NRF 2020: What to expect

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NRF 2020: What to expect

By Dan Berthiaume - 01/12/2020

Retail’s “Big Show” will live up to its name — and then some.

The National Retail Federation’s upcoming annual conference, entitled NRF 2020 Vision: Retail’s Big Show, is a “big” show in more than just name. This year’s edition of the largest North American retail technology conference will be held Jan. 12-14 and draw more than 38,000 attendees speaking 45 different languages, who have booked 28,000 hotel rooms in New York City. Attendees will traverse 275,000 sq. ft. of expo hall (spread across three different floors) at the Javits Center to meet with more than 800 exhibitors showcasing cutting-edge technology.

The Big Show also makes a big splash across all media formats, with more than 900 members of the press expected to attend. The conference will generate 3,600 media hits, and the #NRF2020 hashtag will most likely match or exceed the 1 billion Twitter impressions previously earned by #NRF2019.

Of course, all work and no play makes for a dull conference, and the Big Show is never dull. The Sunday evening opening reception will serve 10,000 drinks, while attendees will consume 10,000 Krispy Kreme donuts and 200,000 cups of Starbucks coffee during the course of the conference. Attendees will also demonstrate their collective sweet tooth by eating 1,000 pounds of candy from Dylan’s Candy Bar Unwrapped before everything winds down.

In addition to the cutting-edge tech and great food and drink, NRF 2020 also offers three days packed full of informative, interesting sessions featuring insights from some of retail’s most influential thought leaders. While there are far too many sessions to list, a brief overview of each day’s keynotes gives a good idea of the caliber of Big Show content.

Sunday, Jan. 12

Retail’s Vision 2020: NRF chairman's welcome and opening remarks

Chris Baldwin, chairman and CEO, BJ’s Wholesale Club

Opening keynote

Satya Nadella, CEO, Microsoft

Why retail jobs can be good jobs

John Furner, president and CEO, Walmart U.S.

Zeynep Ton, Professor of the Practice, Operations Management, MIT Sloan School of Management

The Visionary 2020: A conversation with Kohl’s CEO Michelle Gass

Courtney Reagan, CNBC Retail Reporter, CNBC

Michelle Gass, CEO, Kohl's

Winning the experience economy: How to raise the bar in a world of raised expectations

Hitha Herzog, chief research officer, H Squared Research LLC

Jennifer Hyman, CEO and co-founder, Rent the Runway

Ron Johnson, co-founder and CEO, Enjoy Inc.

Neela Montgomery, CEO, Crate and Barrel

Monday, Jan. 13

Nurturing humanity in modern-day retail: A conversation with Starbucks president and CEO Kevin Johnson

Kevin Johnson, president and CEO, Starbucks

Retail state of mind: Bold moves from leaders fueling future growth

Matthew Shay, president and CEO, NRF

Marvin Ellison, president and CEO, Lowe's Companies Inc.

Helena Foulkes, CEO, Hudson's Bay Company

Tim Steiner, CEO, Ocado Group

Tuesday, Jan. 14

Serving customers on their terms: A conversation with Erik Nordstrom

Jo Ling Kent, correspondent, NBC News

Erik Nordstrom, co-president, Nordstrom

Running to where consumers are

Rod Sides, vice chairman and U.S. leader, retail, wholesale and distribution practice, Deloitte LLP

Kevin A. Plank, founder, chairman and CEO, Under Armour

NRF Curated Session

Matthew Shay, president and CEO, NRF

Corie Barry, CEO, Best Buy

Mindy Grossman, president and CEO, WW International Inc.

Recommerce revolution: Upcycling retail's future

James Rhee, executive chairman & CEO/founder & president, Ashley Stewart/ FirePine Group

Charles Gorra, founder and CEO, Rebag

Dave Hayne, chief digital officer/president, Urban Outfitters Inc./Nuuly

Anthony Marino, president, thredUP

Creating a more inspired internet: Conversations with Recode featuring Pinterest CEO Ben Silbermann

Kara Swisher, co-Founder and editor-at-large, Recode

Ben Silbermann, co-Founder and CEO, Pinterest

The story behind goop: Scaling an influential lifestyle and wellness brand

Sallie Krawcheck, CEO and co-founder, Ellevest

Gwyneth Paltrow, founder and CEO, goop