Tuesday, September 5

5:30 PM - 7:30 PM

Held at The Ritz-Carlton, this casual get-together is the perfect way to kick off this year’s IRDC event with speakers, Editorial Advisory Board members, and your friends, both old and new. Plus, this year we’ll honor our 2017 Designer Dozen Award winners at this opening soiree.


SPEAKER

Wednesday, September 6

8:00 AM - 8:55 AM

Join fellow attendees for coffee, juice and serve-yourself breakfast items prior to Wednesday’s program line-up.


SPEAKER
9:00 AM - 10:10 AM

The son of North Korean refugees who immigrated to LA in the early 1960s, Peter Kim turned a lifelong attitude of irreverence into the force behind a premium denim brand fetching $97 million
in 2013. Next up for the boundary-pushing CEO: crafting the brand’s first physical store, set to open in 2018. Hear the story of the Hudson brand—and the role it already plays in the local community—in IRDC’s opening keynote session.


SPEAKER
Peter Kim, Founder & Vice Chairman, Hudson Jeans
10:20 AM - 11:05 AM

More and more, retailers are challenged to reinvent themselves in order to connect with customers in new, relevant ways. We are starting to see fewer transactional retail spaces and more transformative and experiential spaces that foster community. A prime example of this shift is Cadillac House in New York’s SoHo neighborhood: Shifting gears under new leadership, the brand made the bold move to relocate to The Big Apple from its Detroit hometown and create an interactive, experiential brand house, which sits at ground level, below Cadillac’s new headquarters. In this session, examine the importance of creating an identity for your brand, separate from the usual store experience, and discover why experience is bringing customers and retailers together like never before.

Key takeaways:
• What is an experience worth when it comes to physical “retail”?
• Retailers are not only buying an impression, they are investing in consumer loyalty.
• How do you measure success? Sales data, foot traffic, media impressions, visitor engagement?


SPEAKER
Nathan Tan, Associate Director Brand of Partnerships and Experiences, Cadillac
10:20 AM - 11:05 AM

With 550-plus stores, Canadian consumer electronics retail chain The Source has had to reinvent itself on virtually all fronts in order to stay alive. Now it continues to find innovative ways to grow and remain relevant in the age of digital and omnichannel retailing. From attracting new in-store brands to building an e-commerce website, this session will focus on the impact that a major investment can have on new store designs, as seen through the lens of The Source’s recent redesign journey. Uncover what this means for your brand or organization and how being “relevant” is the ultimate key to remaining successful.

Key takeaways:
• Discover what three main decisions will greatly improve your business case.
• Examine the importance of customer segments and their reaction to key design decisions.
• Discuss store design and its impact on omnichannel strategy.


SPEAKER
Charles Brown, President, The Source
10:20 AM - 11:05 AM

The cultural communal experience has been described by some as being almost “cultish” – it keeps you coming back for more. SoulCycle, known for its immersive fitness model, is striving to become even more experiential than ever before, driving engagement and consumer loyalty. In this presentation, learn how SoulCycle undertook the challenge of enhancing the “human experience” through its store designs, as well as what trends in the experiential sector are pushing their way to the finish line.

Key takeaways:
• Gain a better understanding of branding and design, which keeps customer-centric companies like SoulCycle thriving.
• Best practices to create an experimental fitness experience for customers through store design, branding and communications.
Future trends in experiential design based on current trends, and how these trends will affect other areas of the industry, apart from fitness and health.


SPEAKERS
Alan Cooke, Vice President Design, Soul Cycle
Jonathan Lopez, Project Design Director, Retail Design Collaborative
11:15 AM - 12:00 PM
Breakout Session: Data-Driven Design: Improving Sales and Profit Per Square Foot Using Human-Centered Research
11:15 AM - 12:00 PM
Breakout Session: Reaching New Audiences Through Design: Creating the Definitive Slider Customer Experience
11:15 AM - 12:00 PM

The retail landscape is continually shifting, and no longer is there an adversarial relationship between a brand’s e-commerce/mobile platforms and its in-store retail. Shoppers now see the store as the physical embodiment of the brand. This session will outline how retailers can successfully leverage their image, overall mission and marketing platforms to extend the digital essence of themselves to their physical environment.

