NRF Keynotes Explore Big Changes On the Retail Horizon

As retailers settle down from the whirlwind holiday season, they set their sights on the industry’s biggest event - the National Retail Federation’s 106th Annual NRF Convention & EXPO. Everything retail will be hustling and bustling around the Big Apple on January 15-17, 2017, and the Jacob K. Javits Center will become the epicenter of the industry – the who’s who, and what’s what.
For more than a century, “Retail’s BIG Show” has offered unparalleled education, collegial networks, and discovery of new technologies and solutions. In line with previous years, it’s nothing short of a miracle to tackle the show floor with two EXPOs sprawling more than 235,000 square feet, more than 500 exhibitors, and hundreds of sessions to choose from. Below is a brief overview of the Keynote Sessions, which take place in the North Hall, Level 2, focusing on what’s next and the big changes on the horizon that will forever alter the retail business.
Sunday, January 15
8:40-9:30 am
Building Tomorrow’s Workforce: How Retailers Are Attracting and Retaining Talent
The retail industry is the largest private sector employer in the U.S., accounting for nearly one in every four jobs. Since 2012, retail employment has grown by half a million jobs and is expected to grow by nearly another million by 2022. Hear from CEOs Mindy Grossman of HSNi, Greg Foran of Walmart U.S., and Terry J. Lundgren of Macy’s Inc. who will discuss their companies’ workforce planning priorities and how they are attracting, developing and retaining talent.
9:30-10:15 am
From Data to Delight: An Insight-Driven Revolution of the In-Store Experience
The old saying, “the customer is king,” rings truer than ever. A recent field research project on the in-store experience by Deloitte, revealed that the retailers who are winning are those who differentiate on customer experience. Top retail executives Mike Mauler, EVP and president, GameStop International, and Colin Watts, CEO and chief health enthusiast, The Vitamin Shoppe will share the metrics that matter in shaping and measuring the most impactful experiences.
12:00-1:00 pm
The Sky is Not the Limit: Lessons From a Year in Space
U.S. astronaut and Expedition 46 Commander Scott Kelly captivated the world while laying the groundwork for the future of space travel and exploration. From the leadership and teamwork required in such demanding conditions, to the long-term deprivation from loved ones and planet Earth itself, Kelly delivers a truly one-of-a-kind experience. 
3:15-4:00 pm
Tailoring the 21 Century Customer Experience
Join two young and powerful fashion brands and hear their big ideas about the future of customization, personalization and perfecting the customer experience. Jodie Fox, co-founder and CEO of Shoes of Prey will share the impact of putting 3D technologies and more in the hands of customers to create a design-your-own shopping paradigm. While Drew Green, CEO and director, INDOCHINO will discuss combining traditional tailoring expertise with dynamic digital platform, a vertically integrated supply chain and one-to-one production on a mass scale for a highly personalized fit.
Monday, January 16
9:00-10:00 am
Undying Brand Engagement in an Age of Continuous Disruption and Reinvention - A Fireside Chat With Sir Richard Branson
In this fireside chat with The Container Store Co-Founder and Chairman Kip Tindell, Sir Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Group will share his insights on inspiring deep brand affinity, fostering business agility, and keeping his finger on the pulse of innovation and disruption more than 40 years after Virgin’s founding.
10:00-10:45 am
Driving Retail Transformation: How Data and Smart, Connected Technology Deliver Amazing Customer Experiences
Intel CEO Brian Krzanich and visionary retail leaders, including Carrie Ask, EVP and president of global retail, Levi Strauss & Co will explore the implications of the smart, connected world where nearly everything becomes digitized and resulting innovations bring tremendous opportunities to a disrupted retail industry. These retailers will dive into how the industry is undergoing an unprecedented transformation, and how that transformation translates to exciting new experiences for retailers and consumers alike.
3:15-4:00 pm
The List – Inspiring Leaders Shaping Retail’s Future
Each year, the NRF Foundation celebrates 25 individuals on The List of People Shaping Retail’s Future, honoring true originals, rising stars, inspirational change-makers, champions of retail, and the industry’s leaders. This keynote features honorees from The List 2017, including Michelle Lam, CEO and Co-Founder of True&Co, and Phil Wahba, Senior Retail Writer at Fortune Magazine who come from the Giver, Disruptor, Dreamer and Influencer categories. Join us to hear the moving stories of these honorees, their roots and inspirations, and what they envision for retail’s future.
Tuesday, January 17
8:45-9:30 am
Evolving Consumer Behavior: A View from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York
Since the 2008 financial crisis, U.S. households’ use of debt to finance consumption has changed dramatically, leading to potentially long-lasting changes in spending behavior. Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s Bill Dudley and Macy’s chairman and CEO Terry Lundgren will discuss how consumer behavior has evolved over the last 10 years, with a focus on how their spending has been financed.
9:30-11:00 am
Retail's BIG Fast Track - Retail at the Speed of Disruption
New York-based XRC Labs’ latest cohort of disruptors is in, here we take a look at the top four big ideas. ShopShops’ founder and CEO Liyia Wu will share what the future holds for brands reaching China’s $160 billion market. Perseus Mirrors co-founder and CEO, Erik Skantze, will discuss the future of the connected home and consumer. Co-founder and CEO of Strypes, Alexa Fleischman will explore how to leverage mass personalization and personal brand building. And Joe Beninato, Banter founder and CEO, will illustrate how customers connecting with retailers via simple text messaging increases sales and customer satisfaction while lowering customer services costs.
3:15-4:00 pm
Winning Today’s Socially Aware Customer
With trust and reputation in mind, customers - particularly from the Millennial Generation - are looking for more compelling reasons to shop. Join co-founder and chief purpose officer of The Honest Company, Christopher Gavigan, and IKEA USA’s president, Lars Petersson, who will both share their companies’ ethos with the socially aware consumer in mind. They will discuss building trust through brand authenticity and fostering genuine consumer relationships paired with a relentless focus on product excellence.
For more on NRF 2017 be sure to check out RIS’ preview guide here