Monday, May 6, 2019


Session / Event

12:00 PM - 02:00 PM

Advisory Board Lunch (By Invitation)

  • Estiatorio Milos, 20 Hudson Yards New York, NY 10001

02:00 PM - 05:00 PM

  • Hudson Yards, 20 Hudson Yards New York, NY 10001

05:00 PM - 06:00 PM

Cocktail Reception

  • Hudson Station, 440 9th Ave, New York, NY 10001

Tuesday, May 7, 2019


Session / Event

07:00 AM - 08:00 AM

Fun Run – NY Running Company by JackRabbit

  • Shops At Columbus Circle​

08:00 AM - 10:00 AM

Registration Open + Breakfast

10:00 AM - 10:05 AM

Welcome To #RIC19

  • Debbie Hauss, Executive Director, Content, Retail TouchPoints

10:05 AM - 10:55 AM

From Iteration To Innovation: How Top Brands Are Surviving And Thriving In Digital Darwinism

Digital Darwinism is testing the fate of many brands consumers have grown up knowing and loving and also is ushering in a new breed of modern commerce brands. While many retailers are struggling to survive in this volatile climate, others are embracing new tools, tactics and mindsets to rise to the top. Digital anthropologist and analyst Brian Solis has studied these innovative businesses extensively…and he has proven best practices to share.

During this keynote presentation, Brian will spotlight 6 key takeaways and success stories from innovative brands such as TUMI, Neiman Marcus, Target and Sephora, and will reveal how retailers can lead in the experience economy. Attendees will learn how to:

  • Understand and respond to new customer journeys;
  • Eliminate legacy thinking across the organization;
  • Empower executives with digital-first skills; and
  • Evolve from “iteration” to true innovation.
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10:55 AM - 11:00 AM

Retail Innovation Award Winner: Gianna Venturi, Eyemart Express

10:55 AM - 11:30 AM

How Innovative Business Strategies Propelled The Ugg Brand

Brian Smith will take you on the journey of building the billion-dollar UGG Brand from his “conception” through the sale of the company to Deckers Outdoor Co. He will explore the dance between manufacturers, vendors, sales reps, buyers and consumers where all the participants must know all the correct steps in order to make any Brand successful in a retail marketplace.

A master story-teller, Brian recounts his highs and lows that every new vendor faces while trying to get retail traction. He will explain how innovation in product development, marketing and delivery is critical to keep momentum from season to season and many secrets that have led to the longevity of the UGG Brand.

Filled with anecdotes of his dealings with buyers, struggles with manufacturers and lucky breaks, his talk will be entertaining and fun, but filled with meaningful take-aways for everyone in the retail industry.

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11:30 AM - 12:10 PM

Networking Break and 1:1 Meetings

12:10 PM - 12:45 PM

Why Loyalty Programs Aren’t Working And How Shinola Used Customer Insights To Create A Non-Traditional ‘Loyalty’ Strategy

Learn the startling findings that emerged from deep VoC research regarding Loyalty programs and why consumers don’t feel they are effective in building loyalty and LTV.

Find out how Shinola used customer insights to create a powerful non-traditional “loyalty” strategy which is consistent with the brand, authentic, and which customers experience online and at Shinola’s stores.

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12:45 PM - 01:15 PM

A Fireside Chat With Fashion Legend And Innovator Nicole Miller

A seasoned industry veteran and innovator, Nicole Miller will share her outlook for fashion; consumer expectations of sustainability; changes in shopping behavior; and opportunities and challenges ahead for the Nicole Miller brand, as well as the rest of the retail industry. 

Nicole is both an innovator and disrupter. Regarding her style, the designer has said, “I’ve always been downtown and uptown. I’ve had a lot of artist friends and I was always a little bit of a renegade.” 

Nicole see the world of retail going through a transformation. “Things are changing all the time and they’re changing at a very rapid pace. Clearly, the department stores are suffering greatly. I think a lot of the high-end retail web sites have taken a lot of their business away. The focus has switched from celebrities to influencers. Influencers are now the new celebrities.”

