Saturday, May 12, 2018


By Business Wire

Business Influencer Network
Launches in the Retail Industry

Photo courtesy of The Retail Influencer Network

NEW YORK - A prestigious group of thought leaders has been selected to join a new global network that will close the knowledge gap between traditional retailing and technology innovations created to meet newly defined consumer demands.

The Retail Influencer Network ( is a collection of well-known voices that retailers, brands and media have come to rely on to better understand the industry, consumer behavior and which commerce strategies are most effective. These thought leaders, experts and gurus are shaping retail globally. They regularly speak at industry events and share insightful content and commentary, and they have been recognized as top business influencers. The members of the Retail Influencer Network include:

  • Pano Anthos, founder of retail and consumer goods accelerator XRC Labs
  • Steve Dennis, industry influencer, Forbes contributor, former retail executive
  • Keval Desai, Silicon Valley investor at InterWest Partners, Board Member at The RealReal and Cuyana
  • Gilbert Harrison, notable retail dealmaker, Chairman of Harrison Group, Founder of Financo
  • Richard Kestenbaum, retail investment banker, Forbes contributor
  • Marigay McKee, luxury goods influencer, speaker, former executive at Harrods and Saks Fifth Avenue
  • Sucharita Mulpuru, retail and commerce analyst at Forrester
  • Matthew Rubel, retail board member, investor, former CEO
  • Steve Sadove, retail operator and board member, former CEO at Saks Fifth Avenue
  • Matthew Shay, President and CEO of the National Retail Federation (NRF)
  • William Susman, retail dealmaker, President of Fashion Scholarship Fund
  • Dana Telsey, consumer and retail industry analyst and CEO at Telsey Advisory Group, CNBC guest host
  • Deborah Weinswig, global analyst specializing in New Retail, CEO at Coresight Research, Forbes contributor and Board Member at XCEL Brands and Kiabi
  • Stacey Widlitz, founder SW Retail Advisors (London & NYC), CNBC TV Retail Analyst
  • Janie Yu, investor in retail, supply chain and logistics technology at Fung Capital

“Just as consumers have grown reliant on brand influencers to help inform their style and purchase decisions, retailers and brands have found that educating business influencers and tapping into their expertise can be critical in helping to close the knowledge gap,” said Stacy Berns, President of Berns Communications Group, which launched and will manage the Network. “Business influencers represent an authoritative, authentic storytelling voice that can prove helpful to those in traditional retail, technology and media.”

“Traditionally, there has been a large void in the market for a critical dialogue between Silicon Valley commerce innovation and traditional retail,” said Sucharita Mulpuru. “Retailers were being offered new kinds of technologies so quickly that they struggled to figure out which kinds of tech are ‘must-haves’ and which are ‘nice-to-haves’.”

The founding members of the Retail Influencer Network will share their thought leadership via blogs, Q&As, videos, networking events and speaking engagements, as well as through published reports. The network will also help retailers and brands as they apply nontraditional strategies to traditional retail in order to successfully navigate a market where digital commerce and physical stores (and live experiences) are rapidly converging.

About the Retail Influencer Network

The Retail Influencer Network is a selected group of seasoned business leaders, investment professionals and analysts whose thought leadership is shaping the global retail industry. Functioning much like a speakers’ bureau and serving as a unified resource for retailers, brands and journalists looking for retail wisdom and insight, the network brings together some of the most influential and authentic voices in the business. Members of the network will be available to share their expertise and insights at prestigious industry conferences and events and will provide thought leadership via interviews, articles, podcasts and Q&A sessions.

About Berns Communications Group

Berns Communications Group ( is a specialty public relations firm focused on the global retail, fashion, commerce and consumer goods businesses. With strong relationships with CEOs, key opinion leaders and national media, BCG is widely known for connecting the worlds of commerce and technology with retail and fashion. BCG curates large-scale global events, galas and conferences for its clients, and brings together executives and influencers to build brand value at industry conferences such as Shoptalk, World Retail Congress, FT Luxury Summit and Financo’s CEO Forum. The firm’s clients include both well-established industry leaders such as Alibaba, Global Brands Group and Li & Fung and young Silicon Valley innovators such as Loop Commerce and PredictSpring.

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