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NRF Big Show 2020 highlights

Updated: Jan 25, 2020

The show reinforced Trust-Place vision and strategy

We used to attend NRF for the past ten years with our previous companies, but that was the very the first time for us with Trust-Place!

And for the first time, we had a real shock (and this was also a shock for everyone who was attending to the show every year at the same period): the weather in NYC.

No snow, no ice, no bone-chilling wind… Temperatures were really pleasant, around 16°C, which is definitely not normal at this period of the year, and which allows attendees to walk to the Javitz center like during beautiful spring days…

This “anomaly” is just another warning about the climate change, which was really considered in the NRF big show this year. According to speakers, executives, retail software vendors or journalists, we are facing today our own and global responsibility. And as a first consequence, the increased focus from Brands on sustainability and re-commerce is now more than a trend but becomes part of their top 3 priorities!

Sustainability is the new key word…

For the first time, over three days at the NRF Big Show, not less than six keynote sessions billed “sustainability” in their titles.

And according to all players, the conversation is still just getting started! Not only because climate is changing, but also because people -and customers- are evolving too! We can retain as a good example Steve Dennis (President & Founder, SageBerry Consulting) quote during one of these sessions, which is summarizing perfectly the Brands challenges faced with new generations (Millenials and GenZ): “You can’t stop the waves but you can learn to surf” (Jon Kabat-Zinn).

And that is exactly the point! Brands must consider these new generations and rethink the way to address them, which is one of the very good news and confirmation for Trust-Place, and our business proposal ! Influence of these new customers was highlighted during these sessions by personalities such as Alicianne Rand (VP of growth marketing / Rent-the-Runway), or Shelley Bransten (Corporate VP Consumer goods / Microsoft).

It was really interesting to understand how Gen Z has grown up with converged experiences.

But also, to see several Brands understanding that they have to adapt.

Even if Retailers have always focused on the shopping experience, two things are new this year:

- First, consumers, especially younger ones, are increasingly demanding that shopping be more than just a way to buy products; they want retail brands to delight and engage them.

- Second, businesses have more tools at their disposal — namely, rich data sets and a buffet of technologies — to deliver great experiences.

But sustainability was not the only key word of the show: for the first time, diversity and inclusivity were also on the table of the NRF Big Show 2020, highlighted on keynote sessions. Personalities such as Alexandra Waldman, co-founder and chief creative officer of Universal Standard (US Fashion brand offering in sizes 00 through 40) or Mercedes Abramo (President and CEO / Cartier’s North America division) were pointing the difficulties for female employees to take steps to advance their careers, much more than men. In that sense as well, NRF 2020 made a big step forward to jump into the new generations expectations!

…and new business models are appearing around it!

Some Brands are understanding this need to adapt around circular economy, such as Patagonia. Phil Graves, head of corporate development for Patagonia, explained how the brand has decided to create its own re-commerce business unit. Within 2 years, Patagonia has kept more than 130,000 used items and given them a second life. They did that move because they believe -such as several other Retailers, especially in the Luxury landscape- that the current resalemarketplaces are avoiding the brands to control how the products are showing up in the world. They are losing control on price, on authentication, on customer and on the experience…

And that’s exactly for that reason and to answer to this kind of problem that Trust-Place has been created! We are answering to this issue by creating new connexion between Luxury Brands and their customers they don’t know, while protecting the items value and transmission for the consumers on the second-hand market. We intent to enhance the circular economy while answering to the new generation behaviors and providing them more trust into what they buy !

Retailers are facing Digital disruption and Trust-Place can be a big part of it!

As a conclusion, we can say that NRF Big Show 2020 was a really fruitful week of meetings and networking for Trust-Place, overachieving our expectations! During these few days, we had the opportunity to exchange with a lot of interesting people, but also get comforted in the positioning and the vision we are creating for Trust-Place.

Indeed, according to the tech medias & analysts, Retail enters today the second wave of Digital Disruption. The first one was about competing with online stores. Now, the imperative is to build omnichannel experiences — in the store, online and everywhere, accepting and adapting to new business models. How to deliver value to the new generation of customers wherever they want to be? How to make them feel connected with a Brand / retailer, share the same values and be part of a community? And proposing the choice, the trust and the flexibility they want, cross-brands, especially on the second-hand market.

And that conclusion is exactly the beginning of Trust-Place story !

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