Key takeaways:
• Always “double down” on the attributes that make a brand successful in other channels.
Understand the latest trends, technology and how changes in shopping behavior can add to a brand’s success ¬– allow for flexibility and adaptability in the business model.
• Shopping can bring us together, speak to our sense of style as individuals, and most importantly, the store itself can help create “shareable moments.”


SPEAKERS
Jared Ellis, Sr Director, Retail Concepts, Ariat International Inc
Jason Watts, Design Director, RGLA
Robert Arend, CEO and Principal, RGLA
12:00 PM - 1:30 PM

IRDC’s lively lunchtime discussions are as much about learning from peers as they are about networking with them. Hosted by VMSD Advisory Board members, editorial staff and conference sponsors, the Roundtables are the perfect forum for exchanging problems and solutions, best and worst practices, and challenges unique to your retail sector or design specialization.

Choose your topics when you register. Tables are filled on a first-come, first-served basis, so register early to secure your choice of topics.


SPEAKER
1:45 PM - 2:30 PM

In today’s retail climate, with budgets being slashed and doors closing, well-executed visual merchandising is a cost-effective tool that attracts, engages and motivates customers to make purchases, while also showing the unique story of the product or brand. Where are the important merchandising areas in a store? Should every touchpoint be equally as engaging? Through this interactive panel discussion, discover how retailers can utilize creative visual merchandising techniques to breathe new life into their store environments.

Key takeaways:
Uncover why customers make the decision to visit your store versus purchasing online and what that means for you.
• Learn why the checkout experience should be just as engaging as a store’s windows.
• The reasons a customer journey map may help foster the kind of in-store navigation and engagement you’re after.

MODERATOR
Sharon Lessard, Senior Associate + Studio Director + Retail Practice Area Leader, Gensler

SPEAKER
Shona L. Callahan, Retail Channel Design Manager, SunTrust Bank
1:45 PM - 2:30 PM
Breakout Session: TBA
1:45 PM - 2:30 PM

In this session, Capital One’s Helen Herrick will describe how the brand has used design thinking during the last five years to modify the banking experience, focusing on various delivery models that fit more naturally into customers’ lives in our increasingly digital economy. She’s played an integral role in building Capital One Cafés, retail environments that feel less like banks and more like gathering spaces, often including public seating, private nooks, coffee bars and more. CallisonRTKL’s Cris Gunter will share how the Capital One Cafés effectively respond to customer expectations for comfortable environments and reflect broad trends in retail design.

Key takeaways:
Connecting with people is more important than showcasing technology
• Learn to view your store from your customers’ perspective
• It’s okay if a lease space doesn’t perfectly accommodate your prototypical design.  Adapt!


SPEAKERS
Cris Gunter, Senior Associate Vice President, CallisonRTKL
Helen Herrick, Senior Director, Store Design & Strategy, Capital One
3:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Self-Guided Tours
6:00 PM - 8:00 PM

We’ll wrap up Day One with IRDC’s hands-on, think-fast visual merchandising competition, where you can flex your display muscle with a team of your peers, or watch with the rest of us over cocktails and snacks. Make that choice when you register. Just don’t miss the fun of this signature event.


SPEAKER

Thursday, September 7

8:00 AM - 10:00 AM
Sponsor Case Study Breakfast
10:00 AM - 10:15 AM
Networking Break
10:15 AM - 11:05 AM
General Session
11:15 AM - 12:00 PM

Grocery stores have always been a staple, not only because people need to buy food and consumer packaged goods, but because they’ve continued to evolve to make the customer experience enjoyable. In this session, grocery retailer Kroger will share its examples of how innovative ideas are presented and sold through corporate leadership to create unique, meaningful and relevant experiences for their guests. How does Kroger come up with new experience ideas, and how are new guest experiences explored? What’s the best way to work with senior leadership? Find out the answers to these and many more critical questions about the best way to get buy-in, advance new ideas and foster innovation within your own retail organization.

Key takeaways:
• Hear compelling ideas on how to create innovation, especially in an organization with a rich heritage of success.
• Things to understand from both the retailer’s perspective and the designer’s perspective.
• Learnings you can apply to your own approach internally with colleagues and with key stakeholders.


