euroshop 2023

A quick field report from my visit to Euroshop 2023 in Dusseldorf, Germany!

Long story short: I saw tremendous innovation in lighting and digital media technologies throughout the show floor – but unfortunately with the notable exception of Hall 9 — the one hall actually dedicated to lighting.

The trend is clear: The dematerialization of lighting offered by LEDs – in particularly the easy versatility of LED flex strips and other LED signage modules – allows shopfitters to integrate lighting into every surface, sign, and display in increasingly creative ways. Glowing signs, glowing backlit panels, glowing edge-lit shelves, glowing decorative dimensional signage – the retail world has finally embraced the full potential of LED lighting.

Plus the modularity and versatility of direct-view LED signage modules, combined the explosion of shapes and sizes of traditional LCD screens, allows digital media to be integrated into a wildly creative range of retail concepts.

Everything was glowing, luminous and digital.

Below are a few overall notes and a download of my photos (split roughly into Hall 1 and then a second batch of everything else). I was there for my own research and certainly not trying to put together a comprehensive review of the show (I take pictures as notes for my own weird reasons) so please do not take any of these as endorsements of any particular manufacturers.

Hall 1

The Expo & Event Marketing hall was a a particular wonderland of glowing everything, with the expo marketing segment flooded with innovative modular aluminum extrusion systems that integrate light boxes, LED modules and graphics everywhere. The flexibility, fundamental reusability of those components, plus the creativity that is so easily enabled makes me think this is the future for a much wider range of architectural interior construction systems.

Halls 3/4/5/6

The Retail Marketing & Technology halls demonstrated the integration of digital signage in a wild variety of ways that was striking throughout these booths. The world of “point of purchase” is marching fast towards digital. And the logistics side of retail has become extensively digitized. Tons of action around digital price tags, RFID, tracking, etc.

Halls 10/11/12/13 showcased that the big shopfitters, design firms and supporting companies are finally embracing sustainability in retail construction. Extensive displays of natural materials, circular economy concepts, etc.

Hall 9

The Lighting hall was my biggest disappointment. There was a handful of western lighting companies chasing the commodity volumes of retail rollouts. All they’ve done is ride the LED efficiency curves to make their products smaller. Tired old track, downlights and pendants, BUT SMALLER! That’s not innovation. I don’t count shrinking staid formats from the middle of the last century as any form of “innovation” worth discussing.

For the past decade, because the vast majority of lighting manufacturers refused to use their LED expertise to expand their offerings into other categories that were ripe for integrated lighting – such as shop fitting, or interior finishes, or digital media displays – the traditional lighting category has been left behind and is increasingly shut out of major categories like retail. Lighting manufacturers are still selling Edison bulb pendants – literally – in a world that has moved on.

And the rest of the booths were largely Asian companies supplying OEM-level components – obviously targeting all the retail shop fitters who are now incorporating lighting into their product offerings. There were many Asian OEM LED manufacturers sprinkled throughout all of the other halls, too. Overall they had a huge presence in the show.

I will give one shout out to my former 3D printed components team at Signify. They are making real progress in the adoption of 3D printing in their supply chain. And they are still pursuing the adoption of bio-based feed stocks for their polycarbonate components. I believe my former colleague said they are at ~55% bio content. That is very hard and very expensive R&D, but so necessary if 3D printing will have a meaningful future.

I don’t think I even took any pictures in Hall 9. But for old-times sake, here’s a pic from the 3D pendants Philips showcased at Euroshop 2017:

My conclusion:

Euroshop continues to be a fun show offering lots of design and trend inspiration across an enormous breadth of categories that influence the built environment, beyond just “retail”.

But I strongly recommend to the Euroshop planning team for 2026 to abandon a dedicated “lighting” hall and instead merge the lighting manufacturers and various OEM suppliers with the companies in Hall 13 – Store Design/Materials/Surfaces. That would produce a much stronger show for all involved.

That’s all, folks! Auf wiedersehen!