It’s hard to say what is my favorite aspect of our annual retail summit, Insight – the high-energy interactions between retail leaders worldwide, customer- and Revionics-led sessions that help retailers get ever-increasing returns on their Revionics investment, the chance to mix pleasure with networking during our annual Retail Rockstars Bash…. It’s like being asked who’s your favorite child. They’re all remarkable! But without a doubt a highlight for me each year are the world-class plenary speakers who share their thought-provoking perspectives, and I’m particularly revved up about our slate this year.
Martin Schumacher, currently Chief Customer and Commercial Officer at METRO Cash & Carry Russia, has incredibly impressive retail leadership credentials. His decades of retail experience span everything from a family-owned food wholesale and distribution company in Germany early in his career to senior executive positions at A&P and the Pepsi Bottling Group in the U.S. and four years at AlixPartners’ retail practice, serving in interim management roles including Operations Director at MAKRO Cash & Carry UK.
Just prior to taking on his role at METRO Russia, Martin was CEO at METRO Cash & Carry Ukraine, where he brought a visionary approach to consolidating their price leadership strategy and execution – and this is the subject of Martin’s Insight keynote. He’ll describe how, while expanding beyond its traditional B2B markets to engage more B2C customers, the METRO Ukraine team has taken a price leadership position in the market, re-focused its product mix, and updated its communications, merchandising and technology strategies. The company is already driving measurable impact through growth in both revenues and profits and is strategically reinvesting the enhanced margins to drive additional top-line growth.
Those of us who were at Insight 2017 are revved up at the return appearance this year of Luke Rauch, Senior Director, U.S. Insights at Walgreens. Last year Luke took us on a bracing and attention-grabbing ride on “How to Compete in the Age of Amazon.” This year, I’m excited to let you know that he’s giving us examples of successful innovation in actions from his Walgreens perspectives as he discusses “Young at Heart: The Spirit of Relentless Innovation at Walgreens.” Trusted since 1901, Walgreens is notable for how it combines the staying power of a beloved brand with a true commitment to continuous improvement.
Luke will give us hard-hitting examples of Walgreens’ recent and planned areas of innovation to drive organic and growth, spotlighting strategic partnerships, Walgreens’ continued investments in people and technology, and their enhanced digital offerings to drive customer engagement. In addition to his extensive experience overseeing pricing analytics and execution across Walgreens’ 8000+ stores, Luke spent several years as a consultant at Deloitte, where he led projects including new product / market entry, digital strategy, market forecasting, marketing mix spend, and marketing strategy. I’ve seen Luke presenting at multiple retail industry events, and he has a unique and deeply insightful perspective informed by both his industry consulting background and his role at Walgreens heading the company’s overall promotional strategy.
Another inspiring presenter this year is James McCann, who has an impressive track record including having led food retail businesses around the world for Tesco, serving as CEO of Carrefour’s French business and leading Ahold USA for four years up to its merger with Delhaize America. James will walk us through “Retooling Retail for the Tech Age: Analytics and AI in Action,” which is a topic that he speaks to very passionately and authoritatively. I am confident retailers will walk away with a good roadmap for harnessing their digital assets and applying analytics and artificial intelligence to unlock the remarkable value of those assets.
Guest speaker Brendan Witcher, VP and Principal Analyst at Forrester, will be unveiling brand-new results from the newest Revionics-commissioned global survey conducted by Forrester Consulting. The results reveal areas of interesting correlation – such as the importance of data science and AI in setting fair prices – and some startling disconnects. This not-yet-published study spotlights significant gaps between shopper preferences and retailer beliefs in the areas of how patient shoppers are in waiting for better prices, how tolerant shoppers are of frequent price updates, the importance of price matching and how effective retailers are at identifying shoppers who would pay full price versus responding only to promotional offers, among other key areas. Learn about current and future retail trends and how the survey results reveal how retailers must evolve their price and promotion practices in order to meet shoppers’ expectation and remain relevant in a fast-changing landscape.
You’ll also hear from the dynamic Deborah Weinswig, CEO and Founder of Coresight Research, on “How to Stay Relevant to Customers in the Age of Immediacy.” Those of you who follow Deborah know that she provides keen insights into all aspects of the retail sector and is an advocate for innovation, creativity and the implementation of efficient technologies in retail. She will give us an overview of the most pressing trends impacting the sector and what retailers must do to position for market success. Deborah has impressive credentials – prior to Coresight Research and Fung Global Retail & Technology, she was head of the Global Consumer Team at Citi Research, as well as having held senior research positions at Bear Stearns and Morgan Stanley.
I’ve had the unique privilege of having had in-depth private conversations with each of these outstanding executives, as well as observed them in action as they present in an array of public settings. I encourage you to join me at Insight 2018 to tap into this brain trust, and take advantage of the opportunity to take home ways to Innovate, Accelerate and Dominate at an entirely new level for your organization.