Julian Hunt, Turin Is Efficient Consumer Response still relevant in an age where new technology continues to empower the consumer at a rapid rate? This was the question asked of more than 3,300 delegates from 50 countries who attended the 5th ECR Europe conference in Turin this week. And the answer from Antony Burgmans, chairman of Unilever, and one of the chief architects of the ECR movement in Europe, was an emphatic "yes". He reminded delegates that ECR was founded on two basic principles; put customers first and get results through partnerships. "If you think of the new wave of technologies coming at us, those principles are still absolutely relevant," he said. "If the consumer sees retailers and fmcg manufacturers fighting and not thinking of them, then they will turn their backs on us and we will be confronted by the prospect of [having to fight for a share] of a shrinking pie." This year's conference got back to basics with a renewed focus on supply side initiatives. There was a strong emphasis on collaborative planning, forecasting and replenishment, and renewed calls for retailers to share data freely with suppliers so that ECR can work. {{NEWS }}