IGDS was founded in June 1946 in Lugano, Switzerland, by eight European department stores.
IGDS was founded in June 1946 in Lugano, Switzerland, by eight European department stores. The organization’s main purpose was originally to share expertise and combine purchasing power.
From the beginning, Presidents, CEOs, Members of the Executive Boards and Managing Directors have been the driving forces behind the group. Their willingness to cooperate and share innovative ideas, new concepts and learn from other geographical areas have been vital to IGDS and its members’ successful development.
The deliberate choice of opening the membership exclusively to department stores and of limiting the access to preferably only one member per country also played a key role in creating a unique platform for open discussions.
Since its creation, IGDS has been the largest department store‘s association in the world, comprising one of the most unique and vibrant retail networks in the industry, with 43 members from 36 countries and total sales of over US$ 100 billion.
Largest Department Store Association in the World
Today, IGDS’s membership provides unique insights into how other retail groups are structured and operate worldwide. It offers exciting opportunities – especially at C-level and senior executive levels – to gain exposure to some of the most important players in the department store retailing in a truly cross-cultural context.
All our leaders have been trained and groomed by attending the various IGDS conferences and seminars. I have very good relationships with various member CEOs who have always helped us by allowing us to learn from them in an open and transparent way.
Chairman of Shoppers Stop, India & IGDS Vice-President
Our jubilee book was released on the occasion of IGDS' 70th Anniversary in 2016.
Download our jubilee book "IGDS 1946-2016"
The first 50 years of IGDS were documented in a memorial book that was released in June 1996.
Download our story "IGDS 1946-1996"