The Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) kicked-off the 27th annual Logistics Conference today with an opening keynote address from John Menzer, chief executive officer of Michaels Stores, Inc.
Known in the industry as the premier conference for retail supply chain professionals and their partners, RILA’s Logistics Conference brings together retail and consumer product executives in logistics, transportation, distribution and supply chain management to learn from industry leaders about the latest innovations in supply chain, and to network with their peers.
Starting off the day, John Menzer shared his unique perspective on the crucial role of supply chain in retail operations and leadership in times of economic uncertainty. Menzer discussed not only the changing U.S. consumer, where virtually all the growth in sales –at least in the short term, will come from Hispanic customers. He shared insights on the changing sourcing environment in China, where Menzer says inflation and currency pressures will make Chinese goods more expensive for U.S. consumers. Menzer described several key retail trends for 2012 and beyond, as well as how to manage the complexities of the future supply chain.
“We were delighted to have John with us this morning. He delivered an excellent and relevant keynote address with great insights for attendees and started the conference off on a great note,” said Casey Chroust, Executive Vice President of Retail Operations.
Later Donald Broughton, managing director and senior research analyst of Avondale Partners discussed the shifting economic landscape and how it has changed the way retailers and logistics service providers conduct business today. Broughton also provided an overview of the U.S. transportation landscape, and discussed the key trends and challenges that will shape the industry in the months and years to come.
Finally, Bert Jacobs, co-founder and chief executive optimist for Life is good® shared his unique perspective on the journey to success for Life is good®. Jacobs talked about how he has defined branding as "knowing who you are and acting like it" and ensuring that every aspect of the business and all business decisions made by company leaders are driven by clarity around the brand and its values. He also strives to keep the Life is good® brand fresh and growing, enabling the company to fulfill its mission of spreading the power of optimism.
Other sessions included: The Intermodal Chassis Condundrum; Transportation Roundtable; Perspectives on Leadership and Development; Diversification of Port Strategies; Managing Transportation: New World, New Rules, New Ideas; Distribution Roundtable; Distributed Order Management and Inventory Planning, 2012 Issues in Compliance.
“Once again, this conference has surpassed previous attendance records, with a 20 percent increase over 2011, which is a testament to our outstanding educational content as well as the work and efforts put into this event by both our Logistics Conference Steering Committee and our staff,” concluded Chroust.
RILA is the trade association of the world's largest and most innovative retail companies. RILA members include more than 200 retailers, product manufacturers, and service suppliers, which together account for more than $1.5 trillion in annual sales, millions of American jobs and more than 100,000 stores, manufacturing facilities and distribution centers domestically and abroad.