The annual tradition of gathering and sharing stories is upon us again. No, I am not referring to Christmas, Hannukah or Kwanzaa — I am talking about getting together with thousands of my closest friends in New York City for the NRF Big Show. Thankfully, the 2023 version feels almost normal as we fully emerge from the COVID fog. While I have been fortunate to attend countless NRFs, I truly enjoy the show and part of me feels as though the year doesn’t really start until ’Retail’s Big Show’ is underway.
This year marks the first time I will attend one of the most important shows within a show — RetailROI.
This will be the 14th year that on the Saturday before the start of Retail’s Big Show, the Retail Orphan Initiative (RetailROI) will take place. The event is focused on calling awareness to those that need a voice — the 400 million vulnerable children worldwide. Some sobering statistics from RetailROI:
According to UNICEF, there are over 140 million orphans globally.
If orphans were a nation, it would be the 8th largest country.
More children age out of care systems in one week than are adopted in a year.
The SuperSaturday event brings leading retailers, professors, analysts and service providers for this amazing cause. It is an event that reminds all of us that we have a greater role to play, especially when it comes to helping those that do not have a voice. Based on reputation and the roster of who will be speaking and attending, it will be a great opportunity to dive into important retail topics, while keeping the greater cause in mind.
I am also humbled and looking forward to leading a roundtable focused on the role stores can play in an omnichannel world: “Rebalancing Inventory Effectiveness: The Value of Stores in Omnichannel Fulfillment.” The rise of omnichannel is not a news bulletin. While the percentage of retail that is e-commerce peaked over 16% during the pandemic, it continues to follow a glide path toward over 20% of overall retail. This retail reality continues to place greater strain on retail supply chains to meet customer demand, and most importantly exceed customer satisfaction. At the core of this challenge is how we manage our network inventory. Retailers cannot afford to silo their inventory; that is, to create sequestered inventory for stores, online sales or seasonal needs. Retail supply chain must approach inventory as one unified pool. A flexible pool of inventory that can be leveraged to meet customer needs.
Within this paradigm, the store’s value also grows. Yes, when it comes to e-commerce, we often focus on warehouses to do the shipping to consumers. Instead, we need to view stores as an inventory dispensary, whether that means having consumers come to the store or leveraging the store to deliver goods. The store plays a crucial role in how we move inventory to the end customer. During this roundtable, we will explore how stores are being used in a modern retail world.
We have the privilege to be able to invite you, dear retailers, CPG and brands to this meaningful event. Click the link below to register for free:
We look forward to seeing you at NRF. And if you can make it to the SuperSaturday event, exploring stores and their role within your inventory strategy should be a great conversation. But the most important conversation will be about the primary purpose for us getting together — the orphans that rely on these retail leaders to provide them a voice and the necessary support.