The experience economy is redefining retail environments.


One of the most common design myths retailers buy into these days is the idea that experiential retail means more screens, robots, iPads or really any technology at all. CUE4's theme in 2019 is taking a look at the retail experience and learning about the need to be seamless, purposeful, and designing for the human element. 

2019 - The Year of the Tipping Point

Coming off the success of his national keynote presentation about the universal truths that will transform retail over the next few years and that he first debuted at CUE4 2018, Chris will again debut new content about the seismic shifts that have occurred within the industry in 2019 and how they point to an entirely new retail reality coming soon.

About the Speaker:

Chris Walton is a leading expert and influencer in omnichannel retailing. An accomplished Senior Executive, with nearly 20 years of success within the retail and retail technology industries, Chris has high-level executive experience across nearly every discipline within retail. Currently he is the CEO and Founder of Omni Talk, one of the fastest growing blogs in retail, and Third Haus, a retail technology lab and joint venture with Xenia Retail out of Minneapolis. He is a regular keynote speaker, a contributor for Forbes and the Robin Report, and he also sits on the Advisory Board for Delivery Solutions and Xenia Retail. Prior to starting Red Archer Retail and Omni Talk, Chris worked for Target, where he was the Vice President of the retailer’s Store of the Future project and also the Vice President of Merchandising for Home Furnishings on Chris began his career at Gap, Inc. and holds a BA in Economics and History from Stanford University, and an MBA from the Harvard Business School.

Chris Walton, Co-CEO Omni Talk & Third Haus

Infusing Retail Into Experiences: a look at who's doing it right

At a time when it seems like the term "experiential retail" is as rampant as much as "omnichannel" was 6 years ago, the adjectives that get thrown around in our circle are immersive, interactive, and technology-enhanced. What does experiential retail really mean? For some it's a meditation garden and others it's a designing your own shoe. Anne Mezzenga will take a look at the past year and explore what it means to build something with retail as a component, not another retailer putting a restaurant into their experience.

About the Speaker:

Anne Mezzenga is an entrepreneurial Marketing Executive with 15 years in the retail, experience design, and technology industries. Currently she is one of the founders of Third Haus, the lab joint venture with Xenia Retail built to develop next-generation retail and mall experiences, as well as Red Archer Retail, the retail advisory service and also the owner and operator of Omni Talk. Prior to her latest ventures, Anne was most recently the Head of Marketing and Partnerships for Target’s Store of the Future project. Early in her career, Anne worked as a producer for advertising agencies, Martin Williams and Fallon, and as a producer and reporter for news affiliates NBC New York and KMSP Minneapolis. An avid health and wellness evangelist, she also owns and operates bustling fitness and wellness facilities with the Twin Cities, CrossFit Nordeast and CrossFit Linden Hills, along with the hot new startup AQ Fit Lab.

Anne Mezzenga Co-CEO/Founder Third Haus, Omni Talk and Red Archer Retail

The Anxiety Anecdote: the rise of stress consumerism and marketing

Consumer perception of wellness is evolving to include spiritual, emotional and mental health, in addition to physical. This is largely in pursuit of dealing with stress and anxiety, which is increasing high at the moment. Millennials are known as the burn out generation and more than 90% Gen Z is stressed out. Savvy brands are plugging into this with wellbeing and mindfulness focused products, events and experiences, all tethered to their existing offerings. Hear founder of CUE4, Dan Phan, discuss the macro trend of the Anxiety Anecdote – how all brands, retailers, and marketers can evolve to fit this need.

About the Speaker:

Dan is the founder of The Late Majority, a digital leadership training company, based in Minneapolis, MN and Lisbon, Portugal. The Late Majority breaks down the complexities of the changing business landscape into simple and actionable pieces. He previously led the digital transformation education program at Target, where he developed learning programs for over 8,000 employees in the areas of merchandising, finance, distribution, supply chain, marketing, human resources, and store operations. Dan has worked with CPG and retail companies in the United States, Colombia, Mexico, Sweden, Portugal, and England. Dan is a program host for the U.S. Department of State’s professional exchange program where emerging foreign leaders in digital media experience knowledge and training programs and cultivate lasting relationships with their American counterparts.

Dan Phan, Founder and Executive Leader, The Late Majority

The Buzzword Blockade

Beyond the buzzwords; how technology has transformed consumer experiences.

About the Speaker:

Carter works in retail innovation at Latitude, in Minneapolis, and only just begins to cover his passion for the newest and most technological parts of the advertising industry; he has always looked to push the boundaries of advertising and bring new and innovative communication tactics to life. Carter looks at the future, isn't afraid to try something (even if it ends up failing) and finds passion in educating audiences of all types. His drive in the industry earned him a profile in Adweek discussing his work founding a media innovation lab” and how he helps agencies stay ahead of the challenges they face. Awards & Accolades: Carter has won a Webby Award in 2015 for his Social Experimental & Innovation work on the Mall of America #Twizzard, was named a 2014 32 Under 32 AdFed Minnesota Winner, and was named to the PSFK Purple List in 2016.

Carter Jensen, Retail Innovation, Latitude

Panel: Defining the Retail Experience

If there's one thing that is clear in 2019, it's that retailers and brands with the best overall customer experience are the winners. Customers are all different and they don't all want the same experience. That means retailers can't just pick one model and expect it to work in every location both physical and online. Big stores, small stores, pop-up shops, mobile devices, social marketing, kiosks — all of them are essential to a retail fleet that complements all the ways in which customers can and want to interact with brands today. This panel session will discuss the changing faces of our consumers how retail teams can work to deliver the best experience possible. Audience participation will be encouraged!

