Progressive Grocer

FEB 2017

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February 2017 | | 101 Industry Events NRF's 2017 Retail's Big Show Dare to Disrupt NRF's 2017 Retail's Big Show stressed importance of rethinking branding, talent management and more to remain relevant. By Randy Hofbauer T oday's competitive environment is forcing grocers to rethink the way they approach everything in day-to- day business — from sourcing and merchandising products to hiring, training and retaining staff. So, perhaps unsurprisingly, "disruption" was a major theme running throughout the National Retail Federation's (NRF) 2017 Retail's Big Show, which took place Jan. 15-17 at New York's Jacob K. Javits Convention Center. Opening the second day of the show, Jan. 16, with his State of the Industry address, Matthew Shay, president and CEO of Washington, D.C.-based NRF, stressed that retail needs disruption: that com- panies must shake up the status quo and usher in the new. ings like simplified tax reform and a focus not just on the "what of technology," but also the "who of the workforce," are critical for survival in this era. The Retailer as Entrepreneur Arguably, these insights couldn't have been com- municated more succinctly than in a statement that opened the following keynote event: "I'm a person who looks forward more than looks back." ose were the words of Virgin Group founder Sir Richard Branson, shared in a video about his life as an entrepreneur, which played before he took to the stage for a keynote interview with Kip Tindell, chairman of e Container Store, based in Coppell, Texas, and then-chairman of NRF. In the interview, the man behind the multi- national conglomerate — who's also an investor, philanthropist and adventurer — emphasized the im- portance of approaching retail like an entrepreneur. He noted that keeping a brand fresh requires every new venture to enhance the brand and not damage it. But being serious about entrepreneurship doesn't mean taking oneself too seriously — he encouraged RET a I l R oundup Close to 35,000 attendees representing 95 countries converged on n ew York's Javits Center for the latest insights and solutions for retail disruption.

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