A Look Back at RES 2017

Tim Denman
Editor in Chief
Tim Denman profile picture

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.

Mike Zorn, Macy's
Macy’s Mike Zorn discusses the industry-leading strides the retailer has made in employee retention.
Cy Fenton, Books-a-Million
Cy Fenton from Books-a-Million reaches for the microphone to engage with the presenter.
Edward Park, GUESS?
Edward Park, GUESS? presented on the changing role of the store.
Four Season's Scottsdale
The Four Season’s breathtaking courtyard.
Steve Schnur, MGM
Steve Schnur from MGM gets set to strike at the pre-conference golf outing.
Eugene Roman, Canadian Tire
Eugene Roman from Canadian Tire presented on the importance of bots in retail.
David Matthews, REVTECH
TruRating took home the top prize in RIS’ annual startup competition. Alan Outlaw (left) accepted the over-sized check and took home a matching $2,500 from David Mathews of RevTech.
Vicki Cantrell
Vicki Cantrell shows off her RIS News’ Hall of Fame plaque.
Michael Lehman, Bentley's Pet Stuff’s
Bentley's Pet Stuff’s Michael Lehman presented on the power of localized retailing.
Edward Yruma, ZeyBanc Capital Markets and Andy Serwer, Yahoo Finance
The Wall Street panel featured Edward Yruma, ZeyBanc Capital Markets and Andy Serwer, Yahoo Finance (via Skype).
Andrew Blachman, Tophatter
Tophatter’s Andrew Blachman discussed his company’s unique auction concept and the importance of a mobile-first shopping experience.
Carol Kinsey Goman
The opening keynote was delivered by leadership coach Carol Kinsey Goman.
Robert D’Loren, Xcel Brands
Robert D’Loren, Xcel Brands, discussed his company’s strategy of being a media brand, not a retailer.
RES 2017
The packed conference room.
RES 2017 structured networking
Structured networking offered attendees an opportunity to get to know each other.