Presented by: Franklin County, Big Lots & Columbus Chamber of Commerce

August 6 – 7
Virtual Conference

Retail Summit aims to virtually bring together retail decision-makers and business leaders across Central Ohio to discuss the evolution of the consumer. Take your business into the future, learn from disruptive newcomers and established brands in the industry, and better understand the changing landscape of logistics/e-commerce and hiring at Consumer Evolution.

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Thursday, August 6

Keynote Presenter
Consumer Evolution: The End of Retail As We Know It….and I feel fine?

12:00 PM

Chuck Palmer

Owner, Senior Advisor
ConsumerX Retail

Thursday, August 6 at 12:oo PM

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When everything about retail is in question, what can we count on? Chuck takes a look at the state of retail today through the lens of consumer behavior and spending. We’ll take a look at how retailers small and large are reacting, pivoting, making tough decisions and positioning for what’s next and what it may mean for the central Ohio economy and retail community.

Friday, August 7

Keynote Presenter
From Big Box to Local
Our Phygital Future

8:30 AM

Jordan Berke

Founder, CEO
Tomorrow Retail Consulting

Friday, August 7 at 8:30 AM

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Let’s face it, everything that was happening prior to March just got accelerated, like ecom, store closures, BOPIS, bankruptcies, Amazon dominance, etc. But our biggest takeaway of the past few months should be this: our physical and digital worlds are inextricably intertwined . . . .forever. Jordan and Lee will talk about our phyigital world including the ‘all delivery’ economy, dark stores and the physical stores of the future. PS: it’s all happening now. Please join us.

Keynote Panel

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion – Opportunity & Responsibility

12:30 PM

12:30 PM

Moderator: Chuck Palmer, Owner, Senior Advisor, ConsumerX Retail

Presenter: Michelle Saahene, Co-Founder, From Privilege to Progress

Presenter: Rick Wade, Vice President of Strategic Alliances and Outreach, U.S. Chamber of Commerce

Presenter: Rob Smith, CEO & Founder, The Phluid Project

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Diversity in retail matters across leadership, workforce, workplace culture, marketing and perhaps most important, it matters in understanding and engaging customers. As the diversity of our population is more readily recognized, retailers are reacting accordingly. Join us for a discussion about how retail approaches diversity, inclusion and equity and why it is good for business.

Thursday, August 6

Thursday, August 6 at 1:00 PM

Crisis Can’t Stop Columbus: How Technology, Innovation, and Collaboration are Helping Our Community Navigate Uncertain Times

Moderator: Jordan Davis, Director, Smart Columbus

Panelist: Sophia Mohr, Chief Innovation Officer, Central Ohio Transit Authority (COTA)

Panelist: Ben Blanquera, VP Client Success and Experience, COVAIL

Panelist: Nick Davis, Chief Platform Officer, Mid-Ohio Foodbank

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Consumer and community needs, challenges and expectations have changed radically since this year began; but Smart City strategies already in use in Central Ohio have helped our community to adapt and address community challenges. Join local leaders to discuss how technology, innovation and collaboration have been used to address new challenges, from safely transporting essential workers, to connecting residents to essential services, to broaching the digital divide. Then hear how these strategies can be applied to challenges in retail, logistics and beyond to help ensure that future disruption can’t stop Columbus.

Thursday, August 6 at 2:00 PM

The Whole Package

Moderator: Rebekah Matheny, Associate Professor with Tenure, Department of Design, Interior Design, The Ohio State University

Panelist: Cori Rowley, Senior Designer, Design Central

Panelist: Monica Tournoux, Senior Designer, Design Central

Panelist: Cory Fites, Associate Design Director, Strategy & Innovation, The Clorox Company

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Yes, today’s consumers may want almost everything delivered to their doorstep–and fast. But they don’t want to destroy the world in the process. This panel brings together experts from The Ohio State University, The Clorox Company and Columbus-based consultancy Design Central, the team behind innovative packaging and product concepts for brands like Tide and Swiffer, to share insights on environmentally conscious packaging and product development that is practical for both the modern-day consumer and the brands they love. We will use this topic as a springboard to explore questions around the current and evolving consumer experience, how people shop now, and how packaging and products are adapting to current needs.

Thursday, August 6 at 3:00 PM

From Macro to Micro of Adapting to the Post COVID Consumer

Fireside Chat

Mark Bryan, Associate, Sr. Interior Designer + Certified Futurist, M+A Architects and Joe DeLoss, Founder, Hot Chicken Takeover

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Discussion will focus on the three C’s of Choice, Comfort, and Control. A dive into what we anticipate and have experienced navigating the changes through the pandemic, hearing first hand on how a project pivoted, and how business partners can support each other.

