NRF 2019: Retail’s Big Show off to a grand start

A recap of day one

Thousands of people from retail’s most innovative companies descended on New York City Sunday as NRF 2019: Retail’s Big Show kicked off. Over the next few days, this is where business deals could happen that could shape the year for the nation’s largest industry.

BJ’s Wholesale Club Chairman, President and CEO Chris Baldwin opened the show in grand style, balancing the “big” of retail with the impact of its individual innovative leaders.

BJ's Chris Baldwin opening keynote at NRF 2019

Attendees have the opportunity to attend education sessions on the latest retail topics, network with the industry’s best, tour innovative stores for a firsthand experience and attend many more events:

Many retail luminaries appeared on the stage to share their thoughts on leadership, culture, diversity and inclusion, giving back to the community and the importance of nurturing a workforce. Best Buy Chairman and CEO Hubert Joly was one of them.

Kroger Chairman and CEO Rodney McMullen spoke about the evolving role of the store and retail jobs of the future:

NRF Foundation President Ellen Davis and PwC’s Steve Barr recorded one of many episodes for NRF’s Retail Gets Real podcast, this time with Levi Strauss & Co. CEO Chip Bergh. Bergh was awarded NRF’s highest honor, The Visionary Award, at the NRF Foundation Gala Sunday, in recognition of his leadership in bringing the century-old brand back into popular culture

The Innovation Stage, one of four main stages at the show where retail leaders presented their research, thoughts and lessons learned, is dedicated to everything likely to propel the industry into the future.

The day rounded off with the NRF Foundation Gala, where the Foundation raised over $3.2 million for programs that would shape future talent for retail.

But bright and early in the morning, NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay appeared on Varney & Co. to discuss the latest retail news. Womens Wear Daily also summarized Shay’s sentiments for the industry in 2019.

Don't miss a single day! Stay up to date on sessions, recaps, photos and videos on the official show recap.

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