Main Day One: Mapping Out Your Store Strategy

7:00 am - 8:00 am Registration & Breakfast In The Innovation Lab

Welcome to the kick of off the Future Stores Innovation Lab, which will serve as your “home base” for next two days. This is where you’ll enjoy bottomless coffee, soft drinks, cocktails and snacks; learn about the latest retail technology; and catch up with colleagues and peers!

8:00 am - 8:10 am Welcome Remarks & Ice Breaker

Kristin Schoenstein, Program Director at Future Stores

Kristin Schoenstein

Program Director
Future Stores

8:10 am - 8:25 am Chairperson’s Opening Address

Cathy Song Novelli, Vice President, Marketing & Communications at Rakuten Ready

Cathy Song Novelli

Vice President, Marketing & Communications
Rakuten Ready

8:25 am - 8:50 am Keynote: Ready to Grow? Winning Expansion Strategies In Today’s Retail Landscape

Expanding into new markets and adding more locations to your brick and mortar business is an important way to develop your brand’s identity and drive revenue. But how do you go about expanding your footprint without overextending yourself? This session will explore:

  • Utilizing pop-ups and collaborations with other brands to test new ideas before putting down roots in a new city or neighborhood (and disentangling yourself gracefully from these partnerships when they conclude)
  • Developing a business model that fosters growth for your organization
  • Combining a data-driven approach with the sensibilities and instincts of your team to ensure that stores are placed strategically
  • Growing your company’s footprint while still maintaining autonomy over your brand image
Jeff Gaul, SVP, Store Development at SEPHORA

Jeff Gaul

SVP, Store Development

8:50 am - 9:10 am Keynote Fireside Chat: Bringing Your Brand Story To Life In Bricks And Mortar

The store is the gateway to your brand, so how are you telling your brand story in bricks and connecting it effectively to other channels? Your company cannot be the voice of your brand alone, so who will help you tell your story? In this session, develop ideas for:
  • Crafting a clear and consistent brand story that translates from offline to online
  • Selecting who should tell your story, who is your protagonist?
  • Partnering with marketing, social media, operations and design to execute on your vision
  • Maintaining authenticity and ensuring that your brand message comes through in the store environment
  • Keeping a constant focus on original content to draw the customer in

Travis Boyce, Head of Global Retail Operations at Allbirds

Travis Boyce

Head of Global Retail Operations

As retailers push to stay relevant and keep up with changing customer behaviors, what are their methods for experimenting with new formats and concepts? In this panel, hear how retailers are testing new ideas and walk away with a list of concepts that are resonating with today’s customer. Discuss ideas for:
  • Developing concepts that are easy to install and build out 
  • Getting buy in to move forward with a test store/concept
  • Deciding whether to test in an existing store or create a lab or mock environment
  • Adding experiential elements to make the customer experience more rich without taking away too much space from product and POS
  • Examining new footprints and non-traditional locations 
  • Assessing the success of a concept and thinking through next steps
Paul Blackburn, VP, Retail Development, Design & Merchandising, North America at L’Occitane en Provence

Paul Blackburn

VP, Retail Development, Design & Merchandising, North America
L’Occitane en Provence

Haviv Zahav, Founding Team & Head of Brands at SHOWFIELDS

Haviv Zahav

Founding Team & Head of Brands

Angela Gearhart, VP, Brand Experience at Sleep Number Stores

Angela Gearhart

VP, Brand Experience
Sleep Number Stores

Michael LaVitola, CEO & Co-Founder at Foxtrot

Michael LaVitola

CEO & Co-Founder

9:35 am - 10:25 am Morning Networking Break & Refreshments In The Innovation Lab

9:35 am - 10:25 am Future Stores First Timers Meet-Up!

Are you a Future Stores newbie? Meet in the Social Lounge in the back of the Innovation Lab!

10:25 am - 10:50 am Keynote: Creating Experiential Retail Experiences: The M&Ms Story

Patrick McIntyre is the Global Head of Retail for Mars Inc. He leads the global retail guest experience strategy and operations of the M&M’s World Stores located in New York; Las Vegas; Orlando, Fla; London; and Shanghai. Hear how Mars creates memorable, immersive retail experiences to delight their customers and drive brand loyalty.

Patrick McIntyre, Head of Global Retail at Mars Retail Group, a division of Mars Inc.

