August 9, 2022

Top Thought Leaders in Retail: Who Should You Be Following?

Who to follow in retail


Andrea Lechner-Becker
Head of Marketing

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As the retail industry continues to advance, retailers and brands are looking to industry leaders and influencers in order to keep up with the latest retail consumer insights, trends, and technology. Do you want to be in-the-know of forecasts and news that is shaping the industry? 

Here’s a list of the best and brightest leaders that all retailers and brand executives should be following:

Liza Amlani - Retail Strategy Group

Liza is not only one of the top females in retail but is also the creator of The Merchant Life, a newsletter that gives retailers and retail enthusiasts an inside look at current events and the future of retail. Liza discusses growth strategies and trends for brands and retail tech companies to breakthrough and achieve results. 

Follow Liza on Twitter and Linkedin. Follow The Merchant Life on LinkedIn

Miya Knights - Retail Technology

Miya is the Director and Publisher of Retail Technology. She has more than  25 years' experience as an analyst, journalist and editor focusing on enterprise retail technology. She is also the co-author of two best-selling books: Omnichannel Retail: How to build winning stores in a digital world and Amazon: How the World’s Most Relentless Retailer Will Continue to Revolutionize Commerce

Follow Miya on LinkedIn and Twitter

Ken Pilot - Ken Pilot Ventures

Ken is a retail leader with more than 30 years of experience with The Gap, J.Crew and Ralph Lauren. He actively shares insights and information about emerging technology that supports retail and discusses trends in commerce brand growth. He has previously shared his insights at Shoptalk and the Retail Innovation Conference & Expo

Follow Ken on LinkedIn.


Shoptalk is one of the largest and most widely known events in the retail industry. With events both in-person and online, they collaborate with industry leaders to uncover retail’s latest trends, technologies and business models. 

Follow Shoptalk on LinkedIn and Twitter

Eytan Daniyalzade - Toolio

Speaking of Shoptalk, we have to include the 2022 Shoptalk speaker of the year (that’s an award we gave him…in our hearts), our CEO, Eytan Daniyalzade. With experience as a leader and serial entrepreneur from start-ups to Walmart, he co-founded Toolio to help next-generation retailers make faster, data-driven decisions on their most important asset - inventory.

Follow Eytan on LinkedIn and Twitter

Andrew Busby - Retail Reflections

Andrew is a global industry leader in retail and has over 22 years of retail experience.  He is the founder of Retail Reflections, a start-up retail analyst practice, which has become popular for the retail thought leadership and content it provides. Ranked as a top global retail influencer, Andrew frequently discusses customer service and digital transformation.

Follow Andrew on Linkedin and Twitter.

Carol Spieckerman - Spieckerman Speaks Retail

Carol is President of Spieckerman Retail, a retail consulting company, and is the host of Spieckerman Speaks Retail. She is a retail thought leader and advisor to many companies in the retail industry. Carol often discusses retail positioning, influence-building, retail targeting strategy.

Follow Carol on Linkedin and Twitter.

Christine Russo - RETHINK Retail

Christine is a Digital and Physical Retail Consultant and a RETHINK Retail Advisor. She is the host of What Just Happened?, a podcast focused on creating and publishing industry-leading B2B content. Christine is also the publisher of “Russo's Retail Tech Must-Haves.”  She frequently discusses labor problems, revenue opportunities, and retail innovation.

Follow Christine on Linkedin and Twitter 

Melissa Gonzalez - Lionesque Group

Melissa is Principal at MG2 and CEO and Founder of the Lionesque Group.  She is also the host of the Retail Refined Podcast.  Melissa is a well-known speaker and has spoken  at Shoptalk, World Retail Congress, NRF’s Retail’s Big Show, and Vogue Business Summit.  She regularly discusses in-store technology, customer storytelling, and retail innovation.

Follow Melissa on Linkedin and Twitter.

Brendan Witcher - Forrester

Brendan is Vice President and Principal Analyst for Digital Business Strategy at Forrester Research. He is a 25 year veteran in the retail industry, and he has shared his insights with industry media such as CNBC, NPR and Time. Brendan shares insight and expert commentary on consumer behavior and technology trends surrounding commerce engagement. 

Follow Brendan on Linkedin and Twitter

April Sabral - retailu

April is the Founder and CEO of retailu, an online platform that creates and provides on-demand training for retail leadership such as store managers, district managers and directors. April is an expert on retail leadership and shares insight and commentary on commerce store management, recruitment and sales. 

Follow April on LinkedIn and Twitter

In Conclusion: Retail Thought Leaders to Follow

Brands, retailers, retail enthusiasts that want to understand the current retail landscape and be able to better predict retail’s continuing evolution must add these experts to their list of those following. By tuning into their discussions, anyone in the retail industry can be sure to stay at the forefront of commerce. 

To stay up-to-date on technology and trends in the retail industry, be sure to regularly check out the Toolio Blog.

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