The RETHINK Retail Top 100 Retail Influencers is an annual list featuring the world’s most instrumental influencers in retail.

This list is comprised of retail experts, consultants, analysts, academics, journalists, and thought leaders who are making an impact in retail in 2021.

Awardees are selected by RETHINK Retail’s staff and listed in no particular order of rank.


Gautham Vadakkepatt

Assistant Professor of Marketing at George Mason University

Mina Fader

Managing Director, Baker Retailing Center at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania

Sandrine Crener

Program Director at Harvard Business School

Scott Galloway

Clinical Professor of Marketing, NYU Stern & Founder, Section4


Dana Telsey

Chief Executive Officer/Chief Research Officer at Telsey Advisory Group

Deborah Weinswig

Founder and CEO of Coresight Research

Emily Pfeiffer

Senior Analyst, Commerce Technology at Forrester

Greg Buzek

President at IHL Services and Donor Trustee of Retail Orphan Initiative

Leslie Hand

GVP at IDC Retail Insights

Marie Driscoll

Managing Director Luxury and Fashion at Coresight Research

Maureen Hinton

Group Research Director at GlobalData Retail

Michelle Evans

Senior Head of Global Digital Consumer Research at Euromonitor, Forbes Contributor, International Keynote Speaker

Neil Saunders

Managing Director and Retail Analyst at GlobalData Retail

Nigel Fenwick

VP Principal Analyst, Digital Transformation and Business Strategy at Forrester

Paula Rosenblum

Managing Partner at Retail Systems Research

Sucharita Kodali

VP and Principal Analyst, Retail at Forrester


Diane J. Brisebois

President & CEO of Retail Council of Canada

Ellen Davis

EVP, Industry Engagement at Consumer Brands Association

Helen Dickinson

Chief Executive of the British Retail Consortium

Kyle Monk

Director of Insight at British Retail Consortium

Matthew Shay

President and CEO at National Retail Federation


Andrew Busby

Founder and CEO of Retail Reflections

Andrew Smith

Co-founder at, Clubhouse Retail Host, Author of “Retail Innovation Reframed”

Ashley Dudarenok

China Marketing Expert, Founder of Alarice & ChoZan, LinkedIn Top Voice, Global Speaker, 3x Bestselling Author

Bob Phibbs

CEO of The Retail Doctor

Brandon Rael

Strategy & Operations Innovations Leader, Retail & Consumer Transformation Change Agent

Carl Boutet

Chief Retail Strategist & Executive Advisor at Studio Rx

Carol Spieckerman

Retail Advisor, Speaker & Strategist to Brands, Agencies, & Solution Providers

Cate Trotter

Head of Trends at Insider Trends

Cathy Hotka

Principal of Cathy Hotka & Associates, Retail Insider

Chris Ressa

Chief Operating Officer at DLC Management Corporation, Host of the Retail Retold Podcast

Christine Russo

Retail Consultant, Inventory Strategy, Management One Retail Expert

Daniel Burrus

Technology Futurist, Disruptive Innovation Expert, Keynote Speaker, Best Selling Author

David Adelman

Business Strategist, Thought Leader, Retail Authority

Diane Wehrle

Marketing and Insights Director at Springboard Research Ltd

Doug Stephens

Founder & President of Retail Prophet, Bestselling Author, Retail Futurist, Fortune 100 Business Advisor

Erwan Rambourg

Author of “Future Luxe”; Managing Director, Global Head of Consumer and Retail Equity Research at HSBC

Gary Newbury

Interim Executive – Retail Supply Chains & The Last Mile, Retail Supply Chain Strategist and Serial Transformation Executive

George Minakakis

Global CEO, Board Chair, Investor, Author

Ian Shepherd

Retail/consumer/technology Non Executive Director & Advisor, Author of “The Average is Always Wrong”

Jason Goldberg

Chief Commerce Strategy Officer of Publicis, Podcaster at The Jason & Scot Show, Chief Strategist at Retailgeek

Jason McNary

Chief Executive Officer – Americas of UNOde50, Board Member and Advisor

Jeff Roster

Retail Influencer, Chairman of the Retail Advisory Board at Apptricity Corporation

Jim Roddy

Author, Keynote Speaker, Podcast Host, Moderator, Business Coach, Consultant, VP of Sales & Marketing at RSPA

Kasey Lobaugh

Principal – Chief Retail Innovation Officer at Deloitte, Member of the Board of Directors at (NRF)

Kevin Graff

President of Graff Retail Inc.

