The 16th annual Retail Executive Summit (RES) brought together more than 100 retailers and industry leaders to explore the changing role of retail leadership in the age of digital transformation. The conference, held June 14-16 at the luxurious Four Seasons Resort in Scottsdale, AZ, featured a jam-packed speaker roster and plenty of peer-to-peer networking opportunities.
The event teed off on Wednesday, June 14 with a golf outing, giving retailers and solution providers the opportunity to play on a challenging course. Retailers who opted not to hit the links were invited to attend a poolside event prior to the evening’s opening reception. Following the opening reception, RIS hosted its seventh annual CIO of the Year dinner and awards gala, honoring retail’s most innovative IT executives.
RES sessions got into full swing Thursday morning when leadership coach Carol Kinsey Goman delivered the opening keynote and discussed the skills necessary to succeed as a leader in today’s ultra-competitive retail landscape. Following Goman to the main stage were Edward Park of Guess who explored store engagement; Jennifer Prendki of @walmartlabs with a frank discussion on machine learning; and Eugene Roman, Canadian Tire, who explored the power of retail bots. The day ended with RIS’ second annual tech startup competition and evening reception.
The summit concluded on Friday with a morning keynote from editorial director Joe Skorupa featuring a sneak peek of RIS/TCS Customer Insight 360 study. Following the study results, attendees were treated to a presentation from Xcel Brands CEO and chairman Robert D’Loren who explored his company’s media brand approach; Tophatter’s Andrew Blachman who laid out the retailer’s mobile-first strategy, and panel discussions on the financial strength of the industry and how traditional retailers can compete with Amazon.
Below is just a taste of the excitement that was RES 2017.