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The Lavin Agency Speakers Bureau

A speakers bureau that represents the best original thinkers,
writers, and doers for speaking engagements.

The past few years have transformed shopping forever, but if retailers can adapt to AI and our changing supply chains, they'll survive—and thrive.

Retail and Consumer Futurist | Internationally Acclaimed Author | Founder of Retail Prophet

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Lavin Exclusive Speaker

Is retail over? Are brick-and-mortar stores dead? Will ChatGPT replace our workforce? Not so fast, says Doug Stephens, bestselling author and founder of the global consultancy Retail Prophet. While it may not look like it used to, retail is here to stay, and customers still crave a physical—and more emotional—retail experience. The real key for business success will be learning to understand the entirely new set of social norms and behaviors that we face today (like the rise of AI and the “beautifully human” creativity you need to maintain a competitive edge). Doug will show you how to identify and take advantage of these trends, preparing your business to enter a “narrow but crucial window of opportunity for brands with courage.” His savvy, dynamic, and highly engaging insights will teach you how to recognize patterns, see the big picture, and lean into the creativity that has never been more essential than right now.

“Prophetic, inspiring and entertaining. [Doug] paints a clear picture of the post COVID world we are entering and how retailers must adapt to thrive.”— Ian McMilan, Global Retail Marketing Lead, Nike

As the Founder of global consultancy Retail Prophet, Doug Stephens has made a name for himself as one of the world’s leading retail and consumer futurists, and as a top global retail influencer. His work has influenced the most widely known international retailers, agencies, and brands in the world, including Walmart, Google, Estée Lauder, BMW, Disney, and LVMH. Doug helps these organizations understand how trends in demographics, global economics, AI, and media are constantly altering the relationship between consumers and brands. In a world where consumers are now empowered with technology—becoming experts in their own right—we have to learn from buyers (and browsers) to ensure that we look forward, not backward, when it comes to innovative retail strategies. Doug’s insights will leave you entertained, enlightened, and inspired to put his wisdom into action.

Doug’s books have always been at the cutting edge of what comes next and what we need to know now to succeed tomorrow. The Retail Revival and Reengineering Retail accurately predicted the transformation of retail in the post-digital world. His latest release is even more timely—Resurrecting Retail: The Future of Business in a Post-Pandemic World is an essential road map for how the retail industry will transform in the aftermath of the pandemic and how retail and consumer behaviors will change forever. Doug details how consumers deal with crisis, how to succeed in an unstable marketplace, and how to figure out which of our recent consumer habits are here to stay. Resurrecting Retail “clears the fog around a post-pandemic retail landscape, and shines a spotlight on resilient retailers who will find a way to thrive in it” (Harley Finkelstein, president of Shopify).

Before founding Retail Prophet, Doug spent over 20 years in retail, holding senior international leadership roles. Doug is the author of three internationally bestselling books: Resurrecting Retail: The Future of Business in a Post Pandemic World (2021), Reengineering Retail: The Future of Selling in a Post-Digital World (2017) and The Retail Revival:  Re-Imagining Business for the New Age of Consumerism (2013). He sits on multiple corporate and academic advisory boards. His unique and prophetic perspectives on retail, business, and consumer behavior have been featured in the New York TimesTechCrunch, the BBC, and Fast Company. As a business journalist, Doug’s writing has appeared in the Wall Street JournalForbesChicago TribuneFortuneBusiness Insider, and Business of Fashion.

Testimonials

Doug was great – our dry run and event day were a bit chaotic but he was so laid back and rolled with it. The presentation went off without any technical issues and the content he shared was spot on! He was the perfect addition to the day! Ten out of ten – all the gold stars!

LCBO
Testimonials

Doug was amazing! He was definitely a highlight of the Fashion Forum. The entire room was completely engaged for the whole hour, and he was a pleasure to deal with onsite. We’d have no issue in recommending Doug to any other organisations looking for a professional, engaging and informative keynote speaker.

Government, City of Melbourne
Testimonials

Many speakers say they will tailor their comments, but it’s the exception that I work with someone who actually does. Doug Stephens was definitely the perfect kickoff to our conference. He easily picked up on the challenges facing our stores, and not only gave them insight, but inspired them to act. His style is completely engaging, and his content just what we need. We couldn’t have asked for anything better!

