The Art of Retailing 2021 and Beyond - WITI Panel - 6th May 2021

No doubt 2020 brought many challenges. COVID has accelerated digital disruption and consumers are living, thinking, and purchasing differently. In response, retailers are rapidly trying to identify the immediate impacts to their business and balancing these with the longer-term considerations for their overall strategy and operating models. Many are taking the opportunity to embrace the changes that Covid-19 has brought and accelerate their competitive advantage.

We are delighted to invite you to this exciting event with our special guest panelists, Marcella Larsen, Ron Thurston, Andrew Smith, and Chana Imsirovic, giving insights into the art of retailing in 2021 and beyond


Featured Speaker(s)

Marcella Larsen, Microsoft Retail Industry Executive

It's been a few decades since Marcella Larsen started her career in retail while at the University of Washington and insisted on having a laptop before accepting an internship offer at a trading partner of Samsung in South Korea. From there she began a career in technology at Microsoft. First focused on international trade and supply chain, followed by many years in product management, PR, community affairs and marketing in the US, latin american and global divisions.

Today, Marcella Larsen leads Microsoft's Retail industry strategy in Australia, steering the local approach to retail and consumer goods customers, partnerships and the adoption of digital, cloud and AI capabilities to enable digital transformation in retail to materially drive top line growth, giving her unique insights into the addressing the pace of change in retail at scale.


Ron Thurston

Ron Thurston loves retail. And he's proud of it. Ron has led the retail teams for some of America's most prominent brands, inspired thousands of store employees, and traveled relentlessly across the country to sit and listen to what they have to say. From a part-time sales associate to a Vice President of Stores, Ron has put in the hard work that a retail career requires and wrote this book to share what he learned along the way.

In 2021, Ron was named one of the world's Top 100 most influential people in retail and is a featured keynote speaker, podcast guest, and in-demand industry expert. Ron currently leads the retail organization for INTERMIX, sits on the board of directors for GOODWILL NY/NJ, and is an advisory board member and mentor for several retail technology brands.


Andrew Smith 

Andrew is a passionate retailer and transformational leader who focusses on the future of retail and customer experience, designing and implementing ways for brands to introduce innovation strategies and win.


He is the co-founder of ThinkUncommon, a global retail innovation advisory and action firm and has led their North America practice since it started. He has worked with startups, retail technology partners, and retailers whilst regularly being an industry commentator on podcasts and many retail publications. He is co- author of the book "Retail Innovation Reframed", an action-focused guide on how to transform operations and use change to thrive. Andrew was recently named in the Top 100 Retail Influencers.

Andrew is a passionate designer, leader, speaker, strategist, and a self-confessed retail nerd.


Chana Imsirovic, eCommerce Specialist at Owl and Monk

Chana is the founder of Owl and Monk a eCommerce Consultancy in Southern Sydney that specialises in helping retail businesses grow. Working one-on-one with founders of small to medium sized businesses Chana creates personalised eCommerce solutions that help them to sell their products online more simply and effectively.

Chana also participates in a mentoring program that helps regional business owners pivot and prepare their business for the digital future by creating more resilient, diversified and adaptable business communities through the transfer of knowledge and skills.

Chana Co-founded the Shopify Women's Network, an online global community on LinkedIn dedicated to empowering women to confidently use Shopify. The Shopify Women's Network is a space where information and resources are able to be shared within a community of like minded people who then have the opportunity to collaborate, learn and support each other to grow their brands online and have fun whilst doing so.