Retail Gets Real

Retail Gets Real

Retail impacts everyone, everywhere, every day. Join the National Retail Federation for authentic, insightful conversations with the industry's most interesting people. Hear retail executives, industry experts, entrepreneurs and influencers discuss trends, their career stories and the future of retail. Learn more at retailgetsreal.com.

Episodes

May 14, 2024 22 mins

Ikea is on track to cut its pollution by half by 2030, and thanks to responsible sourcing and energy efficiency improvements, it has already reduced its climate footprint by 22% since 2016. On today’s show, Mardi Ditze, country sustainability manager for Ikea U.S., talks about her passion for environmental stewardship, Ikea’s impressive sustainability efforts and goals, and the role of retail in the circular economy.

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It’s graduation season and all across the country, students are transitioning from college students to young professionals. We’re talking to two young retail leaders — Courtney Nash, manager of footwear planning at Allbirds, and Eugene Choi, ecommerce merchandising manager at Munchkin — about what it’s like to start their first jobs in retail, the early lessons they’ve learned along the way, and their best advice for graduating sen...

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Kendra Scott started her eponymous jewelry company in Austin, Texas, 22 years ago with a clear vision in place: to create a fashion-for-philanthropy business. Today, CEO Tom Nolan continues to honor that vision while leading the company to even greater growth and revenues. On today’s show, Nolan talks about how he started his career in classified ad sales, the future of Kendra Scott and how philanthropy is at the heart...

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NRF’s America’s Retail Champions program celebrates small retailers who are exceptional champions for retail and the communities they serve. On today’s show, we’re celebrating NRF’s 2022 Retail Champion Margaret Barrow, founder and CEO of It’s NOLA. Barrow talks about starting her plant-based snack company, the impact of mentoring and why she thinks it’s important to advocate for small businesses.

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Artificial intelligence is everywhere, and as consumers become more and more comfortable with generative AI, retailers will have to find new and innovative ways to reach shoppers. Jane Cheung, global research leader, consumer industry, IBM Institute for Business Value, joins the show to talk about IBM’s 2024 consumer study, how she got into consumer research and how AI can help improve the experience for both customers and retailer...

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With 100 stores in the United States and Canada, 4 million loyalty program members and a robust online platform, Saks OFF 5TH continues to reimagine traditional off-price retail with a digital-first model focused on delivering a superior customer experience. On today’s show, President and CEO Rob Brooks discusses his career in retail, his leadership style and what’s next for the company.

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April 3, 2024 17 mins

In honor of Women's History Month, we're taking a look back at some of our favorite conversations with inspiring and trailblazing women in retail. From how to champion diversity to great career advice and how to grow as a leader, we've highlighted these insights worth resharing from some of retail's smartest people:

• Michelle Gass, CEO, Levi Strauss & Co (#336)
• Jennifer Gandia, Co-owner, Greenwich St. Jewelers (#320)
• Prama Bha...

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Despite the holiday falling in late March this year, consumer spending this Easter is expected to reach a total of $22.4 billion, according to NRF’s annual survey — the second highest in the survey’s history. On today’s show, Katherine Cullen, vice president of industry and consumer insights at NRF, shares insights from NRF’s latest Easter data, including the top categories and activities consumers are indulging in this holiday sea...

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Live from Retail’s Big Show in New York City—Caleb Pearson, VP of US customer engagement at McDonald's, talks about his career journey, McDonald's extremely popular app and how McDonald's uses digital strategies to keep customers of all generations coming back.

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Made By Gather designs and manufactures kitchenware for a modern generation of makers with premium design, innovative functionality and headline-grabbing collaborations. On today’s show, recorded live from Retail’s Big Show in New York City, Made By Gather’s founder and CEO Shae Hong joins us to talk about his entrepreneurial career path, the philosophy behind his portfolio of kitchenware brands and his exciting partne...

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PetSmart recently rolled out its new employee-focused communications app, called Central Bark, to give associates a place to share ideas, collaborate, ask questions and troubleshoot. On today’s show, recorded live from Retail’s Big Show in New York City, PetSmart’s Vice President, HR Talent, Culture, and Strategy Theresa Lee joins us to talk about the company’s unique culture and how PetSmart has successfully revamped the front-lin...

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American lifestyle retailer Abercrombie & Fitch is in the midst of an enterprise-wide digital transformation. On today’s show, recorded live from Retail’s Big Show in New York City, A&F Executive Vice President, Chief Digital and Technology Officer Samir Desai joins us to talk about A&F’s new digital strategy and the future of retail technology.


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Today’s guest has recently taken the reins at one of the world’s most iconic apparel brands. Michelle Gass, president and CEO of Levi Strauss & Co., joins the show live from NRF 2024: Retail’s Big Show in New York City to talk about her incredible career journey, forward-looking vision for the company and what the future of retail looks like.

Learn more at retailgetsreal.com.

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Monica + Andy was born in a delivery room, not a boardroom. As Monica Royer held her newborn daughter in her arms, she wanted nothing more than complete confidence that what touched her baby’s skin was the softest, safest fabric available. On today’s episode, Monica Royer, co-founder and CEO of Monica + Andy, joins the show live from the NRF Foundation Student Program in New York City to talk about her incredible career journey, gr...

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Today’s luxury consumer market is growing with a vibrant continuum of shoppers who expect expertly curated fashions and highly personalized service. On today’s episode, Saks CEO Marc Metrick joins us during NRF 2024: Retail’s Big Show to talk about Saks’ strategy to build lasting and meaningful customer relationships, and the company’s goal to evolve the luxury experience for today’s online luxury shopper.

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In her 14 years with Walmart, Anshu Bhardwaj, vice president and COO of Walmart Global Technology, has seen the global retailer go through three different transformations to become the technology leader that it is today. Live from NRF 2024: Retail’s Big Show in New York City, Bhardwaj joins host Bill Thorne to talk about those transformations, explain why the retailer is actually 17 technology compani...

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Coming to you live from NRF 2024: Retail's Big Show in New York City, NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay joins the podcast to talk about how the retail industry fared this holiday season, the current retail landscape and what to expect looking ahead into 2024.

Learn more at retailgetsreal.com.

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January 9, 2024 24 mins

More than 200 million people shopped online and in stores over the holidays, but will that spirited spending carry over into 2024? On today’s show, Susan Reda, NRF’s vice president of education strategy, digs into insights and retail trends for 2024 and gives a preview of what's in store at Retail’s Big Show in New York City next week. Read Reda’s full 2024 retail trends forecast.

Learn more at retailgetsreal.com.

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More than 40,000 retailers of all kinds are getting ready to come together in New York City’s Javits Center for NRF 2024: Retail’s Big Show on Jan. 14-16. On today’s special episode, we’re talking to NRF’s Susan Newman and Eric Olson about what attendees can expect to see, hear and do at the event.

Learn more at retailgetsreal.com.

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NRF expects spending to reach record highs this holiday season, hitting $957 billion. What are gift-givers buying, where are they shopping, and what is motivating them to buy? To get us in the holiday spirit, we're talking to Katherine Cullen, NRF’s vice president of industry and consumer insights, to learn more about what’s driving this year’s winter holiday spending trends.

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