Going to NRF's Big Show

Bye bye holiday shopping, hello new year! Whether your stores performed well, poorly or just fair-to-middlin', now is the time to build momentum for 2013. NRF's Annual Convention & EXPO can help you to kick-start your strategy for this year and beyond with its opportunities for retailers to build partnerships, discover new retail and technology solutions and fine-tune your business strategies.

This year's show, to be held January 13-16 in New York City, will feature more than 450 solutions providers in an expanded EXPO area, networking receptions, specialty programming including a "Main Street Retailing Forum" and an all-digital track from Shop.org, store tours, nine keynote presentations, and a multitude of other educational sessions throughout the four-day event, all of which are designed to help retailers tackle some of their most pressing challenges, ranging from achieving better engagement with the consumer to expanding their footprints globally, and much more.

Getting the big picture
This year's keynote presentations are chock full of big ideas that will give greater context to your view as you navigate the rest of the show. To make that easier for you we've provided a synopsis of the keynote sessions and identified some other sessions focused on top-of-mind concerns for apparel retailers today.

NRF's keynote sessions emphasize the importance of catering to today's increasingly connected and empowered consumer, who not only has high expectations for the shopping and brand experience but also demands that companies focus on doing more for the greater good.

Retail and the Community
Bill Simon, CEO of Walmart U.S., discusses the role of retail in renewing communities and the economy, sharing how his company revamped its core business processes in order to offer lower prices to customers. Learn how the retail industry can play a key leadership role in job creation.
When: Tuesday, 01/15/2013 8:30AM - 9:45AM

What People Want
Marketing and branding play an increasingly critical role in reaching today's savvy and social shoppers. Successful brands know how critical it is to keep tabs on consumer sentiment and exert subtle influence on the all-important path to purchase. HSN's Mindy Grossman, CEO, Coca-Cola's Melvin Landis, chief retail sales officer, and Alison Lewis, senior vice president, marketing and Walgreen's Joseph Magnacca, president of daily living products and solutions
share how to stir up passion from fans and keep followers engaged.
When: Sunday, 01/13/2013 10:15AM -11:45AM

Where Consumer and Enterprise Technology Meet
Your customers have tablets, smartphones, and a bevy of apps to compare prices, research product information, and of course, shop. Your retail enterprise covers an array of touchpoints and channels, in the hopes of capturing consumers wherever they may be. With technology's changing role in business and in shoppers' lives, retail enterprises must revisit their take on key challenges, from training workers to engaging connected consumers. Hear from Thomas Belk Jr., CEO of Belk Inc., Susan Jurevics, senior vice president of global retail CRM and brand marketing for Sony, and Alison Paul, Deloitte's vice chairman and U.S. retail and distribution leader, on the importance of omnichannel strategies and the influence of digital channels on consumer behavior.
When: Tuesday, 01/15/2013 10:00AM -11:00AM

How Societies Prosper
Macy's chairman, president and CEO Terry Lundgren will set the stage for the heady topic of building strong nations, to be addressed by former United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan, who will discuss the role that small- and medium-sized businesses can take in building prosperous and stable societies across the globe even in a time of global social and economic uncertainty.
When: Monday, 08/14/2013 8:45AM-10:00AM

The Consumer Is in Control
From social networks to mobile technology, today's consumers are acquiring and interacting with data in profoundly innovative and non-traditional ways. Retailers need to keep up with the changes in consumer behavior and figure out how to offer customers what they want. In this brave new world, Erik Qualman, social media guru and author of Socialnomics, shares tips on how leading retailers take advantage of new technologies to serve customers while turning tidy profits. IBM's Jill Puleri, vice president, global industry leader for retail, rounds out the session with the company's latest consumer research on the Chief Executive Customer.
When: Sunday, 01/13/2013 12:00PM – 1:30PM

Going Global
Expanding operations abroad is one path to rapid growth, whether it's American companies looking to branch out overseas or European brands bringing their wares to U.S shores. More important, the booming economies and hungry consumers of BRICS countries hold the promise of a quick return on investment. But what do brands and retailers need to know to compete and thrive in the global arena? This session highlights trends and strategies in taking retail business to the global stage. Hear from Jose Gomez, senior vice president of business development for fast-fashion darling Mango, on his company's experience executing a multinational expansion plan and Denis Knoops, Delhaize's SVP of affiliated retail and new markets on the company's global growth, supported by Neil Stern, senior partner with McMillanDoolittle, a retail concepts consulting firm.
When: Sunday, 01/13/2013 3:15PM – 4:15PM