About the Panelists:

Kara Sheesley, VP Retail Client Services, Nielsen

Kara is a consumer driven business leader with nearly 20 years of experience in brand strategy, consumer insights, retail merchandising and sales. Prior to joining Nielsen as a Vice President of Retail Client service, she built her foundation of consumer based strategy while in Brand Management at The Clorox Company. She leveraged those skills to drive growth for both trend and commodity businesses at Target in merchandising. Kara is passionate about consumer behavior and understanding industry trends to influence business strategy.

Carrie Fryman, Founder, Croquis Consulting

Carrie Fryman is a retail and consumer brand consultant based in Minneapolis. Prior to launching Croquis Consulting she spent 10 years at Target launching and growing private label brands. Today, she works with brands and businesses to find their niche in the market and scale successfully through insights, strategy and execution. Her deep retail expertise and keen eye for industry trends has led to fresh solutions and growth for her clients. Carrie has experience working with small businesses, national brands and venture-backed startups.

Mary Pickering, Sr. Partner, Simpactful

Mary is a Senior Partner at Simpactful and brings a wealth of high-level experience leading multi-functional customer business teams. Known for her innovation and problem solving, Mary's work at Simpactful has included over 35 global multi million CPG companies and exclusive start ups.  Prior to Simpactful, Mary was the Procter & Gamble Director of US Household Needs where she had an exceptional record of delivering growth and profit goals. She is also known for her development of the Strategic Talent Management approach which is still used, and received a national award for her Diversity leadership. Mary also led strategic customer sessions for numerous top retailers, at P&G’s Innovation Center. Mary has received top rankings as speaker on Courageous Leadership. In addition, she participates on the University of Minnesota Children’s hospital board, Treehouse Board and is a member of the Power of 100.

About the Moderator:

Anne Farrell, Founder, Inevo Consulting

Anne Farrell is a brand strategy and merchandising leader with nearly 20 years of experience in the retail industry. Prior to founding Inevo Consulting, Anne worked for a mid-sized specialty retailer, a Fortune 500 company, and an apparel design and manufacturing firm. She spent 13 years of her career at Target Corporation, most recently as a Director of Merchandising, gaining deep expertise in business strategy development, merchandising, product development, and brand management. After Target, Anne was the Vice President of Merchandising at Décor Apparel, where she helped build and launch new brands and form new retailer partnerships. Anne excels at identifying consumer trends and market white space ideas, and building strategies and high-performing teams to maximize opportunities. She is obsessed with creating beautiful product and loves working with inspired, smart risk-takers on game-changing ideas. She is also passionate about sustainability and deeply driven to be an agent for real, meaningful change in the retail industry.

Moderator: Anne Farrell | Panelists: Carrie Fryman, Mary Pickering, and Kara Sheesley

Deepening Retail Supplier Partnerships

We'll cover how bringing retailers and their supplier partners closer is the key to thriving in today's dynamic retail environment. From navigating trade disruption to successfully co-developing private label brands, innovative retail suppliers partnerships are the key to deepening brand love and driving sales.

About the Speaker:

Juli Lassow is an accomplished retail executive with 20 years of experience in the disciplines of sourcing, merchandising, inventory planning and analytics. Juli’s particular area of expertise, and professional passion, is retail supplier partnerships and how they are the differentiating factor in today’s ever-changing retail landscape. If consumer product businesses want to thrive in these uncertain times, Juli believes, they must partner with amazing suppliers who share their core business values. As the founder and principal of JHL Solutions, Juli helps businesses navigate the complex world of global retail sourcing and private label product development. Before establishing her business, Juli held several progressive leadership roles at Target Corporation. She received her B.A in Economics and Math from Concordia College, Moorhead, MN.

Juli Lassow, Founder & Principal, JHL Solutions

The Current & Future State of eCommerce Grocery

The Current & Future State of eCommerce Grocery will answer the following questions: 1) What technology is required for retailers to deploy eCommerce? 2) How are brick & mortar grocery retailers leveraging their stores in order to expand into eCommerce? 3) What challenges do grocery retailers face today with in-store fulfillment and how can they solve for them? 4) How will the rise of eCommerce in grocery alter the store? 5) What does this potentially mean for brands?

About the Speaker:

Jeremy Neren has 13 years of eCommerce grocery experience, with a track record of developing profitable businesses in complex environments. His operating experience includes an on-demand delivery service with fulfillment from a micro-fulfillment center serving a largely millennial customer base and curbside pickup / local delivery with fulfillment from the largest grocery stores in North America (Woodman’s Markets) serving a broad customer base. Jeremy is currently the CEO of GrocerKey, partnering with a dozen regional grocery chains throughout the US & Canada. GrocerKey provides robust eCommerce technology, deep eCommerce grocery operations experience, and proven strategies to help brick and mortar grocery retailers build a profitable eCommerce business. Jeremy is a strong advocate that brick and mortar grocery retailers are well positioned to grow profitable eCommerce businesses through in-store fulfillment by utilizing sound strategy, modern technology, and efficient operating systems. 

Jeremy Neren, Founder & CEO, GrocerKey

Omni Talk Presents: After The Five live Podcast

Omni Talk a platform for a community of individuals who share a passion for the evolution of omnichannel retailing and a desire to explore new and better ways to do retail. The podcasts, videos, and articles of Omni Talk are real discussions about the latest in retail and Chris Walton, Anne Mezzenga, and Carter Jensen refuse to let Omni Talk be saturated by corporate speak, speak that often times is meant to serve the corporate best interest rather than the best interest of you, the reader, as an individual. This live session of After the Five will dig into the retail headlines of the week and include the audience in the discussion.

The Omni Talk Team - Chris Walton, Anne Mezzenga, Carter Jensen

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