August 5 | 11 a.m. EDT – 4 p.m. EDT
The retail realities of COVID-19 Part II 
 virtual event
Download Agenda
Register Now

A global Kantar perspective with North American implications

The public health crisis created by the coronavirus pandemic rapidly morphed into a demand crisis for the global economy. As the marketplace begins to rebound and reopen, a handful of decisive actions and priorities, both with shoppers and retailers, will differentiate winning companies from the competition. 

Throughout the day, Kantar experts will address your most pressing issues, providing real-world global case studies, with North American implications for the second half of 2020. 

Register Now



What we will cover?

  • Macroeconomic updates as we head into this fall's election
  • The "new" supply chain
  • The evolution of commerce
  • The global outlook and refresh: China, UK, and Canada
  • Consumer sentiment and shopper updates
  • Ecommerce and digital opportunities, H2 and beyond
  • and more ...

Kantar's new immersive experience, with a networking first mentality is here! - Check it out 


Don’t just dream of winning in retail. Experience it. Access our industry’s best
and brightest through thought-provoking presentations, inspiring conversations,
and hands-on working sessions. It’s time
to set yourself apart in the new era of retail.

Individual Event Pass

$ 1,250

Full Access to virtual event, session recordings, and PDF files of all available event presentations.

Group Event Pass - 5 guests

$ 5,000

Full Access to virtual event, session recordings, and PDF files of all available event presentations.


Enterprise Access

$ 10,000

Full Access to virtual event, session recordings, and PDF files of all available event presentations.



Todd Szahun
11:00-11:15 AM
Todd Szahun, Senior Vice President  & Ted Riedel, Executive Vice President
J Walker Smith

11:15-11:45 AM
Fast break: A blueprint for rebounding into a winning recovery  
J. Walker Smith, Chief Knowledge Officer for Brand & Marketing

Our chief knowledge officer will:

  • Identify the critical steps for winning companies 
  • Share the opportunities available from this recovery blueprint  
  • Outline the steps for coming out of the downturn even stronger 
Doug Hermanson

11:45 AM-12:15 PM
Macro view: Mapping the economic roller-coaster ride for 2020-21 
Doug Hermanson, Principal Economist

The roller-coaster recovery is likely moving into a long period of surprising twists and turns. This session will provide the map or, more likely, maps to give you an understanding of what’s ahead for the retail economy. Expect to learn:

  • The economic and political signposts expected in the second half of 2020 and into 2021 
  • The potential shape or shapes of the recovery 
  • Quarterly trends, including for the holiday, for major consumables, soft goods, and home goods categories 
12:15-12:30 PM
David Marcotte

12:30-1 PM
Modeling local and global changes impacted by COVID-19 
David Marcotte, Senior Vice President

2020 has been a year of unending and unexpected disruptions. We need a proven structure to make sense of them going forward. This session will cover how retailers and suppliers can use the Market Evolution Model (MEM) to:

  • Plan and invest in retail markets around the world 
  • Balance and define the new dynamics of rapidly changing shoppers, retailers, government responses, and oncoming disruptions 
  • Prepare for markets being pushed into defined stages 
joyce williamson

1:00-1:20 PM
China’s new consumer value ecosystem 
Joyce Williamson,
Senior Director of Research, Consulting

COVID-19 has altered consumer sentiment in China. Our local expert will cover:

  • Shifts and implications thus far for retail in China 
  • Predictions for the back half of 2020 in China 
  • Category needs and trends 

1:20-1:35 PM

Ray Gaul
1:35-2:20 PM

Phased reopenings: Lessons from Europe on channel highs and lows  
Ray Gaul, Senior Vice President of European Retail Insights

In Europe, several countries reopened retail in April, allowing us to see a few weeks into the future for American retailers and brands as US states begin to reopen. This session will explore:

  • The European lessons learned in channel shifts 
  • The shape of the growth curve for different channels and categories 
  • Best practices to remove fear and other obstacles from the minds of shoppers 
MaryBrett Whitfield

2:20-2:50 PM
The changing shape of shopping 
Mary Brett Whitfield, Senior Vice President

Our shopper expert will take you through: 

  • Changing dynamics of retailers that are shopped in store versus online 
  • Our initial read on how shoppers are thinking differently about the back-to-school season 
  • Predictions for holiday shopping implications 

2:50-2:55 PM

Amar Singh

2:55-3:25 PM
How has COVID-19 evolved the brick-and-mortar store? 
Amar Singh, Principal Analyst

COVID-19 has undoubtedly accelerated the online shopping transformation since March. However, physical retail stores are still important because they attract significantly higher shopper penetration versus their online platforms. While retailers have changed the physical store layout to ensure safety, shoppers still expect a convenient and enjoyable in-store experience. The interaction between safety measures, experiential retail, and empowerment is unlocking new avenues of growth. In this session, learn: 

  • How social-distancing measures are changing the front and center of the store 
  • What brands should do differently to drive engagement and growth 
  • How technology can support effective traffic management and a personalized shopping experience 
Tim Campbell

3:25-3:55 PM
Balancing omnicommerce retail after COVID-19 
Timothy Campbell, Director
Rachel Dalton, Director, Ecommerce/Omnichannel

The new function of the store and the future shape of omnicommerce retail are being forged in the present as retailers and shoppers establish new strategies and routines. In this session, Kantar experts share their predictions and provide insight into how you can win in a post pandemic world. Join them to… 

  • Explore the new roles of offline versus online retail and the pandemic’s impact to omnichannel 
  • Evaluate the changing retail landscape: what will revert back to its pre-pandemic state, what will stay as a permanent shift, and what will continue to evolve over time 
  • Examine how shopper expectations for brands and retailers are changing and what that means for your business 
Ted Riedel

3:55-4:00 PM
Closing remarks
Todd Szahun, Senior Vice President  & Ted Riedel, Executive Vice President


Kantar's new immersive experience

Focused on providing you with opportunities to network and engage with your peers and our content.  Introducing, Kantar Connect.