Nicole Miller’s first store opened in 1986 on Madison Avenue in New York and Nicole Miller the company ( was launched in 1992. It rapidly grew and now comprises the collection and her atelier as well as numerous other categories including footwear, jewelry, activewear, home, kitchen and bath.

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01:15 PM - 02:15 PM

Lunch: Topic Table Discussions and Lunch & Learn Sessions

02:15 PM - 02:45 PM

Breakout Sessions

Digital Strategies: AI Panel - How To Build A Pragmatic AI Roadmap That Drives Commerce Results

While many retail organizations have started to invest in AI – either through the purchase of intelligent point solutions or by directly investing in new data science positions – many are failing to convert these investments into real results. This panel will present the Research Agenda framework and how it can be used to effectively bridge the gap between active R&D efforts and product development release cycles. Topics will include foundational concepts such as the research “swim lane” and how limiting the scope of an AI project can actually lead to more rapid discovery, development, and implementation of commercially impactful ideas.

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Marketing/Customer Engagement: Strategies For Strengthening Businesses By Empowering Women Leaders

This panel of female leaders will discuss the challenges and strategies businesses can use to develop and sustain a strong focus on female leadership and empowerment in all types of business environments. Topics will include:

  • Brand Development & Funding;
  • Company Mission & Culture;
  • Interviewing & Hiring;
  • Employee Empowerment & Training; and
  • Community-Building (customer and influencer outreach, and partnership development).
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Omnichannel CX: Cultivating Talent That Supports A Culture Of Innovation

Operational Planning: Developing A Scalable, Profitable Industry Leader... Without Selling Your Soul

In less than 5 years, Boll & Branch became the largest DTC retailer in the luxury home textiles sector and the first brand to truly mainstream sustainable materials (ex. organic cotton) and sustainable business practices (ex. Fair Trade) across its entire product line. The company is built on the belief that great quality goods at a fair price only services part of the value chain in consumer goods. What if we could create products that brought as much happiness to those responsible for their manufacturing as the end user? Attendees will uncover the power they hold in making sourcing and manufacturing decisions, and learn how to be competitive in the general consumer market while leaving a trail of goodness behind the goods they sell by simply rethinking their processes. 

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02:45 PM - 03:00 PM

Session Change-Out

03:00 PM - 03:30 PM

Breakout Sessions

Digital Strategies: Reshaping The Online Experience For The Shopper Of The Future

The shopper of the future will be looking for a truly immersive shopping experience that leverages the power of new technologies such as spatial computing and the ease of e-Commerce. Retailers must reimagine what’s possible in the online experience, which is driven by visual imagery, inspiration and discovery.

As consumers increasingly embrace the ease and convenience of shopping online, the modern shopping experience requires brands to create more engaging ways for customers to interact with the brand and its products. Attendees will learn about how to engage with customers across the shopping journey, from discovery all the way to delivery, balancing cutting-edge tech with an intuitive and highly practical experience that makes sense for even the most tech-averse shoppers.

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Marketing/Customer Engagement: Rethinking Influencer Marketing – Tools And Strategies Redefining The Brand-Influencer Relationship

From its immense success in recent years, the influencer marketing space has become both more saturated and more precise. New content strategies, measurement and discovery tools, and relationship management tactics are helping brands create more meaningful and effective influencer partnerships. Panelists will discuss innovative new strategies driving conversion through influencer partnerships.

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Omnichannel CX: Creating An Environment For Innovation

Join two partners in innovation (and get a sneak peek at their recent collaboration) as they discuss how encouraging personal growth among team members, developing and testing new processes, and destroying restraints within creative environments is critical to innovating. Key takeaways:

  • Learn about disrupting your brand — before the competition does;
  • Discover how to encourage teams to fail forward and embrace change; and
  • Learn how to best test and implement new ideas.
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Operational Planning: BOPIS: The Last Mile… Wait There’s Another Mile!

