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July 2nd, 2020
10:30 am - 11:00 am EDT

The Future of Retail is Human

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Retail is evolving, and the new generation of customers demands a higher standard when it comes to a brand’s value and look to bond with a brand that reflects their own values. This new customer wants to trust what a brand stands for, what its values are, and understand its purpose. In a world where PR and marketing jargon is in decline, one of the most direct and honest ways this can be conveyed is through the employees on the front line.

It’s no secret that associates who are proud of what a brand stands for and are passionate about the products they sell are the ones that build the most successful relationships with customers but this powerful source of organic advocacy is so often overlooked when it comes to head office strategy. Companies often focus on obtaining and retaining customers directly instead of empowering their own associates to be brand influencers. The burgeoning generation of shoppers are also the associates of tomorrow and by investing in brand values will generate the kind of passion required for advocacy.

This will take careful consideration and a genuine contribution toward actualising the values that they preach, a good place to start is by nurturing the teams that are currently the human touchpoint within a brand and these three million associates are a diverse group. In a large survey of shoppers across Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom, 42% of ethnic minority shoppers and 41% of LGBT shoppers reported that they would switch to a retailer committed to diversity and inclusion.

The recent surge in e-commerce has hastened investments in connected digital experiences, but it is still not comparable to the in-store experience so the question remains of how to: harness the power of person to person connection, emulate human ability to form relationships, and champion the passion of the individual within a brand all in a digital setting?

We will hear from speakers on how they reflect on the different ways that a brand can equip the new digital storefront with the same passion and human connection that is present in the physical stores and how vital it is that they channel established brand values to align to what matters most to the next generation of customers by practicing what they preach.

What viewers will walk away with:
•How brands can support their employees to be better brand ambassadors
•Insights from brands on how they position their mission and value statements to resonate with their tribe
•How to empower associates with the tools they need to deliver a truly personalized brand experience

Key reflection questions:
•Why will humans be the focus of the future of retail?
•How do you get a genuine human experience outside of the store?
•What will the future of retail look like?

The Speakers

Suzy Ross

Suzy was a Senior Advisor to Accenture Retail. Suzy’s area of expertise is working with retailers to navigate organisational wide customer centric transformation (shopkeeper to customerkeeper™), and harness the power of customer analytics. A particular area of focus is how data can be made accessible and embedded within every area of an organisation. Prior to joining Accenture, Suzy worked extensively on both the retail and wholesale side of a number of fashion brands and health and beauty brands

Brendan Fludd

Brendan Fludd is the CRM Manager for Fashion with The Chalhoub Group, the largest luxury retailer in the Middle East. As an award winning marketer for innovation and digital transformations, his professional expertise is in utilizing retail data to enhance the customer experience, and create unique brand identities and consumer approaches. Brendan is an Atlanta native, and he has worked in marketing and analytics for both technology and retail companies since graduating with a degree in Business Management from Morehouse College in 2011

Kevin Van Leeuwen

Kevin Van Leeuwen is Flagship Director for the first AMIRI retail Boutique opening on Rodeo Drive this September. He has worked in luxury retail since graduating from The University of Arizona in 2004 with a Business Marketing Degree, holding various management roles with several European brands over the course of his 16-year career in luxury retail with a diverse group of global clients.


Robert Niedzwiecki

Robert Niedzwiecki is Senior Sales Manager at Proximity Insight.

The RIW program has been developed to provide inspiration and direction to executives working in retail, at brands and their partner companies.

The Future of Retail festival has been produced by the team at Retail Innovation Week(R), a spin-off division from research and strategy think-tank PSFK.