Patrick McIntyre

Head of Global Retail
Mars Retail Group, a division of Mars Inc.

10:50 am - 11:10 am Keynote: Creating Convenience….How Store Tech, Processes, And Data Architecture Are Evolving To Make Shopping Easier

The store of the future combines a great brand experience with the operations efficiency of an order fulfillment center.  The convenience of physical stores in close proximity to customers can be a merchandising, pick-up, and delivery advantage vs Amazon.  Learn how leading retailers are changing their store tech platforms and data architecture to create easy and convenient fulfillment options and brand experiences for their customers.
  • Future-proofing store tech with an agile architecture approach
  • Application development and data analytics…the trend towards in-house development with open platforms
  • How unified architecture is simplifying POS, self-checkout, BOPIS, Price-checkers, kiosks, mobile, and more

Craig Witsoe, CEO at Witsoe

Craig Witsoe


11:10 am - 11:35 am Keynote Panel: Getting Real With Real Estate: An Inside Look At The Latest Retail Development Trends

Navigating the sweeping changes in retail can be tricky for developers and retailers alike. All types of new models emerge as retailers and developers are being forced to get creative with new as well as existing spaces. Experiential retail and omni-channel fulfillment are taking center stage, so how has that impacted footprints? 2 developers and 2 retailers will share insight into:
  • What is the new strategy for top tier centers and second and third tier centers?
What can the secondary centers do to evolve?
  • What are developers doing to keep things interesting and inspired and draw customers in
  • The new ways in which developers and retailers are partnering
Patrick Hoffman, VP, Real Estate at Advance Auto Parts

Patrick Hoffman

VP, Real Estate
Advance Auto Parts

Ryan Lindgren, VP, Real Estate & Development at Madison Reed

Ryan Lindgren

VP, Real Estate & Development
Madison Reed

David A. Schulman, VP, Real Estate at Staples

David A. Schulman

VP, Real Estate

11:35 am - 11:55 am Keynote: Topic Pending

Tristan Rogers, CEO at Concrete

Tristan Rogers


11:55 am - 12:20 pm Keynote Panel: Revising Your Organizational Structure For The New Retail Reality

Customers don’t see channels, so why are retail teams still operating in this way with stores and digital working separately? How are organizations rethinking the design of their departments and teams to work better together and present one cohesive brand experience?
  • The merging of operations, design and tech with digital as one idea going forward
  • Ways to foster collaboration and partnerships amongst digital and store teams
  • Overcoming barriers to collaboration 
  • How does the store team look different depending on the store format
  • How do you scale growth in your standard store format
Jennifer Matanin, Director of Retail Operations at Cole Haan

Jennifer Matanin

Director of Retail Operations
Cole Haan

Phillip Besner, VP, Real Estate & Business Development at SleepCountry

Phillip Besner

VP, Real Estate & Business Development

12:20 pm - 1:00 pm Champagne Roundtable Discussions Featuring Leading Retail Tech Innovators

Join hosted roundtable discussions and get the opportunity to talk about your key challenges and hear how other retailers are overcoming them. Grab a glass of bubbly and use this time as a unique opportunity to dive into a niche topic of your choosing in an informal and intimate setting. Leave Future Stores with new ideas you can put into action as soon as you return to the office (retailer only).
Potential Topics:
1.Topic Pending
Moderator: Executive, Thirdmatter
2.Understanding The Value Of The Connected Associate
3.Bringing The Omni Channel Customer Journey Together
4.Have We Hit The AR/VR Tipping Point For Retail?
5.Check-out free retail implications and applications
6.AI and Analytics to Drive Personalization 
7.Automation to Free Up The Associate
8.Capitalizing on Partnerships and Brand Collaborations
9.The Future Of In-Store Payments
10.Transforming The Customer Experience With Associate Mobility  