By listening to customers and employees, Boscov’s made the decision to move forward with BOPIS in 2018. During this session, Toni Miller will outline the strategy, lessons learned and next steps following a successful implementation. Key takeaways include a focus on the importance of:

  • Accurate on-hand inventory information;
  • Enterprise collaboration;
  • Choosing the right partners;
  • Measuring success through key operational metrics; and
  • Collecting feedback before, during and after the implementation.
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03:30 PM - 04:00 PM

Networking Break and 1:1 Meetings

04:00 PM - 04:30 PM

Breakout Sessions

Digital Strategies: Next-Gen Pop-Ups – Instagrammable Moments, AR, Shoppable Showrooms

Pop-up shops are more popular than ever: not only do they build brand awareness and give pure-play retailers face-to-face contact with customers, but they can serve as real-world labs for cutting-edge technologies and the art of leveraging social media. This panel discussion will explore the latest trends in pop-up stores, as well as the specific metrics retailers must use to accurately determine the pop-up’s true ROI.

The session will apply a business lens to pop-up stores to answer key questions:

  • Should my pop-up be a shoppable showroom or carry a more complete inventory?
  • What’s the best way to leverage social media and ‘Instagrammable moments’ to maximize success?
  • How can AR and other technology create a memorable experience for shoppers?
  • How do I use the store’s location, size, design, inventory and staffing to achieve my goals?
  • Which metrics (e.g. higher brand awareness, ‘Instagrammable moments’) will give me a true picture of the pop-up’s success or failure?
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Marketing/Customer Engagement: Next-Gen Loyalty Strategies

  • Christian Spor, Director of Store Operations Services, GameStop
  • Mary Pappas, Associate Director of Product Management, Wayfair
  • Carlos Dunlap-Beard, VP, Business Development & Loyalty Solutions, Clarus Commerce (Moderator)

Long-term customer loyalty is difficult to attain in today’s competitive marketplace. If you’re not offering a compelling and relevant loyalty program, most shoppers are likely to pass it by. This session will outline the latest, next-gen loyalty models and highlight the ways innovative brands are making real connections with their best customers. Key takeways include:

  • The rise of subscription models as customer loyalty programs;
  • How to choose the best loyalty program for your brand and customers;
  • Importance of Influencers and referrals in modern loyalty programs; and
  • Value of offering flexible options to loyalty members.
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Omnichannel CX: Bringing Innovation To Life To Create A 360⁰ Experience With People For People

Crowley will begin by taking a look at the current retail landscape and analyzing its complexities. Then she will ask and answer:

  • How do we integrate technology and innovation to meet needs and simplify the experienced for target consumers and associates?
  • How do we leverage technology to anticipate and envision the future?

How might we realize a vision that is desirable, feasible, viable and scalable, and ensure activation includes methodology for continuation?

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Operational Planning: Driving Innovation By Doubling Down On Agility

Learn about the reality of implementing Agile-at-scale in retail.  Laudato shares his no-nonsense account of the benefits and pitfalls of Agility with a dose of humor thrown in.  Key takeaways will include realizations around:

  • Funding teams, not projects;
  • Trusting the people you work with;
  • The power of talk;
  • Removing dependencies; and
  • How to stop starting and start finishing.
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04:30 PM - 04:40 PM

Session Change-Out

04:40 PM - 05:20 PM

The Consumer Is Changing, But Perhaps Not How You Think

Conventional wisdom about the customer is prevalent and shapes many brand and retailer strategies. However, how much of this wisdom is actually true? Deloitte’s year-long study of the customer has uncovered a new insight: the customer is changing, but perhaps not how you think. The research shows that contrary to conventional wisdom, consumers are going more places, not fewer. Despite the fixation with millennials, we find consumers shop according to their income, not their age. Consumers have more discretionary time, not less. These are just a subset of learnings gleaned as Deloitte peeled back the complexity of today’s consumer. Attendees will gain a better understanding of the nuances of how the consumer is changing, what this means for consumer engagement, and how companies can adapt to better serve their consumer segments.