National Association of College Stores
Testimonials

Doug Stephens was such a phenomenal speaker and very engaging. He customized his presentation to our audience and we received nothing but great feedback.

Neighborhood Pharmacy Association of Canada
Testimonials

I felt that was the most compelling presentation by far, maybe the most compelling I've ever seen at a marketing conference.

Customer Relationship Management Conference (CRMC)
Testimonials

Just wanted to follow up after a great webinar yesterday. Please let Doug know we were super pleased with how it went, with some employees of the company mentioning this was one of our best webinars. We thought Doug’s content was excellent, and his slides very engaging.

Vision Critical
Testimonials

On behalf of Cineplex Digital Media, I wanted to thank you for your excellent presentation on Thursday. Your insights on the future of retail and the opportunities that lie ahead were inspirational for myself and our employees. I've heard nothing but positive feedback, with many of our employees commenting that your presentation was the highlight of our meeting.

Cineplex Digital Media
Testimonials

As our committee reviewed a variety of speakers this year, Douglas immediately stood out from the others from the first video I saw of him presenting. Not only did he seem to be exceptionally knowledgeable about a range of highly relevant business topics, he seemed to be genuine, and, an entertaining speaker! All of these first impressions turned out to be completely accurate. Douglas was beyond good; he blew us away!

GroupHEALTH Benefit Solutions
Testimonials

An outstanding discussion this morning. Best executive series I’ve attended. Thank you for sharing.

SVP Global Processes, Walmart Inc.
Testimonials

Your contribution to our conference was immeasurable and by far the most well received presentation.

Reed Exhibitions Australia
Testimonials

I just wanted to share with you that the feedback I got from Intel is that Doug was fantastic! It was clear that the extensive amount of time he spent on the phone with them, and in his own research and preparation, made a real difference. They found the engaging, upbeat nature of Doug’s talk and content to be the perfect close for this weary group of conference-goers. And for the icing on the cake, Terry shared with me that he found Doug to be a heck of a nice guy, very humble and genuine. Not sure I can think of a nicer compliment.

Intel
Testimonials

Doug’s passion for retailing and connection with consumer trends, attitudes and behaviors brought a fresh perspective and energy to Citi Retail Services annual leadership conference. We valued his willingness to push the boundaries on how retailers can better serve their customers and how our company could be a strong partner in ensuring their success.

Citibank
Testimonials

Thank you for delivering such a thought provoking and engaging speech! Both the chain executives and suppliers raved about it!

Connecting Point Marketing Group
Testimonials

Doug recently presented at a product launch for leaders in the retail world. Doug’s presentation was relevant, funny and eye-opening. The audience was captivated.

TD Bank
Testimonials

Doug Stephens’ keynote delivery and the insight he shared with our audience was dynamic, bold, thought-provoking, relevant and an ultimately fascinating experience. He’s an inspiring and forward-thinking presenter.

CSPNet
Testimonials

You were the talk of the evening with all agents realizing that change is inevitable. You hit the key points which forced all of them to look in the mirror and ultimately adjust moving forward.

Miele
Testimonials

Doug’s presentation was one of the highlights of our recent Retail Customer Experience Executive Summit. He loaded it with historical detail and context, and delivered it with confidence and style. He’s also an expert panel moderator. It has always been a pleasure and a privilege working with him, and I look forward to many more years of doing so.

Retail Customer Experience
Testimonials

Doug was invited to speak as part of our program. Doug’s was one of the most talked about presentations. He was engaging and the information he presented was fresh and insightful. I would highly recommend Doug as a speaker.

North American Retail Hardware Association
Testimonials

You did an excellent presentation, and one of my colleagues said you were the best futurist he’s seen…high praise since many of us see a lot of sessions and speakers!

FMI

Speech Topics

ChatGPT and Generative AI
How Retailers Can Win the AI RevolutionAnd Why “Beautifully Human” Creativity Is the Key

ChatGPT and other AI technologies are going to save companies billions of dollars in workforce costs. What should you do with these savings? How can you ensure you come out on top once AI supercharges your industry? In a world where AI can perform tasks with unparalleled efficiency, how does one company even develop an advantage over another? “Deliciously irrational, beautifully human, and insanely inventive creativity,” says Doug Stephens.

