Inclusion In-Store: Pioneering the Future of Retail

Produced by


Jill Ratliff

Senior Design Consultant
Sorenson Communications

Anne Roberts

Lead Accessibility Solutions Engineer, AT&T

Mindy Scheier

Founder & CEO of Runway of Dreams Foundation, CEO, GAMUT Management 

Dana Zumbo

Business Development Manager, Zappos Adaptive

In today's rapidly evolving retail landscape, the principles of diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility (DEIA) are no longer mere buzzwords but vital components shaping consumer behavior and brand loyalty. As retailers grapple with shifting consumer values, this session’s panelists, representing a diverse range of expertise, have emerged as trailblazers, reshaping the retail and fashion industry's approach towards inclusivity. In this captivating discussion, Jill Ratliff, Senior Design Consultant at Sorenson Communications, moderates an engaging conversation with Mindy Scheier, Founder & CEO of Runway of Dreams Foundation and CEO of GAMUT Management; Dana Zumbo, Business Development Manager at Zappos Adaptive; and Anne Roberts, Lead Accessibility Solutions Engineer at AT&T. Through their real-world experiences and insights, they shed light on the transformative power of accessibility and inclusion in retail.

Journey Towards Inclusion: Mindy Scheier kicks off the discussion with a powerful personal anecdote that spurred her journey towards inclusive fashion. Inspired by her son's desire to wear jeans despite muscular dystrophy, Mindy founded Runway of Dreams Foundation and pioneered the first mainstream adaptive clothing line in partnership with Tommy Hilfiger. Her journey underscores the profound impact of addressing unmet needs within marginalized communities while unlocking significant economic opportunities.

Dana Zumbo shares Zappos Adaptive's origin story, rooted in a customer service interaction that catalyzed the company's commitment to disability inclusion. Through strategic collaborations and a customer-centric approach, Zappos Adaptive has revolutionized footwear accessibility, exemplifying the business case for catering to diverse consumer needs.

Anne Roberts highlights AT&T's innovative collaboration with Gallaudet University, leveraging 5G technology to develop a revolutionary helmet for deaf athletes. This groundbreaking initiative not only enhances sports accessibility but also exemplifies the potential of technology to drive inclusivity across diverse domains.

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Will Pickard, Senior Manager at Deloitte, provided valuable insights into the challenges and opportunities presented by Dollar General's ambitious growth plans. Acknowledging the brand's unique position in reaching digitally engaged yet predominantly offline consumers, Will highlighted the importance of personalization in driving customer loyalty and increasing revenues.

As the discussion unfolded, Marta Frattini, Director of Industry Strategy & Marketing (ISM) - Retail at Adobe, facilitated a deep dive into Dollar General's strategic priorities and technological investments. Paul emphasized the significance of clean data as the foundation for their initiatives, highlighting the implementation of a Snowflake data lake to consolidate and manage their data effectively.

The conversation further explored Dollar General's partnership with Adobe and Deloitte, with Paul underscoring the importance of selecting partners with a track record of delivery and innovation. "Both of our partners had a track record of delivery for their clients," Paul noted, emphasizing the collaborative approach taken in evaluating and implementing technology solutions.

Reflecting on early successes, Paul highlighted the revamp of their Adobe Analytics platform and the launch of in-store push notifications as key milestones. These initiatives underscored Dollar General's commitment to delivering personalized experiences to its customers, driving engagement and loyalty.

Throughout the discussion, key themes emerged, including the importance of collaboration, pragmatism, and customer-centricity in driving successful digital transformations. Charlene emphasized the need to involve non-IT stakeholders early in the process to ensure alignment and understanding of objectives.

Paul encouraged attendees to explore opportunities at Dollar General, emphasizing the brand's innovative approach to solving complex business challenges. Charlene stressed the importance of simplicity and pragmatism in driving digital initiatives, while Marta highlighted the criticality of planning for both present value and future scalability.

Overall, the session presented a deeper understanding of Dollar General's journey to unlock the synergies between digital and in-store marketing, inspired by the brand's commitment to innovation and customer-centricity.

MAR 2024