We shine the light on 25 retail rock stars each year through The List of People Shaping Retail's Future, and recognize dozens of students who will be retail's leaders tomorrow..

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Doug McMillon
President and CEO

The List of People Shaping Retail’s Future

The List recognizes true originals, rising stars, inspirational change-makers, champions of retail and fearless leaders whose imagination, inspiration and innovation are having a true impact on the industry.

The Visionary

For The Visionary, innovation isn’t a buzzword or a new concept – it’s part of their DNA. They set the standard for tomorrow’s retail leaders.


The Influencers

Champions of retail, bridging the gap between the industry and the rest of the world. Whether they're journalists, activists, innovators or business leaders, these nominees don't work in retail—but they're helping it evolve. They're passionate, persistent and intelligent, and their work is paving the way for innovative retailers everywhere.


The Power Players

Fearless leaders who never shy away from what others may see as insurmountable challenges. These top retail executives have more than just elite status—they have vision, passion and heart. Their forward-looking decisions have a ripple effect across the industry, but they're not afraid to take risks or push boundaries. They guide, inspire and challenge us to move beyond the status quo.


Student Scholarship Recipients

Next Generation Scholarship Top Recipients

Recipients are outstanding students at NRF member schools who are currently pursuing retail careers and have the skills, insights and interest to be successful in the retail industry. A pinnacle achievement for students seeking recognition by the retail community, this scholarship offers an award up to $25,000.

Courtney Nash
University of Arizona

Kaley Suero
University of Pennsylvania

Emma Jumper
Mississippi State University

Sarah Kendzior
University of Minnesota

Student Challenge Top Teams

A business-case competition that allows students to showcase their creativity, business acumen and entrepreneurial spirit to retail executives, finalists get face-to-face interaction with some of retail’s biggest executives at NRF 2018: Retail’s Big Show and a scholarship of up to $5,000.

Ashley Cairns
Blake Fortin
Kendall McDermott

Columbia College Chicago

Emily Mince
Deema Aridi

Texas Woman’s University