NRF Retail Converge: Day 2 highlights

Leadership lessons from luminaries and the importance of telling better stories
Listen to a recap of Day 2

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NRF Retail Converge started this week with sessions featuring leaders from retailers across the industry.

As more vaccinated individuals fuel the economy, CVS Pharmacy President Neela Montgomery focuses on “education, safety and convenience” to ensure more individuals in communities across the country are informed of vaccine benefits and driven to encourage more individuals to get vaccinated. At NRF Retail Converge, she joined NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay to discuss health and wellness trends, changing store formats and why personalization matters for bricks-and-mortar.

 “Those retailers who want to focus on convenience and community are going to have to tailor assortments (in store) to be hyper relevant," Montgomery said.

UPS CEO Carol B. Tomé takes an “inverted pyramid” approach to leadership, where leaders serve at the bottom of the pyramid, because they bear weight for actions and decisions they make, freeing up team members to take care of the customers. During her session, Tomé discussed lowering the carbon footprint and how UPS’ integrated technology is making it an advanced tech and engineering company.

Gaining employee trust can never be understated, said Southeastern Grocers President and CEO Anthony Hucker during his keynote conversation. Hucker and his team identified areas of frustration among employees and used a strategy of excessive communication and transparency to gain back employee trust, which resulted in a positive domino effect at the customer/team member level.

Telling better retail stories

In the “Flex retail and the power of discovery” session, experts looked at “traditional retail” and how the new physical store requires enhanced experiences. Retailers will get customers back into stores through the safe and compelling stories they tell, but consumer confidence means nothing if the experience doesn’t match.

As more consumers look to influencers to inspire their shopping, TikTok is becoming a platform to view trends, gain new engagement strategies and reach your intended audiences.

More and more retailers are meeting the call for sustainable fashion; enhancing the production process, leveraging the growing resale market and on-demand manufacturing has benefitted brands like Rothy’s. Walmart is deploying technology that not only improves the retail experience but also prioritizes safety and convenience.

In the Equality Lounge

With job and income losses from the pandemic disproportionately impacting women, this session looked at what companies need to do now to attract women back to the workforce. Enabling work life balance and equitable flexibility is no longer the exception, but the new norm.

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