Recently, RILA's (R)Tech Center for Innovation hosted a briefing for Congressional staff on "(R)Tech: The Future of Retail." The briefing served as an introduction for policymakers on the importance of innovation in the industry and the ways in which retailers are embracing disruption.
Held in the Capitol Visitor's Center, the briefing featured a panel with Lowe's Innovation Lab's Executive Director Kyle Nel, Walmart's Vice President of Incubation Katie Finnegan, and Google Retail's Managing Director Kiran Mani, moderated by Bloomberg Retail Columnist Sarah Halzack.
Each panelist shared how their company views the evolution of the retail industry and how that informs their approach to innovation. Lowe's Kyle Nel talked about how the home improvement retailer has implemented technologies like virtual reality and robots to connect with customers in new ways. Walmart explained how their incubator, Store No. 8, enables the world's largest retailer to act like a startup and invest in new ideas and technologies on long term time horizons. Google Retail's Kiran Mani capped off the presentations with a look at the retail industry's growth over time and how the emergence of game-changing technologies only positions retailers to be more competitive and offer more to their customers.
Attendees walked away with a better understanding of retail's role in the 21st Century economy and the exciting ways our companies are shaping the future of the nation.
For more information on the (R)Tech Center for Innovation and the recent Congressional briefing, please reach out to Nicholas Ahrens, vice president of privacy and cybersecurity.