An internationally renowned retail futurist, Doug has a uniquely prescient view of how whip-fast advancements in Artificial Intelligence will revolutionize everything about your brand—from storefronts to online to supply chain—and how you can maintain a competitive edge in the age of ChatGPT.

In this brilliant talk, Doug walks audiences through what you need to do to thrive in this new age of retail. He draws on his work with the world’s biggest brands to offer you practical takeaways and steps you can take today to win. “Smart companies will invest in creative and dynamic human beings who bring innovative thinking, empathy and creative energy to the brand and its customer experience,” Doug tells Lavin. “Because the world is going to need a lot fewer lawyers, consultants, engineers and accountants—and a lot more dreamers, makers and born risk-takers.”

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Innovation
The Future of Competitive AdvantageHow to Win in this New Era

We’re at the cusp of a new age of competition. Is your company ready?

Join Doug Stephens, world-renowned retail futurist, as he takes us into the exciting future of competitive advantage. As we stand at the intersection of innovation and disruption, Doug will unveil the new pillars of future advantage—and what it will take for organizations large and small to win.

Doug offers key insights from leading-edge companies (from Walmart to Google) who are laying the foundation for what promises to be the greatest leap in competitive advantage in modern history. And he spotlights the trailblazers who are not just adapting for the future but are actively shaping it.

This talk is an emotional and intellectual rollercoaster ride that offers audiences a clear understanding of the coming competitive landscape, as well as a roadmap for businesses that are looking to survive and prosper. One client said it “left delegates buzzing long after it ended.” Audiences will walk away with a revolutionary new perspective on the very essence of what it means to compete.

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Retail
The Retail Archetypes of the FutureThe Framework Retailers Need to Succeed in a Changing Landscape

There may be no other time in history when the retail sector has been rife with so much change, says Doug Stephens, bestselling author and founder of the global consultancy Retail Prophet. Permanent shifts in consumer behavior and societal norms, a rapidly transforming technological landscape and unpredictable economic conditions, all present extraordinary challenges for retailers across categories and geographies.

Against this already volatile background, global competition has reached unprecedented levels. Between direct-to-consumer players, global e-commerce giants, hyper-discounters and third-party marketplaces, the consumer has never had more choice. Thus, making the traditional strategic cornerstones of convenience, selection, price, and even product exclusivity shaky footholds from which to achieve enduring competitive success.

So how can the average retailer win?

In this talk, futurist Doug Stephens will share a simple yet profound strategy framework that enables retailers and brands to cut through the chaos in their market, prioritize investments, forge radical consumer value and achieve uncontested dominance in their category. He explores how the world’s most creative brands are revolutionizing design, creativity, and content—for instance, using sensory experiences to revive the art of retail—in a world of hyper-technologized consumerism. Based on research from his book Resurrecting Retail, Doug’s insights will transform your company—ensuring you thrive not just today, but well into the future.

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Economics
Revolutionizing the Retail Supply ChainSaving the Forgotten Backbone of Retail

The retail industry is complex, structured, and constantly in movement, and that has never been clearer than in today’s rapidly changing world. As an expanding industry, however, it remains largely at risk. The global supply chain system, the neglected but essential backbone of retail, has not changed in decades. Doug Stephens suggests that today is the perfect time to bring change to an ineffective system and unlock a new competitive advantage never seen before in retail.

Applying lessons learnt from as far back as the British cotton famine to as recent as the microchip shortage of the 2020s, Doug urges you to think of clear solutions to recurring problems. Is a 70-year-old lowest cost system really the best, or is there a more effective system for a safe and sustainable future? By rebuilding for shared risk, transparency, and intelligence, you can not only achieve unprecedented success, but convert your business into a force for good in the world.

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Workshops & Interactive
What’s In-Store?

Doug Stephens is an expert on retail business strategy, and he brings his wealth of experience and in-depth knowledge to your company in this highly customizable keynote and workshop. What are the latest retail trends within your industry or category? How are demographic and technological shifts affecting your customer base? What can your company do to stay ahead of the curve? To help your company excel in the ultra-competitive realm of retail, manufacturing or consumer packaged goods, Stephens is constantly collecting data and case studies—in a variety of fields—to give you strategies that are broad in scope, yet focused in purpose.

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Featured Books

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