An array of the best and brightest leaders from retail, technology and business will address the urgency of strategic business transformation, uniting the retail industry and unlocking its full impact as more than 37,000 attendees from nearly 100 countries come together in New York City in January at NRF 2019: Retail’s Big Show.
“Retail is a dynamic industry, with a far-reaching impact on the global economy and the lives of citizens around the world,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said. “Our speakers will share their unique perspectives on retail, providing insights on how to create a culture of collaboration, adapt to shifting consumer tastes and redefine business models to shape the future of the industry.”
The three-day conference will begin January 13, 2019, when BJ’s Wholesale Club Chairman, President and CEO Chris Baldwin, who also chairs the NRF Board of Directors, will welcome attendees with opening remarks that consider retail’s broad reach and the unbridled power of consumerism.
Kicking off the event’s featured speakers, Nordstrom President of Stores Jamie Nordstrom will headline the session, “Consumer Consciousness: Strategies for Relentless Focus on the Customer”, addressing how his organization expresses the full extent of its brands in local markets and ramps up innovations to serve its customers no matter how they choose to shop.
Immediately following, YUM! Brands Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer James Fripp, IKEA U.S. President Lars Petersson, Procter & Gamble Group President for North America and Executive Sponsor of Gender Equality Carolyn Tastad and PwC Chief Purpose Officer Shannon Schuyler will discuss how diversity and inclusion should be seen as a societal commitment in a session titled “The inclusion imperative: Responding to and advancing real-time D&I challenges.”
Next that morning, The Kroger Co. Chairman and CEO Rodney McMullen will speak on “Restocking the future: Kroger’s insatiable appetite to play and win the long game”. In a fireside chat with CNBC "Squawk on the Street" and "Power Lunch" Co-Anchor Sara Eisen, Rodney will discuss Kroger’s three-year plan to transform the grocery retail experience through accelerated innovation and new technology, and a more data-driven effort around pricing, personalized customer communications and product assortment.
Sunday’s Feature Stage will include Walmart Executive Vice President and Enterprise Chief Information Officer Clay Johnson, Walmart Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer Jeremy King, Rodan + Fields President and CEO Diane Dietz, Rebecca Minkoff Co-Founder and Creative Director Rebecca Minkoff and WD Partners Executive Vice President for Brand, Strategy and Design Lee Peterson.
The first day will close with two keynote sessions. In three consecutive fireside chats on “Company Consciousness: Leading with Conviction”, Levi Strauss & Co. President and CEO Chip Bergh, Best Buy Co. Chairman and CEO Hubert Joly and Dick’s Sporting Goods Chairman and CEO Edward Stack will discuss their principles of purposeful leadership. In the day’s last session, titled “For the fans: Why open marketplaces matter and breed enthusiast culture,” StubHub President Sukhinder Singh Cassidy, TaskRabbit CEO Stacy Brown-Philpot, Poshmark Founder and CEO Manish Chandra, and CaaStle CEO and Founder Christine Hunsicker will explore how communities of fans help build brand reach and prominence.
On Monday, January 14, former Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet L. Yellen and Recode Co-Founder and Editor-at-Large Kara Swisher along with CNBC Senior Economics Reporter Steve Liesman will open the day by exploring retail’s impact in the session, “Economy at scale: Global socioeconomic opportunities for retail success.” The discussion will be followed by Target Corp. Chairman and CEO Brian Cornell in a session called “More in store: Target invests in its guests and its future.”
Later, Walgreens Boots Alliance Co-Chief Operating Officer Alex Gourlay and Alibaba Group President Michael Evans will speak in back-to-back fireside chats during the session “On top of the world: Commanding today’s international retail markets” and discuss what it takes to successfully grow beyond domestic borders, enter emerging markets and tap into local consumer sentiment.
Monday’s Feature Stage will include Chobani Chief Commercial and Marketing Officer Peter McGuinness, Allbirds Co-CEO and Co-Founder Tim Brown, Fanatics Founder and Executive Chairman Michael Rubin, Chico’s FAS Brand President Diane Ellis, Kohl’s Executive Vice President for Product Development Michael Gilbert, rue21 Chief Analytics Officer Mark Chrystal and First Insight Founder and CEO Greg Petro.
