Thoughts on the Industry from Five Retail Tech CIOs

In her article appearing in, Samantha Ann Schwartz has compiled some key takeaways from retail tech CIOs speaking at the National Retail Federation Big Show (NRF, January 2019) in New York City.


Michelle Garvey, CIO, J. Crew, says that mentorships can help workers get in touch with what they know, but can’t deal with. The relationship should not be treated as ‘can you help me find a job?’ Michelle goes on to say that mentorships are about providing access to talented individuals who offer varying perspectives.

Using Data for Product Assortment              

Janet Sherlock, CIO, Ralph Lauren, predicts that data-driven personalization will be the top priority for retailers this year, as they seek to treat customers as individuals. She adds that Ralph Lauren is looking to AI for insights, and to augmented reality “to tell stories”.

Thought Diversity

Diane Randolph, CIO, ULTA Beauty, says that having a qualified candidate fill a leadership role is just as important as having a balance in diversity of thought. Diane added that there should be more education on what a workplace should look like.

AI Insights

Shweta Bhatia, VP of technology, Kohl’s, speaks about how the industry is expected to move towards mining actionable insights from AI and machine learning. She adds that Kohl’s has been using collected insights to help store associates and improve displays. She goes on to say that with the collection of mass data, comes the pressure of security.

Skills Gap

Sarah Miller, CIO, Neiman Marcus, says that less than one-fifth of the CIOs are women, and in industries with an emphasis on the female consumer, a diversity of thought is a business asset. She bemoans the fact that the glass ceiling still persists. Sarah is quick to add that girls shy away from tech because of the shortcoming of the education system.

Click on the following link to view the original article in full:


Sapna Hiremath

Sapna S Hiremath is currently working as a Content Specialist Lead for CAI Info India. With experiences of having worked for newspapers after pursuing a Master's in Mass Communication and Journalism, she has worked in the thriving fields of Search Engine Marketing, online shopping and healthcare. Being an avid traveler, she likes being in the serene landscapes of nature, but also likes being around friends.

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