1:00 pm - 2:00 pm Lunch

1:00 pm - 2:00 pm Private Lunch Hosted By Rapid Displays

1:00 pm - 2:00 pm Private Lunch Hosted By Nudge Rewards

Track A: Store Operations & The Associate Experience

2:00 pm - 2:10 pm Opening Remarks By The Conference Chair

Track A: Store Operations & The Associate Experience

2:10 pm - 2:35 pm Case Study Remix: The Benefits And Challenges of Digital Returns and Digital Fulfillment
Unless you have major space constraints, retailers across the board are using their stores to accommodate all aspects of fulfillment. This can boost traffic, drive brand loyalty and help brands keep up with the efficiency and ease of Amazon. But there are still numerous challenges. Panelists with share their thoughts on: 
  • What should the customer experience look like for BOPUIS, a digital return, etc?
  • How does the store offset the return and is there a conversion metric applied and assessed to digital returns?
  • What’s in it for the store teams? What is driving employee engagement
  • Is there an expectation to compensate store teams for processing digital fulfillment?
  • How are you dividing the labor?
Kari Harkins, Senior Director of Store Operations at DSW

Kari Harkins

Senior Director of Store Operations

Track A: Store Operations & The Associate Experience

2:35 pm - 2:55 pm Case Study With A Retail Client
Dave Loat, President & Co-Founder at StoreForce

Dave Loat

President & Co-Founder

Track A: Store Operations & The Associate Experience

2:55 pm - 3:20 pm Panel Discussion: Tips For Creatively Catering To Today’s Associate
Given that associates can span several generations and are motivated by different things, what are you doing to keep them motivated and engaged? 
  • Programming and partnerships that make people proud to work at your organization
  • Out of the box ways to approach rewards and recognition
  • Non-monetary incentives that are making the biggest impact on your associates
  • Examples of field morale efforts and projects 
  • How are you focusing on retention in a landscape when you have lot of part time associates
Tara Maffeo, Director, Retail Operations, Field Engagement at SEPHORA

Tara Maffeo

Director, Retail Operations, Field Engagement

Lindsay Leaver, Director Retail Operations at Chubbies Inc.

Lindsay Leaver

Director Retail Operations
Chubbies Inc.

Track B: Transformative Retail Tech

2:00 pm - 2:10 pm Opening Remarks By The Conference Chair
Alex Otañez, COO at Shockoe

Alex Otañez


Track B: Transformative Retail Tech

2:10 pm - 2:35 pm Case Study Remix: Seamless Customer Shopping – Simply Walk Out!
Customers continue to expect fewer friction points throughout their entire shopping journey. Reinventing the way customers experience stores will be important as convenience will continue to drive the consumer shopper decision tree. Hear how one retailer is re-inventing the retail check-out (no-checkout!) experience in new business models:
  • Business considerations to creating new AI driven shopping experiences 
  • Determining what makes sense for your brand and your customer, and technology readiness
  • Simplicity in experience is king: 1) Scan in, 2) Shop, 3) Walk-Out
  • New markets & new opportunities
  • Innovation journey & final outcome
Kenneth Bolick, Sr. Director, Innovation & Enterprise Mobility at Ahold Delhaize

Kenneth Bolick

Sr. Director, Innovation & Enterprise Mobility
Ahold Delhaize

Track B: Transformative Retail Tech

2:35 pm - 2:55 pm Lessons Learned Through Capturing In-Store Display Shopper Engagement Data – CCM Hockey Case Study
In-store display shopper engagement data is a critical, and often lacking, piece of information in the path from initial shopper research to their final purchase.  Studies show that after potential consumers research their anticipated purchase on-line, 4 out 5 will visit a retail store to validate their research.  Learning how these potential customers engage with the display and keeping them engaged allows brand marketers to fine tune their budgets, help build customer loyalty and increase sales lift.  Learning objective include:
  • The benefits of a Content Management System
  • The power of A/B Split Testing
  • How display data analytics helped CCM Hockey target their marketing budget
Bob Gatta, CEO at Data Display Systems

Bob Gatta

Data Display Systems

Jeff Porter, CTO at Data Display Systems

Jeff Porter

Data Display Systems

Track B: Transformative Retail Tech

2:55 pm - 3:20 pm Buzzword Bingo! Panel: In-Store Technology Trends Shaping The Future Of Retail
Executives give their quick thoughts, raw feelings (hates and loves!) on an industry buzzword that the moderator throws out at them. This interactive panel session kicks off with a Q&A around the latest in-store tech trends, and then the audience plays a lively round of Bingo! (for a chance to win a prize!),
  • An inspirational chat around best practices for selecting and testing new in-store tech
  • The keys to success for scaling tech 
  • Understanding how tech can support in-store traffic and sales 
  • Tips for teaching your organization to be forward thinking and stay on top of the latest ROI driving immersive tech opportunities
Brandon Critchlow, Sr. Manager, Retail Operations, Omnichannel at Cole Haan

Brandon Critchlow

Sr. Manager, Retail Operations, Omnichannel
Cole Haan

Track C: Retailer-Only Connections

2:00 pm - 3:20 pm Invite-Only VIP Retreat
A closed door session featuring 15-20 of our most senior level retailers debating strategic ideas and sharing insights.

