Monday, Sept 17th, 8:30-9:20

Manolo Almagro, Managing Partner, Q Division, Austin, Texas

"Don’t Believe the Hype! Skynet Isn’t Coming ...Yet."

Blockchain, social robots and the Internet of Things are high on the retail tech hype cycle. Is it ready for prime time instore and part of your design strategy? Manolo Almagro will share his insights and expertise as to what’s likely the impact on thebuilt environment and digital space de ning today’s shopper world. Almagaro will cut through the buzzwords yet show how and when they will be relevant to rms and thework we do to create compelling selling environments. So if you’re wondering about blockchain and its impact to the experience-design community, or how the latest emerging tech will shape customer expectations, then bring all your questions about technology to ensure you’re ready to address these ever-changing headlines.

Almagro leads Q Division, a global team of business management consultants,

connected commerce experts and retail tech engineers, who provide clients with digital transformation services, data driven customer experiences and connected commerce solutions. He
is a 24-year veteran in retail technology and brings his international experience inspiring innovation teams,
launching rst to market products, identifying and capitalizing on emerging technology trends, developingnew digital capabilities, curating tech start-up partnerships for leading agencies, retailers, brands in the u.S., great Britain, France and Southeast Asia.

In 2017, Almagro was recognized by AVIXA (formerly InfoComm) as an Emerging Trends Fellow for Digital Signage. Between speaking engagements, Almagro co-hosts an iTunes Top 20 podcast, Mo + Jo’s Epic Tech Talks, about demystifying relevant marketing technology. Among his technical achievements, Almagro is a named inventor on digital signage software patent #6038545.



Monday, Sept 17th 1:40-2:30

Jose Padron, Global Retail Design Leader, Hershey's

“Creating Emotional Connections  and Engaging all the Senses” 

With growing online sales threatening traditional brick & mortar retailers, it’s more important than ever for brands to create an environment that makes an emotional one with shoppers. The successful environments are those that engage all five senses, celebrate beloved icons and bring back nostalgic memories that strike an emotional chord to create meaningful connections. Getting all the senses activated in retail is hard but not when you are Hershey! 

For Holiday of 2017, Hershey’s opened their updated Hershey’s Chocolate World flagship store in the heart of Times Square. The store brings the Hershey’s legacy, rooted in Central Pennsylvania, to life both architecturally and narratively, through a unique mix of digital and analog displays.  From the introduction of Hershey’s Kitchens to a S’mores Bar, the mix of retail and “attraction retail” (including the Candy Machine, Kiss Wall, and Sweet Personalization), elicits an emotional connection, allows for the personalization of products, and makes everyone a brand ambassador.

Jose will take you on a tour of what experiential development looks like at Hershey and how a collaborative approach is making this store not only a Times Square destination but creating scalable components for future growth. 

Jose´ is currently the Design Lead for the Hershey Experience (THE). The Hershey Experience portfolio includes all branded corporate owned and partner retail, world travel retail, licensing and direct to consumer digital for The Hershey Company. For 19 years Jose´ led Visual Merchandising & Store Design for Godiva Chocolatier North America. He was responsible for the design and execution of the North American visual strategy across corporate owned stores, wholesale operations, and shop-in-shops in North America. Trained in Industrial Design Jose´ began his career in product design before entering the Point of Purchase/ Fixture industry. He worked for various suppliers and brands specializing in cosmetics, watches, and high end retail. 


Tuesday, Sept 18th,  8:15-9:15

Johnathan Sanders, Senior Director Retail in Qurate Retails Frontgate + Grandin Road 

"Bringing a Brand to life in Brick and Mortar through Collaboration and Partnership"

Starting out as an Interior Designer specializing in Historical Renovation in commercial Hotel Projects, Johnathan’s love of Fashion lead to his transition to the world of Couture Menswear and the world of Retail.   From there, he held leadership positions in the Department Store World, Specialty Retail, Jewelry and Watch in the areas of Visual Merchandising, Buying, Product Development, Operational Leadership and Store Planning.  After several years on the Retail side of the business, Johnathan transitioned to the Design and Manufacturing side in SVP level positions supporting some of the world’s most luxury brands and retailers.  Known for a keen sense of what the customer wants, functionality in the Retail Space, trends and marketing, Johnathan has always believed the importance of Relationship Building is the key to a successful Collaboration in bringing a brands identity to life in brick and mortar. 

Currently, Johnathan is Senior Director, Retail in Qurate Retails FRONTGATE and GRANDIN ROAD brands bringing these loved online and catalog brands to life in brick and mortar locations.  From store interior identity, marketing, product assortment, training and selling model development, visual merchandising, space planning, field team development and training to building a Corporate Retail Team to support the field, he is determined to create a cohesive brand message with walking, talking brand ambassadors.  No detail is too small – it all matters.