This week, we’re excited to spotlight the merchandising expert, Liza Amlani!
Liza Amlani is a retail industry veteran and the go-to thought leader on retail merchandising, product creation, and accelerating speed to market. A respected voice on topics such as responsible retail and sustainability, retail diversity and inclusion, and the future of retail, Liza is a regular contributor to RetailWire, Bloomberg, Forbes, Footwear News, and Sourcing Journal. In a career spanning 20+ years, Liza has worked with familiar brands including Holt Renfrew, Ralph Lauren Europe and Canada, Club Monaco, Nike, Walmart, and several others, helping support their product creation, buying and merchandising. She is currently Principal at Retail Strategy Group — a consulting practice that helps companies in the retail space dramatically improve profitability and increase organizational effectiveness. It’s no wonder she was named one of RETHINK Retail’s Top Influencers of 2022!
She also was an incredible moderator in our fireside chat with Rick Gomez, Chief Food & Beverage Officer at Target. Given the big box retailer’s emphasis on grocery, private label and integrating more diverse brands into its mix, we thought that Liza was the perfect person to dig into Rick’s experiences, and lessons, for our audience.
Check out our Q&A below to see what Liza enjoyed learning the most during #RICE22.
Retail Innovation Conference & Expo (RICE): What were your key takeaways from attending the Retail Innovation Conference & Expo?
Liza Amlani: My key takeaways were focused on sustainability and diversity in product assortment and merchandising. Also, meeting Michelle Collins, President & Chief Experience Officer at A Non-Agency, and Rick Gomez stood out to me — they are so inspiring!
RICE: Regarding the session content, did anything stand out or surprise you? What was new/noteworthy for you?
Amlani: The keynote featuring Cathy Hackl, Founder & Chief Metaverse Officer at Journey and Roxanne Barretto Iyer, Vice President of Global Consumer Engagement at Clinique, blew my mind. There is so much I don’t know about the metaverse, and this was a fantastic intro for me. Also, sessions that were focused on sustainability — like Vanessa Barboni Halik, CEO at Another Tomorrow, and Erin Hochstein, Director of Impact Marketing at The House of LR&C, session — were some of my favorites. Their session, “Championing Brand Authenticity and Transparency: What Does It Really Mean Today,” centered on how to use technology to deliver on the brand authenticity promise. Knowing that brands can actually have a transparent supply chain and product creation process while driving loyalty through their sizing/exchange program was so forward-thinking!
RICE: What are you planning to prioritize in 2023 and how did the event help validate this for you?
Amlani: I want to prioritize product creation better practices, so digitization and digital production as well as merchandising/planning analytics are top of mind. I am looking for more forward-thinking market leaders to engage with. Networking with my ideal buyer is important to the business but will also allow brands and market leaders to see how we are looking to evolve the go-to-market process.