NRF 2021 – Five hot sessions not to miss at NRF Retail Converge

As the second instalment of the National Retail Federation’s 2021 virtual conference, NRF Retail Converge, gets ready to throw open its digital doors from 21 – 25 June, we’ve teamed up with Fieldworks to round up five ‘not to be missed’ sessions from the show’s feature stage.

1. Make time for TikTok

First up, how could we not include the phenomenon that is the social platform on steroids, TikTok?

Especially since the stratospheric growth it has seen as users have flocked to it video-sharing platform during the pandemic; it had clocked up more than 1.9 billion active monthly users at the end of last year.  Earlier today ByteDance, the Chinese parent company that owns TikTok, announced it had more than doubled revenues in the last year, mostly thanks to the uptick in use of TikTok.

In this session, Jill Manoff, editor in chief at Glossy, the leading global title for fashion, luxury and technology, speaks to Matt Clearly, who heads up retail and restaurants at the social media giant, TikTok, on what makes the platform, well, tick.

We also hear how retailers and brands are leveraging the power of the social platform to boost consumer engagement and reach new audiences, with practical examples from Kate Spade New York and Hollister.

2. Building back better: Nordstrom on how it will build diversity into its retail offer

With diversity and inclusion propelled even further up the agenda in the past year, Nordstrom has committed to delivering $500million in retail sales to brands owned, operated or designed by Black or Latinx individuals by the end of 2025.

In this session we hear from Nordstrom’s SVP, Fanya Chandler, and Gemma Lionello, its EVP for General Merchandising (Accessories and Beauty), who speak to Fayetteville Road Agency’s Jessica Couch, on the retailers plans to build back better.

3. The ecommerce evolution and demands of the ‘new’ consumer

With demand for ecommerce going into overdrive in the past 12 months, accelerated and sustained by the pandemic, the online shopper has irreversibly changed.

With ONS suggesting digital sales grew 46% in 2020, the biggest growth in over a decade, the explosion in ecommerce not only brough new cohorts of shoppers online, but also created new demands and emerging behaviours amongst digitally-native audiences.

So, how do retailers evolve their digital operations to adapt to the ‘new’ consumer and their changing lifestyles?

Mintel’s Alexis DeSalva hosts this stellar line up, speaking Stitch Fix, the fashion brand whose army of personalised stylists curate looks for shoppers through its online subscription service, music platform Spotify, and thredUP, a leading clothing recommendation service, on how retailers’ ecommerce models need to adapt.

4. What’s in-store for bricks-and-mortar in digitally-led retail?

The explosion in ecommerce doesn’t mean the death of the store.  Research out this week from Klarna and VisualSoft of 200 UK retailers shows over half (54%) see physical outlets as a key focus for their brand, and point to stores ‘co-existing’ with online channels in the long-term.

“Although some of this shift to online is undoubtedly permanent, retailers should be looking to include in-store in their digital strategy,” Alex Marsh, Klarna’s Head of UK, suggests.

This session with CNBC’s retail reporter, Lauren Thomas, and Marc Mastronardi, iconic US department store Macy’s Chief Stores Officer, explores how stores need to reinvent themselves as a key component in the now digitally-led retail ecosphere.

5. Digital payments that pay: Emerging payment innovations driving share of wallet

With the boom in digital, so too have we seen burgeoning innovations in the payments arena.  From Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL), which revolutionised the way consumers view both shopping and credit, to digital currencies – not just in terms of bitcoin and the like, but the trend for shoppers to be able ‘pay’ in part for goods through social interactions, likes, comments, reviews and recommendations.

In this session GlobalData’s Maureen Hinton speaks to David Morris at Insider Intelligence and adidas’ SVP of Commercial, Venessa DeFebvre, to chart the latest payment innovations that are shaking up transaction formats and increasing share of wallet for retailers.

Specialist retail technology PR and Content agency, Fieldworks, is retained by the National Retail Federation as its European partner, curating its feature stage speakers and bringing the brightest retail minds to the biggest global retail stage, NRF.




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