Mason’s retail center holds first-ever virtual summit


On Thursday, April 20, the Center for Retail Transformation (CRT) at George Mason University School of Business will hold a half-day virtual summit entitled “Driving Value in Constrained Times.” The event will host a roster of illustrious speakers including C-level executives at Serta Simmons Bedding, The Lionesque Group, Saadia Group, Kraft Heinz, and others. 

This virtual summit marks the culmination of a collaboration between Microsoft and CRT dating back to early 2022. In conjunction with the tech giant, CRT embarked upon a webinar series allowing space for industry professionals to participate in thought leadership events. Each panel featured retail and technology experts addressing a different topic related to the ongoing digital transformation of the industry. 

Complementing the webinars’ in-depth exploration of specific subjects, “Driving Value in Constrained Times” will offer a holistic view of an industry finding new ways—via innovative technologies—to contend with a challenging economic environment. The afternoon will consist of panels and presentations from industry leaders on high-level topics including but not limited to “Leading Through Economic Downturn”, “Driving Shopper Engagement and Loyalty” and “Data and Technology: The Connective Tissue of Retail.” School of Business Dean Ajay Vinzé will deliver opening remarks. 

Dean Vinzé says, “The high caliber of speakers at this event reflects the deep connection to business practice that sets George Mason University School of Business apart. I expect the virtual summit will make for an informative, engaging and insightful afternoon, leveraging the innovative mission and capabilities of our Center for Retail Transformation.” 

In addition to Microsoft, the event boasts sponsorship from Icertis, Optimizely, PricewaterhouseCoopers and Wipro. 

CRT’s director Gautham Vadakkepatt says “Macroeconomic conditions, supply chain disruptions and tightening consumer spending are creating a ‘perfect storm’ for retailers. With nearly two dozen keynote speakers offering expert perspectives, the virtual summit will present a range of pertinent suggestions to help retailers of all stripes rise to the challenge. We’re also hoping that the summit helps further industry collaborations for Mason researchers and students.” Vadakkepatt is an associate professor of marketing at the School of Business. 

Learn more and register for the event here.

Launched in 2020, the Center for Retail Transformation's vision is to be the foremost academic institution to drive transformation in retail. The center works to promote developing retail leaders, advance retail research, and connect the world of retail.  

Prior webinars are available to view on YouTube.