RILA is excited to announce that it has rebranded its signature event, the Leadership Forum, as the Retail CEO Forum. Why the change in name? We wanted the name to better reflect the purpose and stature of the event, which brings together the most powerful retail and product manufacturer CEOs for two full days of networking, frank conversations, and idea exchange.
The Retail CEO Forum is a rare opportunity for an elite, visionary group of retail leaders to discuss the industry's current challenges and opportunities. The program will feature accomplished retail, technology, and public policy experts who will present thought-provoking content and lead off-the-record discussions. Attendees will walk away with a better understanding of critical issues and new ideas for the path forward.
Here is what past attendees had to say about their experience:
As retail enters the age of (R)Tech, the Retail CEO Forum will also serve as the launching pad for the inaugural Startup Awards for Retail Innovation. Three winners chosen from more than 30 startups will have the opportunity to pitch their businesses, each promising to help retailers deliver on ubiquitous shopping and/or ultra-personalization, areas executives previously identified as key components of retail innovation.
The 2018 Retail CEO Forum will be held January 21-23 at the Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain in Tuscon, Arizona. For more information or to receive your invitation, please visit here.
Earlier this month, supply chain and transportation executives from many of the country's top retailers came together in Washington, D.C. for a meeting of RILA's Transportation & Infrastructure Committee. The group meets twice a year and on monthly conference calls to explore emerging trends, stay up to date on the latest legislative and regulatory developments, and to benchmark and learn from each other's operational experiences.
Discussion of the Trump Administration's trade policies and plans for infrastructure spending were a significant topic at the meeting. As major users of highways and ports for moving merchandise, the retailers were keenly interested to hear more about the Administration's much-anticipated infrastructure plan. A member of the President Trump's National Economic Council met with the group, and shared insight on different approaches to public-private partnerships, streamlined permitting, freight fluidity, and cost-sharing with states. Other guest speakers addressed trade matters, including the renegotiation of NAFTA.
The meeting participants also focused on the industry outlook for ocean shipping, including the impacts of sea port congestion, and ocean carrier alliances and consolidation. Federal Maritime Commission Acting Chair William Khouri shared remarks on the FMC's current priorities and initiatives. Shipping analysts also spoke on future trends in shipping, and upcoming legislation and international policies that may affect the industry.
The group also had some fun during the (R)Tech Startup Showcase segment of the meeting. Supported by RILA's (R)Tech Center for Innovation, the showcase exposed participants to a curated selection of cutting-edge startup companies in the transportation and delivery space. Highlights included a dynamic trucking platform, a solution to ease the challenges of shipping container pickup and return, and last-mile delivery robots.
For more information on how to get involved with RILA's Transportation & Infrastructure Committee, contact Jess.Dankert@rila.org.
Every day, millions of products are moved from manufacturers to store shelves across America. As a consumer, have you ever thought about how your favorite item got to your favorite store and who helps ensure that it was safe for you to buy? Working behind the scenes at every retail company is a team of product safety professionals who work diligently to ensure that the products they sell meet the safety standards set by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).
RILA maintains a committee of these retail executives from our member companies, which gathers each year for benchmarking, networking, and peer-to-peer discussions around leading issues in the field.
We recently sat down with RILA's Deputy General Counsel Kathleen McGuigan who manages RILA's Consumer Product Committee to learn more about this community, the role of retailers in consumer product safety, and the biggest challenges and opportunities facing the industry in this arena.
Q. Tell us a little about your role at RILA.
KM: As RILA's Deputy General Counsel, I manage several member committees, including RILA's Consumer Product Committee made up of leading product safety executives and legal counsel from our member companies.
The Consumer Product Committee is one of RILA's largest groups with 180-200 members from our retail companies. Members participate in monthly committee calls and biannual in-person meetings. The committee focuses heavily on product safety and regulatory compliance, and our calls and meetings typically include an educational component related to these areas. In the past, we've had guest speakers from a variety of federal agencies, including the CPSC, Federal Trade Commission (FTC), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Department of Energy, and National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) as well as state regulatory agencies.
Q. What are some of the topline goals and/or challenges for retail product safety executives?
KM: When it comes to consumer product safety, retailers want reasonable, risk-based and effective safety regulations that are based on sound science and valid data. RILA is encouraging the CPSC to enhance their data analytics and data collection capabilities, and invest in new IT resources and tools. By doing so, the agency can be more proactive in identifying and addressing safety risks associated with defective products.
RILA and our member companies are also encouraging the CPSC to enhance outreach to all stakeholders for input throughout their decision-making processes to ensure new regulations and programs are most effective and least burdensome on industry. By developing a culture of collaboration, the CPSC can work with stakeholders to tackle difficult issues such as improving recall effectiveness.
In addition, with new products and technology like the Internet of Things (IoT) emerging every day, there is an increased need for coordination and collaboration between the CPSC and peer agencies to take a comprehensive risk-based approach to assessing and mitigating cybersecurity, privacy, and product safety risks for IoT products.
