In this week’s Retail Right Now, Total Retail's Kristina Stidham and Ashley Chiaradio discuss the top trends to emerge from the 2020 National Retail Federation Big Show in New York City. Here are three trends we heard frequently over the three-day event: the need for retailers to implement diversity and inclusion initiatives; an increased focus from brands on sustainability and re-commerce; and the continued digital transformation happening within the industry.

On Monday, a morning keynote moderated by Shannon Schuyler, chief purpose and inclusion officer for PwC, discussed how and why retailers must improve their diversity and inclusion efforts. Several retailers discussed new or ongoing sustainability programs as well as the concept of re-commerce, including a great session featuring Patagonia’s Worn Wear initiative and Loop, a zero-waste company partnering with the world’s largest brands to offer quality, reusable items. Another keynote discussed the re-commerce revolution and how upcycling is retail's future, featuring leaders from thredUp, Rebag, and Urban Outfitters’ Nuuly brand.

And, of course, meeting the digital needs of today’s consumers both online and offline to create a seamless shopping experience continues to be a huge discussion point. Erik Nordstrom talked about this during his keynote on how Nordstrom is evolving its in-store shopping experience, with a greater emphasis on services in addition to product. And in another session, Bill Kiss, head of e-commerce, digital and retail strategy at Ace Hardware, noted that retailers must put digital first in the organization.

Total Retail also interviewed leaders from retailers such as Perry Ellis International, TechStyle Fashion Group, and Northgate Market while at the event to learn how they are innovating their businesses through the use of technology.


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