SPEAKERS
Brandon Avery, Creative Managing Director, FRCH Design Worldwide
Heidi DeMers, Manager of Interior Design, The Kroger Co.
11:15 AM - 12:00 PM

Retailers face a number of obstacles when incorporating social missions into brand positioning. Take the example of Savers, a global, for-profit thrift retailer with 330 stores in the U.S., Canada and Australia. The brand, which had been in business for 60 years, has not been recognized as a purpose-driven reuse company. Learn how developing impactful designs through mission-centric brand positioning is building consumer loyalty among existing customers, as well as new audiences, increasing revenue and establishing Savers as a thought leader in the “do good” space. Examine the reasons why design can aid in leveraging a company’s goals and values, while gaining new customers and inspiring current ones.

Key takeaways:
Gain insights into creating an authentic voice rooted in your company’s core values and mission.
• Adapt new strategies for building brand loyalty when designing for the greater good.
• Audience will be inspired to pursue mission-driven branding and design, even when faced with seemingly insurmountable obstacles.

 


SPEAKERS
Karin Koonings, Former Chief Marketing Officer, Savers
Tre Musco, CEO and Chief Creative Officer, Tesser
11:15 AM - 12:00 PM

Online and physical storefronts clearly have their unique benefits: Online stores allow customers to readily learn more and dive into the details of a product (fabric, ingredients, product comparisons, etc.), while tangible store environments possess the benefit of touch and feel that online can’t quite grasp. But with the integration of technology, customers can now have both of these assets at their fingertips. Immersive technology integration can bring a product to life right before the customers’ eyes making it easier for them to visualize and understand intricate product features, giving them more confidence to purchase. Hear from Leesa Sleep and The Lionesque Group about they integrated technology in the brand’s first flagship store to bring this previously online-only retailer to the brick-and-mortar masses.

Key takeaways:

  • Learn how to use technology as an informational tool within a store environment
  • Understand how to get started (with the customer as the central focus)
  • See how technology can help improve design, with regard to store flow and merchandising

SPEAKERS
David Wolfe, Co-founder and CEO, Leesa Sleep
Melissa Gonzalez, CEO, The Lionesque Group
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM

IRDC’s lively lunchtime discussions are as much about learning from peers as they are about networking with them. Hosted by VMSD Advisory Board members, editorial staff and conference sponsors, the Roundtables are the perfect forum for exchanging problems and solutions, best and worst practices, and challenges unique to your retail sector or design specialization.

Choose your topics when you register. Tables are filled on a first-come, first-served basis, so register early to secure your choice of topics.


SPEAKER
1:00 PM - 1:30 PM

Thursday’s Roundtable lunches will be paired with VMSD’s annual awards: The winning Iron Merchant team will be unveiled, and the winners of the 2017 International Visual Competition and Retail Renovation Competition will be recognized. VMSD will also reveal the highly anticipated 2017 winner of its annual Peter Glen/Retailer of the Year award live on stage.


SPEAKER
1:35 PM - 2:35 PM

Designers are losing their ability to demonstrate one of the most basic creative skills: hand sketching. As the world of architecture, retail and environmental design shifts into the next generation of digital tools and increasingly automated programs, there is an emerging void where the simple goal of capturing an idea, or stumbling upon a new one, has become increasingly challenging. The ability of designers to capture their initial inspirations quickly is as vital as ever. As designers, we must ask ourselves, how do we avoid losing this skill altogether, and what will happen if we do? In this interactive workshop, attendees will witness a live demonstration of advanced hand-drawing techniques based on suggestions from the audience. Through a series of interactive questions around the experience and various parameters, attendees will participate to help create a series of strong retail concepts.

Key takeaways:

  • Why the trends of design are destroying the basics of communicating ideas
  • How and why designers and clients should embrace the importance of rapid visualization to better the creative and ideation process
  • Learn (or refresh yourself on) the most basic idea-capturing skills and the fundamental role they play in a project
MODERATOR
Mat Gurda, Associate Creative Director, WD Partners

SPEAKER
1:35 PM - 2:35 PM

How many of us start our day with the mantra, “I can’t wait to fail”? Standing on the precipice of failure is, for many, an uncomfortable situation. Perhaps more of us should look forward to failing by facing our fears and putting ourselves into new learning territories. Through this interactive workshop, explore ways to build a creative culture that embraces risk and celebrates failure as a key to success. Through audience participation, examine real examples of high-profile successes and spectacular failures that reflect on the “power of failure” to unlock true revelatory innovation.

