The Ultimate Insider's Guide To NRF 2023

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Excitement is in the air and the industry’s abuzz: the NRF Big Show is only days away! With so many groundbreaking exhibits and sessions to choose from, curating the ultimate NRF itinerary is no mean feat. Especially with the added excitement of this year’s theme, “breakthrough”. This year, exhibitors, speakers, and visitors alike are encouraged to push the boundaries, exceed expectations, and deliver a fresh new experience to set the pace for 2023. 

Here’s an insider’s guide to making the most out of NRF 2023, from unmissable keynote sessions and breakthrough tech to our very own fireside chats.

Unmissable Keynotes

A well-crafted keynote address has the power to enliven new ideas, inspire fresh ways of thinking, and energize audiences to break boundaries. Keynotes should be an essential part of your NRF agenda, and these are our top picks for each day of the expo. 

Charting its own course: Macy’s, Inc. Chairman and CEO Jeff Gennette on leading through transformation and purpose

Macy’s, Inc. is reshaping the future of retail. CEO Jeff Gennette has created a culture of transformation and infused new vigor into its iconic brands – Macy’s, Bloomingdale’s, and Bluemercury. 

  • When: 9:15-9:45 on Sunday, January 15 

  • Where: SAP Theatre, Javits North, Level 5

  • Why: Discover how a mainstay retailer and RetailNext customer is evolving into a purpose-driven, digitally-led department store.

The future of retail leadership: Target CEO Brian Cornell in conversation with top female leaders

Target CEO Brian Cornell, the National Retail Federation’s 2022 “Visionary” Honoree, chats with top leaders from Target’s diverse leadership team, to discuss what it means to build a strong company culture. 

  • When: 8:45-9:15 on Monday, January 16 

  • Where: SAP Theatre, Javits North, Level 5

  • Why: Explore the diverse future of retail leadership and find out how company culture can fuel future growth.

Revolutionizing luxury experiences: A conversation with Neiman Marcus Group CEO, Geoffroy van Raemdonck 

The luxury sector introduced many industry-leading customer experiences. Neiman Marcus Group (NMG) CEO, Geoffroy van Raemdonck, shares the company’s integrated luxury retail approach. 

  • When: 9:15-9:45 on Tuesday, January 17 

  • Where: SAP Theatre, Javits North, Level 5

  • Why: NMG revolutionizes luxury experiences for its customers and thereby achieves growth. In this session, you’ll learn how. 

READ MORE: RetailNext Wins IoT Connected Retail Application Of The Year

Fireside Chats With Industry Leaders

We’ll be hosting daily fireside chats at our booth (#5921) that aim to help attendees better understand the many nuances of the modern retail environment. RetailNext leaders, brand representatives, and industry specialists will be diving deeper into how data-driven approaches transform their understanding of their consumers and design new store experiences that resonate.

The sessions will take place each afternoon and attendees are invited to listen in, speak up, and rub shoulders with data-driven disruptors. Here’s what you can look forward to: 

Optimizing In-Store Conversion: The Beauty Of Shopper Behavior Analysis
  • Date: Sunday, January 15

  • Time: 15:00-15:30

  • Why: Brands need to get granular with interpreting shopper behavior as a way to boost conversion. Join Kiehl’s in conversation with RetailNext to learn more about how in-store marketing reaches new heights when backed by data.

The New Frontier: Brand Collaboration's Role In Delivering Unparalleled Value
  • Date: Monday, January 16 

  • Time: 13:30-14:00 

  • Why: The right kind of multi-brand retail experience can also provide an outstanding venue for the discovery of new brands, as well as data sharing, and monetization opportunities. Join us to learn more about its win-win approach to this.

Rethinking The Role Of Store Associates As Brand Champions
  • Date: Tuesday, January 17

  • Time: 15:00-15:30

  • Why: The frontline worker has unexpectedly emerged as the new 'hero of retail'. Hear about how the store associate role continues to transcend from transactional to experiential and the technology that underpins it.

READ MORE: Retail Trends That Break Through The Noise

New Year, New Ideas

Immerse yourself in this year’s Innovation Lab, an interactive exhibit that showcases the latest in artificial intelligence, augmented reality, machine learning, robotics, and so much more. Discover what’s going on in the future of retail tech and connect with those behind the big ideas in one synthesized space.

Some of the focuses of this year’s Lab include AI, machine learning, the circular economy, autonomous delivery, last-mile logistics, and IoT breakthroughs. Retailers will have the chance to ask the most pertinent questions they are faced with and find answers in forward-thinking solutions. Retail’s most exciting start-ups will be in attendance to break boundaries, form meaningful partnerships, and drive the industry forward. It’s well worth a walkthrough!

Tour The Latest And Greatest Innovations 

A not-so-secret Big Show hack: topic-specific expo tours are the best way to pack the most value into two hours. These guided walks aim to introduce you to market-leading companies, allowing you to maximize networking opportunities. 

Take your pick of four unique tours: 

  • AI, Computer Vision, Predictive Behaviors

  • E-commerce, Digital Marketing and Analytics

  • Future Tech: Optimizing the Digital and Physical Customer Journey

  • In-Store Engagement: Training, Talent Development, Customer Service

We are proud to be a stop on the AI, Computer Vision, Predictive Behaviors tour! This tour focuses on cutting-edge technologies that assist retailers in connecting consumer insights with operations and demand. 

It is reported that the global AI in retail market size was valued at $5.79 billion in 2021 and is expected to expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) exceeding 23.9% from 2022 to 2030! Privacy-friendly AI-garnered data can help retailers grow and empower the optimization of everything from daily in-store operations to shopper experiences – are you missing out? 

Learn more about how AI can help automate processes, augment human labor, and predict demand. Add a tour booking to your registration here or book a chat with us. 

Catering To All Tastes

The Food Service Technology Pavillion is where IT, finance, marketing, and technology meet to explore new solutions to help accelerate food service businesses. Here, you’ll discover more about systems that address the needs of food service operations, like point-of-sale and back-office systems, digital signage, and guest experience programs.

What the program has to offer

  • How automation can help save restaurants 

  • Serving customers by blending in-store and digital experiences

  • Understanding how prescriptive analytics can help solve real-world problems

  • AI’s use to streamline labor and drive customer engagement

READ MORE: Top 5 Reasons To Be At NRF 2023

There’s still time! Let’s chat over coffee about how we can help you break through – book a private meeting

About the author:

Headshot: Ashton Kirsten

Ashton Kirsten, Marketing Communications Coordinator, RetailNext

Ashton holds a Master's Degree in English and is passionate about starting conversations through impactful content and executing data-driven creative strategies. She is based in Johannesburg, South Africa, where she can be found reading, writing and researching.

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