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A Review of Shoptalk 2022 


A Review of Shoptalk 2022 

Carlos Castelan shares the three key takeaways from the first day of Shoptalk 2022; an event that forecasts what’s hot and what’s not in the world of retail. 

Greetings to you all from sunny Las Vegas, Nevada, where we’re back at Shoptalk after a two-year COVID hiatus, along with 10,000 other people just as excited as we are to be back in person.

As in prior years – and with Groceryshop last Fall – we aim to provide you with a recap of key themes each day and an overall review at the end of the event. So, without further ado, let’s dive right into the three key takeaways from the first day.

Technology underpins what retailers will be doing over the next 5-10 years

Admittedly, this is the most obvious of the takeaways, but it’s worth highlighting because of how important technology is when it comes to better serving your customers, now and beyond. Katia Walsh from Levi Strauss & Co. said it best: “Every [retailer] is now a data and technology company, whether they know it or not.”

According to Sara Araghi of Franklin Templeton, at the macro level, retailers are taking what they learned from the pandemic and using CapEx to invest in consumer experiences even if there’s a slowdown in spending. We know from our work that much of this CapEx spend revolves around automating and digitizing processes while enhancing ecommerce capabilities.

Two helpful questions to ask yourself to determine your priorities and initiatives came from Chris Rupp of Albertsons:

What areas do we need to improve for our customer?

What steps are we taking to implement that?

The answer to these questions often leads to digital solutions, which can be embraced by your organization to remedy customer pain points.

  1. Sustainability is moving

For many years, sustainability was a niche priority for retailers with unclear ways to bring initiatives to life for customers or in the enterprise. Rising energy costs – exacerbated by geopolitical conflict – and increasing costs of climate change – marked by supply chain disruptions – have changed the paradigm. Sustainability is coming into focus for retailers.

One obvious connection with sustainability is the growing resale market across different segments of retail. We heard from Niten Kapadia of Farfetch who highlighted the retailer’s Second Life market that allows customers to sell second-hand handbags on their platform. To grow their offering, they want to add more products and services, including product repair or recycling certain materials. This is all part of the company’s 2030 goal to be more “circular than linear.”

A panel of venture investors also discussed the growing opportunity to get behind startups focused on sustainability. Anna Barber of M13 proposed three opportunities around innovation in the space:

a) material science to improve the types of materials going into products
b) data and overall transparency to consumers around materials going into products and their associated carbon emissions
c) reverse logistics and last-mile delivery to reduce costs and the associated emissions

Retailers are in the early innings with regard to sustainability, but it’s clear the conversation is now mainstream. The rising costs of fuel and climate change, coupled with their importance to customers, have forced retailers to look at this differently.


Key points include:

  • Digital solutions for customer pain points
  • Material science
  • Attracting and retaining talent is more critical than ever for retailers


Access the full article, Shoptalk 2022: Day 1 Recap, on the