What to Expect from NRF 2019

NRF 2019 begins this Sunday at the Javits Center in New York City. As the world’s largest retail conference and expo, exhibitors span the entire business universe and attendees can expect to make connections with a diverse group of companies. The conference will provide brands an opportunity to collaborate and create.

Main Themes

This year’s conference will focus on the impact of the industry across many categories. Namely, business models and strategies that are perfecting, disrupting and innovating within the retail world. Attendees will hear how retailers are refining the industry through social impact and challenging old standards. The conference will hold a variety of different speeches to inspire attendees and provide thought leadership. These solution providers will share insights into the future of retail and the products that are putting companies one step ahead of the rest.

Keynote Speakers

Chip and Joanna Gaines, Co-Founders of Magnolia, a home and lifestyle brand established in 2003, are among this year’s preeminent speakers. The husband and wife tandem will be speaking on Tuesday, Jan. 15 at 3:45 p.m. on building brand strength and creating a cultural connection.

Brian Cornell, Board Chairman and CEO of Target Corp. will be speaking on Monday Jan. 14 at 9 a.m. on the main stage. Cornell serves as chairman of the Retail Industry Leaders Association as well as having a seat on the board of directors at Yum! brands. His speech will center around Target’s innovative strategies and focus on customers.

From the education world, Scott Galloway will discuss the impact of big tech. As a marketing professor at New York University’s Stern school of business, a best-selling author and the founder of Red Envelope and L2 Inc., Galloway will tell retail business leaders what to look out for from a technological standpoint in 2019. His speech can be heard on Monday, Jan. 14 at 4 p.m. on the main stage.

Other prominent speakers at this year’s show include former Chair of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System Janet Yellen, NRF President Matthew Shay and dozens of company founders and CEOs.

Which events not to miss

If you are a woman working in retail, be sure not to miss the Girls’ Lounge. The organization creates experiential pop-ups at conferences and college campuses to empower women to activate change. One of the speakers will be Rebecca Minkoff – founder and creative director of a global lifestyle brand that designs handbags, accessories, footwear as well as men’s clothing under the label Uri Minkoff. She will be speaking on Sunday, Jan. 13 at 11:30 on the Feature Stage (Hall E, Level 1)

Be sure to visit the Innovation Lab – a showcase of the top retail technologies by companies that are three years of age or less. It is an immersive experience, centered around customer experience and convenience that features the latest advances in artificial intelligence, augmented reality, machine learning, facial recognition, data analytics, robotics and more.

With the Innovation Lab, Networking Hall and Startup Zone, the NRF Retail Show will birth new ideas and advancement in the retail world.

How to Attend

Standard rates for conference registration end January 11. Be sure to purchase your pass whether you want to attend the full conference or just the expo. Attendees can expect 14 Keynote sessions, 9 Feature State sessions, 18 Concurrent sessions, 21 Innovation Stage sessions and 94 Exhibitor Big Idea sessions. There will be plenty of networking opportunities at the Opening Night Reception and in the NRF Lounge.

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