When I first set out to architect this fall’s Code Commerce event in partnership with Shoptalk, I thought a lot about the forces shaping retail — and more broadly, commerce — in 2017 and beyond.
One theme I found myself coming back to over and over again was the reality that the convergence of digital and physical that has long been touted is here. Finally.
That shakeout is not always pretty — 2017 has already gone down as the year of the store closing — but it has opened up tremendous opportunity for both traditional and digital-first players who are willing to learn from each other.
The next two speakers joining me and Kara Swisher at Code Commerce on September 13 and 14 in New York City fit that mold.
When Andy Dunn co-founded Bonobos in 2007, the idea of digitally-native vertical brands didn’t really exist. Today, the category includes some of the brands that the millennial generation knows best, from Dollar Shave Club to Warby Parker to Glossier.
Dunn has since extended the Bonobos brand into the brick-and-mortar world with more than 30 showrooms where customers can try on clothes and order them for home delivery. After just selling Bonobos to Walmart for $310 million, though, Dunn has a new purview: Running a group of digital-first brands with cult followings — Bonobos and ModCloth for now — under the umbrella of a new corporate owner whose brand doesn’t appeal to the same shoppers.
How’s that going to work? We’ll ask him that and a lot more.
Laura Alber is leading a 60-year-old retailer in Williams-Sonoma, but one that already generates more than half of its revenue online. That heavy emphasis on digital across its brands is manifesting itself in other ways: A bet on an augmented reality app for its Pottery Barn brand and experimenting with showcasing digital-native brands like Casper in its West Elm stores.
Still, the company is facing challenges, with increased pressure from online retailers like Wayfair as well as slowing revenue growth. We’ll discuss the strategy Alber is putting in place to fend off competition and kickstart growth.
Dunn and Alber will join a lineup at Code Commerce that already includes other industry leaders like Blue Apron CEO Matt Salzberg, who has just taken his young company public, as well as Forerunner Ventures’ Kirsten Green.
We’ll continue to reveal more great Code Commerce speakers over the next few weeks. We’ll also unveil the behind-the-scenes visits to new retail experiences and company headquarters that our attendees will get to choose from.
In the meantime, if you register today you’ll still qualify for our First Mover price. Wait a few more weeks and I won’t be able to say the same thing.
This article originally appeared on Recode.net.