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What is IADS

The International Association of Department Stores (IADS) was founded by department stores at a pivotal moment of their existence, facing the evolution of their industry. At the time, founding members were concerned to apply the latest management ideas to department stores, the leading retailing format of the time, as well as to learn from each other.

Three objectives were assigned to the IADS:

  • To be an international bond between its members, facilitating exchange and communication
  • To research the future of the business and anticipate its fundamental changes
  • To promote cooperation and best practices

Almost a century later, IADS’ role remains central in a retail world saturated with information, where the industry players are facing many challenges: digital competition, society changes, sustainability concerns and deep changes in consumption patterns. It is today the most exclusive and oldest professional association of Department Stores in the world.

The Association gathers today a group of 12 members across the world, with various sizes or business models, all leaders on their respective markets, which represents more than €31bn cumulated annual turnover, achieved through over 490 department stores with 233,000 associates. The wide variety of business models and cultures provide the Association and its members with a richness in the exchange which is all the more valuable for the solutions and thought-provoking debates that it generates.

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