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05:20 PM - 05:30 PM


  • Debbie Hauss, Executive Director, Content, Retail TouchPoints

05:30 PM - 06:30 PM

Cocktail Reception

Wednesday, May 8, 2019


Session / Event

08:00 AM - 09:00 AM

Registration Open + Breakfast

09:00 AM - 09:12 AM

Welcome Back To #RIC19

  • Debbie Hauss, Executive Director, Content, Retail TouchPoints

09:12 AM - 09:47 AM

Leveraging The Purpose/Profit Loop & Winning With Next-Gen Consumers

This session will review and cover:

  1. What drives Brand Love® with modern consumers;
  2. How savvy retailers gain a frequency of use and price elasticity advantage;
  3. Identifying the three big retail winners in the future: low cost operators, purpose driven innovators and network operators;
  4. Understanding the role of purpose with both consumers and employees; and
  5. Debunking the myths around Gen Z.
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09:47 AM - 10:25 AM

Innovation Strategies At Macy’s

This session will shed light on how Macy’s is working to stay competitive, survive and thrive in today’s challenging retail environment. She will talk about The Market At Macy’s, now live in 12 stores. She also will address different ways retailers should be re-inventing their brands in order to remain relevant.

Key takeways include:

  • How large retailers re-invent themselves;
  • How retailers think about innovation and driving change for customers; and
  • How Macy’s refocused in 2018 and what’s on the roadmap in 2019.
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10:25 AM - 10:30 AM

Session Change-Out

10:40 AM - 11:10 AM

Breakout Sessions

Digital Strategies: The Community Pyramid At Rebecca Minkoff

Key Takeaways:

  • Rebecca Minkoff has been known for its innovation through in-store technology; and as the brand and the consumer have evolved, the brand now sees the opportunity to use purpose, community and brand story tied into that innovation. 
  • R&D is about more than just Tech — trusted community is the future too.
  • With Rebecca’s Female Founder Collective at the top, the brand has built a pyramid of community activations through products, influencers and customers.
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Marketing/Customer Engagement: CIO Insights: Assessing The Top Retail Tech Priorities

What are the key strategies retail CIOs should be focused on to help their businesses achieve long-term success? During this panel discussion, leading retail CIOs will talk about their most important priorities and how they are working together with other business units to drive increased revenue and customer engagement. Key strategies for today’s successful retail CIOs include:

  • Analyzing customer data to create a cohesive shopping journey across channels;
  • Embracing next-gen mobile strategies;
  • Optimizing inventory visibility, fulfillment and other supply chain initiatives; and
  • Converging digital and physical to drive the best experiences both online and in-store.
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Omnichannel CX: One (Shoe) Size Doesn’t Fit All: Implementing Personalization

Treating shoppers as the individuals they are is a retail imperative. Just as one shoe size doesn’t fit all, neither does one cookie-cutter e-Commerce experience. That’s where real-time personalization comes in. During this session attendees will learn about how BHSH (formerly H.H. Brown) personalizes the experience for shoppers across 15 different brands. Key takeaways include:

  • Why personalization is no longer just a ‘nice-to-have’;
  • How to create a plan for deploying personalization and identifying KPIs;  
  • ‘Easy’ initial personalization wins;
  • Personalization pitfalls to avoid;
  • The importance of coordination and cohesiveness across People, Process & Technology; and  

How to unify and activate customer data for real-time personalization results.

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Operational Planning: Inside The VC World: What Retailers Can Learn From Disruptive Brands

The VC community has become increasingly interested in retail, largely due to the success of disruptive, tech-enabled brands such as Rent the Runway. But what can more established retail businesses learn from these brands and the firms that invest in them? During this in-depth discussion, Rachel Bentley, Co-Founder of the Citizenry, will share the story of its rise in the retail ranks, and the influence of the VC community in its evolution. Additionally, one of the Citizenry’s investors, David Matthews of RevTech Partners, will share his perspectives on the relationship and what other brands can learn from this evolving trend in the retail world. 

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11:10 AM - 11:40 AM

Networking Break and 1:1 Meetings

11:40 AM - 12:10 PM

Behind The Leaders: Women Executives Share Their Stories, Successes And Lessons Learned

Beyond every great leader is a story; a story filled with successes, failures and lessons learned. During this intimate panel discussion, women executives at leading retail brands will share their personal stories. Among the many topics to be discussed, panelists will reveal the events and experiences that shaped them into leaders they are today, and how they’re helping to mentor and shape the future leaders of retail. 