Embracing the Common Good
Consumers long have clamored for corporate responsibility, and retailers have responded. Learn why donating excess goods can be a savvier move than simply liquidating or disposing of them. Jeannette Ferran Astorga, vice president of corporate social responsibility for Ann Inc., Carly Fiorina, board chair of Good360, and Fred Wacker, COO of The Home Depot Foundation make the strategic case for refurbishing your retail business and supply chain to benefit the triple bottom lines of social impact, waste diversion and financial health.
When: Wednesday, 01/16/2013 11:00AM -12:00PM

Supporting the American Dream
What good are retail innovations without customers who can enjoy them? Starbucks' Howard Schulz, chairman, president and CEO, Whole Foods' Walter Robb, co-CEO and The Container Store's Kip Tindell, chairman and CEO call the industry to action when it comes to creating jobs, building careers and contributing to overall economic prosperity.
When: Monday, 1/14/2013 10:15AM-11:15PM

Unlocking the Consumer Psyche
In a series of 20-minute presentations followed by Q&A, this session explores how retailers can use exciting content, storytelling, community and other avenues to engage with consumers and create new and unusual shopping experiences. It's retail reimagined, with new ideas for how to surprise and delight your shoppers.
When: Wednesday, 01/16/2013 8:30AM -10:45AM

Even as e-commerce thrives, never before has the physical store been so relevant. Customers demand unique and often technology-driven shopping experiences, and the retailers that stand out from the crowd will continuously find new ways to surprise and delight. These NRF sessions address and demystify the showrooming phenomenon and reveal winning store concepts that create sticky customers.

Win the "Wall-Less" War
The new retail battleground is right on your store floor. You managed to get shoppers through your doors, but thanks to the power of mobile devices, consumers can shop the competition even while browsing your aisles. Bryan Gildenberg and Anne Zybowski of Kantar Retail share tips on how to win the "wall-less" retail war and create business strategies that extend beyond the traditional four walls. By giving consumers the value, loyalty, and convenience they want, retailers can keep shoppers coming back for more.
When: Sunday, 01/13/2013 2:00PM - 3:00PM

Showrooming: Friend or Foe?
If a single retail trend emerged in 2012, it was the much-discussed showrooming phenomenon. Can retailers turn the consumer practice of visiting products in store and ultimately buying them cheaper from online competition into an advantage? Hear from Lydia Schulz, vice president and general manager, retail industry for American Express, Best Buy's president of financial services Mark Williams, VP of IT and CIO of Petco Herman Nell and director of consumer insights and strategy for Macy's, Cheryl Berinato on real-life ways that retailers are fighting and leveraging this growing trend.
When: Monday, 01/14/2013 3:15PM - 4:15PM

Does Your Store Exceed Expectations?
These days shoppers want their favorite stores to offer the kinds of integrated digital experiences that are common in other areas of their lives. RIS News editor-in-chief Joe Skorupa reveals new research from Third Annual Shopper Experience Study: Enabling Retail Without Boundaries, exploring what shoppers enjoy and dislike about an array of store and retail concepts. The session also features insights from the custom report The 21st Century Store Associate, which highlights retailers' responses to customer concerns. Shannon Warner, senior director for Cognizant Business Consulting, rounds out the session.
When: Monday, 01/14/2013 3:15PM - 4:15PM

How Build-A-Bear Creates Magic
For 15 years, the Build-A-Bear Workshop has captured the hearts and minds of its young customers by creating lifelong childhood memories. Now with today's increasingly tech-savvy kids, Build-A-Bear is fostering an even richer engagement and a more personal and magical connection them in its Store of the Future. Join Brandon Elliott, Build-A-Bear Director of Digital Ventures, and Duncan Taylor, Epicor Product Management Director, to hear how it all came about – from internal and external collaboration to the innovative ideas and execution.
When: Tuesday, 01/15/2013, 11:00AM – 11:45AM

Connecting with Shoppers Everywhere
Are you reaching your customers wherever they shop? Leading retailers are, and those who want to step onto the playing field will have to work out a seamless omni-channel strategy too. The enabled store associate is the differentiator, connecting with shoppers no matter when or where they shop. In this session, Zebra Technologies and Motorola Solutions will walk you through new consumer demands influencing omni-channel retailing and solutions that can create personal shopping experiences that will get the attention of your customers.
When: Monday, 01/14/2013, 9:15AM - 10:00AM

Winning Store Concepts Around the Globe
The best retail concepts are an ideal blend of novel and engaging experiences that delight customers and deliver business benefits by increasing foot traffic and visibility — and driving sales. Hear from Wendy Liebmann, CEO and founder of WSL Strategic Retail, about store ideas that stick and why others fail. Learn about new innovations across countries, product categories, and channels. No matter where your store is located or what you sell, you'll walk away with ideas to transform your retail vision.
When: Tuesday, 01/15/2013 1:15PM - 2:00PM

