NRF 2020 Preview: Must-See Sessions Feature Execs From Starbucks, Nordstrom, Best Buy And Goop

It’s no exaggeration when the National Retail Federation calls it The Big Show: an estimated 38,000 attendees, including 16,000 retailers, converge on NYC’s Javits Center Jan. 11-14 for the opportunity to visit 800 exhibitors and hear from a dazzling array of industry leaders and experts. The sheer volume of sessions also can be overwhelming, so the Retail TouchPoints editors have identified a few of their “must-see” targets below.

Some of the best-known names among the speakers include:

  • Gwyneth Paltrow, Founder and CEO, Goop
  • Michelle Gass, CEO, Kohl’s
  • Kevin Johnson, President and CEO, Starbucks
  • Chris Baldwin, Chairman and CEO, BJ’s Wholesale Club
  • Erik Nordstrom, Co-CEO, Nordstrom
  • John Furner, President and CEO, Walmart U.S.
  • Helena Foulkes, CEO, Hudson’s Bay Co.
  • Patrick Gauthier, VP, Amazon Pay
  • Shawn Outler, Chief Diversity Officer, Macy’s
  • Erick Haskell, International President, Allbirds

Check the NRF Big Show Agenda to learn more. Hope to see you in New York City!


Sunday, January 12

Why Retail Jobs Can Be Good Jobs

The topic of retail employment has always been a heated one that has driven plenty of debate. Are retail workers paid enough? Are they treated fairly? Should they be given more opportunities to advance? This keynote session includes a major player that has historically been associated with controversial workplace treatment, but has slowly taken steps to turn its reputation around. John Furner, President and CEO of Walmart U.S. and Zeynep Ton, Professor of the Practice, Operations Management at MIT Sloan School of Management, will discuss the new digital capabilities that can enhance the employee experience, and the evolution of positions both in the front and back of the store.

Sunday, January 12, 9:15-9:45 am SAP QualtricsXM Theatre, Level 1

Immersive…Reimagined…Revolutionary: The Future Of Shopping Beckons

Tal Zvi Nathanel, CEO and Co-Founder of SHOWFIELDS, and Winston Fisher, CEO of AREA15, are writing a new retail playbook by blending physical and digital efforts. However, their models aren’t totally new or unfamiliar — they’re simply two different evolutions of the classic store.

Sunday, January 12, 10:30-11 am, Kustomer Stage, Hall E, Level 1

Brick-And-Mortar 2.0: Making Every Customer Count

While online shopping has fundamentally changed the rules of retail, brick-and-mortar stores still provide a golden opportunity for retailers to deepen the customer’s relationship with the brand. Parinda Muley, Macy’s VP of Innovation and Business Development, and Andrea Fasulo, Global Head of Retail Marketing for Viacom Nickelodeon Consumer Products, will discuss how retailers can use their physical stores to engage a wider audience.

Sunday, January 12, 11–11:30 am, The FQ Lounge, Expo, Level 1, back of 1100 aisle 

The Rise Of Female-Led DTC Companies

Direct-to-consumer brands are playing a central role in retail’s new revolution, and women-owned startups are making their mark on the industry by bringing new products and experiences to market. During this panel discussion, female retail leaders and entrepreneurs will share how they’re adapting to changes in consumer behaviors and driving positive change with their disruptive business models.

Panelists include:

  • Susan Lyne, General Partner, BBG Ventures
  • Nicole Gibbons, Founder and CEO, Clare
  • Amanda E. Johnson, Co-Founder and COO, Mented Cosmetics
  • Melanie Travis, Founder and CEO, Andie

Sunday, January 12, 2:30-3 pm, The FQ Lounge, Expo, Level 1, back of 1100 aisle

Monday, January 13

Nurturing Humanity In Modern-Day Retail

Starbucks President and CEO Kevin Johnson has had the heavy burden of following in the footsteps of Howard Schultz, who brought the Seattle-based coffee giant national and later global. But amid high expectations, Johnson has kept Starbucks on a growth path, crediting the company’s success to its ability to craft an exceptional consumer experience. In this keynote session, Johnson will explain why human connection is still the key factor in the brand’s success, even in an era when technology advances power more convenient retail experiences.

Monday, January 13, 8:30-9:15 am SAP QualtricsXM Theatre, Level 1

2020 Perspectives: Retail On The Global Socio-Economic Stage

Global politics and economics play a critical role in shaping consumer sentiment and behaviors, and ultimately, the health of the retail industry. For this panel discussion, former Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Paul Ryan joins Recode Co-Founder and Editor-At-Large Kara Swisher to dissect the business impacts of recent political and policy decisions in Washington. In addition, they’ll offer expert insights that will help attendees anticipate what lies ahead for retailers and the general public in the New Year.

Monday, January 13, 9:45-10:15 am, SAP QualtricsXM Theater, Level 1

Tuesday, January 14

Serving Customers On Their Terms: A Conversation With Erik Nordstrom

Nordstrom has been focused on providing customers with unparalleled service and curated shopping experiences for nearly 120 years. Today’s ambition is to be the best fashion retailer in a digital world, so Nordstrom is meeting customers where they live and work by making unique retail experiences even more convenient. Co-President Erik Nordstrom will discuss what the company has learned after implementing their market approach in Los Angeles and New York, as well as plans to scale this strategy to other major markets.

Tuesday, January 14, 8:30-9:15 am, SAP QualtricsXM Theatre, Level 1 

Recommerce Revolution: Upcycling Retail’s Future

Today’s shoppers demand sustainability from retailers, and a wide range of recommerce efforts are helping companies meet the mark. Charles Gorra, Founder and CEO of Rebag, helps luxury resellers find the value of their merchandise; Dave Hayne, Chief Digital Officer of Urban Outfitters and President of Nuuly leads Urban Outfitters’ new rental business; and Anthony Marino, President of thredUP,builds on the sustainability advantage of resale.

Tuesday, January 14, 3:30-4 pm, SAP QualtricsXM Theatre, Level 1

Featured Event

Join the retail community as we come together for three days of strategic sessions, meaningful off-site networking events and interactive learning experiences.



Access The Media Kit


Access Our Editorial Calendar

If you are downloading this on behalf of a client, please provide the company name and website information below: