The world’s largest retail trade show has wrapped up for another year. In 2020 the NRF Big Show drew 40,000 attendees to the Javits Centre in New York to talk all things retail. 

In the latest Which-50 Minicast, Paul Greenberg, a pioneer in the Australian ecommerce industry and a non-executive director of the Nora network and the National Retail Association, explains which retailer caught his eye this year during the Big Show, and why. 

Camp, started by the former CMO BuzzFeed, is an experiential toy store. Of particular interest is just how the company makes enough money to pay the rent on its premium New York real estate. 

The answer is multiple revenue streams. Rather than solely relying on the retail model of buying a product and selling it at a higher margin, Camp also generates revenue by selling tickets to experiences such as magic shows and concerts and, offering sponsorships to brands. 

The model contains lessons for other retailers, Greenberg says. 

“If we can create experiential retail, not just transactional retail, and an environment that people want to come to, and yes, pay to play and participate, then I think we’re onto a winner.” 

Greenberg also noted that during the Big Show, conversations about culture, diversity, inclusion and prioritising purpose above profit dominated the agenda.

“Sustainability clearly was the big theme. How do we build retail into the future and beyond? Sustainable business practices got a lot of bandwidth from the various speakers and panels were very much closely aligned to that was diversity and inclusion,” he said.

Which-50’s Minicast publishes each Tuesday. Follow Which-50 on LinkedIn to be the first to view it. 

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