Creating Stores Shoppers Want
While shopper enthusiasts still expect retailers to get the basics right, their expectations for integrated digital experiences are rising. Such changing shopper expectations create new opportunities for retailers and thwart competitive threats from digital retailers by proactively reshaping their approach to selling in traditional store concepts. In this interactive session, Paul Coby from John Lewis, Joe Skorupa from RIS news and Shannon Warner from Cognizant discuss some of the major shopper likes and dislikes uncovered in the Third Annual Shopper Experience Study: Enabling Retail Without Boundaries, as well as retailers' responses from custom research, The 21st Century Store Associate.
When: Monday, 01/14/2013, 3:15PM – 4:15PM

From optimizing the supply chain and expanding internationally to wrangling big data, retailers must implement strategies that affect every facet of their enterprises. This year's NRF agenda helps retailers understand pressing challenges such as managing and presenting the right data to customers and successfully translating a brand into different cultures. Always with an eye on the bottom line, these sessions offer ways to achieve profits and growth while implementing new initiatives throughout the retail organization.

Smarter Analytics at the Children's Place
Smart retailers who know their customers' preferences and apply that insight to operations are finding an advantage in the marketplace. Learn from David Levitt of the The Children's Place and Daniel Dahlstrom of IBM how the retailer is leveraging business analytics to improve the customer experience, build brand loyalty, and drive growth and margins. See how using analytics to understand sales, merchandising and marketing performance improves the overall profitability of the organization and its brands. Hear tips on how to leverage analytics to drive profitable growth.
When: Tuesday, 01/15/2014, 9:15-10:00

Big Data, Predictive Analytics and The Bottom Line
Leading retailers are looking to identify root causes impacting upstream and downstream store operations. Emerging trends of big data and predictive analytics makes it easier for retailers to identify and resolve margin expansion and inventory distortion opportunities. Actionable pattern technology is helping create a profit hub to improve the bottom line. Join Citigroup's Deborah Weinswig, Supply Chain Insights' Lora Cecere, Abercrombie & Fitch's Dennis Klein, Dressbarn's Brian Bazer, and Profitect's Guy Yehiav for a panel discussion.
When: Monday, 01/14/2013, 11:00AM - 11:45AM

Don't Be Afraid of Data
Data powers the retail industry, but translating that information into digestible nuggets for customers is where things can go awry. Shoppers demand easy access to data that's both rich enough to be actionable but concise enough to be quickly consumed and understood, especially when shopping on the small screens of smart mobile devices. Giving customers the data they want is the first step to creating a positive shopping experience. In this session, Fritz Model of eBay and Ram Rampalli of Walmart Labs discuss an emerging cross-industry initiative that aims to empower the truly omnichannel retail experience. Learn how the industry at large is working to eliminate the "search and discover" dilemma.
When: Monday, 01/14/2013 2:00PM - 3:00PM

VICS Guidelines for Supply Chain Success
Retailers traditionally have grappled with the disconnect between store-level sales and supplier schedules, and the bottom-line impact of that misalignment. Industry group VICS best practice guidelines detail how retailers can leverage distributed resource planning capabilities to ensure their forecasts are in sync with their trading partners. Brian Kirkpatrick of Proctor & Gamble, Andre Martin of RedPrairie Collaborative Flowcasting Group, and Larry Smith of West Marine share their experiences implementing this new industry standard.
When: Sunday, 01/13/2013 2:00PM - 3:00PM

From Data Warehouse to Decision Orchestration: Learn How Reitmans Boosts Profits
With each Reitmans brand using the data warehouse in a different manner, it was challenging to analyze business performance without standardized and consistent business and reporting processes. Senior leadership determined it was time to transition to a solution that would allow business users to more easily work across and move between the brands. Join Diane Randolph vice president and CIO of Reitmans to learn the retailer engages its merchandisers, planners and store managers by providing actionable analytics that help orchestrate more profitable business decisions.
When: Monday, 01/14/2013, 2:00PM - 3:00PM

Successful Strategies for Globalizing Your Retail Business
As the world economy continues to struggle and consumers have responded by reducing spending in many markets, retailers strive to improve performance by expanding e-commerce operations and pursuing cross-border expansion plans. This session will provide insight into the leading strategies for opening stores in new markets and provide two different views on expansion – one from Giraffas, a Brazilian retailer that has successfully opened stores in the United States and the other from American retailer Express, which has expanded outside of the U.S. market.
When: Tuesday, 01/15/2013, 2:00PM – 3:00PM

