Retailers and brand leaders are gearing up to convene next week at the National Retail Federation’s Big Show, one of the largest trade shows for the retail industry.
The event, which will be held in New York City’s Jacob K. Javits Convention Center between Jan. 15 and 17, is expected to draw close to 35,000 retailers, vendors and other attendees, including more than 950 exhibitors and 100 sessions. Some speakers in the current lineup include Neiman Marcus Group CEO Geoffroy van Raemdonck, Macy’s Inc. CEO Jeff Gennette, Target CEO Brian Cornell, Walmart U.S. president and CEO John Furner and U.S. Olympian Simone Biles.
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Session topics are varied and range from how to drive brand loyalty to how to make progress in the realm of diversity, equity and inclusion. Several panels will also address timely industry issues, such as inflation, direct-to-consumer strategies and workplace culture.
This year, the show will also feature a “Consumer Product Showcase,”a platform for small businesses to connect with national merchandisers. 84% of these products in the showcase will be from minority-owned, women-owned, veteran-owned, disability-owned or LGBTQ+-owned companies, NRF said.
“Retailers are continuously looking to diversify their suppliers and portfolio of product offerings to their customers,” said NRF SVP of conferences Susan Newman in a statement. “NRF’s Consumer Product Showcase will facilitate these invaluable connections, providing the opportunity for dynamic products from suppliers, entrepreneurs, small businesses and brands to shine on a national stage.”
The Big Show will also host a Start-up zone that will feature the latest retail tech from different start-ups as well as an Innovation Zone, which will feature technologies such as artificial intelligence and virtual reality mean to help retailers adapt in an ever-changing environment.
Last year, NRF’s Big Show braved growing waves of COVID-19 and brought together close to 15,000 attendees, including 750 exhibitors and over 300 speakers. Earlier in January of 2022, almost 70 attendees reportedly tested positive for the coronavirus after attending the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, though it is unclear how they contracted the virus. In advance of the show, NRF rolled out updated safety protocols and required all attendees to provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination. A new variant is again causing some concern, particularly in the Northeast, this week.
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