We took a moment as we were kicking off production on this issue to reflect on what we know now that we didn’t when 2013 began.

The realisation that the shifting shape and size of the industry has already started. That even the mightiest of grocery retailers must rethink their in-store strategy in order to keep shoppers engaged. And that technology is no longer transforming shoppers lives – it’s now a way of life. As Diageo’s global shopper marketing manager argues (page 10), there’s a need for the industry to refocus its attention on ROI and activation in the year ahead.

This issue, we also look further into the future to find out what our universities are doing to educate the P-O-P professionals of tomorrow (see page 17).

Finally, we take a look back at a year full of POPAI UK & Ireland best practice events, initiatives and award winners (page 21).

Sometime in the coming weeks we’ll sit down and draw up a list of priorities for the coming year. But on this, the eve of our fifth birthday, we’d like to thank all our readers, advertisers and suppliers for your continued support.

If we don’t see you at the last POPAI event of the year before the world winds down then have a merry Christmas and a healthy and prosperous 2014.

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