retailX Heads Back to Chicago, Providing 7 Targeted Tracks on Industry Tech & Trends

After a year without in-person events and trade shows, Retail TouchPoints (RTP) is excited to head back to Chicago for retailX, the premier conference and trade event designed to connect retail executives with thought leaders and solution and service providers in key disciplines. The RTP editorial team has partnered extensively with retailX on developing the content, themes and sessions for the in-person event, which will be held August 24-25, 2021, at McCormick Place in Chicago.

This year’s theme, “Empowering Seamless Consumer Experiences,” spotlights the ongoing need for retailers and brands to activate consumer engagement across all channels. Kecia Steelman, COO at Ulta Beauty, will kick off the event with an insightful keynote session on the impact of the company’s omnichannel retail strategy in continuously evolving beauty shopping experiences, as well as the importance of consumer connection and inclusion in the post-pandemic world.

Day two will feature a keynote by Geronimo Chala, Chief Client Officer at Rebag. He will highlight how the resale model is impacting the overall store experience, sustainability in the circular economy, and insight on how digital innovations aided in the development of Rebag’s AI-infused Claire data index.

Seven tailored tracks will support the underlying theme but also dig into the specific goals and challenges of executives across the entire retail ecosystem. Embracing a “choose your own journey” model, attendees will have the power and flexibility to attend sessions for:

  • Consumer Connections, which will offer timely research and insights to help brands connect with shoppers at every stage of the decision-making process.

  • The New In-Store Experience, which will empower store executives and designers to innovate and differentiate their in-person experiences. A panel of 40 Under 40 Award winners will be spotlighted in an exclusive discussion around trends they’re tracking and how they’re driving innovation in stores.

  • Ecommerce Acceleration, which will dig deep into the tech and strategies needed to level-up site experiences.

  • Digital Marketing, which will spotlight the latest and greatest trends, including voice tech, artificial intelligence, influencer marketing, augmented reality and digital-physical integration.

  • Smart Supply Chain, which will explore all facets of supply chain strategy, including reverse logistics, sustainability, BOPIS, RFID, curbside pickup and more.

  • Contactless Commerce, which will highlight actual use cases and recent success stories in self-checkout, autonomous stores and other future-forward trends.

  • Modern Marketplace Selling, which will empower brands of all sizes to develop and optimize their marketplace strategies.

Knowing the importance of spotlighting case studies that provide tangible takeaways, many sessions have been designed to feature both the successes and the lessons learned from brands across the omnichannel landscape, including: David’s Bridal; Target; Hella Cocktail Co.; Vitamin Shoppe; Bite; and Be Rooted. Retailers will even be given the opportunity to test-drive the industry’s most cutting-edge tech on the exhibitor floor, including an immersive retail experience presented by solution-based merchandising and packaging leader WestRock.

Although Chicago and McCormick Place plan to be fully open by July 4, the retailX team plans to maintain extensive health and safety guidelines for all attendees and exhibitors, mirroring the needs of today’s retail landscape: agile, integrated, responsive, experiential and safe.


“As we all continue to navigate a post-pandemic world, we are maintaining our dedication to keeping health and safety a top priority for all event participants,” said Group Show Director Katherine Childress. “We look forward to welcoming the retail community back for retailX 2021, and are excited to see the solutions and innovations that have developed in the last year.”

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