Navigating NRF's Big Show

1/6/2014
With the holidays behind us and the new year just begun, now is the time to build momentum for a successful 2014. NRF’s Annual Convention & EXPO, to be held January 12-15 in New York City, can help you get into gear with opportunities for retailers to learn about new technology solutions, refine business strategies and build new partnerships.

The show’s nine keynote presentations are designed to give you the big picture view of the retail industry at large and some of the key factors that will play out this year with respect to everything from global expansion to consumer power. In addition to the keynotes, the conference will feature more than 100 educational sessions, 520 solutions providers on the EXPO floor, networking receptions, self-guided store tours of NYC’s Meatpacking District and Bleecker Street, and an ARTS Pavilion for new technologies, cloud, mobile and social commerce — all of it geared toward helping retailers better meet the challenges and opportunities posed by 24/7 shoppers, expansion of the middle class in emerging markets, multi-faceted supply chains, and much more. To help you plan your visit to NRF, we’ve identified some of the sessions most relevant for apparel retailers today.

Brick-and-Mortar Here to Stay
Creating new “town centers,” especially post-recession and in an era of increased e-commerce, is a critical issue for retailers and local communities. Founder and CEO of shopping center developer Caruso Affiliated joins president of Nordstrom, Blake Nordstrom; fashion designer Rebecca Minkoff; co-anchor of CNBC’s “Power Lunch” Sue Herera; and founder and pastry chef of Sprinkles Cupcakes, Candace Nelson, to discuss best practices for upending the traditional model of retail development. This includes innovations from around the globe; how retailers, developers, and community members can partner to create vibrant gathering places; how to maximize length-of-stay and customer spending; how to ensure a five-star guest experience, and how e-commerce and brick-and-mortar retail are not mutually exclusive.
Sunday, 01/12/14 • 10:30AM-11:30AM

Expanding to Latin America
Global retail expansion has a different profile than it did a decade ago, with socioeconomic stability allowing a middle class to emerge and retail development to grow in Latin America, but the region is still underserved by modern formats. In this session, Franco CalderÓn, president, Latin American Retail Connection; Eliott Bross, CEO, Planigrupo; Scott Harris, vice president, Latin American Retail Connection and Agustin Solari, CEO and founder of Idearetail SpA, will discuss the opportunities and strategies for retailers, developers and investors to build a compelling shopping experience that will speak to the consumer in these complex markets.
Sunday, 01/12/14 • 12:45 PM-1:45PM

Growing through Private Brands
From fashion to food and everything in-between, retailers are creating and evolving private labels and brands in new environments for growth. Brand concepts continue to help retailers differentiate themselves and drive profits. Jordi Allepuz, visual director of Grupo Cortefiel, Ken Nisch, chairman of JGA and Mortimer Singer, president and CEO of Marvin Traub Associates will look at how to create to create new business and opportunities by leveraging brands.
Sunday, 01/12/14 • 2:00PM-3:00PM    

Succeeding in a Consumer-Driven World
The next five years will bring more change to retail than the past 50 years combined. Technological disruption paired with fast-changing customer habits are driving consumer expectations sky high, while barriers to enter the world of retail have been essentially eradicated. Join Forbes publisher Rich Karlgaard and CEO of JDA Software Hamish Brewer for a discussion about how visionary CEOs must re-evaluate their retail enterprises — including the people, processes, partners and the technologies that support them — and evolve to anticipate and adapt to relentless disruptions.
Sunday, 01/12/14 • 3:15PM-4:15PM

A Presidential Perspective
In this keynote session, 43rd U.S. President George W. Bush will provide insight into the charitable and humanitarian activities of the George W. Bush Presidential Center that he and Laura Bush founded in Dallas, Texas, and will share his thoughts on economic growth, education reform, global health, human freedom and support of the military.
Monday, 01/13/14 • 9:00AM-10:00AM

Digital Developments at Retail
Sucharita Mulpuru, vice president and principal analyst at Forrester Research, will give insight into significant digital developments in 2013 and what lies ahead this year, providing tips on where retailers should (and shouldn't) put their focus, which benchmarks to factor into plans, and which initiatives are on retailers’ drawing boards for the next 12 months and beyond.
Monday, 01/13/14 • 10:30AM–11:30AM

CIOs Tackle Emerging Technology Trends
In the new reality where the customer is boss, successful retailers must integrate data across the enterprise to get a 360-degree view of the customer, and be able to locate and sell merchandise from anywhere in the company. Janet Sherlock, senior vice president and CIO, Carter's, Inc.; Dave Finnegan, Chief InBearmation Officer, Build-A-Bear Workshop; Kathryn Henry, CIO, distribution and logistics, lululemon Athletica Inc.; and Etienne de Verdelhan, CIO, L’Occitane en Provence, will discuss the evolving role of the retail CIO and how they are meeting the challenges and opportunities of the omnichannel revolution by harnessing the power of big data and business intelligence tools.
Monday, 01/13/14 • 10:30AM-11:30AM