Q. What is RILA's role in helping accomplish these objectives?
KM: RILA's job is to is to be the voice of retail before Congress and federal agencies on these issues. We spend a great deal of time educating legislators and regulators on retail global supply chains and complex retail operations so that new legislation and regulation will not unduly burden retailers.
We play a large role in educating members on the latest product safety regulations because we know that for retailers, their relationship with the consumer is critical. In today's hyper-competitive retail environment, if you lose a consumer's confidence, you've lost that customer. So, we put a lot of effort into making sure retailers have the information they need to comply with latest product standards.
In addition, we also work collaboratively with the CPSC and other agencies on consumer product safety education campaigns.
Q. The retail industry at large as seen tremendous change over the last several years. What has been the biggest change in the consumer product safety space and what are biggest challenges associated with that?
KM: The speed at which new technology and consumer products go from initial idea to finished products on store shelves has increased exponentially. For the CPSC as the agency responsible for setting the safety standards on these products, managing that condensed timeframe will be a challenge. In addition, the CPSC will need to understand new technology and adapt risk analysis techniques for the associated products. With 3D printing, for example, the CPSC will have a challenge trying to ensure the safety of the vast number of products consumers can conceivably make at home.
Additionally, the retail marketplace continues to expand to include more online retailers. RILA members dedicate significant resources and have sophisticated compliance programs. The same is not always true for smaller or foreign online retailers who may not be aware of US product safety requirements. The CPSC will be challenged to identify and educate these retailers so that all products sold to US customers are safe regardless of the size or location of the seller
Q. Are there any recent or future notable events coming up for this group?
KM: This week, the CPSC conducted a workshop with stakeholders to discuss ways to better communicate recalls to the public and increase recall effectiveness. In addition, the CPSC held a public hearing on the agency's priorities for FY 2018. Several member companies sent representatives to attend both events, and I testifyied at the hearing on retailers' product safety priorities. Our written comments submitted prior to the hearing can be found here.
RILA will also be holding a meeting of the Consumer Product Committee in DC in the fall. The date of that meeting will be announced shortly.
For more information on RILA's community of product safety executives or to learn more about the group's initiatives, please contact Kathleen McGuigan at Kathleen.email@example.com.
RILA's Retail Asset Protection Conference
has been called the leading educational event the industry has to offer. Our session speakers have a lot to do with that!
Do you have what it takes to be part of a best in class program?
If you're a though leader. If you're willing to shar your best ideas, your toughest challenges, your game-changing solutions. If you see the value in advancing the retail AP industry through education. Then, we invite you to be part of the top program at the top industry conference.
We're looking for content that is smart, compelling, fresh, emerging, and actionable. There's no limit to the topics you can cover, but we heard from last year's attendees thtat they would like to gain insight into:
- Business Intelligence & Analytics
- Crimes Against Business
- Leadership & Development
- Operational Loss
- Workplace Safety
- Active Shooter
- E-Commerce Fraud
- Civil Unrest
- Technology & Innovation
Submit a speaker proposal today! The deadline to submit session proposals for RILA's 2018 Retail Asset Protection Conference is Friday, September 22, 2017.
After you submit your proposal, attend our webinar, "Get Your Message Out: Speak at the RILA Conference" on August 22 at 2pm ET to increase your odds of your proposal being selected by the conference steering committee.
RILA's 2018 Retail Asset Protection Conference will take place April 29 - May 2, 2018 in Orlando, FL. For more information, contact Kate Rabatsky at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What do aerosol deodorants, air fresheners and hairstyling products have in common with industrial waste? If you guessed not much, you're
right! The latest news from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) indicates they will issue a proposal in April 2018 to allow aerosol cans to be treated as "universal waste" – a long encouraged move that will distinguish common consumer product aerosol wastes at greater than 100,000 retail establishments from wastes produced by heavy industry. A move that just makes sense.
To read the full post, please visit the Center for Retail Compliance.
Andrew Sousa, Assistant Director, CRC
Every summer, millions of Americans pack their sunscreen, beach towels, and swim suits and head to the beach to cool off with an ocean breeze. With toes in the sand and salt in the air, spending time with friends and family by the water is a peak summer activity.
However, as Americans enjoy their beach time, policy makers back in our nation's capital are working to move forward with a viable tax reform plan this year. And while we're all in favor of much-needed tax reform that levels the playing field and creates opportunity across the country, unfortunately there's a shark in the water with the current proposal.
The border adjustable tax, or BAT, threatens to raise the cost of items Americans use every day, including beachside necessities like sunscreen, swim suits, and sunglasses. That's why we're telling Congress to drop the BAT from any future tax reform plans and #DontTaxSummer. You can learn more about why the BAT is bad for consumers and businesses alike by clicking here and following us over the next few weeks for more from our #DontTaxSummer campaign.
Earlier this year, the (R)Tech Advisory Council whose members include members of America’s most well-known retailers, recognized that “Ubiquitous & Ultra-Personal Shopping” and the “Circular Economy” (e.g., product take-back, renting, sharing, donation, reuse, refurbishment, secondary market development) are driving forces in the retail industry.
