Retail Systems Expo to Tackle Crucial Topics

By JORDAN K. SPEER — June 01, 2003

Leading retail executives, including those from apparel, consumer products and hard goods companies, are on tap to share their experiences this month through presentations and summits at the Retail Systems 2003 Conference & Exposition/VICS Collaborative Commerce Conference.

At the June 9-12 event in Chicago, IL, a keynote presentation will be delivered by Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of He will discuss how major influences such as the Web, globalization, the economy, consumer behavior and multi-channel practices have converged to change the retail landscape.

From another perspective, the show's new Management Futures Summit will examine how leading retailers and suppliers are rebuilding their businesses to meet the double-sided challenge of tough economic times and demanding consumers. The discussion, moderated by David A. Cole, chairman of Kurt Salmon Associates, will feature panelists including such apparel industry leaders as Chuck Crovitz, executive vice president and supply chain officer, Gap Inc., and Charles L. Nesbit Jr., president and CEO, Sara Lee Intimate Apparel & Hosiery.

Also on the program for the first time is the Strategic Integration Summit, which will feature business, supply chain, technology and operations executives from major retailers, consumer product companies and apparel manufacturers. These panelists will discuss how retailers and suppliers can better leverage their current and future investments in logistics, technology, merchandising and marketing. Among the panelists will be Pam Kohn, vice president of the global supply chain, Wal-Mart Stores, and Harry Kubetz, senior vice president, operations, Kenneth Cole Productions.

On the customer loyalty issue, Bill Franks, executive vice president and CIO of Saks Inc., will present a closing session on how customer-centric Saks Fifth Avenue looks to correlate its traditional high level of service with new merchandising strategies.

Overall, the Retail Systems' and VICS' conference program includes a six-pronged track of breakout sessions in the following areas: consumer marketing processes; corporate business strategies; store innovation; supply chain/fulfillment; multi-partner collaboration; and data synchronization.

One of the high points of the supply chain track will be an update on RFID applications and their impact on retail. Given by Linda Dillman, senior vice president and CIO, Wal-Mart Stores, and Mike DiYeso, executive vice president and COO, the Uniform Code Council Inc., the session will cover the technical and business steps needed for practical adoption of RFID and related technologies.

The Retail Systems exposition, with more than 250 exhibiting companies, will feature the latest offerings in business-to-business/supply chain, e-commerce, retail store and corporate technologies. A TechTours program will offer marketplace analysis presentations, technology panel discussions and guided tours of the exhibit floor.

JORDAN K. SPEER is senior editor of Apparel and may be reached at


Retail Systems 2003 Conference & Exposition/VICS Collaborative Commerce

June 9-12; Chicago, IL

617-527-4626 .


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