Does Your Brand Speak the Local Language?
When delivering a global brand experience, one size rarely fits all. The most successful companies execute consistently outstanding customer experiences across national borders and language lines. Savvy brands reimagine every aspect of their operations and reinterpret them for the local flavor. This session features Enrique Atienza of Levi Strauss and Anne Brouwer and Mara Q. Devitt of McMillanDoolittle, who share their experiences translating brands for an international audience.
When: Monday, 01/14/2013 2:00PM - 3:00PM

Benchmarking Your Brand
Retail enterprises curious to know how they match up against industry peers will be eager to hear the results of A. T. Kearney's 2013 Achieving Excellence in Retail Operations (AERO) Study, which draws from 50 top retailers and highlights leading practices across the globe. Joel Alden and Dean Hillier, partners with A. T. Kearney, examine key strategic dimensions, from channel strategy and field leadership to store technology and the consumer voice. Attendees will take away tips on how to improve operations and achieve profitable growth.
When: Sunday, 01/13/2013 8:30AM -10:00AM

Outlook for the Year Ahead
STORES Media editor Susan Reda and Deloitte's consumer business director and retail economist Ira Kalish offer an in-depth look at the 16th annual Global Powers of Retailing study, which ranks the top 250 global retailers. Find out what's ahead in 2013 and which changes — such as the empowered, connected consumer — are most likely to affect the industry. The discussion will also focus on retailers' Q ratio rating and an analysis of the global economy.
When: Monday, 01/14/2013 3:15PM - 4:15PM

How Top Supply Chains Stand Out
What makes a supply chain successful? Analysts Janet Suleski and Kevin Sterneckert of Gartner share the results of the Supply Chain Top 25 report and reveal how the leading retail supply chains get their edge. From embracing technology to instilling process, companies with thriving supplier relationships differentiate themselves every step of the way. Find out how the financial health of the firms that made the Top 25 differ from those that didn't make the list. When: Tuesday, 01/15/2013 2:00PM - 3:00PM

What Not to Overlook in 2013
What's important for digital retail in 2013? Sucharita Mulpuru, vice president and principal analyst at Forrester Research takes a tour through the significant developments in 2012 and gives guidance on what retailers should – and shouldn't – focus on in 2013.
When: Sunday, 01/13/2013 9:25AM - 10:00AM

Get your product mix right, and you've already won half the battle. Customers respond positively to the ideal assortment variety, but too many choices can confuse and overwhelm, and too few can drive shoppers into the stores of your competition. Merchandising remains a pillar of retail success, and these sessions will give merchants new ideas to refresh their strategies.

Renovate, Invigorate, Inspire
Merchants searching for a fresh perspective on merchandising strategies should heed Marshal Cohen's three-prong approach: renovate, invigorate, inspire. Drawing from breaking research and customer interactions, the NPD Group's chief industry analyst encourages retailers to renovate their approach and ideas, communicate and customize their own message, and invigorate their core customer base while reaching out to new potential converts. Attendees will learn what best practices to implement in order to maximize growth opportunities.
When: Monday, 01/14/2013 2:00PM - 3:00PM

The Ideal Assortment
Omnichannel retailing helps to free merchants from the restrictions of space, allowing them to offer customers greater choices. But when is too much a bad thing? Sometimes consumers find a seemingly limitless array of options to be overwhelming and that vast assortment can confound their decision-making process, ultimately delaying or thwarting the purchase. Hear from Erin Collins, manager of customer insights for Warby Parker, on the successful strategies the online eyewear retailer has implemented to increase conversion with its at-home try-on program. The Wharton School's Jay H. Baker professor of marketing Barbara Kahn also offers tips on how to reduce assortment complexity and retailers can help shoppers understand their own preferences.
When: Tuesday, 01/15/2013 3:15PM - 4:15PM

It's no secret: mobile technologies and social media wield outsize influence in the retail world today. From engaging fans and driving awareness on social platforms to offering shoppers the right deals and information on their smartphones, retailers must increasingly become technology companies if they want to keep and capture customers. What's more, mobile devices hold tremendous potential to revolutionize payments as consumers embrace using their smart devices not only to research products but complete transactions. The following sessions will help retailers navigate the maze of mobile and social technologies and glean useful tips to transform their operations to meet customer expectations.

