Retail Leaders Talk Inflation, Tariffs, Supply Chains & More

RILA Hosts CEOs for Annual Washington Summit

Last week RILA hosted leading retail executives for our annual Retail CEO Washington Summit. This event is an exclusive opportunity for retail CEOs to join us in Washington, D.C. to hear from top policymakers and discuss the critical issues that will impact economic growth and consumer confidence—and shape long-term business plans.

This is a critical time to influence public policy and we were fortunate to have several current members of the Biden administration as well as former government officials and Washington insiders join us in timely and compelling conversations with retail’s top leaders about the issues top of mind for retailers in today’s environment.

A few highlights from these conversations:

Commerce Secretary Gina M. Raimondo joined us in conversation with Best Buy Co., Inc. CEO Corie Barry about the myriad economic and geopolitical factors shaping today’s business environment. Secretary Raimondo shared her perspective on inflation, supply chains, trade policy and more, and discussed ways retailers can work together with the Commerce Department to tackle industry-wide challenges.

L.L. Bean, Inc. President & CEO Steve Smith led a discussion with Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen on the state of the U.S. economy, the Administration's efforts to address inflation, and areas that retailers and government can partner to drive stronger economic outcomes from supply chain bottlenecks to taxes and tariffs.
Ambassador Michael McFaul, U.S. Ambassador to the Russian Federation (2012-2014); Stanford Professor and Hoover Institution Senior Fellow, shared his unique perspective on Russia’s invasion in Ukraine and its impact for the West. Complimented by stories of his own experiences in Russia, Ambassador McFaul shed light on how the crisis will continue to shape the global, political, and economic landscape moving forward.
Foot Locker, Inc. Chairman, President & Chief Executive Officer and RILA Chair Dick Johnson sat down with U.S. Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco to talk about how the Department of Justice is approaching issues top of mind for retailers today including cybersecurity, shipping rates, organized retail crime, and gun violence.
Following a blockbuster Supreme Court term, questions abound regarding what recent high-profile decisions mean for businesses. Jenner & Block LLP Partner Adam Unikowsky joined RILA Senior Executive Vice President & General Counsel Deborah White to discuss the immediate and secondary impacts of the decisions on retail stakeholders.

In addition, we heard from veteran political experts, Tunnl Founder & CEO Sara Fagen and Global Strategy Group Partner Matt Canter about how the political landscape continues to shift and the subsequent changes that could be coming to Washington with this year’s election.

The event was also an opportunity for retail leaders to think critically about consumer trends and technology emerging today and what role individual companies may have in enabling their adoption.

Accenture Chief Technology Officer Paul Daugherty hosted a lively discussion about the Metaverse, sharing learnings from Accenture’s work on the topic. Paul explained that beyond being a buzzword of the moment, the Metaverse has a real business use case, and he showcased why retailers should embrace digitally enhanced worlds as more than hype.
The evolution happening with the U.S. population, between demographic changes and urban population decline, are driving significant shifts in both consumer trends and the future of work. The Atlantic Staff Writer Derek Thompson joined us with Foot Locker, Inc. Executive Vice President and Global Chief Human Resources Officer Elizabeth Norberg for a conversation regarding the far-ranging implications of U.S. population changes and how retailers should be thinking about these developments as they future plan their business.
As retailers grapple with these changing customer behaviors and evolving priorities among the national workforce, Lowe’s Companies, Inc. Chairman, President & Chief Executive Officer Marvin Ellison sat down with RILA President Brian Dodge to share how Lowe’s is approaching the imperative to serve customers and employees in creative ways. Marvin gave attendees a peek behind the curtain of Lowe’s’ focus on supporting small businesses, sourcing products from a diverse pool of entrepreneurs, and mentoring the next generation of innovators.
Beyond these timely and compelling conversations about the top issues facing retailers today, the Retail CEO Washington Summit is a forum for retail’s chief executives to network with industry peers and deepen relationships with one another.

Learn more about the event and save the date for next year’s Summit here.

  • Public Policy
  • Retail
  • Retail CEO Forum

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