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IRDC 2020 Videos

Opening Keynote: Retail Pride – The Guide to Celebrating Your Accidental Career

Ron Thurston loves retail. And he’s proud of it. Ron has led the retail teams for some of America’s most prominent brands, inspired thousands of store employees, and traveled relentlessly across the country to sit and listen to what they have to say. From part-time sales associate to Vice President of Stores, Ron has put in the hard work that a retail career requires and in his keynote session at IRDC 2020, he’ll share what he learned along the way.

Ron Thurston, Author, Retail Pride: The Guide to Celebrating Your Accidental Career, and VP, Stores, Intermix

Purpose as the Future of Retail: Advocacy Beats Advertising

This session will revolve around the strategy of combining innovation, thoughtfulness and cause through design in order to reconnect in a contactless world. We’ll discuss rethinking brick-and-mortar retail as media and community hubs, making digital, tactile and physical experiences fluid and connected, examining ideas around amplified localism, inclusion and diversity, as well as determining how to integrate values that align with your brand ethos. Creating optimism in an uncertain world through connected and visual storytelling produces bold moves, wonder and fantasy.

Samar Younes, Head of Creative and Brand Strategy, Showfields

Original research: Post-pandemic shopper behavior

Even in an industry famed for pivoting quickly, Covid-19 has presented an unprecedented challenge to retailers in 2020. What was the true impact on shopper behavior, and what best-in-class strategies will carry you forward? IRDC has teamed up with research firm Envirosell to dig deep on these critical questions, and the results will surprise you. In this remarkable presentation, Envirosell’s Tom Moseman, Senior Vice President, and Liam O’Connell, General Manager, present the ground-breaking survey results with insightful analysis and interpretation to give you what you need to know.

Tom Moseman, Senior Vice President, Envirosell
Liam O’Connell, General Manager, Envirosell

Panel Discussion: The Future of Retail – The Only Constant is Change

If there has been a single constant theme throughout the decades in retail, it has been change. During this expert panel discussion moderated by Sharon Lessard, we’ll explore three themes that have been an integral part of the retail landscape for decades: convenience, engagement and loyalty. Please join us for a high level, strategic discussion on how smart retailers are leveraging these three drivers to create innovative experiences that resonate with today’s shopper.

Sharon Lessard, former Senior Director, Global Store Design & Development, Under Armour

Bevan Bloemendaal, VP, Global Environments, Timberland
Cindi Kato, Vice President, CallisonRTKL
Alasdair Lennox, Executive Creative Director, FITCH

Rebuilding the Experience Economy

Though the experience economy is facing unprecedented challenges, we know that the power of human connection remains stronger than ever. AREA15, the massive retail and entertainment complex that opened in Las Vegas in mid-September, is leveraging that human need for physical interaction and the power of storytelling to conjure emotions and memories in – and ultimately connect – its visitors. Hear from Area15’s Chief Executive Officer Winston Fisher and Chief Creative Officer Michael Beneville how brands can look to location-based, immersive experiences to engage the consumer of tomorrow.

Winston Fisher, Chief Executive Officer, AREA15
Michael Beneville, Chief Creative Officer, AREA15, and Founder/CEO, Beneville Studios

Virtual Iron Merchant Challenge

The annual Iron Merchant Challenge is a visual merchandising mashup of improvisation, creativity and design science – plus one secret ingredient to shake things up!

To add a unique spin to this year’s edition, for the first time ever, PAVE (Planning and Visual Education) will be recruiting student participants! Our student contestants will be given a theme, a hodgepodge of materials, the secret ingredient and 60 minutes to conceive and create a mini visual merchandising display in-a-box LIVE – all with a few hundred fellow attendees watching from afar virtually! Each student contestant will have the opportunity to walk audience members through their display before a live, interactive voting session determines the winner.

Be sure to join us for this special, high-energy event showcasing the creativity of some of the brightest future leaders of our retail design industry.

Emcee: Joe Baer, Co-founder and CEO, Zen Genius