300 ways to tell retail’s story

As Retail Gets Real celebrates its 300th episode, host Bill Thorne reflects on the industry’s enduring culture of change

A German philosopher once said, “I cannot say whether things will get better if we change; what I can say is they must change if they are to get better.” In retail, there are no better words to live by.

Walmart U.S. President and CEO John Furner records an episode of the Retail Gets Real podcast at Retail's Big Show
Listen to Episode 300: Walmart U.S. President and CEO John Furner joins the podcast to talk about leadership lessons and the focus for the company in 2023.

We can affirm that, based on the hundreds of conversations we’ve recorded on NRF’s Retail Gets Real podcast. We’ve talked with leaders of multibillion-dollar retail brands, and entrepreneurs who started their business online and are now building bricks-and-mortar stores. We’ve engaged with analysts and influencers, people who write books and people books are written about.

And we’ve learned a lot — like how change is a constant in the retail industry. Why? Because consumers change. The way they shop, how they shop, where they shop and the price they want to pay are all key factors when assessing what changes companies need to make to be relevant with their customers.

You certainly don’t change your business just for the sake of change. You change because you have a purpose and a vision that challenges you to do better, to never settle for the status quo but to constantly raise the bar for what people can expect from you and the interactions they have with your brand.

If you’ve listened to one or 300 episodes of Retail Gets Real, the one key takeaway from all the conversations I’ve had is simply this: Retailers are passionate about retail as an industry, about the brands they work for and the people they work with. They care deeply about the communities they serve in towns and cities large and small across the country.

RGR 300th celebration

Most importantly, retailers are listeners and keen observers. Successful retailers know their opinion is merely a starting point for a larger conversation that helps inform how they direct their business. They never look through a single lens but through a multifaceted prism that gives them a broader and more complete understanding of both their challenges and their opportunities.

At NRF, we celebrate our industry and the people who work in it every day. We love to tell their stories and to help them continue to create jobs and opportunity, achieve success, meet consumer demand and grow their businesses. It is a distinct honor to learn from them and to work with them.

We are excited to continue this journey together through the compelling stories they tell on a platform we love, Retail Gets Real.

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The retail industry impacts everyone, everywhere, every day.

NRF’s podcast features unfiltered, 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.

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