The World Retail Congress has been postponed due to the volcanic eruption in Iceland creating international travel chaos. The congress has been postponed until October, as the international speakers and participants struggled to reach Berlin ahead of the scheduled first day on Wednesday.
The congress was expected to welcome over 50 per cent more participants than in 2009, as retailers gathered to debate what the future holds for the industry.
Organisers are already in discussion with more than 100 industry experts who were set to speak, and are hopeful that most will be able to participate when the congress convenes later this year.
"We apologise greatly for the inconvenience and the disappointment this causes but hope you understand the exceptional circumstances that have made this decision inevitable. We look forward to seeing you in the autumn for what we are sure will be an outstanding event," the organisers said in a statement.
Scheduled speakers included Dr Eckhard Cordes, chairman and CEO, Metro Group; Angela Ahrendts, CEO of Burberry; Hans Schmitt, senior vice president, Hugo Boss; Philipp Schindler, vice president, Google; Sarita Nayyar, head of consumer industries, World Economic Forum USA; Mindy Grossman, CEO, HSN Inc, and Laura Wade-Grey, CEO, Tesco.com.
As previously planned, the congress will take place in Berlin with confirmed dates for October 2010 to be announced shortly.