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NRF 2022: Retail’s Big Show Event Recap

RETHINK Retail hopped trains, planes, LYFTS and UBERS as we headed to New York City last week to attend The National Retail Federation’s Big Show 2022.

Although considerably smaller than its 2020 event, this year’s annual conference was still abuzz with innovative technologies displayed all across the Javits Center, along with speakers representing retailers such as Chewy, IKEA, Nordstrom, Target, Walmart and more. We also had a chance to sit down with tech companies and solution providers like IBM, Fortinet, T-Mobile, RELEX, One Door, Samsung, NCR, Springboard, and Wisetail—just to name a few.

The Big Show also gave RETHINK Retail an opportunity to congratulate many of our 2022 Top Retail Influencers in person (shout out to Microsoft for sponsoring this year’s list) and exchange elbow bumps with friends both old and new.

Check out our recap video for highlights of our show experience and stay tuned for more insights and fresh takes as we roll out videos interviews throughout our channels.

Download our exclusive report “Acceleration Mode: Retail Trends That Will Define 2022” featuring insights hot from the event floor.


Julia Raymond Hare:
Hi, I’m Julia Raymond Hare, the Editor-in-Chief of RETHINK Retail.

April Waits:
And I’m account manager April Waits with RETHINK Retail

Julia Raymond Hare:
We had a marvelous time at NRF 2022. We spoke with a lot of our thought leaders, retailers and vendors. And we would like you to check out some of the highlights from the show.

David Wilkinson:
We’re at NRF. And we are live. During this pandemic, our clients, our retailers never closed their doors, and we’ve been right there behind them to support them and help them run their stores and show them the way. We thought it only fitting that we would be here in person at NRF to get some normalcy back and support our clients and help them move on with their journey and move on with their technology and their quest to support their customers.

Charlie Edwards:
A lot of times when we have retailers come to us, one of the biggest challenges for them is getting that new, fresh content out to their frontline employees. We had Bell and Canvas come to us and they wanted to find new creative ways to get that content to their employees. A lot of times, we’re able to help them structure and organize that content, make it fun and creative so that it keeps their employees engaged.

Susan Boyme:
The retailers who are visiting RELEX’S booth at NRF want to solve problems related to supply chain, labor shortages and how to best manage their space with evolving assortments and changing ways their consumers are shopping today. So they need solutions to help them be more agile and adapt to different market conditions.

Tom Erskine:
Today we see in retail, some significant challenges around trying to solve for the in-store customer experience. Retailers face challenges such as every store is a snowflake. Every store is different. Store labor is, as we know, at a premium. Obviously the supply chain issues that the industry’s experienced in the last three to six months, it’s becoming more clear that those are probably maybe a little bit permanent.

Steve Booth:
So the kind of trends we’re seeing today in post-pandemic footfall patterns is we are seeing a large increase of customers returning to our downtowns and our shopping malls and our retail parks. But of course it’d be nothing like what we had pre-pandemic.

Roopi Crowley:
Retailers haven’t historically focused on technology, but the pandemic has really shifted things for them. And they realize that they have to look at their infrastructure to be successful and build out a plan, a three to five year plan, to get them to where they need to be.

Ryan Taylor:
Yeah. The biggest challenge I’m seeing retailers face right now is being able to quickly adapt and investing in technology that is enabling them to meet the multiple levels of different consumers bases that’s out there today.

Luq Niazi:
I’m here at NRF to help retailers and their partners and suppliers really help transform in this age of significant transformation.