Attendees of the 2019 Retail Innovation Conference (RIC19) will have a one-of-a-kind opportunity to experience the latest in cutting-edge retailing on May 6, the first day of the conference, through an exclusive Store Tours event at the recently-opened Hudson Yards on Manhattan’s West Side. For many, this represents the first opportunity to see New York City’s new luxury shopping center in operation, and to learn how some of the country’s top retailers are taking advantage of the unique space.
Hudson Yards features seven stories and nearly 720,000 square feet of leasable space that will soon be home to nearly 100 luxury and specialty stores. The complex also will feature a hotel, unique restaurant concepts and an exhibition space.
RIC19 attendees will receive guided tours from executives representing each retail brand on the tour, who will explain the store’s operations and answer attendees’ questions. The event will be capped off by an opening night cocktail reception. The conference will continue at Convene on May 7 and 8.
Highlights From RIC Store Tours 2018
RIC attendees have been enjoying exclusive, informative store tours for years. Most recently, the 2018 event included a tour of The Shops at Columbus Circle, where attendees received a behind-the-scenes look at five of the city’s most fascinating retail locations:
- TUMI: Visitors learned how this small, franchised location produces some of the top sales-per-square-foot figures for the luggage and travel company;
- Sugarfina: This rapidly growing “adult candy store” has been opening a number of small-footprint concepts to complement its online presence;
- Williams Sonoma: Attendees received a curated tour of the kitchenware and home furnishings retailer’s flagship store, which offers classes, book signings and private events;
- Amazon Books: This book store tour provided insight into how Amazon is using data from its e-Commerce platform to a curate national and local bestsellers for physical stores; and
- New York Running Company powered by JackRabbit: Attendees saw how this store operates as a one-stop shop for all of any runner’s needs, with features including a treadmill for testing shoes.
Every Year Creates A Fresh Store Tours Experience
Every iteration brings a unique set of store tours and corresponding insights, giving RIC veterans a reason to attend every year. For instance, RIC17 featured a visit to the Westfield World Trade Center mall, located inside the one-of-a-kind Oculus structure, with its own slate of world-class retail destinations:
- Eataly: Attendees learned how this Italian market showcases small/local producers and incorporates a kiosk where shoppers could rate their experience;
- Aldo: This shoe retailer explained a number of mobile-based innovations, and how it uses touchscreens for checking inventory and handling payments;
- Ford Hub: An early example of experiential retailing, this location showed off a VR experience and a wall of 5,000 miniature models of Ford vehicles;
- TUMI: While this retailer was featured again in 2018, the 2017 tour stood out with an overview of the company’s clienteling app for sales associates;
- Montblanc: Attendees were introduced to Augmented Paper, a writing tool that integrates traditional writing into the digital workflow; and
- The Westfield WTC Concierge: As a concierge for both the mall and the city, this booth features connections to live interpreters via video conferencing and a customer service text service.
On top of Store Tours, RIC19 will feature compelling speakers at sessions spread across multiple keynotes and four focused content tracks, the latest innovations in retail technology in our Innovation Zone and plenty of networking opportunities with industry influencers. Purchase your ticket before prices go up on March 30.