Key takeaways:
Learn from failure, preparing you to innovate rather than evolve incrementally.
Seek opportunity and step outside your comfort zone to embrace risk every day by becoming comfortable with being uncomfortable.
Building a successful strategic process includes developing tools to evaluate failure and regularly evolve.

MODERATORS
Mare Weiss, Senior Associate, Bergmeyer Associates Inc
Rachel Zsembery, Vice President, Bergmeyer Associates Inc.

SPEAKER
1:35 PM - 2:35 PM

In the fast-paced, deadline-driven world we usually find ourselves in, sometimes it’s necessary to refresh and take the time for some “blue sky” thinking. In this interactive, hands-on workshop, attendees will be paired into several groups and tasked with the challenge of creating a final, sharable project that reflects their idea of nostalgia-inspired design, derived from props and direction provided by the session moderators. Take this time to not only get creative, but to network and work side-by-side with fellow conference attendees and peers while striving for a common goal.

Key Takeaways:

  • Learn from fellow IRDC attendees and peers while overcoming a design challenge.
  • Discover why nostalgic design is a recognizable, familiar trend.
  • Step outside of your comfort zone to network and engage creatively.
MODERATORS
Diane Spiridoulias, Professor, Visual Merchandising Arts, Sheridan College
Karen Kritzer, Professor & Admin Support, Visual Merchandising Arts , Sheridan College

SPEAKER
2:40 PM - 3:00 PM
Networking Break
3:05 PM - 3:55 PM

What are the ultimate goals when it comes to beverage-focused brands and their store designs? The quickly expanding category of food and beverage retail design is on the forefront. During this panel discussion, delve into the trends and how-tos when it comes to beverage- and food-driven designs, featuring insight from representatives from brands and retailers alike. Discover answers to questions, such as: How important is it for customers to have the opportunity to interact with others in these spaces? What’s the focus in terms of design that sets some brands apart from their competitors? The discussion will be geared around the goal of gaining a better understanding of what’s to come in this burgeoning industry sector.

Key takeaways:
• Gain a better understanding of trends and drivers in the quickly growing food and beverage category.
• Consider challenges related to operating within an airport and other environments; dealing with diverse customer profiles, furniture, equipment, managing budgets, etc.
• How are the most successful retailers/brands staying on the cutting edge (or not).


SPEAKERS
Christen Soares, Principal, Field Paoli Architects
Gabrielle Rosi, Senior Design Coordinator, Whole Foods Market
Kim Winter, Chief Marketing Officer, Vino Volo
Marian Thomas, Director of Store Development, Urban Remedy
3:05 PM - 3:55 PM

E-Tailer to Retailer: Is it Worth It?

Take a deep breath, stores are not dead. Despite the warnings and constant threats of e-commerce’s impact on brick-and-mortar, stores will continue to thrive and survive – as long as they’re willing to innovate, evolve and reinvent as needed. Retailers need to stop thinking of online and offline realms as separate. In this omnichannel world we find ourselves in, they must work in tandem to create a holistic brand image and a customer experience tailored to the individual. In this session, explore the rise of the online phenomenon and where a customer is most likely to make a purchase. Learn how an online presence can be used as an incubator and discuss retailers that made the leap from online to physical stores successfully. And above all, be able to answer the question: Is it worth it?

Key Takeaways

  • E-commerce isn’t the beginning of the end for brick-and-mortar stores
  • Learn how physical stores help a brand’s e-commerce business
  • Relationships are forged through experiences, not transactions

 


SPEAKERS
Debbie Kalisky, Associate, Retail Development, GH+A
Drew Green, CEO, Indochino
Paola Marques, Partner, GH+A
4:00 PM - 5:00 PM
General Session
6:00 PM - 9:00 PM

LATROBE’S ON ROYAL
403 Royal Street | New Orleans, LA 70130

This year’s closing soiree takes place at one of New Orleans’ most treasured landmark buildings, conveniently located near The Ritz-Carlton in the heart of the enchanting French Quarter. It’s the perfect venue for meeting and mingling with friends, both old and new, while exploring the fascinating story behind Latrobe’s architectural history.


