Retail’s big show at the big Apple: Keeping an eye on 2022

We have seen the full display of resilience in the retail industry for the last two years.

Retailers around the globe improved their operations to better capture customers’ interests, given the shift in the way people shop. With the global pandemic still ongoing, retailers manage to keep their businesses afloat and to thrive.

In forecasting this year’s retail trends, from reimagining the customer experience to virtual commerce, the National Retail Federation (NRF) conducted its biggest annual retail trade show last Jan. 16 to 18 in New York City.

The Big Show gathered 20,000 participants and 800 company exhibitors. Nothing could stop retailers and business leaders from gathering as we prepare and keep an eye for retail in 2022.

It was a great opportunity to attend the world’s biggest retail show and learn from remarkable retail speakers.

Leadership in action

Here are a few of the best sessions from the featured Big Show speakers.

Visionary leader Brian Cornell, CEO of Target, emphasized the role of the traditional retail store in redefining the vision of the future.

Target’s efforts included launching a true omni-channel approach to retail by repurposing stores as fulfillment hubs during the pandemic, and encouraging leaders to focus on this transition. These steps led to spectacular growth for their company.

Tackling retail leadership in action, Walmart’s US president and CEO John Furner shared the values of measuring progress and partnerships as key to advancing sustainability initiatives.

He urged retailers to work together because trying to solve everything would be a daunting task.

Sumit Singh, CEO of Chewy, discussed the importance of balancing growth and customer-centric culture. Their company’s success was rooted in its commitment to customers.

Steven Williams, CEO of PepsiCo Foods North America, talked about the growth lessons. He believed in the uprising of the goodness of individuals and companies to make the world a better place for the community, the planet and the individuals.

Talking about reshaping retail with technology, Arvind Krishna, chairman and CEO of IBM, said innovative digital solutions are necessary to solving retail problems. He urged retailers to accelerate digital transformation to establish new strategies in delivering value to customers. 

Vivek Sankaran, CEO of Albertsons Companies, talked about how customers’ expectations and satisfaction are driven by convenience, choice, and speed of delivery for grocery stores. However, the power and use of technology transcend enduring relationships and better service.

The presentation of Carla Harris, vice chairman, managing director, and senior client advisor of Morgan Stanley, focused on economic recovery, consumerism, and diversity.

Ralph Lauren president and CEO Patrice Louvet shared their company’s progress, concerns, and aspirations and  focused on elevating the brand and investing in the momentum of opening stores throughout the world.

He said  retailers need to be wherever the customers expect them to be and need to be there in a way that supports the brand.

Best Buy CEO Corie Barry tackled how to stay ahead of the curve amid the various shifts in retail. She said evaluating the landscape and pulling the appropriate levers for agile responses to new challenges can maintain healthy leads ahead of the  competitors. She also shared that the way retailers care for their people is a central component to ensuring that the best experience is given to customers. 

Trade show

During the three-day event, there was a simultaneous trade show which attracted the biggest players in retail, technology, and business.

One of the exhibitors is Aptos, the largest provider of enterprise software focused exclusively on retail. Aptos helps retailers develop dynamic and responsive assortments and deliver integrated experiences wherever shoppers choose to engage.

Since retail is poised for reinvention, Aptos unveiled its end-to-end retail technology solutions that create a seamless shopping experience to prepare retailers in transforming their businesses.