy at good level, deems necessary to give mobility capital – cash in the real economy at least until the extroverted development model starting to operate. The pejorative approach to consumption is a wrong approach, as in good time, the GDP contribution was above 40%, certainly enough to balance the satisfaction measure of buyers’ real needs and not their expectations. The inflow of foreign tourist trading currency, can work also positively to cover the undeclared resource balance deficit and this in turn to have a beneficial impact on the current account balance of the country.

The second speaker was Mr. Dionisis Skarmeas, Associate Professor, Economic University of Athens. The theme of his speech was the “Retailing: the modern role of physical stores”. Mr. Skarmeas argued that continuous development of technology bringing radical changes in the status and operation of the physical stores. In this context, the big challenge for retailers is to constantly adapting new circumstances. Therefore, the physical stores are expected to assume a new role in the retail sector: to offer a comprehensive, personalized and differentiated customer experience. The positive assessment of this experience catalytically affects the valuation of the company and the product/service from the consumer.

Mr. Paris Argouslidis, Assistant Professor, Economic University of Athens was the third speaker who presented “The practical value of good Marketing theory and Retailing.” Specifically, Mr. Argouslidis emphasized that one frequently expressed view among Marketing executives sector in general and retailing in particular, is that marketing (as taught in amphitheaters) is “theoretical” and that “the practice in enterprises differs radically from the taught theory”. Through concrete examples, the purpose of his presentation was to highlight the invaluable supplies, which can obtain the current students as tomorrow’s managers, if they learn to decode the practical implications of good Marketing theory and Retailing.

The fourth speaker of the event was Mr. Alkiviadis Trigkas, Head of Electronic Banking, National Bank. The theme of his speech was “Payments disrupted. The emerging challenges for retail banks – The i-bank pay case “. Mr. Trigkas spoke about the significant changes made in the payments landscape in recent years, with the dramatic increase in electronic payment methods. Mr. Trigkas presented the key challenges overturn the payments landscape worldwide (technological revolution, entree non-traditional players, increasing customer expectations and enable new rules and regulations) and explained how banks adjust their digital strategy to respond to them. Specifically, he presented an example of the innovative service i-bank Pay (for consumers) and i-bank Pay 4 Business (for professionals) from the National Bank of Greece, which combines payments (Person-to-Person and Person-to-Business) and mobile phone or tablet receipts, by direct debit.

Speeches moderated by Mrs. Rodoula Tsiotsiou (Ph.D.), Associate Professor and Director of the Marketing Laboratory MARLAB, University of Macedonia.

Conference panel speakers: (from the left) Mr. A. Zairis, Mr. D. Skarmeas, Mrs. R. Tsiotsiou, Mr. P. Argouslidis, Mr. A. Trigkas.

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