Quotes and Takeaways on the Future of Retail

The NRF 2019: Retail’s Big Show took place last week at the Javits Center in New York City, and the National Retail Federation’s annual event lured more than 38,000 attendees to discuss the latest in retail tech, strategy, leadership, and the economy.

Throughout the show, social media was ablaze with quotes and takeaways from its roster of world-famous speakers, which included Fixer Upper’s Joanna and Chip Gaines, Macy’s CEO Jeff Gennette, and Amazon slayer Scott Galloway.

Here are some of our favorite comments, insights, and witticisms to come out of the show on social media.

“For us we’ve done a lot of our business based on gut instinct. When there‘s creativity and passion, there’s a lot of opportunity.” Joanna Gaines, Fixer Upper

Chip and Joanna Gaines
Chip and Joanna Gaines speaking at the Big Show

“Are we giving them an experience they can’t get on their couch?” —Rachel Shechtman, founder of Story in New York City, which was acquired by Macy’s 

“People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it. And what you do simply proves what you believe. —Simon Sinek, author and motivational speaker

“It doesn’t matter if you’re a big or small company, you need four keys to stay evolving: One, start with the consumer in every decision. Two, invest in yourselves. Three, reinvest in stores, tech, fulfillment, and your teams. Four, disrupt yourselves. —Brian Cornell, Target CEO 

“Retail will solve problems for the customer and be purpose-driven.” Rodney McMullen, Kroger CEO, on the future of retail

“The number one thing is looking deeply into your supply chain and not just stopping there.” Rose Marcario, CEO of Patagonia, talking about the importance of transparency

In the future, “we’ll freak out even more about the dominance of Amazon.” Scott Galloway, New York University Stern School of Business professor and L2 founder 

“If you’re going to exist in a physical space, you want to have something else no one will have.” Kara Swisher, cofounder of Recode

“Amazon isn’t killing retail, it’s killing mediocre retail.” Natalie Berg, author and retail analyst 

Top: Macy’s CEO Jeff Gennette at the National Retail Federation’s Big Show last week (all photos courtesy of National Retail Federation). 

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JCK Magazine Editor