Thursday, August 6 at 4:00 PM

Finding Resilience: Meeting the Growing Mental Health and Wellness Needs of Consumers and Employees

Moderator: Brett Kaufman, Founder, Kaufman Development

Panelist: Dr. Ken Yeager, Stress, Trauma and Resilience (STAR) Program at the Ohio State Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Health

Panelist: Jacee Scoular, Director, Brand Marketing Strategy, Hollister Co.

Panelist: Mark Bryan, Associate, Sr. Interior Designer + Certified Futurist, M+A Architects

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Conversations around mental health are, rightfully, becoming more mainstream. This panel will look at the changing world around us, ranging from social isolation and public health concerns to social justice movements and activism, and the long-term impact these will have on consumer behavior and employees. The panelists will discuss how they are adapting to the rapidly changing environment currently and share insights on plans for the future.

Thursday, August 6 at 5:00 PM

Market Garden Brewery Happy Hour & Networking (zoom)

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Our happy hour will be hosted by Market Garden Brewery and attendees will have the opportunity to learn how to make two signature beer cocktails on the live happy hour using the Garden Lemon Shandy and Market Garden Frosty Lime with Tangerine. Feel free to visit a beverage retailer to purchase either Market Garden brews to enjoy during happy hour. Your purchase of any Market Garden six pack will make you eligible for a free appetizer and a free round of beers at the Market Garden Brewpub in Ohio City in Cleveland.


Friday, August 7

Friday, August 7 at 9:30 AM

How the New World of Work is Affecting Retail

Moderator: Ryan Frederick, Principal, AWH

Panelist: Brian Zuercher, Chief Executive Officer, Hopewell

Panelist: Amy McCormick, Corporate Affairs Manager, Columbus Division, Kroger

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COVID-19 has changed the way the retail industry operates. Data is more critical than ever and the future of ecommerce has never been more clear. This panel will take a deep dive into consumer behavior as it relates to retail, including adapting purchasing habits. Join us for a conversation on the changing face of work and how it will change the future of retail.

Friday, August 7 at 10:30 AM

Creating Brand Cults

Moderator: Michelle Fenstermaker, Strategy Director North America, FITCH

Panelist: Alexis Nelson, Social Media Marketing Manager, BARK

Panelist: Walt Keys, Creative Director, Land-Grant Brewing Company

Panelist: Lee Broughton, Founder, BBC

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In 2020, while the world was stuck at home and more isolated than ever, the need for community among consumers grew stronger, growing the opportunity for brands to create spaces for their loyalists to connect. Many brands have realized that brand devotion needs followers and followers are always going to need something or someone to inspire them and lead the way. So, in a year that made coming together even more challenging, how can brands engage consumers in community?

Friday, August 7 at 11:30 AM

What Makes a Memorable Experience in the New World of COVID?

Moderator: Jennifer Peterson, Chief Executive, Easton, Steiner & Associates Inc.

Panelist: Brian Krajack, Director of Operations, Forbidden Root Brewery

Panelist: Ivan Kane, Forty Deuce Cafe & Speakeasy Supper Club

Panelist: Cameron O’Toole, Marketing Director, The Beeline

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As retailers, how do you make a memorable experience for customers amidst the new world of COVID-19? This panel will focus on the changes restaurant and bar tenants at Easton have implemented in order to sustain the consumer experience while still effectively following appropriate guidelines. Topics will include the impact of those changes, how creativity and innovation have helped adapt this new model and what it means for both the business and consumers.

Friday, August 7 at 1:30 PM

Crimson Cup Coffee Hour & Networking (zoom)

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Crimson Cup Coffee & Tea will be hosting our Coffee Hour and attendees will have the opportunity to virtually tour the Crimson Cup Innovation Lab with founder and president Greg Ubert. We will also hear more about the brand’s new flagship store opening at Easton Town Center and learn how to make cold brew from the comfort of home through a tutorial with Retail Operations Manager Jacob Hill. All Coffee Hour attendees will receive a unique promo code to use at any Crimson Cup Coffee House locations through the new app.


Bonus Content

Small Business Alchemy During COVID-19

Moderator: Commissioner John O’Grady, Franklin County Board of Commissioners

Panelist: Dir. Jim Schimmer, Director – Department of Economic Development and Planning, Franklin County Board of Commissioners

Panelist: Chris Haydocy, Mark Wahlberg Airstream & RV, Mark Wahlberg Buick GMC, Road Adventure RV Rentals

Panelist: Kristy Campbell, Chief Operations Officer, Rev1

Panelist: Henry Golatt, Columbus-FC COVID-19 Small Business Response & Recovery Fund Program Manager, City of Columbus

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This session will be led by Franklin County Commissioner John O’Grady and will highlight local government’s response to assisting small businesses in Columbus and Franklin County as well as a discussion with die hard West Sider Chris Haydocy about the future of the West Broad Street and Georgesville Corridors in Westland; and his close encounters with all around super star, Mark Walberg.

