Shoptalk 2022: It’s back, and bigger than ever

Expect to see as many execs as Elvis impersonators at the Vegas conference, with CEOs from Instacart, Uber, Sam’s Club, and Warby Parker speaking. Here’s what to watch.
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· 3 min read

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What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas…but what happens when hardly anyone stays in Vegas?

  • Convention business in Sin City dipped from a record high of 6.6 million attendees in 2019 to just 1.7 million in 2020 and only rose to 2.2 million in 2021 as the pandemic persisted, according to the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority.

But Vegas is back, baby, with more than 305,000 convention attendees in January, a 35x YoY increase. And one harbinger of Vegas’s overall return is the return of Shoptalk, the retail conference that went virtual for the last two years but is now projecting record attendance for its event this month, with 10,000+ attendees.

It all starts Sunday—here’s what we’ve got 👀 on:

All hail the chiefs: It wouldn’t be Vegas without marquees, and there will be marquee retail names, too. Among the featured speakers are Instacart CEO Fidji Simo, Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi, Sam’s Club CEO Kath McLay, and Warby Parker co-founder and co-CEO David Gilboa.

Remember dressing rooms? With more consumers ejecting themselves from their La-Z-Boys and rediscovering brick-and-mortar shopping, attendees will ponder what awaits those shoppers.

  • How to redefine the physical store experience will be tackled by speakers from Target, Macy’s, Foxtrot, Jerome’s Furniture, and more.
  • Making payment and checkout painless and fruitful in store (and online) is also on the agenda, with execs from Meta, Gap Inc., AT&T, Williams-Sonoma, and Afterpay all cogitating before attendees’ very eyes.

Green with NV: Some may wonder if they’ve stumbled into a shoe conference given how much everyone will be talking about their footprint.

  • James Reinhart, co-founder and CEO of ThredUp, will illuminate how a resale strategy for brands can be good for the planet—and the bottom line.
  • Being “regenerative”—helping to restore the environment, not just sustain it—can up your game beyond simply being green. Representatives from brands including Whole Foods Market, Farmstead, and Ettitude will offer tips on how to do exactly that.
  • How to take a more sustainable approach to products and packaging, meanwhile, will be the topic for leaders from companies including Coach and Grove Collaborative. (If you happen to be clamshell packaging, you might want to skip this one—it’ll be a tough crowd.)

Chain reaction. Sure, even Aunt Maureen with her candle shop on Etsy has opinions about the supply chain these days…but Shoptalk will have the real experts.

  • Tactics for how to improve supply-chain resiliency will be shared by execs from Macy’s and American Eagle Outfitters Inc., for two.

World view: Representatives from Alibaba and ShopShops will share insights about the new wave of retail innovation coming out of China. For perspective on the fast-growing e-commerce market in Latin America, attendees will be hearing from execs from Mercado Libre and El Puerto de Liverpool Company.

But it’s not Memorial Day yet: The last night of the conference, attendees are supposed to dress in all-white for a poolside White Out Beach Concert featuring Flo Rida. Pro tip: Pack a Tide to Go pen.

Stay up to date on the retail industry

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