(R)Tech | Center for Innovation
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Innovation Awards

The (R)Tech Retail CEO Innovation Awards exist to highlight innovations that will enable the industry’s future.
Learn more about our winners: IamBot, Multifold, and Persado.


The (R)Tech Center for Innovation was created to help retailers navigate the industry’s transformation by empowering innovation executives with research, insights, and collaboration, as well as, exposing other executives to the technologies and innovations defining retail’s future.

The (R)Tech Center for Innovation is an initiative of…

RILA is the trade association of the world’s largest and most innovative retail companies, and brings its prowess for engaging and convening leading industry executives.

Accenture partners with more than three-quarters of the Fortune Global 500, and brings its powerful innovation, technology, and retail expertise.

What is (R)Tech?

(R)Tech is a new term that describes the confluence of retail and technology. An (R)Tech company embodies the strongest values of both industries – global and local, nimble and entrepreneurial – to delight profoundly empowered consumers. The term is meant to accelerate retail innovation and to invigorate retail’s reputation with innovators, the next generation of retail talent, policymakers, and the public.

Pressures Driving Industry Change

U.S. and global consumers are driving change in retail as never before. Ubiquitous internet access, and changing consumer values, preferences, and lifestyles, have led to unprecedented disruption in virtually every industry; retail perhaps more than any other. This digital revolution continues to transform the way customers buy and interact with retailers and products. And the pace and depth of these changes is both unprecedented and accelerating. Retail innovation chiefs see two trends driving the industry more than any other: the trends toward “ubiquitous and ultra-personal shopping” and toward a circular economy.



  • Retail everywhere
  • Augmented and virtual reality
  • Distributed manufacturing
  • Advancements in biotechnology
Consumption Patterns

New Consumption Patterns

  • Self- and community reliance
  • Rise of the sharing economy
  • Empowered consumers
  • Circular economy


  • Shifting demographics
  • Urbanization in the U.S.
  • Global economic shifts
  • New approaches to health and wellbeing

Resource Constraints

  • Decline in ecosystem services
  • Water insecurity
  • Resource scarcity
  • Time scarcity

Big Data and Transparency

  • The ubiquity of data
  • Radical transparency

Politics and Economics

  • Geopolitical instability
  • Energy transformation
  • Education revolution
  • Coping with climate change

“Every act of creation is first of all an act of destruction.”

– Pablo Picasso


The (R)Tech Center provides thoughtful and authoritative resources to identify trends, and to educate and transform the retail industry.


Four Cardinal Challenges


 The (R)Tech Center has identified four critical challenges that face the retail industry.



Identifying and scaling high value projects by assessing consumer insights, futures planning, and innovators networks



Battling unknown ROI with the desire for immediate payback and developing new measures of success for innovation



Dedicating resources and attracting the right combination of talent for the changing industry



Breaking free from legacy structures, established processes, and operating enviornments

Industry Pathways


The (R)Tech Center’s communities will address the four cardinal challenges through its five pathways forward.


Authoritative Research

Retail innovation benchmarking, trends, and analysis


Connecting to Innovation

Connect retailers to innovative technologies, companies, ventures, and other models, both in the US and from around the world


Fostering Innovation

Assist the industry in creating cultures where innovation, creativity, and change can flourish


Activating Innovation

Assist retailers in the process of moving emerging technologies, business models, or use cases from their innovation function into their broader business


Burnishing Reputation

Build reputation for retail in innovation hubs, and with policymakers and retail talent



The (R)Tech Center for Innovation is structured with four councils to convene the industry’s innovation leaders and address their needs:

(R)Tech Advisory Council

Guides the strategy and priorities for the Center. Composed of RILA Premier member and founding member innovation chiefs, the Advisory Council acts as a sounding board for the Center’s activities and growth, and identifies potential collaborative interests.

(R)Tech Council

Acts as a pre-competitive forum to share best practices, and identify potential collaborative interests and industry needs. The (R)Tech Council will be composed of retail chief innovation officers.

Digital Retail Council

Convenes retail executives and digital technology firms to discuss e-commerce, omni-channel, and digital retailing. The Digital Retail Council provides a forum for retail’s digital executives to learn from digital technology leaders, identify future needs, and benchmark and share best practices.

(R)Tech Innovation Network

Convenes venture capitalists, incubators, and accelerators with a focus on retail technologies and innovations; allowing the Center to keep a pulse on the latest ideas, technologies, and startups. The Network is a source for content at the Center’s events and a distribution channel for the Center’s research.

Founding Innovation Partner

Innovation Partners

Advisory Council

Innovation Network


2018 Events

The Center will expose retail executives to critical innovations and technologies through RILA’s existing committee and conference infrastructure. It will also host exclusive, invite-only events in key innovation hubs to convene retail executives, and technology, digital, and startup leaders.


21-23: RILA Retail CEO Forum
23: (R)Tech Center Meeting


25-28: #RILASupplyChain Conference


18-21: (R)Tech Center meeting at Shoptalk


29-2: RILA Asset Protection Conference


June – August

June 4-7: Sustainable Brands Conference with RILA track


10-11: (R)Tech Center meeting and Innovation Tour
TBD: Congressional Briefing


10-12: RILA Retail Law Conference

Nov – Dec

Plan for Year 3

Jan 2019

20-22: RILA’s Retail CEO Forum

Retail Industry Leaders Association

RILA is the trade association of the world’s largest and most innovative retail companies. RILA members include more than 200 retailers, product manufacturers, and service suppliers, which together account for more than $1.5 trillion in annual sales, millions of American jobs and more than 100,000 stores, manufacturing facilities and distribution centers domestically and abroad.

Learn more at www.RILA.org


Million Jobs


Billion in Sales


Thousand Facilities


RILA Members

Meet the Team

Adam Siegel

Retail Industry Leaders Association

Senior Vice President, Research, Innovation & Sustainability


(o): (703) 600-2066

Nicholas Ahrens

Retail Industry Leaders Association

Vice President, Privacy & Cybersecurity


(o): (703) 600-2065

Katie Nicholos

Retail Industry Leaders Association

Manager, Research & Innovation


(o): (703) 600-2035

Brennan Duckett

Retail Industry Leaders Association

Senior Manager, Government Affairs


(o): (703) 600-2010

Press Inquires

Christin Fernandez

Retail Industry Leaders Association

Vice President, Communications


(o): (703) 600-2039

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