NRF 2021: Five trends reshaping the retail chessboard

2021 demands new goals, mindsets, ideas and approaches.

Matt Kramer

Matt Kramer

National Sector Leader, Consumer & Retail, KPMG LLP

+1 614-241-4666

Scott Rankin

Scott Rankin

US Strategy Service Line Leader, Deal Advisory & Strategy, KPMG LLP

+1 617-988-1474

A range of pressures have been challenging retail businesses for years, and COVID-19 aggressively intensified them. It rewarded retailers that incorporated innovative technologies and operating environments to meet changing customer requirements, while exposing those saddled with legacy systems unfit for the future. The retail chessboard has changed, and small steps aren’t big enough to succeed long term. Moving forward requires retail players to transform their businesses in fundamental ways and forge ahead with renewed vision, agility and resilience.

In the face of COVID-19, the National Retail Federation hosted its annual conference, NRF 2021: Retail’s Big Show, virtually. We attended and found an abundance of useful information and ideas. We’ve summed up the five big trends and added our perspectives on how your organization can overcome immediate challenges and compete in the new business reality. 

This report covers five key trends from the NRF 2021 conference—combined with our perspective, to help retailers hear what can be done to thrive in 2021.

  • leverage data to accelerate growth
  • win the customer experience battle
  • digitize the enterprise
  • build a more nimble supply chain using technology and data
  • embrace responsible retail.
NRF 2021: Five trends reshaping the retail chessboard
Read our perspective on how retailers can overcome immediate challenges and become more competitive.