The 10 Most Influential People in Retail

By Tim Denman — January 25, 2016

The retail industry spends untold hours reacting to and attempting to influence key shopping trends. But who is truly setting retail's agenda?  

In their third annual look at retail's most innovative Vend ranks the industry insiders with the greatest influence on retail.

The list of the top influencers is packed with the retail journalists, bloggers, analysts and consultants that are helping shape the future of the industry. Among those named is RIS News' very own editorial director Joe Skorupa who came in 26th place overall among the 50 influencers named to the list.

Here is a quick look at the top 10 retail influencers according to Vend. The individuals' names have been linked to their Twitter profiles for easy access and to begin following these retail leaders:

1. Sucharita Mulpuru. Mulpuru is a senior analyst, Forrester Research. In her research, she focuses on eCommerce forecasting and trends, merchandising best practices, conversion optimization, and social computing in the retail world.
2. Bob Phibbs. Phibbs is the CEO of the Retail Doctor and a professional speaker on retail sales, training and marketing. He is a frequent source on marketing and branding for MSNBC, Fox and others.
3. Nicole Reyhle. Reyhle is the founder, publisher and editor of Retail Minded Magazine. The publication's Partner Program reaches over 150,000 retailers nationwide per issue. In addition, Reyhle is a contributor to Forbes and author of Retail 101.
4. Leslie Hand. Hand is the research vice president for IDC Retail Insights and is responsible for the research direction for IDC Retail Insights. She regularly contributes to the Retail PLM and Sourcing blog and is a frequent speaker at industry and technology vendor events and is regularly quoted in the business, technology, and trade press.
5. Paula Rosenblum. Rosenblum is the co-founder and managing partner at RSR Research. She is a lifelong retailer and has been involved in retail tech for more than 30 years both as an IT practitioner and as a tech analyst.
6. Miya Knights. Knights is the head of global retail technology practice at Planet Retail and the publisher of Retail Technology magazine. She has over 15 years' experience as an analyst, journalist and editor specializing in enterprise technology use in retail.
7. Krystina Gustafson. Gustafson is a content editor and retail reporter at CNBC.com. Before joining CNBC, she was the online editor at Condé Nast-owned Women's Wear Daily, the trade publication for the fashion and retail industries.
8. Doug Stephens. Stephens is the founder and president of Retail Prophet, a specialty advisory services company to the retail industry. He is a leading retail industry futurist and an in-demand retail speaker.
9. Neil Saunders. Saunders is the managing director of Conlumino, a retail research agency and consulting firm, focusing on all aspects of retailing and consumer behavior.
10. Debbie Hauss. Hauss is the editor-in-chief of Retail TouchPoints. She has worked as an editorial manager, writer and editor in various industries for more than 25 years.

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