Customer Experience at Brooks Brothers in the Digital Age
Established in 1818, Brooks Brothers has earned its position as America's oldest retailer by continuously innovating ways to serve its customers through extraordinary products and legendary service. To help propel this very longstanding customer-driven reputation into its digital realm, the Direct team is focused on listening and innovating based on feedback from real customers. The results have been very powerful. Join them as they share how this dynamic is driving the road map for their omni-channel business.
When: Monday, 01/14/2013 11:30-12:00

How E-tail Has Changed Fashion Forever
In two decades, the Internet has fundamentally changed the way people communicate, socialize, work and, most importantly, shop for fashion. For an industry which remained largely unchanged in recent decades, this new way of advertising, sourcing, purchasing and delivering has presented a myriad of challenges and opportunities for traditional retailers, the newer e-tailers and the buying public alike. Amazon, smart phones, social media and multi-channel retail all happened and the fashion industry, although initially slow to respond, is now alive to the prospects presented by closely coupling with the latest technological advancements. In this session, Oliver Walsh, founder of Wednesday an agency for the fashion and luxury industries, will discuss how technology and fashion are made for each other, how the emergence and adoption of social networking and the social graph is changing fashion forever, and why data sharing is the "new black."
When: Monday, 01/14/2013, 2:00-2:30

How Happy Were the Holidays?
Holiday shopping can make or break a retailer's bottom line, and the industry justifiably pores over the season's results at the turn of the new year. In this session, hear about holiday 2012's successful strategies that soared and gain actionable insights on consumer shopping behavior. Cotter Cunningham, CEO of WhaleShark Media, shares emerging technology trends for 2013 and how retailers can leverage these innovations to improve in the next holiday season.
When: Sunday, 01/13/2013 8:45AM - 9:20AM

Coke's Social Strategy
Social media isn't just all "likes" and "follows." When companies implement thoughtful social strategies, the results can drive not only brand awareness but also sales and profits. Hear Wendy Clark, senior vice president, integrated marketing communications and capabilities for the Coca-Cola Company, share new research from the Coca-Cola Retailing Research Council's study. Attendees will learn which steps to take to set goals and strategies, the rules of engagement, how to gain support for integrating social platforms into marketing and communication initiatives, and what internal organization is necessary to support these efforts.
When: Monday, 01/14/2013 11:30AM -12:15PM

Watching the Titans
When Apple sneezes, the world takes notice. The tech firm and its rarified peers, including Amazon, eBay, Facebook, and Google, wield tremendous influence in retail, especially when it comes to mobile. Each company has played a role in areas affecting retail, from driving traffic into physical and web stores via advertising and search, and changing how shoppers search and pay for purchases, to keeping fans engaged on social media. The bottom line: every move these companies make matters. Now the focus is on mobile technology and the role it plays in shopping, marketing, and payments. Bernie Brennan, managing director of the
Brennan Group, and Lori Schafer of the SAS Institute discuss the Big Five's initiatives in technology innovation and their impact on retail.
When: Monday, 01/14/2013 2:30PM - 3:15PM

A Plethora of Payments
Today, technology is giving consumers a vast array of payment options, and while this is convenient for shoppers, it can create a logistical headache for retailers, not to mention potentially higher payment security and management costs. In this session, learn how consumers' are using their smartphones as wallet, price-comparison tool, and purchasing device, and find out what steps retailers can take to manage the cost and impact of enabling the mobile payments trend. Hear from Bill Johnson of Citi Retail Services and Dwaine Kimmet of The Home Depot on how to drive sales, satisfy customer demand, and manage operational costs by integrating payment preference across channels.
When: Monday, 01/14/2013 3:15PM - 4:15PM

Consumer Technology Trends
Your customer is always connected and always on. She shops on her smartphone, reaches out to friends, family, and social media for real-time decision-making, and leverages deals, coupons and personalized pricing when making purchases. In this session, find out how retailers must constantly seek new ways to cost-effective ways to not only meet customer needs but also exceed expectations. Ken Morris of the Boston Retail Partners leads a discussion with Ed Clary of Haverty Furniture, Joshua Jewett of Family Dollar, Inc., and Steve Smith of Midas/NTB/Kingdom/Big O Tires on the results of the 14th Annual POS Benchmarking Survey, which offers tips for how retailers can reinvent themselves to keep customers satisfied.
When: Tuesday, 01/15/2013 2:00PM - 3:00PM

The Future of Payments and POS
Keeping up with the dizzying pace of innovation in mobile payments and POS advancements can be challenging for busy retailers. Suzan Kereere, senior vice president, general manager global network business, discusses the latest payment and POS technology trends, how they affect the customer-retailer relationship, and what merchants can do to build a successful payment strategy. Martine Reardon, chief marketing officer for Macy's, shares how her company is upgrading its POS platform in order to take advantage of mobile commerce and set the groundwork for future developments in payment technologies.
When: Tuesday, 01/15/2013 2:00PM - 3:00PM

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