Angela Gearhart, VP, Brand Experience, Sleep Number

Angela Gearhart, VP, Brand Experience at Sleep Number Stores

Angela Gearhart

VP, Brand Experience
Sleep Number Stores

3:20 pm - 4:05 pm Afternoon Refuel And Networking Break In The Innovation Lab

3:20 pm - 4:05 pm Retailer-Only Meet Up

Track A: Store Operations & The Associate Experience

4:05 pm - 4:30 pm Case Study: The Balance Between Labor Costs And The In-Store Experience
On the whole, less sales are going through the physical store so how can you ensure that your labor numbers stay on track without sacrificing the experience? Customers now need more of an incentive to go to the store, so the experience must be super valuable, memorable and high touch.
Hear how one brand has made the changes necessary and learn tips for:
  • Using scheduling tools and automation methods to help maximize labor  
  • Ensuring a great in-store experience without driving high labor numbers
  • What do new labor models looks like, what are the lessons learned?
Dana Brown, VP, Retail at The Walking Company

Dana Brown

VP, Retail
The Walking Company

Track A: Store Operations & The Associate Experience

4:30 pm - 4:40 pm Innovation Demo

Track A: Store Operations & The Associate Experience

4:40 pm - 5:10 pm Future Stores Tonight: Your Store Associates Hold The Key To Customer Loyalty
There is something decidedly impersonal about receiving product recommendations while shopping online, since these recommendations are generally based on past purchases rather than a unique understanding of one’s own patterns and preferences. Conversely, store associates have the power to provide shoppers with personalized recommendations and a customized experience that will keep them coming back. Join us for a session that explores:
  • Enabling store associates to access shopper accounts while on the floor to gain a better understanding of each customer’s sizing and preferences
  • Collecting and cataloging data on in-store customers 
  • Utilizing personal shopper programs to pair shoppers with specific associates 
  • Giving customers the perks they want by asking them first; equipping stores with free food, a coffee bar and other free items / experiences
  • Encouraging associates to develop genuine relationships with shoppers and incentivizing them beyond just the sale
Mark Voysey, CEO & Yellow Jersey at

Mark Voysey

CEO & Yellow Jersey

Track B: Transformative Retail Tech

4:05 pm - 4:30 pm Audience Discussion: The Use Cases For AI In Your Store
AI is everywhere, but what are real-world applications for the store environment. Get your questions answered in a candid conversation that will cover:
  • AI: how do you use it in-store? As part of clienteling or selling process, To better predict what we should do for clienteling in store
  • Where to integrate AI—how to use as part of consumer integration, selling process, acquisition
  • AI from personalization and recommendation in store as part of real time process in store
Advancements in clienteling and mobile as an extension of the associate
  • How are you driving retention, Customer Lifetime Value—what is the customer gravitating towards with messaging?
  • How do you make sure you have an algorithm that works? So you don’t get awkward and irrelevant emails 

Track B: Transformative Retail Tech

4:30 pm - 4:40 pm Innovation Demo

Track B: Transformative Retail Tech

4:40 pm - 5:10 pm Future Stores Tonight: Bringing the Omni Customer Journey Together Using Technology
  • Making strides to better connect the digital and the physical retail environment
  • Using all data available to determine when and how to engage with customers 
  • Using the right technology to help drive sales 

Track C: Retailer-Only Connections

4:05 pm - 5:10 pm Retailer Only Workshop: What’s The Real Deal With RFID?
We’ve seen a lot of false starts with RFID over the years, but is the technology finally ready for retail? The buzz around RFID is picking up as retailers realize its potential for increased inventory accuracy and tracking, which in turn improves sales as well as customer and associate satisfaction.
  • How are retailers leveraging it? what are the benefits?
  • Assessing the barriers to adoption and how retailers are overcoming them
  • Examining who to partner with and how to implement RFID at scale

5:10 pm - 6:10 pm Future Stores Reception In The Innovation Lab