SPEAKER

Friday, September 8

8:00 AM - 8:55 AM

Join fellow attendees for coffee, juice and serve-yourself breakfast items prior to the final day’s program line-up.


SPEAKER
9:00 AM - 9:45 AM

Mixed-use communities where people can shop, socialize, work, eat and sleep are emerging across Australia. These hybrid residential-retail hubs in urban environments, designed by global collaborations of architects and artists, are infusing a distinct energy, intellect and optimism to city centers by offering a collection of boutique shops, galleries, parks, cafés, restaurants and bars. See some of the most notable of these emerging, innovative multi-use developments that represent Australia’s latest trend in retail and are offering area residents a new way of living.

Key takeaways:

  • See how these new “third space” environments forge holistic experiential lifestyle centers
  • Learn how sustainable habitats go beyond a buzzword to create a better world for tomorrow in actionable ways
  • Hear how the collaborative efforts of artists and designers who joined forces to create spaces where people come to be engaged, inspired and entertained

SPEAKERS
Kerry Little, Visual Merchandising Manager, TAFE NSW Sydney Institute
Natalie Coulter, Lecturers in Visual Merchandising Sydney TAFE/ Creator Belle Flaneur, Sydney TAFE and Belle Flaneur
9:00 AM - 9:45 AM
Breakout Session: TBA
9:00 AM - 9:45 AM
Breakout Session: TBA
10:00 AM - 10:45 AM

Over the past several years, boutique retailers have been popping up all over The Big Easy. While you’ll probably get to browse some sights while visiting NOLA, wouldn’t it be nice to take a condensed tour of some of the more notable independent retailers in the area? In this session, explore a range of local New Orleans boutiques and hear from their owners about how they’ve drawn from the city’s unique culture to support their in-store experiences: from food, music and art to its storied French-Creole heritage. Hear directly from those living and experiencing the NOLA retail lifestyle on a daily basis.

Key takeaways:

  • Find out what trends are pushing fashion and retail in The Big Easy
  • Uncover the inspiration these retailers use to create immersive experiences at the local level
  • Hear how these retailers embrace authentic localization and storytelling to drive store visits in a tourism market
MODERATOR
Addie Ashworth, Director of Visual Merchandising, ZenGenius

SPEAKERS
Jac Currie, Owner, DNO
Margaret Sche, Owner, St. Claude Social Club
Susannah Lipsey, Owner, Freda
Tippy Tippens, Owner, Goods that Matter
10:00 AM - 10:45 AM

Generations Y and Z are transforming the landscape of retail design and the industry as we know it. What would the future of retail be if these consumers redefined the customer journey based on their ideologies? During the spring semester at The Ohio State University (Columbus, Ohio), students in a multidisciplinary design studio in the university’s Department of Design were charged with this task: Redefine a retail experience to create a visceral connection between the customer, the physical environment and a generous brand’s story in order to create a more sustainable future. Attendees will see all of the students’ innovative designs and hear from the winning design team on their approach to what the future of retail looks like to them.

Key takeaways:

  • How can retail storytelling create a visceral connection between the customer, the physical environment and a generous brand’s soul in order to create a more sustainable future?
  • How can a store design educate consumers and influence their behaviors towards environmental and social good?
  • How can the service model of a retail experience be redefined to promote responsible consumption and prolong product lifecycles?

SPEAKERS
Madeline Cipro, Interior Design Student, The Ohio State University
Rachel Herman, Visual Communication Student, The Ohio State University
Rebekah Matheny, Assistant Professor of Interior Design, The Ohio State University
10:00 AM - 10:45 AM

Europe may seem small when set against the vastness of continental North America, but when it comes to retail and store design, retailers in the “Old World” are taking risks and innovating like no one else, setting a new precedent for pushing the boundaries of customer expectations. In this session, you will get a look at new stores throughout Europe and what retail trends have been happening during the past year, as well as a few conclusions about where they are taking us.

Key takeaways:

  • Get up to speed with the year’s most exciting international retail design trends
  • Become inspired by innovative store environments abroad
  • Leave with an idea of which retail trends might surface soon here in the U.S.

 


SPEAKER
John Ryan, European Editor, VMSD magazine
11:00 AM - 11:50 AM
General Session
12:00 PM - 12:10 PM
Closing Remarks