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12:10 PM - 12:50 PM

The Experiential Era: How Brands Are Using Events to Drive Conversions And Build Loyal Communities

As store traffic levels continue to plummet, retailers are looking for ways to not only bring people to their locations—but keep them there. Experiential retail tactics, such as pop-up shops, in-store events, classes and product demos, allow brands to connect with consumers on a deeper level and cultivate a larger, highly engaged community. During this panel, executives representing several retail categories will discuss their experiential retail strategies and how their brands are building and engaging their local communities for the long term.  

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12:50 PM - 01:50 PM

Lunch: Topic Table Discussions and Lunch & Learn Sessions

01:50 PM - 02:20 PM

Brand New World: Attracting Legions Of Irrationally Loyal Fans To Your Retail Brand

What do brands like Lululemon, Sephora and Apple all have in common? They enjoy the privilege of Irrational Loyalty  — a condition in which customers are so strongly bonded to a brand they’d feel they were cheating were they to choose an alternative. 

Every brand in the world has the ability to foster that kind of unconditional love with its customers. 

One of the world’s premier branding experts, Gabor provides invaluable insights that will help your own enterprise build positive brand equity, goodwill, and the “irrational loyalty” that will support your brand long-term through the best and worst of times.

This practical, hands-on session will cover the following topics in a lively and entertaining way:

  • Define what is a “brand” and how branding is like sex
  • Understand the importance of branding for informing business strategies
  • Learn the foundations of brand strategy
  • Gain insight into why even B2B and hard-core technology companies need brands
  • Assess the timing for engaging in branding activities

Practice building your brand’s foundation in real time.

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02:20 PM - 02:50 PM

How Marketers Are Alleviating Margin Pressure In The Midst Of Retail Discount Wars

Margin pressure created by poor inventory management and excessive retailer discounting can negatively impact retailers and suppliers, both financially and from a brand perception. Panelists will discuss why promotion is a double-edged sword for driving sales in retail and managing inventory appropriately.

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02:50 PM - 03:05 PM

Session Change-Out

03:05 PM - 03:35 PM

Breakout Sessions

Digital Strategies: How The Groomsman Suit Built A Multi-Million Dollar Company On A Little SEO And A Lot Of Customer Love

What do you do when you believe you have proof of concept and have an online store ready to take orders? Jeanne and Diana decided to build relationships and a blog that positioned The Groomsman Suit as THE reliable resource in men’s wedding attire. The result? Within several months of launching their online store they earned the top search spots for critical keywords, created hundreds of relationships with influencers that were generating content on their behalf, and ignited a network effect with their customer base through great customer service.

During their chat, they will share:

  • The nuts and bolts of SEO – How they infused their website with important key words.
  • The importance of putting the customer first, even if it’s not profitable at first.
  • How their grassroots marketing efforts created relationships with people who generated content on their behalf.
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Marketing/Customer Engagement: The Future Of Content Marketing

With an audience of over 63 million monthly moviegoers and billions of views online, Fandango is the largest digital information and ecommerce destination for movies in the U.S. with a brand portfolio that includes Rotten Tomatoes,, Flixster and Movieclips.  Corsaro will discuss the company’s new content marketing strategy, how his video production and publishing teams work with social and digital outlets, and how to create authentic content that exploits platform capabilities and helps grow new audiences.

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Operational Planning: How To Build A Culture Of Happy Associates

With more than 2 million employees worldwide, Walmart is working to better manage and empower its workforce. To that end, each year the retail behemoth runs an Associate Engagement Study. This session will highlight some of the new and longstanding strategies that use BI and data science to improve the internal culture. Key focus areas include:

  1. Happiness in the work place;
  2. How associate engagement leads to high-performing teams; and
  3. Guidance for a shift in culture/environment.
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Omnichannel CX : How Lucky Brand Optimizes Allocation & Fulfillment With Advanced Analytics

As part of a strategic effort to diversify its denim apparel roots and manage a vibrant collection of lifestyle products, Lucky Brand made an aggressive push to grow its multi-channel distribution network and build a complex e-Commerce network — placing strong emphasis on inventory optimization. Recognizing the limitations of historic allocation and fulfillment processes, the brand implemented Celect, a predictive analytics SaaS platform to help optimize inventory decisions on what and how much to buy, where to place inventory, and where to fulfill from.

