Retail Gets Real
Summary: Retail impacts everyone, every day, everywhere. Join the National Retail Federation for authentic, insightful conversations with the industry's most interesting people. Hear retail executives, industry experts, entrepreneurs and influencers discuss trends, their career stories and the future of retail. Learn more at retailgetsreal.com.
NRF’s Director of Retail and Consumer Insights Katherine Cullen paints a picture of what retailers can expect to see this holiday, from consumer spending to what gets people in the spirit of the season. Listen to this episode for insights on what people are buying, where they’re shopping, and what makes them choose one channel over another.
Karen Katz started as an assistant store manager in a small Neiman Marcus store; 32 years later, she is CEO of the luxury retailer. Retail “has allowed women to achieve things much faster and earlier as an industry than many other industries,” she says. Katz joins Retail Gets Real to discuss how the 110-year-old company has adapted to drastic changes in the industry with a “digital-first” approach, and how the evolution is impacting today’s retail workforce.
As director of Kohl’s Center for Retailing Excellence, Jerry O’Brien helps open the eyes of college students to the immense opportunities in retail for building fulfilling careers. His job is easier now, he says, because having grown up as digital natives helps today’s students see themselves fitting into the retail industry. On this episode, O’Brien discusses how he helps shape the retail career conversation.
Rick Schart has witnessed a great evolution in supply chain management throughout his more than 40 years in the industry. As SVP of supply chain and ecommerce for Stein Mart, he oversees everything from when a buyer places an order to when it ends up in the customer’s hands, whether it’s at a bricks-and-mortar store or directly on their doorstep through ecommerce. On this episode, Schart explains how technological sophistication and complexity make supply chain management “more like rocket science”
CEO Bobby Farahi’s NSFW rebelliousness shines through when he talks about Dolls Kill, the alternative fashion brand he co-founded with his wife, former DJ Shoddy Lynn. The cult-brand has fans so loyal that they camped out for the company’s first store opening. Farahi shares three strategies that worked for the brand when it comes to developing customer loyalty, and at our request, kept the conversation G-rated.
Disruption seems to be the buzzword these days, and Allbirds co-founder Joey Zwillinger found shoemaking to be ripe for the picking. With longer working hours the norm and a modern way of dressing in the workplace, Zwillinger’s innovative idea was to make a shoe that takes the customer from day to evening with “extraordinary” comfort. On this episode, Zwillinger describes how the digital startup got its foot in the door of a long-established industry with direct-to-consumer marketing.
NYU Clinical Professor of Marketing Scott Galloway’s new book explores the big four companies in retail and tech today, and what their domination means for the evolution of the retail industry. In this episode, Galloway shares his research and discusses how retailers can adapt to Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google’s power positions in the industry, along with his predictions on what’s next for Amazon.
Roy Choi was at the lowest point of his life when an idea to put tacos and his Korean heritage together beckoned him to the food truck scene. A decade later, he is on the TIME 100 Most Influential People in the World list. As the owner of multiple food trucks and restaurants with cult followings, including Kogi BBQ, Choi joins us from NRF’s Shop.org conference in Los Angeles to share how he got started and developed his business into an award-winner.
Lane Bryant is the most recognized name in plus-size clothing. As chief marketing officer, it is Brian Beitler’s job to tell the story of the brand and what it stands for. Beitler shares how not being part of the customer base helps him listen and try harder to understand the customer. His philosophy: “Discuss in the office, decide in the store.” Learn more about how the company reinvented its brand image to appeal to modern customers and how it strives to reshape the current conversation on body equa
“When you think of Home Depot, you don’t really think of the seamless transactional experience that our customers are looking for and what it takes to keep that engine moving” Brack Sullivan, talent acquisition executive at The Home Depot says. Listen to the episode to learn about the types of roles the company hires for and how it entices potential employees to choose The Home Depot to build a career.
Retail may be seen as an unconventional career path for college students in fields like computer science, data analytics and accounting, but the industry offers many opportunities for building a career. Group Vice President at Macy’s Inc. and NRF Foundation Board Member Anne Voller argues that education is the key when it comes to promoting the retail industry as an exciting option for students thinking about life after university.
Running a restaurant and delighting customers enough for them to return is no piece of cake, but Anthony Lupo and Brian Schram of Scarlet Oak and Southern Hospitality restaurants exceed expectations when it comes to creating loyal communities and happy employees. On this episode, Lupo and Schram share how much hard work goes into running multiple restaurants, how social media affects the business and what they do to keep employees motivated and customers coming back for more.
Rob Colenso, senior product manager and UI/UX team lead for Total Wine & More, brings a natural curiosity and a knack for user research from his previous career as a journalist into UX design. He increased ecommerce revenue by 55 percent from last year by identifying and improving multiple touchpoints in the online consumer journey. Colenso shares insights on how UX and product designers approach user research and shape their findings to create a seamless and emotionally enriched shopping experience.
People are at the core of any business operation, and choosing the right employees to help carry a brand forward requires a passion for the search and a knack for spotting the “right fit” for the company. On this week’s episode, Chloe Rosenthal, director of human resources for &Pizza, shares how the hiring process works at the innovative D.C. pizza chain and how these decisions play into long-term company strategy.
Myles Powell loves a challenge. With a knack for seemingly uncommon flavor combinations, Powell created 8 Myles on a whim and took his passion for food all the way to quitting a job in civil engineering and becoming a full-time small biz owner. 8 Myles, a gourmet sauce and seasonings company, started locally and is fast gaining national popularity through deals with Whole Foods and Williams-Sonoma. This week, Powell shares juicy stories of solo entrepreneurship.