Annual Franklin County Retail Summit Slated for July 11

The annual Franklin County Retail Summit is slated for July 11, 2014 at the Renaissance Downtown Columbus. Presented by the Franklin County Board of Commissioners and the Columbus Chamber, the breakfast event runs from 7:30 to 9:30 a.m. and will feature the reveal of the 2014 Franklin County Retail Report produced by Jung Kim, director of research for the Columbus Chamber and Columbus 2020, as well as insights from industry experts on emerging retail trends.

“The annual retail summit is an excellent resource for business owners to gather information on emerging trends and learn about new tools-of-the trade to stay competitive,” said Commission President Marilyn Brown. “We want our local retailers to succeed so that our residents remain employed and our economy strong.”

“Events like the Franklin County Retail Summit help business owners stay connected with the latest micro and macro trends affecting retail on a local and global scale,” said Diane Rambo, executive vice president and creative director at Big Red Rooster, and featured speaker at the event.

Rambo will discuss the need to reinvent the retail storefront.

“Some e-commerce proponents predict physical storefronts may be nearing extinction, but stores are not going anywhere any time soon,” she said. “Retailers and restaurants have an opportunity to provide an experience the web cannot provide. To capitalize on this opportunity, retailers must reimagine the experience their stores provide.”

She and Big Red Rooster Director of Retail Michelle Isroff, will also provide local retailers examples of businesses who are delivering on experience.

“Whether you’re a small, one-shop retailer or a multi-unit chain, you must deliver on experience to prove successful in today’s digital world,” Rambo said. “In the end, it’s all about the end user,  so retailers and restaurants that design with the consumer experience in mind will prove successful.”

The Retail Summit will also feature a presentation from Kim Bartley, vice president, marketing and menu development at White Castle titled Digital Convergence – Technology is Not the Strategy. Senior Director, Loyalty Solutions at Alliance Data Retail Services, Leonard Jennings will discuss Consumer Loyalty and Personalization.

“The 2014 Retail Summit will give retailers and other industry professionals the hyper-local business intelligence and tips from thought leaders they need to help them grow and prosper,” said Michael Dalby, president and CEO, Columbus Chamber.

Additionally, Marc Conte, deputy director of research, planning and facilities, Capital Crossroads SID, will present a brief discussion on the untapped retail market within downtown Columbus and the increased demand that is coming with additional housing and office development as well as visitors to the area. Insights also will be shared on the established and emerging markets in other central city neighborhoods.

Rambo notes how the demand for retail is changing as these neighborhoods develop. “We’ve noticed an emergence of walkable neighborhoods, such as Grandview Heights and Olde Towne East,” Rambo said. “These walkable communities increase demand for specialty retailers and restaurants.” She notes how business like The Hills Market downtown fill a neighborhood need while also featuring and supporting many other local, small businesses.

The Franklin County Retail Summit is free to attend for Columbus Chamber members and $25 for non-member guests. Registration is required, as seating is limited.

For more information and to register for the event, visit