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12:00 PM – 1:00 PM ET 
Wednesday, March 29, 2023

NRF’s State of Retail & the Consumer will explore the health of American consumers and the retail industry with leaders including NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay, NRF Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz, Ph.D., retail executives from major brands, prominent economists, and consumer experts. Watch last year's event here.



  1. Welcome: Matthew Shay, President and CEO, NRF

  1. The 2023 Consumer: Back to the Future

The pandemic brought about seismic shifts in the way US consumers live, work and spend, spurring unprecedented retail demand and accelerating innovation. But just three years after the onset of COVID-19 induced shutdowns, retail sales appear to be headed back toward historical growth rates. Supply chain woes are easing and consumers — who never abandoned physical channels — are turning out in force for traditional shopping events. In some ways, consumer behavior and the retail landscape look as they would had the pandemic never happened. All of which begs the question: Is 2023 set to be a replay of pre-pandemic norms?

  • Nikki Frazer, Director of Retail and Digital Strategy, Strategy&, part of the PwC network (moderator)

  • Pashmeena Hilal, Research Manager and Thought Leadership Lead for the Retail Sector, Google
  • Jonathan Silver, CEO and Founder, Affinity Solutions

  1. 2023 Retail Sales Forecast

  • Jack Kleinhenz, Ph.D., Chief Economist, NRF

  1. 2023 Outlook: Making Sense of the Economic Puzzle

Economic conditions for the first half of 2023 look similar to the conditions that prevailed in the fourth quarter of 2022. The US economy is still caught up in a late-stage business cycle expansion that includes ongoing inflation, slowing production and a tightening of monetary and financial conditions. Despite ongoing global uncertainty and rising interest rates, the U.S. labor market has remained resilient. Will the Federal Reserve be able to orchestrate a soft landing in 2023, or will the economy tip into recession? What are the prospects and perspectives for the 2023 economy and its impact on consumers’ ability and willingness to spend?

  • Jack Kleinhenz, Ph.D., Chief Economist, NRF (moderator)
  • Kathy Bostjancic, SVP and Chief Economist, Nationwide Mutual
  • Gregory Daco, Chief Economist, EY-Parthenon, Ernst & Young LLP

  1. Change is Retail’s Normal

With a focus on how change is always “normal” for retailers, this discussion with retail leaders will center on consumer shopping trends and how the past three years have only further prepared retailers to adapt to heightened economic uncertainty. The panel will examine how retailers consistently leverage innovation to meet consumer needs and how retailers are driving customer engagement and retention in today’s competitive landscape while providing exceptional shopping experiences and affordable prices for consumers at all income levels.

  • Matthew Shay, President and CEO, NRF (moderator)
  • Haio Barbeito, President and CEO, Old Navy
  • Anushka Salinas, President and COO, Rent the Runway