TECHNOLOGY

RILA goes all out for tech in September

BY Marianne Wilson

The Retail Industry Leaders Association has kicked off its month-long initiative “September is for (R)Tech.” Throughout the month, RILA will showcase news, initiatives and research focused on the future of retail and shopping experience.

RILA launched the (R)Tech Center for Innovation in 2017 to help retailers navigate the industry’s transformation through research, insights, collaboration, and exposure to new technologies. Now in its second year, the center will mark September with a release of new research, launch its (R)Tech Innovation Network, host a retail-focused challenge at MIT’s annual HACKMIT event, and announce its collaborative (R)Tech Open Innovation (ROI) Engine initiative.

“We are excited to continue helping America’s most recognized brands connect with cutting-edge startups, access a growing talent pipeline, and find new ways to accelerate their business,” said Adam Siegel, senior VP of innovation for RILA. “The industry has seen tremendous growth, which shows that a focus on innovating the consumer experience has only furthered retail’s transformation.”

Later this month, RILA will launch two key pieces of research that will help the industry focus on the wants and needs of the 21st century shopper. In partnership with Accenture, RILA will release “Delivering for a New Consumer,” a look into the wants of a today’s consumer and the ways in which retailers are meeting demands.

In addition, RILA will also release additional research on “Shopping Styles in the (R)Tech Age,” which defines the 10 distinct shopping styles of Millennial and Gen Z shoppers.

On Sept. 15 and Sept. 16, RILA will team up with Qurate Retail Group and head to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) to host a retail-focused challenge at HACKMIT 2018. (Qurate is comprised of eight leading retail brands, including QVC, HSN, Zulily, Ballard Designs, Frontgate, Garnet Hill, Grandin Road.) At the event, students will reimagine the way consumers shop alongside software engineering and retail mentors — creating innovations that will enhance the shopping experience using 3D product technologies.

This month, the center will formally launch its (R)Tech Innovation Network, which convenes incubators, accelerators, and venture capitalists with a focus on retail technologies and innovations.

Now in its second year, RILA will announce a call for participants for its annual (R)Tech CEO Innovation Awards, which highlight innovations that enable retail’s future. Winners are hand-picked by retail executives and invited to showcase, pitch and network with the most recognized retail CEOs at RILA’s annual Retail CEO Forum January 20-22 in Amelia Island, Florida.

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