<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none;" alt="" src="https://dc.ads.linkedin.com/collect/?pid=431778&amp;fmt=gif">

In order to thrive in today’s ultra-competitive marketplace, retailers need to up their game and deliver unique, memorable in-store experiences. So we decided to practice what we preach by elevating the experience at our annual RetailSpaces retreat and transformed a mid-sized Palm Springs resort into our very own influence hotel.

A private venue where the nation’s top retailers and suppliers could collaborate and navigate this new retail landscape. The culmination of inspiring peer-driven talks, pre-scheduled sourcing meetings, and unforgettable networking which included jeep tours of the San Andreas fault and intimate performances from Darryl McDaniels of Run DMC and Ed Kowalczyk of LIVE, all led to an amazing meeting of the minds.


Emily Watkins, SVP Real Estate & Construction at Charlotte Russe, said. “There’s a lot of disruption and a lot of opportunities, which is why we’re all here. We’re so busy in our day-to-day that the ability to meet new people and connect is incredibly valuable. We need to band together more than ever as retailers. It’s been a motivating and fun experience.”


Attendees also appreciated the opportunity to come together with peers from all walks of retail, from big box and grocery to fashion and beyond.

“Defining “retail” is hard these days…. RetailSpaces has really done a good job of dialing it in over the past 4 years. Quality meetings with quality people,” said Rob Limroth, SVP of Retail National Accounts at Solais Lighting.


Having the resort exclusively to ourselves allowed for meaningful relationships to be made. It also made it easy for the participants to disconnect from the distractions of everyday life and reconnect with industry peers, realigning their vision for the future.

“It was an incredible networking opportunity and overall a great experience,” said Juan Ahmad, Director of Global Store Development & Procurement at Ralph Lauren. “A different and refreshing way to approach a trade show.”


“When you read something in a magazine, it’s over and past–RetailSpaces is where you go to get ideas and to get ahead of the game,” said Lee Peterson, EVP of Brand, Strategy, & Design at WD Partners. “Compared to other events it’s a lot more fun and easy to talk to people.”


Billy Zebe, CEO of Naples Soap, echoed an appreciation for the top-notch suppliers present.

“RetailSpaces is truly holistic. The vendors here are generally the best, I don’t have to sort through 50 different vendors–great variety from logistics to signage which makes it like a one-stop shop. It saves me a lot of time and is a huge competitive advantage for me.”

You can watch recordings of several of the talks and presentations from RetailSpaces ’17 on our YouTube channel.

The RetailSpaces’17 highlight video will be uploaded soon!


Michael P. Owens

Posted by

Michael P. Owens is Co-Founder + Managing Partner of influence group, a leading producer of invite-only B2B events.

Physical Retail Reimagined.

RetailSpaces is a community for store development and design innovators.

Sept 15-17, 2024 | Scottsdale, AZ

Learn More!



Subscribe to our twice monthly newsletter

Learn about the latest trends in Retail Development & Design.

Get it in your inbox ;)