Specialty Retail: A Path Forward

Moderator: Ken Hewes, President, Mōd Advisors LLC

Panelist: Dave Cherry, Principal, Executive Advisor, Cherry Advisory, LLC

Panelist: Rachel Williamson, Chief Strategic Retail Consultant, Running Great Stores, LLC

Panelist: Tom Clements, President, 42 Solutions, LLC

Panelist: Carrie Barclay, President, Asset Strategies Group, LLC

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Specialty retailing (e.g., Victoria’s Secret, Bath & Body Works, Abercrombie & Fitch, Hollister, DSW, Express, Justice, Lane Bryant, etc.) was hit especially hard in this pandemic and is still struggling to manage its way out as the nation reopens. Our panel describes COVID’s impacts on these retailers, overall and by function — store operations, supply chain, real estate, and omni-channel; the strategies they are employing as they’ve reopened; and a tentative path forward for the industry.


Social Selling – tapping technology to drive consumers in store

Moderator: Kathy Tedorski, Design Director, FITCH

Panelist: Allison Jayjack, Owner, LADYBIRD Boutique

Panelist: Alejandro Alvarez, EVP, CMO, American Signature Inc.

Panelist: Josh Quinn, Co-Founder, Director of Operations, Tigertree

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Over the last decade brands have grown their use of technology and social media, but 2020 made brands leverage this channel even more – at times it was the only channel they could use. While we know consumers crave physical experiences, how can brands replicate those same levels of engagement online? And, how can brands use this tool to grow their reach beyond local and regional?


Marketing & Diversity Panel: Branding and Messaging for All

Moderator: James Moore, Vice Provost for Diversity and Inclusion and Chief Diversity Officer at The Ohio State University, The Ohio State University

Panelist: Kevin Tyler, Insights Director, Ologie

Panelist: Megan Brophy, Senior Director of Marketing, Abercrombie & Fitch and abercrombie kids, Abercrombie & Fitch

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Retailers are now having to shift their messaging and marketing efforts to be more inclusive. What does this mean? How does this work?

M+Ake It Innovative (podcast)

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M+Ake It Innovative
features deep dive discussions on the world of innovation as it relates to the built environment. These innovators are the one that are shifting the ways things are done in Columbus and Cincinnati, introducing new ideas and energy to our evolving cities in a way that elevates human experiences and enriches lives. Hear from inside of the minds of the people that are changing our cities for the better, finding inspiration on what they’re focused on now and getting insight on what’s next.

Legal threats facing retail employers during and post-COVID

Moderator: Holly Gross, Vice President of Government Relations, Columbus Chamber of Commerce

Panelist: Lana Skelo, Sr. Director, State Leg. Affairs, Institute for Legal Reform, U.S. Chamber of Commerce

Panelist: Bill Seitz, Ohio State Representative, Ohio House of Representatives

Panelist: Natalie McLaughlin, Partner, Vorys

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COVID-19 has caused upheaval across many sectors of our economy, including retail. Sales have been unpredictable, with record-breaking demand in some areas and shocking downturns in others. The legal landscape has also changed: an immense amount of new regulations for businesses to track and comply with across numerous levels of government, as well as the heightened threat of litigation for COVID-19 related claims. Our panelists will discuss these new legal trends impacting the retail industry, and ways for businesses to successfully navigate their way through them.


Risk, recovery, resilience: Business Pivoting, and the growth of E-commerce

Moderator: Zakee Bashir, Manager, Columbus Region Logistics Council, Columbus Chamber of Commerce

Panelist: Beth Thomas, CEO & Global Motivational Speaker on Transformational Change, Leadership and Employee Engagement, Change 4 Growth Consulting

Panelist: Justin Reynolds, Manager, Inbound Logistics, Lululemon

Panelist: Drew Merrels, Sales Director, Commerce Services, Pitney Bowes

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The logistics industry has been on everyone’s mind lately, with the reliance on supply chains remaining steady, and the growth in home delivery expectations. The industry has seen more need than ever in being able to manage risk with business continuity planning, and the shift to e-commerce. How have logistics companies managed to be resilient and pivot into the new reality of shorter lead times, while focusing on order accuracy and labor challenges?


Thanking our Retail Summit partners

Presented by

Retail Summit Signature Partners

Retail Summit Leader Partners

Retail Summit Media Partners

Retail Summit Networking Partners

Retail Summit Investors