RIC19 Retail Innovator Award Nominations Are Open

The 2019 Retail Innovation Conference is a little more than three months away, but it’s not too early to nominate those who have rejuvenated and shaken up their retail businesses with outside-the-box ideas. For the sixth year, the Retail Innovator Award program is recognizing retail executives who are focused on driving change and positive disruption using innovative strategies and technologies.

Retail TouchPoints invites you to nominate retail company executives, bloggers/authors and/or industry association executives for the honor. Nominations must highlight:

  • The emerging retail area the executive helped improve;
  • The specific retail strategy or idea launched; and
  • Business results, positive outcomes or expected results following the implementation of the strategy.

In 2018, 28 retail executives received Retail Innovator Awards across seven categories. Some of the winners, and their achievements, include:


  • Clay Johnson, CIO, Walmart. Category: Tech Innovator

Johnson implemented technology, data and design to digitally transform the Walmart associate experience. For example, Walmart rolled out Facebook Workplace, a business chat and collaboration tool where associates can share pictures of product displays with other stores, broadcast news via a live video stream or communicate between different geographies.

  • Chris McCann, President, Category: Tech Innovator

Under McCann’s leadership, has implemented new initiatives around AI, voice search, machine learning and intelligent agents. In particular, the retailer launched an AI-powered gift concierge for mobile and desktop e-Commerce called GWYN (Gifts When You Need).

  • Aaron Sanandres, CEO and Co-Founder, UNTUCKit. Category: Data Guru

Working with SATO Global Solutions, UNTUCKit rolled out RFID chip technology that collects data on men’s shirts and tracks store traffic and in-store customer behavior.

  • Heidi Zak, Co-CEO and Co-Founder, ThirdLove. Category: Disruptor

ThirdLove considers the unique needs of diverse body types and shapes; more than 8 million women have completed ThirdLove’s Fit Finder to find the right bra size. The company has donated more than $3.5 million worth of bras to women in need throughout the country.

  • Kimberly Williams-Czopek, VP of Digital Commerce, Lilly Pulitzer. Category: Mobile Mogul

Williams-Czopek led the charge at Lilly Pulitzer to onboard progressive web apps (PWAs) designed for its growing mobile consumer base. The PWAs engage shoppers on the web without requiring a download from an app store, and are designed to be faster than a typical mobile app experience.

  • Deb Roth, Senior Director for Process Improvement, Retail Systems and Omnichannel, Office Depot. Category: Operations Operative

Under Roth’s leadership, Office Depot increased sales from omnichannel fulfillment initiatives (in-store pickup, ship-from-store and same day delivery) by 40%. The retailer rolled out mobile dashboards to track daily progress and completion rates.

Previous Retail Innovator Award winners from 2017 include:

  • Ben Babcock, Senior Director of Research and Insights,;
  • Pam Sweeney, Senior VP of Logistics Systems and Technology, Macy’s;
  • Dan Pingree, CMO, Moosejaw;
  • Sid Jatia, VP of Global e-Commerce, Under Armour; and
  • Anthony Luigs, VP of Pricing, Assortment Planning and Merchandising Solutions, The Home Depot.

Nominate a Retail Innovator today by completing the form here!



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