In order to delve deeper into meeting the wants of retail’s evolving customer base, the (R)Tech Center for Innovation is launching efforts to drive the Circular Economy by partnering with “Design Thinking DC.”
Led by Karen Hold, the program called “Summer of Design,” first kicked off in May. The 10-week program (run in several cities) connects nine teams of five entrepreneurial people to develop concepts that address the circular economy.
The program is training nearly 50 participants in the concepts of design thinking, while allowing them to practice those concepts on a real-world challenge. Teams are focused on clothing and shoes, electronics, entertainment, furniture, home décor, and kitchen items.
The experience is highly immersive, requiring participants to interview consumers and experts, visit facilities, and directly engage with the content. This enables participants to arm themselves with research before identifying solutions, ensuring that their solutions are addressing the most critical challenges.
Coca-Cola, Sears, Target, and Accenture are participating as subject matter experts and have provided input has already been profoundly valuable to the teams.
Participants must use design thinking to solve a hypothetical scenario that focuses on building an innovative circular economy that focuses on environmental sustainability through entrepreneurship and/or public-private partnerships.
The program has an all-star lineup of the Circular Economy “who’s who” to judge the final ideas on August 2 in D.C. including ANN Inc., Accenture, Ellen MacArthur Foundation, Target, Under Armour, and the US Chamber of Commerce Foundation.
Much like baseball and pool time, picnics are a hallmark of the summer season.There's nothing quite like grabbing your cooler and favorite blanket and heading to the park for a snack in the shade. But if there's one thing that can ruin a summer picnic, it's an unwelcomed guest.
For millions of Americans and businesses of all sizes who have waited years for meaningful tax legislation, the border adjustable tax (BAT) component of the current House proposal is the unwelcomed guest to the tax reform picnic. It's the ants crawling on the food; the unexpected afternoon thunderstorm; the mosquitos nipping at your ankles.
Under the BAT proposal, the price of goods consumers use every day would go up, and family budgets would go down. That means higher costs for food, plates, blankets, sunglasses - all summer picnic essentials.
That's why we're taking the summer to tell Congress to drop the harmful BAT component of the current tax reform plan. Over the next few weeks, we'll continue sharing more on how the BAT would harm consumers as they celebrate the summer season. Join us by sharing your favorite summer activity that would cost you more under BAT using #DontTaxSummer.
Stay tuned and for more information on RILA's efforts to promote sensible comprehensive tax reform, visit rila.org/BAT.
RILA's annual Retail Supply Chain Conference is the largest event of its kind—no other conference brings together so many top names in the retail supply chain space. Past headliners have included Target, Lowe's, Petco, CVS Health, Ulta Beauty, Kohl's, The Home Depot, Walmart, and many other leading retail brands.
Interested in speaking at the next Retail Supply Chain Conference? The event's "call for speakers" is currently open: this is the industry's chance to share with retail supply chain peers and learn from others' experiences! RILA welcomes fresh and innovative contributions to this industry dialogue—share case studies, success stories, and emerging challenges with an audience that truly speaks your language.
Each year, the conference features record-breaking attendance, including over half of attendees at Vice President level and above. This is where the decision makers and thought leaders convene to share their experiences and to learn from each other.
Key topic areas for conference session proposals include (but are not limited to):
- Inventory management
- Strategic supply chain planning
- International logistics and sourcing
- Workforce & labor issues
- Warehousing and distribution
- Port issues
- Reverse logistics
- Technology and innovation
- Retaining top talent
- Regulatory compliance
- Developing your people
- Supply chain transparency
- Supplier collaboration
- Diversity and inclusion
The next Retail Supply Chain Conference will be held in Phoenix, Arizona, February 25 through 28, 2018. The call for speakers closes on August 9; for more information visit the proposal submission page or contact Jess.Dankert@rila.org.
Waterparks. Beaches. Campgrounds. These are just a few popular destinations for the classic summer road trip. With gas prices down and temperatures rising, millions of Americans are expected to hit the highway this summer. Summer road trips can be exciting adventures, provided there are no flat tires or wrong turns along the way.
As Americans start their engines and roll the windows down, Congress is setting out on its own journey: to try and enact meaningful tax reform legislation this year. However, the border adjustable tax (BAT) component within the current proposal threatens to throw the whole endeavor off course by raising the cost of everyday consumer goods & summer roadtrip staples like food, electronics, and even gas.
Last week, we launched our #DontTaxSummer campaign to urge Congress to drop the harmful border adjustable tax proposal from any tax reform legislation moving forward. For more on this effort, check out our original blog post here.
Over the next few weeks, we'll be sharing more on how the BAT would harm consumers as they celebrate the summer season. Join us by sharing your favorite summer activity that would cost you more under BAT using #DontTaxSummer.
Stay tuned and for more information on RILA's efforts to promote sensible comprehensive tax reform, visit rila.org/BAT.