Transformative CEO Summit Digital Journal – by Elaina Shekhter
Amid the disruption throughout the past year, the global pandemic gave retailers an opportunity to be more thoughtful about the way they conduct business, engage with customers and invest in technology.
In February 2021, EPAM’s Chief Marketing & Strategy Officer, Elaina Shekhter moderated the Revitalizing Retail work group during the inaugural Transformative CEO Summit hosted by the CEO Forum Group. The discussion featured a diverse set of retailers ranging from casual dining and furniture to luxury fashion to sports and entertainment. These leaders, which included Erik Anderson, Executive Chairman of Topgolf; Farooq Kathwari, CEO of Ethan Allen; Jack Mitchell, Chairman of Mitchell Stores; and Niren Chaudhary, CEO of Panera Bread, shared how COVID impacted their businesses, what they learned along the way and how they reinvented their organizations to be poised for the future.
There were many similar insights that were shared among these retail leaders, but the most telling was Erik, Farooq, Jack and Niren’s focus on creating a culture of compassion, respect and empathy. To them, COVID was not just a challenge to the bottom line, but an opportunity to reinvent their businesses and stay true to the culture that got them to where they are today.