HubSpot Video


In confirmation email, attendees will receive a link to virtually access the Retail Realities of COVID-19 Part II virtual event. If you do not receive this link, please email

If you missed the first installment of Retail Realities of COVID-19, you are able to now purchase those sessions to view on demand. 

Event Speakers

Todd Szahun
Todd Szahun
Senior Vice President

Todd leads the eCommerce and new retail insights team. Before joining Kantar, Todd held simultaneous corporate and operational roles within WPP, leading the expansion of practice areas including eCommerce, digital, data strategy, and shopper marketing across many of WPP’s top 50 clients. With deep client expertise in CPG; technology; entertainment; pharmaceuticals; and beer, wine, and spirits, Todd brings a wealth of experience building and deploying end-to-end marketing activities, including research, activation, amplification and measurement, that enable a broad view of what works across channels and sectors. Todd holds a B.A. in political science and an MBA with a focus on innovation and entrepreneurship. He is a published author, frequent speaker at industry events, and startup adviser.
Ted Riedel
Ted Riedel
Executive Vice President

Doug Hermanson
Doug Hermanson
Principal Economist

Doug specializes in data management, forecasting, and applied economics for the economist and home improvement teams. He contributes economic, retail, and consumer insights through customized research, presentations, and syndicated publications. He is also a key developer of the econometric models and methodologies used in the channel, category, and country-level retail market forecasts produced at Kantar. He holds an M.S. in economics from The Ohio State University where he developed research on regional retail market development and financial commodity markets.
Mary Brett Whitfield
Mary Brett Whitfield
Senior Vice President

Mary Brett leads the shopper insights research and content development team for Kantar and also directs development of the company’s apparel retailing content. Mary Brett has extensive experience helping retailers and suppliers leverage shopper insights and other primary research data for performance improvement. She has worked at retail companies in market research, strategic planning, and sales development roles and has a strong background in industry and company analysis and competitive positioning work. Mary Brett earned a B.A. in economics from Smith College and an MBA from the University of Oklahoma.
joyce williamson
Joyce Williamson

Senior Director of Research, Consulting

Ray Gaul
Ray Gaul
Senior Vice President of European Retail Insights

Based in London, Ray is an expert in global retail trends. He typically works with clients looking to understand how retail is changing across multiple countries and continents. He currently focuses on pan-European retail topics, such as the success and expansion of grocery discounters, the rise of buying groups in Europe, and M&A activities among big retailers. Ray also sits on Kantar’s global center of excellence for eCommerce. In addition, Ray leads Kantar’s dedicated forecasting teams that provide clients with future views to aid in key channel/account planning. Ray joined Kantar in 2000 having worked previously in Ukraine for three years. He holds a B.A. in economics and an M.A. in international relations with a focus on international economic policy.
Amar Singh
Amar Singh
Principal Analyst

Amar is a principal analyst, focusing on Canadian retail and eCommerce. He creates insights that inform strategic decisions related to key grocery, mass merchandising, drug, club, home improvement, and digital channels. Amar is a seasoned brand, shopper, and advertising researcher. Before joining Kantar in 2018, he managed consumer insights at a leading CPG brand in Canada, which included brand management, packaging optimization, and product innovation. Amar has an MSc in marketing and consumer studies from the University of Guelph.
David Marcotte
David Marcotte
Senior Vice President

David leads Kantar’s insights into the current and future state of international retail, complex business processes, and technology. He covers a range of retail channels, including home improvement, consumer electronics, and food service. David is a provocative keynote speaker for events across the Americas and Asia. He is an experienced leader of international teams, a veteran executive consultant, and a retail solutions architect. Before joining Kantar, David was the global business intelligence lead for retail and CPG at IBM, advising retail clients on POS infrastructure, merchandising, loyalty programs, IT design, loss prevention, supply chain, and large data solutions. Before IBM, David spent 20 years working at every level of retail, from the shop floor to executive management, within discount, grocery, chain drug, and food service operations. He is a past member of the Efficient Consumer Response Category Management Standards Group and the Association for Retail Technology Standards. David’s publications include The Store of the Future.
Tim Campbell
Tim Campbell

Tim leads research and insights for Kantar’s club channel coverage. He is responsible for developing syndicated content, hosting event presentations, and delivering custom work related to the three major U.S. club retailers: Costco, Sam’s Club, and BJ’s Wholesale. He also coordinates coverage for Walmart International in addition to providing topical support for private label and more general brick-and-mortar retail insights. He has been cited by NPR, The Wall Street Journal, CNN, and other media outlets. Tim joined Kantar in December 2013. He holds a B.A. in economics and political science from Gordon College.
J. Walker Smith, Chief Knowledge Officer for Brand & Marketing
J. Walker Smith
Chief Knowledge Officer for Brand & Marketing

Rachel Dalton
Rachel Dalton
Director, eCommerce/Omnichannel

Rachel leads eCommerce content and insights development for Kantar Retail IQ and Kantar events with a focus on Amazon and forecasting. She has a background in brand and global business management from her work leading strategic planning, new product development, and marketing initiatives across several CPG brands and categories. Rachel holds a B.A. from Connecticut College and an MBA from Cornell University.

Register early before it's too late