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How to keep retail vital in our cities? Find out at the International City Retail Experience!

10 November 2017

On the 5th of April, the RetaiLink project will celebrate its final event: the International City Retail Experience 2018. This inspiring conference for medium-sized European cities is all about how to keep inner cities vital, and will take place in De Tamboer in Hoogeveen (Netherlands). During the week of ICRE, an attractive program will be presented to visitors of the city centre. ICRE2018 is an absolute must for European retailers, administrators, city managers, real estate owners, and other stakeholders of city centres and retail areas. Learn more about it in this article by Bert Hansma.

RetaiLink puts together ten european cities, that have been looking for ways to keep their retail areas vital. The project partners are Hoogeveen and Hengelo (the Netherlands), Pecs (Hungary), Igualada (Spain), Sibenik (Croatia), Romans (France), Fermo (Italy), Basingstoke and Deane (Great Britain), Bistrita (Romania) and Liberec (Czech Republic). The cities visited each other, flew in experts, shared their issues, and found promising strategies. Next april, the International City Retail Experience will be the perfect conclusion for this fruitful and enriching network.

"The program of the conference is very inspiring", says Hoogeveen mayor Karel Loohuis. "During ICRE2018, visitors share insights with each other from their own public or private perspective. We will discuss solutions and innovative strategies. Afterwards, visitors go home full of inspiration, with an enlarged network and with practical tools ready to use in their own city and enterprise".


Speakers at the congress

Simon Quin and Lluis Martinez Ribes will share their knowledge and experience during ICRE2018. They are two internationally renowned retail experts, that participated in a previous RetaiLink Transnational meeting, in Sibenik. Bjorn Kuipers talks about his experiences as owner of a number of distinctive supermarkets, but also as FIFA top referee. More names will be confirmed soon.

The Dutch retail approach
The day will include interactive sessions on public-private collaboration, customer experience, retail marketing and city marketing, public space and trends. The new minister of economic affairs will tell about the National Retail Agenda and the cooperation between national, regional and local governments and entrepreneurs. This Dutch cooperation is really outstanding in Europe. Henk Brink, member of the executive board of the province of Drenthe, will tell us about the Drentse Retail Agenda.

Sign up via website
In short, ICRE2018 is a must for people with a heart for retail. Registration is easy via There is a special entrance fee for early birds. The organization of the conference is in the hands of the municipality of Hoogeveen and the RetaiLink network, in cooperation with the European program URBACT, the Province of Drenthe, Platform31 and Hoogeveen City-centre Management.