After taking Money 20/20 from a conference of few hundred tech industry stakeholders to 10,000-plus attendees, cofounders Anil Aggarwal and Jonathan Weiner have pulled together Shoptalk — which will gather retailers, disruptors and investors for a three-day event in Las Vegas from May 16 to 18.
Aggarwal told WWD that the event, to be held at the Aria, is not a trade show, or even a traditional convention. Instead, Shoptalk — as the name implies — is a gathering of retail industry stakeholders who gather, share, network, collaborate and discuss how they can work to evolve the retail industry through technology and with investments.
The initial lineup of confirmed speakers includes about 125 retailers and brand executives from retailers such as Neiman Marcus, Target and Under Armour. They will be joined by what Aggarwal described as “disruptive commerce companies and prolific investors.” Aggarwal, who is former global head of payments and wallet business development at Google, said he expects to have close to 300 speakers by the time of the event.
The confirmed speakers include: Affirm founder and chief executive officer Max Levchin; Ashley Stewart ceo James Rhee; Curbside cofounder and ceo Jaron Waldman; Dollar Shave Club founder and ceo Michael Dubin; House of Fraser ceo Nigel Oddy; Jet.com ceo Marc Lore; Kohl’s executive vice president of digital technology and innovation Ratnakar Lavu; Macy’s senior vice president of strategy and innovation Michael Tobin, and John Koryl, Neiman Marcus group president of stores and online.
Pinterest general manager of monetization Tim Kendall, Target Corp.’s chief strategy officer Casey Carl and Bain Capital Ventures managing director Scott Friend will also speak, among many others.
Aggarwal said in a statement that the speakers “comprise an unparalleled grouping of key figures in commerce ranging from early stage innovators to recognized and established pioneers of retail and e-commerce. These are the minds reshaping how products, services and experiences are created, curated and consumed.”
Some of the topics include how start-ups are driving product innovation; reinventing the consumer selling experience; venture capital perspectives on commerce technology; reinventing product returns; the state of drone delivery; collaborative consumption and the sharing economy; new retail rental models, and virtual reality experiences in retail. But the underpinning goal of the event is to gather a community of industry stakeholders to engage in a meaningful discussion about the evolution of retail.
Aggarwal said retailers “will have the opportunity to network with some of the most innovative leaders shaping commerce, learn about the most important technologies, and collaborate on what’s coming next.”
The organizers are also holding a “Start-Up Pitch Contest” for early-stage companies to “have the chance to present their business plans to a panel of judges from leading venture capital firms for a $25,000 prize,” the organizers said.
Aggarwal told WWD that ultimately, Shoptalk “creates a narrative and a framework for a conversation” around how disruptive innovation can improve retail commerce. “And it is being done with a holistic view of the retail commerce ecosystem,” he added.