Shoptalk is Here

Shoptalk brings together retail start-ups, investors, heavy-hitters and strategists together to discuss business, to partner, and to collaborate on the industry’s future. Held on March 19th-22nd at the Aria hotel in Las Vegas, Shoptalk is the newest “must attend” event for retailers wanting an open forum to discuss tactics for keeping up with the breakneck pace of retail innovation.

Although Shoptalk was founded in 2016, this year’s event will host over 5,250 attendees, with over 500 CEOs and over 2,000 companies. Among many other distinguished speakers this year’s panel at Shopify will feature: Brian Cornell, CEO of Target; Michael Evans of Alibabe; Mindy Grossman, CEO of the Home Shopping Network; Dave Kimbell, CMO of Ulta; Mark Lore, CEO of Walmart; and Kevin Mansel, CEO of Kohls.

Along with the impressive array of speakers and attendees, on March 20th technology blog Recode will host an invite-only forum called the Code Commerce Series. This year’s panel will feature Katrina Lake of Stich Fix, Marc Lore of Walmart, and Tristan Walker of Walker & Company Brands. Don’t be too disheartened by the invite-only thing. You can apply to attend on Shoptalk’s website.

The Ultimate Retail-Insight Sharing Platform

How did the event grow to such scale within such a short timeframe? The company’s founders, Anil Aggarwal and Jonathan Weiner, founded a similar, equally successful event called Money 20/20 just 3 years prior to launching Shoptalk. There is “no pay to play” at Shoptalk. This means that instead of pitching their products to show attendees, speakers and panels are focused on sharing how their company has adapted to the quickly evolving retail market. Anil Aggarwal best explained the show in a 2016 interview with SMB Retailer, “Our show focuses on how consumers discover, shop and buy, so the emphasis at Shoptalk will be on technologies that impact the customer experience rather than on internal operational issues.

What to Expect

This year’s Shop Talk will continue to focus on technology and innovation with speakers from service providers with the newest technology to maximize profits and brand relevancy, such as IBM, Amazon Payments, Foerster, Apple Pay, and Google. Some of the world’s most well known social media outlets will also be represented, including Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest. And the panels will feature speakers from companies utilizing new, disruptive business models, such as Harry’s founders Jeff Raider and Andy Katz-Mayfield, Thinx founder Miki Agrawal, and Birchbox CEO Philippe Pinatel.

Shoptalk is more than just a place for retailers to stay abreast of innovations, it is also where startups can meet relevant investors. The event offers pitch contests for burgeoning brands, as well as hosting onsite meetings between venture capitalists and startups. Last year, startups with a collective 13 billion dollars in funding attended Shoptalk. Small businesses are encouraged to attend with the same enthusiasm that is shown to big box stores. Tickets are even available at discounted rates for startups and small businesses.

A Show that Sizzles


Sucharita Mulpuru joined Shoptalk in 2016 as Chief retail strategist. Sucharita comes from over 10 years as Vice President and Principal Analyst at Foerster research. She’s already streamlined Shoptalk’s meetings system, which facilitates meetings between investors and startups, with the Spark Networking Program. Sucharita said on LinkedIn, “Because retailers and brands at Shoptalk have tight time constraints and concurrent activities, we’re doing a lot of the legwork for them pre-event by making introductions and scheduling on-site meetings with people they should meet.”

Shoptalk is Trending

After being open only one year, Shoptalk is already expanding into the European market. Shoptalk Europe debuts October 9-11th, 2016 in Copenhagen, Denmark. Shoptalk Europe already has an impressive lineup of speakers and promises to focus on innovation in both on the European and the global retail markets.

Shoptalk is successful, then, because it was created in response to a demand. Retailers needed a forum where they could discuss and learn about how to respond to the breakneck pace of evolution in the retail industry. Shoptalk quickly emerged as the solution to that need — a place where industry leaders can learn from one another and stay abreast of new trends and technologies.

Jasmine Glasheen is a Freelance Writer and Retail Strategist. A panelist on RetailWire’s BrainTrust, Jasmine has been published on Retailwire, Independent Retailer, CART, and many others. She was formerly the editor of Off-Price Retailing magazine, and has been quoted both in Forbes and in RetailDive. When she’s not at her keyboard, you’ll find her guzzling kombucha or dancing like a maniac. LinkedIn | Twitter