Today Lucky Brand can confidently predict which styles should go to which stores and put inventory in the right place, and readily pull from stores for order fulfillment while avoiding out-of-stocks and excess inventory. Lucky Brand has embraced a new (and more profitable) way to manage inventory for both its in-store and online customers.

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03:35 PM - 04:05 PM

Networking Break and 1:1 Meetings

04:05 PM - 04:35 PM

Breakout Sessions

Digital Strategies: Using Technology To Humanize The Retail Experience

From ship-from-store and ROPIS to experiential marketing, Finnegan will unpack the importance of connecting technology with human interactions. Key takeaways include:

  • How to successfully implement experiential marketing to better engage with consumers;
  • Insights into the technologies that drive better customer experiences; and
  • Lessons learned from Build-A-Bear.
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Marketing/Customer Engagement: When The Digital Shelf Informs The Physical Shelf

A 125-year-old brand with more than $7.5 billion in annual revenue, The Hershey Company has survived and thrived as digital transformation has consumed retail. During this session, attendees will learn about Hershey’s digital strategy that is successfully integrating the traditional physical buying experience with shoppers’ online and mobile activities.

Key Takeaways include: 

  • Putting the consumer at the heart of your retail strategy by understanding their path to purchase;
  • Discovering the importance of the connectivity between the physical and digital shelf; and
  • Understanding the future of holistic category management.
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Omnichannel CX: The Sound Of Success: How GasBuddy And Audible's Partnership Fueled Growth

With the increase of retail and technology partnerships, more companies are getting a piece of the revenue pie. The right strategic partnerships provide companies with access to new users segments that ultimately results in improved customer experience and more personalized marketing strategies. In this session, Mark Coffey of GasBuddy and Nitin Kartik of Amazon’s Audible will discuss how the right partnerships benefit both parties by lowering costs, expanding markets, and delivering deeper and more varied customer segments that can fuel future growth and provide the best customer experience possible.

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Operational Planning: Financial Analyst Panel: Navigating Retail Growth In An Uncertain Economy

Although retail had quite a bounce-back year in 2018, global trade tensions and a recent government shutdown have created uncertainty regarding the industry’s ability to sustain that growth in 2019. NRF predicts overall retail sales to rise anywhere from 3.8% to 4.4%, but retailers must capitalize on consumer spending habits effectively if they want a slice of that growth.

This session will analyze the state of retail through the eyes of financial services and investment banking professionals, particularly:

  • How today’s U.S.-China trade tensions and deals such as the potential USMCA affect retailers and consumers;
  • How retailers should encounter growth strategies and internal investments, especially amid the uncertainties within the economy (and more than a year after the tax reform bill went into effect);
  • What steps struggling retailers should be taking to prevent themselves from becoming the next Sears;
  • Thoughts on the state of consumer spending and confidence, and how retailers can continue to adapt to those changes; and

Economic predictions for the retail industry going into the rest of the year into 2020.

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04:35 PM - 04:45 PM

Session Change-Out

04:45 PM - 05:30 PM

CEO Exchange: New Ways To Succeed In Physical Retail

To motivate today’s consumers to visit physical retail spaces today, innovative companies are focusing on unique experiences and convenience as key tenets of success. Four CEOs of new Hudson Yards retail spaces will share their insights into how they are reimagining physical retail, and how other businesses can succeed in the new age of retail. Key takeaways include:

  • How to choose the right location for new store concepts;
  • The company culture driving these successful new brands;
  • Key marketing and customer engagement strategies; and
  • Missteps to avoid/lessons learned.
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05:30 PM - 05:35 PM

Conclusion Of #RIC19

  • Debbie Hauss, Executive Director, Content, Retail TouchPoints

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