Alibaba, Lowe's, Nordstrom, Target to speak at NRF 2019: Retail’s Big Show

"Everyone in this lineup of speakers is finding ways to effectively connect and engage with their customers through multiple channels.”

Matthew Shay
NRF President and CEO

WASHINGTON – More than two dozen of the best and brightest leaders from retail, technology and business will be among the headline speakers as over 37,000 retailers from nearly 100 countries gather in New York in January to address the latest trends, innovations and strategies for transformation at the National Retail Federation’s 108th annual convention.

“Retail today is more than just a store or a website – it’s about offering unique experiences to consumers,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said. “Everyone in this lineup of speakers is finding ways to effectively connect and engage with their customers through multiple channels. Each one of these outstanding leaders was handpicked to challenge, inspire and encourage attendees to redefine their brands, explore opportunities to work together, enhance customer experience and constantly embrace change.”

Details for sessions at NRF 2019: Retail’s Big Show will be announced later, but top keynote speakers will include:

Alibaba Group President Michael Evans. Since joining the Alibaba Group as president in 2015, Evans has spearheaded the company’s international strategy to globalize the business and expand outside of China. Prior to working at Alibaba, Evans held various leadership roles at The Goldman Sachs Group Inc. ranging from vice chairman of the company to chairman of Asian operations.

Bluemercury CEO and Co-founder Marla Beck. Bluemercury is a high-growth luxury beauty retail chain acquired by Macy’s Inc. in 2015. Bluemercury is widely recognized as a disrupter in the beauty retail industry for its unique retail model and creative approach to beauty. The company’s exponential growth – currently at 174 store locations – is guided by Beck’s leadership and passion for entrepreneurship. Beck is also a cosmetics brand developer, having co-founded M-61 Laboratories, makers of M-61 Powerful Skincare and Lune+Aster Cosmetics, in 2008.

Dick’s Sporting Goods Inc. Chairman and CEO Edward Stack. Since 1984, Stack has led the nation’s largest full-service sporting goods retailer through a period of growth from just two stores in upstate New York to its current status as a Fortune 500 corporation with 730 Dick’s locations, 95 Golf Galaxy stores and 35 Field & Stream stores.

Lowe’s President and CEO Marvin Ellison. Ellison joined Lowe’s in July and leads 310,000 associates as they serve more than 18 million customers a week across North America through an omnichannel presence that includes 2,390 home improvement stores. Ellison has more than 30 years of retail leadership experience at companies including The Home Depot, Target, and J.C. Penney Co., where he was chairman and CEO. He serves on the boards of Lowe’s and FedEx Corp.

Nordstrom Inc. President of Stores Jamie Nordstrom. Named to the position in 2014, Nordstrom and his team support the strategic direction and daily success of the company’s 123 locations and have supported the opening of several new stores, including the company’s first international store in Calgary, Canada, and its first stand-alone men’s store in New York City.

Former Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen. As the first woman to serve as head of the central bank, Yellen oversaw a period of strong job growth and the start of monetary policy normalization. Serving under both Presidents Obama and Trump, Yellen helped sustain a period of economic prosperity during which U.S. stock markets outperformed the rest of the world, inflation remained stable and the unemployment rate declined.

Target Corp. Chairman and CEO Brian Cornell. Cornell, who joined Target in 2014, is responsible for Target’s global business, including the company’s more than 1,800 U.S. stores, digital properties and nearly 350,000 team members. His past experience includes time as both a vendor partner and a competitor to Target, and he brings insights from those roles to the company today.

The Kroger Co. Chairman and CEO Rodney McMullen. McMullen joined Kroger in 1978 as a part-time stock clerk in Lexington, Ky. During his career with Kroger, he has served in numerous leadership positions and was elected to Kroger’s Board of Directors in 2003. He became President and Chief Operating Officer in 2009 and assumed his current position in 2014. McMullen was named chairman of the board in 2015.

Other notable speakers will include:

Allbirds Co-CEO and Co-founder Tim Brown
BJ’s Wholesale Club Chairman, President and CEO Chris Baldwin
Burrow Co-Founder and CEO Stephen Kuhl
Casper Senior Vice President of Experience Eleanor Morgan
Chico’s FAS Brand President Diane Ellis
Deloitte Vice Chairman and U.S. Retail, Wholesale and Distribution Practice Leader Rod Sides
First Insight Founder and CEO Greg Petro
Former Ford Motor Company Group Vice President of Global Design and Chief Creative Officer J. Mays
Framebridge Founder and CEO Susan Tynan
Getaway Co-Founder and CEO Jon Staff
Gwynnie Bee/CaaStle Founder and CEO Christine Hunsicker Head of Global Business Development of Fashion Harlan Bratcher
Keds Chief Marketing Officer Emily Culp
Keeps Co-Founder Steven Gutentag
Kohl’s Executive Vice President of Product Development Michael Gilbert
Levi Strauss & Co. Executive Vice President and President of Global Retail Carrie Ask
L2 Founder Scott Galloway
Chief Purpose Officer Shannon Schuyler
rue21 Chief Analytics Officer Mark Chrystal
Signet Jewelers Ltd. Vice President of Corporate Affairs David Bouffard
Snowe Co-Founder and Co-CEO Rachel Cohen
StubHub President Sukhinder Singh Cassidy
The Hershey Company Chief Digital Commerce Officer Doug Straton
The Neiman Marcus Group Inc. Director and Innovation Lab Founder Scott Emmons
Walmart Executive Vice President and CIO Clay Johnson

Complimentary registration is available to editorial members of the news media as well as accredited retail analysts and bloggers. For more information, visit the NRF 2019: Retail’s Big Show media registration page.

About NRF
The National Retail Federation is the world’s largest retail trade association. Based in Washington, D.C., NRF represents discount and department stores, home goods and specialty stores, Main Street merchants, grocers, wholesalers, chain restaurants and internet retailers from the United States and more than 45 countries. Retail is the nation’s largest private-sector employer, supporting one in four U.S. jobs — 42 million working Americans. Contributing $2.6 trillion to annual GDP, retail is a daily barometer for the nation’s economy.