Retail’s 10 Most Influential People for 2019

Tim Denman
Editor in Chief
a man wearing a suit and tie

Retail is going through a major transformation. Retailers are faced with changing consumer shopping patterns and must adapt to evolving market conditions in real-time if they are going to win in an increasingly competitive marketplace.

There is a plethora of new technology and strategic focuses retailers can adopt as they look to build the enterprise of the tomorrow. But the sheer volume of concepts and the corresponding technology can be overwhelming and retailers need a network of trusted advisors to help them navigate the modern retail minefield.

Luckily for retailers there is no shortage of retail advisors. But just like the magnitude of technology on the market, the amount of opinions on the subject can be overwhelming. To help retailers find the right voice to trust, Vend has released its annual “Top 100 Retail Influencers” report.

The report ranks the industry’s top experts, analysts, consultants, and journalists. Vend researched each individual to gauge their authority and influence in the industry. The final ranking of influencers is a who’s who of the industry that retailers can turn to for insights, news, and advice. These are analysts, consultants, and journalists who are constantly sharing insightful content and commentary about retail, and actively helping retailers build and run their businesses.

Notable members of Vend’s ranking include: RIS’ own Joe Skorupa, Brian E. Kilcourse, Paula Rosenblum, Cathy HotkaGreg Buzek, Jeff Roster, Greg Girard, and Leslie Hand.

The full list of the top 100 influencers is available here. Below is a quick look at the top 10 finishers.

Matthew Shay. Shay has been the president and CEO of the National Retail Federation since 2010.As the head of the world’s largest retail trade organization Shay has the power to both influence the industry and the nation’s leaders in Washington. @nrfnews 

Deborah Weinswig. Weinswig is the CEO and founder of Coresight Research, a retail consultancy that leverages data-driven insights that help companies navigate the changing retail and technology landscape. She travels the world to meet with high-level executives and is a frequent speaker at prestigious industry events. @debweinswig 

Bob Phibbs. Phibbs is the CEO of the Retail Doctor, and has a 30-year track record helping retailers lift sales, inspire associates, and get more out of their store traffic. He is a frequent speaker at industry events and is a source on marketing and branding for MSNBC, Fox and others. @TheRetailDoctor 

Neil Saunders. Saunders is a managing director and retail analyst at GlobalData Retail. As a retail insider he focuses on providing his clients with essential data, research and insight into channel and product performance across the globe. @NeilRetail 

Steve Dennis. Dennis is a strategic advisor, writer and keynote speaker on retail growth and innovation, with a focus on omnichannel, customer insight and digital disruption. He founded SageBerry Consulting 10 years ago to help retail and luxury/fashion brands focus on customer-centric growth through effective marketing strategies. @StevenPDennis

Doug Stephens. Stephens is the founder and president of Retail Prophet, a specialty advisory services company to the retail industry. He is a leading retail industry futurist and an in-demand retail speaker. @RetailProphet

Nicole Reyhle. Reyhle is the founder, publisher and editor of Retail Minded Magazine. She founded Retail Minded more than a decade ago to support independent retail businesses find success in their various small business goals and since then has published over a thousand retail focused articles in an effort to help small businesses thrive@RetailMinded 

Helen Dickinson. Dickinson is the chief executive of the British Retail Consortium (BRC), a UK trade association that represents all forms of retailers from small, independently owned stores to big chain stores and department storesShe strives for the BRC to be the go-to trade association for UK retailers and works to drive positive change to create an economic and policy environment that enables retail businesses to thrive. @the_brc

Mary Portas. Portas is the chief creative officer and founder of Portas, a brand consultancy and creative communications agency that helps build best-selling retail, fashion and lifestyle brands in the UK and across the world. She is an English retail consultant and broadcaster, known for her retail- and business-related television shows. @maryportas

Steve Dresser. Dresser is the founder of Grocery Insight, an advisory, insight, and intelligent services company serving the retail sector. He provides critical insight on everything food retail including concepts, stores, layouts, category strategy, products, in-store events and standards. @dresserman

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