Line Tousignant

Vice President, Strategy & Experience at Valtech

Melissa Gonzalez

CEO & Founder at The Lioneque Group, #RetailWithMelissa Regular Contributor at ABC News Radio, LinkedIn Top Voices

Michael LeBlanc

Founder, Strategic Advisor, Keynote Speaker, Podcaster

Miya Knights

Author, ‘Retail Technology Magazine’ Publisher, Research Director and Consultant

Micah Solomon

Customer Service/CX Consultant, Keynote Speaker, Forbes Senior Contributor

Natalie Berg

Retail Analyst, Author and Founder at NBK Retail

Nicole Leinbach Reyhle

Founder Retail Minded, Co-Founder Independent Retailer Conference & ACTION IN RETAIL, Author, Speaker

Oliver Banks

Independent Retail Transformation Consultant, Podcast Host of the Retail Transformation Show

Peter Cohan

Management Consultant, Professor, Angel Investor, Columnist, Book Author

Ricardo Belmar

Marketing Strategist, Retail Transformation Advisor and Thought Leader

Rich Kizer and Georganne Bender

Consumer Anthropologists, Speakers, Authors, Consultants

Richard Kestenbaum

Partner at Triangle Capital LLC, Forbes Contributor

Ron Thurston

Best Selling Author of “RETAIL PRIDE”, Vice President of Stores at INTERMIX and Board of Directors at Goodwill

Sanford Stein

Founder and moderator of RETAIL SPEAK, Forbes Contributor

Sarah Hofstetter

President of Profitero, Campbell Soup Board Member, Co-Host of BRAVE COMMERCE Podcast

Shannon Ryan

EVP, North America at Valtech

Shep Hyken

Customer Service & Experience Expert, Keynote Speaker, NYT Bestselling Author

Stacey Widlitz

Founder of SW Retail Advisors, CNBC Contributor, Co-Founder of The DealmakeHers, Board Member

Steve Dennis

Keynote Speaker, Retail Analyst, Strategic Advisor, Forbes Senior Contributor, Author of “Remarkable Retail”, Podcast Host

Steve Dresser

Retail Advisor and Consultant

Tony D’Onofrio

Top 100 Retail Influencer, Board Advisor, Consulting, Speaker, CCO/CEO

Trevor Sumner

CEO at Perch, Entrepreneur, Executive, Advisor

Veronika Sonsev

Co-Founder at CommerceNext, Partner at Chameleon Collective, Advisor


Alicia Esposito

Director, Content + New Media at Retail TouchPoints

Andria Cheng

Forbes Senior Contributor

Anne D’Innocenzio

National Retail Writer at The Associated Press

Ashley Armstrong

Retail and M&A Editor at The Times

Barbara Thau

Senior Features Editor, CO— by U.S. Chamber of Commerce

Cale Weissman

Editor-in-Chief at Modern Retail

Chris Walton

CEO of Omni Talk & Third Haus, Senior Forbes Contributor, Blogger

Courtney Reagan

Senior Retail Reporter at CNBC

George Anderson

Editor-in-Chief at RetailWire

Ian Middleton

Entrepreneur and Writer

Imran Amed

Founder and CEO of The Business of Fashion

Jason Del Rey

Senior Correspondent at Recode

Jennifer DiPasquale

President & Co-Founder of Women in Retail Leadership Circle & Total Retail

John Ryan

Director at Newstores, European Ed at VMSD, Contributor at Retail Week

Jordyn Holman

Retail Reporter at Bloomberg News

Julia Raymond Hare

Editor-in-Chief at RETHINK Retail

Khadeeja Safdar

Reporter at The Wall Street Journal

Kristen LaFrance

Head of Resilient Retail at Shopify

Krystina Gustafson

SVP Content at Shoptalk and Groceryshop

Laura Heller

Industry insider, Forbes Contributor, Editor, Content Specialist

Lauren Thomas

Retail Reporter at CNBC

Phil Wahba

Senior Writer at Fortune Magazine

Phillip Russo

Founder/Publisher/Editor Global Retail Brands

Robin Lewis

CEO of The Robin Report

Sapna Maheshwari

Retail Business Reporter at The New York Times

Sarah Butler

Retail Correspondent at The Guardian and The Observer

Sarah Halzack

Retail Columnist at Bloomberg

Sarah Nassauer

Retail Reporter at The Wall Street Journal

Shelley E. Kohan

Chief Strategy Officer at The Robin Report, Professor, Forbes Contributor in Retail

Susan Reda

Editor, STORES Media/National Retail Federation

Suzanne Kapner

Retail Industry Reporter at The Wall Street Journal

About Our List

How do we define retail influencers and categories?
We recognize influencers for their activity within the online retail community. Influencers frequently comment on retail trends or news stories, share industry insights and join thought leadership discussions. These influencers take on many roles. We selected executives from academia, media, consultancies and analyst firms.

Often times, influencers wear multiple hats spanning professions. We identified 5 categories most common in this cohort:

Academia: university educators leading retail-related courses or programs

Analysts: industry research firms tracking the latest trends

Associations: retail trade associations

Experts: retail authors, consultants, advisors, futurists, speakers

Media: editors, journalists, podcast hosts, bloggers, content creators

How did we identify the Top 100?
Our team used a variety of sources to select our Top 100, including: third-party listings, primary research within our own network of influencers, recent award winners and tools such as Buzzsumo.

We considered factors such as social presence, articles, speaking engagements, awards and authority to verify each awardee included in our non-ordered listing of the Top 100 Retail Influencers 2021.

How can you be considered for future lists?
Yes. If you’re actively sharing insights, publishing your writing, speaking at industry events and engagement with the media, we would love to consider you for 2022.

If you’d like to be considered or nominate someone, let us know in the form below:

Did we miss you or someone you know? Submit a nomination for next year’s Top 100 Retail Influencers list.