The second day of the show will close with two keynotes. In the first session, “Fortunes in the fundamentals: Leveraging operational prowess as a strategic advantage,” Lowe’s Companies President and CEO Marvin Ellison will share his vision for strengthening the home improvement retailer through a relentless focus on operational excellence and retail fundamentals. The last session, “Beyond the buzz: State of retail 2019” will feature L2 Founder, now Gartner L2, and retail industry provocateur Scott Galloway who will review the biggest trends and challenges impacting organizations and retailers going into 2019. Galloway will later be joined on stage by Forerunner Ventures Founder and Managing Partner Kirsten Green to exchange insights on what they see impacting the retail industry most.
Tuesday, January 15, the show’s final day, will open with Macy’s Chairman and CEO Jeff Gennette leading a discussion with b8ta CEO and Co-Founder Vibhu Norby, Marxent Founder and CEO Beck Besecker, and Macy’s Brand Experience Officer, Rachel Shechtman, in a keynote panel “Reimagining the customer journey through the lens of experience.” The group will explore how reimagining experiential retail across stores, online and mobile is a recipe for success to capture the new consumer mindset.
Immediately following, JD.com Global Business Development Head for JD Fashion Harlan Bratcher and Deloitte Vice Chairman and U.S. Leader of Retail, Wholesale and Distribution Practice Rod Sides will headline the session titled “Future now: How China today foreshadows shopping and consumerism of tomorrow.” The two will discuss China’s retail landscape and explore the country’s consumer behavior changes and technological developments that have transformed traditional thinking.
The Tuesday Feature Stage will be presented in partnership with Fast Company and will include TOMS Chief Giving Officer Amy Smith, Patagonia Works and Patagonia, Inc. President and CEO Rose Marcario, Unilever EVP of Food and Refreshment and former Ben & Jerry’s CEO Jostein Solheim, Stitch Fix Chief People & Culture Officer Margo Downs, and Sephora SVP of HR Karalyn Smith, moderated across three sessions by Fast Company Staff Editor Jeff Beer.
Later that afternoon, Brandless CEO and Co-Founder Tina Sharkey, Warby Parker Co-Founder and Co-CEO Neil Blumenthal, and Boston Consulting Group Partner and Managing Director Nicholas Goad will participate in a keynote session “Retail reinvention: Disrupt yourself or be disrupted,” exploring maturing new commerce models and their ability to disrupt themselves and remain at the top of their game.
Following this session, IBM Corporation SVP, Global Industries, Clients, Platforms & Blockchain Bridget van Kralingen will lead a discussion with retailers on exploring future possibilities by placing trust in their organization’s strengths with the strengths of third parties, resulting in new and unexpected operating models in a keynote session titled “Trust and courage: Key ingredients for new platforms in retail.”
In addition to keynote and feature stage speakers, the conference will include a series of sessions on the Innovation Stage and concurrent sessions featuring speakers from Retail Institute Italy, Retail Minded, Getaway, The Hershey Company, StockX, Khare Communications, M.M. LaFleur, INDOCHINO, Casper, Euromonitor International, Afterpay, ThirdLove, Varese Retail, Cacau Show, mindbodygreen, Eileen Fisher, COYUCHI, PwC, Saje Natural Wellness, Rich Roll Enterprise, The Walt Disney Company, Framebridge, Coresight Research, Guess?, Markable AI, Sleep Number, JGA, Red Antler, SNOWE, Keeps, Burrow, MedMen, IA Interior Architects, The Phluid Project, Deloitte, Walmart eCommerce, Bain Capital Ventures, New Enterprise Associates, General Catalyst, The Block, Signet Jewelers, Blockchange Ventures, EVERY* and Subway.
The National Retail Federation is the world’s largest retail trade association. Based in Washington, D.C., NRF represents discount and department stores, home goods and specialty stores, Main Street merchants, grocers, wholesalers, chain restaurants and internet retailers from the United States and more than 45 countries. Retail is the nation’s largest private-sector employer, supporting one in four U.S. jobs — 42 million working Americans. Contributing $2.6 trillion to annual GDP, retail is a daily barometer for the nation’s economy. NRF.com
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