Embracing a Standards-Based Supply Chain
In this session, Mike Molitor, senior vice president, e-commerce, Kohl’s Corp.; Bob Carpenter, president and CEO, GS1 US; Peter Longo, president, Macy’s Logistics and Operations; and Dan C. Smith, CIO, Hudson Bay Trading Company will discuss how they are leveraging GS1 standards to achieve critical end-to-end visibility to achieve effective upstream operations as well as to deliver the best possible outcome to the downstream consumer, whether she is in the store or on a digital device. Learn how the value chain networks of leading organizations built on standards are minimizing cost and maximizing the speed, visibility, security and sustainability of business processes in today’s omnichannel marketplace.
Monday, 01/13/14 • 2:00PM-3:00PM

Macro Trends in 21st Century Fashion Evolution
Join David Wolfe, creative director, The Doneger Group, for an analysis of the forces driving design in 2014, including technology, artificial intelligence and pop culture, and learn how fashion reflects today’s lifestyles through design, color and textiles.
Monday, 01/13/14 • 2:00PM-3:00PM    

Redefining the Customer Experience Gives a Whole New Meaning to Window Shopping
Leading-edge retailers are using innovative shopping experiences to gather valuable insight about their customers, which is used in turn to drive further immersive and tailored customer experiences. Hear from Ben Pressley, head of enterprise strategy and business development, Magento Inc., an eBay Company; Jordan Glassberg, digital business development lead, TOMS; John Sheldon, global head of strategy, eBay Enterprise Marketing Solutions; and Megan Farrell Ragsdale, director, guest experience, Sony Store, Sony Electronics Inc.; about how stores can amp up the experience (and the ROI) in their brick-and-mortar locations by leveraging web-grade analytics to take a more holistic view of their customers.
Monday, 01/13/14 • 2:15PM-3:00PM

How Big Data is Reshaping Commerce
Value is shifting in business thanks to the explosion of data — the world’s vast new natural resource. Join Ginni Rometty, chairman, president and CEO, IBM, and Terry Lundgren, chairman, president and CEO, Macy’s, for a discussion about how big data and changing expectations are intersecting with a confluence of major technological shifts — cloud computing, analytics, social and mobile — to fundamentally reshape retail.  
Monday, 01/13/14 • 3:15PM-4:15PM                               

Growing Your Brand Through Optimism, Compassion and Joy
The most effective approach to working with your customers’ subconscious is to have clear knowledge of your brand’s company culture and core values. In this keynote, Bert Jacobs, founder of Life is good® will explain how to inspire associates within the organization to live your core values, and how to develop a quantifiable retail experience that allows consumers to feel your brand’s value and vision.
Tuesday, 01/14/14 • 8:30AM-9:45AM

Beyond Borders: Retail Lessons in Global Expansion
In an effort to achieve sustainable growth, many retailers are looking beyond their own borders to enhance their brand and generate sales and profits with a new set of customers. The idea of international expansion is not new, but the question of how to do it most effectively is one that many companies struggle to answer. A Deloitte survey of nearly 90 retailers during a 10-year time span with a mixture of domestic and international exposure found that those retailers with a global footprint generally did not outperform retailers who remained domestically focused. Those retailers who aggressively pursued global expansion executed a strategy oriented toward maximizing revenue often at the expense of building a differentiated global brand. In this keynote, Alison Kenney Paul, vice chairman and U.S. retail and distribution leader, Deloitte LLP, will share new research to help retailers understand, plan for, and monitor the many potential risks to brand integrity that could result from foreign activities up and down the value chain. James D. Fielding, CEO, Claire's Stores and Zita Cassizzi, chief digital officer, TOMS Shoes, will discuss their approach to globalization, as well as stories of common pitfalls and lessons learned.
Tuesday, 01/14/14 • 10:00AM-11:00AM

Tory Burch: Driving Engagement through Cross-Functional Partnerships
As adoption of mobile technology continues its trajectory, so does customer demand for mobile brand interaction. Traditional development processes often take too long and fail to adequately connect with what the customer values. This leads to customers who are underserved, opportunities lost and frustrated finger-pointing across the enterprise. Matt Marcotte, senior vice president, global retail, Tory Burch LLC; Mike Giresi, CIO, Tory Burch and Brian Kilcourse, managing partner, Retail Systems Research, will discuss how a fundamental shift from traditional IT development programs at Tory Burch enabled rapid deployment of a robust and customized retail customer-focused application. The result is a sales team that’s motivated to adopt it, and capabilities that enable an elevated brand experience that’s aligned with and enables company-wide goals.
Tuesday, 01/14/14 • 2:00PM-3:00PM

Unlocking Consumer DNA
The amount of publicly available information that consumers are sharing knowingly and unknowingly is a goldmine for retailers, allowing them to get a real-time view of the consumer, an insight that holds great promise for transforming both the industry and the customer experience across channels. In this session, John Lance, director, Nike; Mark Rummell, head of merchandise planning, Shopbop; Dinesh Bajaj, vice president, retail, CPG, logistics, Infosys; Sanjeev K. Singh, EVP and CIO, Follett Corporation; and Robert Mills, CIO, Ulta Inc., will discuss a holistic approach to devise relevant, personalized offers, products and services to consumers based on their “consumer DNA” at the right time, place and channel.
Tuesday, 01/14/14 • 2:00PM-3:00PM 

Jordan K. Speer is editor in chief of Apparel. She can be reached at [email protected].
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