This executive panel discussed two relevant trends: how new technology is changing business models and how the business strategy might change to attract a younger consumer, such as college students. Technology is changing the industry; companies are having to reevaluate how they can use technology to enhance their business and reach customers. The consumer is evolving as well with age and shopping habits requiring companies need to develop strategies to create relevancy to the new customers.
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Since launching his namesake brand in 1985, Tommy Hilfiger has become globally renowned as the pioneer of classic American cool style. Inspired by iconic pop culture and Americana heritage, the designer and his brand are driven by an ever-optimistic vision to break conventions and celebrate individuality. Today, under Hilfiger’s guidance, vision and leadership as Principal Designer, TOMMY HILFIGER is one of the world’s most recognized lifestyle brands that shares its inclusive and youthful spirit with consumers worldwide.
Hilfiger’s career in fashion began as a high school student in 1969 when he opened his first store, People’s Place, in his hometown of Elmira, New York. Ten years later, he moved to Manhattan to pursue a career in fashion design, and in 1985 his namesake brand launched with a single menswear collection. It has since grown to achieve over US $8.5 billion in global retail sales in 2018 and, as a true lifestyle brand, encompasses a breadth of collections, including HILFIGER COLLECTION, TOMMY HILFIGER TAILORED, TOMMY JEANS, men’s and women’s sportswear, kidswear, and licensed lines including bodywear, footwear, accessories, watches, jewelry, and fragrances. In 2010, PVH Corp. acquired the Tommy Hilfiger Group, which today boasts an extensive distribution network spanning 100 countries and more than 2,000 TOMMY HILFIGER retail stores throughout five continents, including its largest global flagship store at tommy.com.
Hilfiger has a longstanding passion for philanthropy and, through the global TommyCares organization, the Tommy Hilfiger company supports various international initiatives and charities including Save the Children, Autism Speaks and the World Wildlife Fund.
Hilfiger’s diverse achievements in business and fashion have earned him numerous distinguished awards including the CFDA’s prestigious Geoffrey Beene Lifetime Achievement Award in 2012. Hilfiger’s life and career has been chronicled in his memoir, American Dreamer, published on November 1, 2016. The memoir is a reflection of his experiences in the fashion industry from the last 30-plus years. Recounting his early childhood and formative years, it explores the setbacks, triumphs, and sheer determination that drove him to build a multi-billion dollar global brand.
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Hubert Joly is the executive chairman of Best Buy Co. Inc. In this role, he leads the board of directors while advising and supporting the CEO on key matters, such as strategy, capability building, M&A and external relationships. He also may assume certain responsibilities at the request of the CEO, in areas such as government relations, community relations and leadership development.
Hubert joined Best Buy in 2012 and served as the company’s CEO until June 2019. He led the company through its much-publicized Renew Blue transformation. The customer-focused strategy entailed: taking price off the table by ensuring Best Buy’s price competitiveness and matching online prices; investing in the online shopping experience; reinvigorating the customer experience in the stores by investing in the engagement and proficiency of the sales associates; partnering with the world’s foremost tech companies to help them showcase their technology; and taking $1.5 billion of costs out to fund the required investments. The transformation resulted in improvements in customer satisfaction, market share gains, revenue growth and improved margins.
Hubert then led Best Buy into its next phase, Best Buy 2020: Building the New Blue. This growth strategy aims to enrich lives through technology by addressing key human needs in entertainment, productivity, communication, food, security and health and wellness.
Under Hubert’s leadership, Best Buy committed to preparing youth from underserved communities for the tech-reliant jobs of the future. Additionally, the company is on a path to reduce its carbon footprint by 60 percent.
Prior to joining Best Buy, Hubert was CEO of Carlson, a global hospitality and travel company. Before that, he led Carlson Wagonlit Travel, Vivendi Universal Games, and Electronic Data Systems’ business in France.
He serves on the board of directors of Ralph Lauren Corp., the Retail Industry Leaders Association, Minnesota Business Partnership, Minneapolis Institute of Art and the Minnesota Orchestra. In 2017, Hubert was awarded the Legion of Honor, France’s highest civilian distinction.
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Ms. Sabrina W. Fung is the Group Managing Director of Fung Retailing Limited and Deputy Chairman and Non-executive Director of Trinity Limited. She was appointed as a Director of Trinity Limited in September 2007 and re-designated as a Non-executive Director in February 2014, and as Deputy Chairman of Trinity Limited in August 2016. In addition, Ms. Fung is the CEO of Asia Retail Company Limited, a business unit within the Group focused on serving and growing international brands in Asia.
Ms. Fung started her career at the private investment arm of Fung Group in 2000 as Investment Manager running the family’s investments and is the Investment Director of Fung Investment Management Limited. Prior to joining the Fung Group, she worked for Brown Brothers Harriman & Co in New York and later held the position of Assistant Manager at its Hong Kong office until 1999. Ms. Fung is experienced in the retail industry and also held positions in marketing and public relations for Salvatore Ferragamo Asia, merchandising and sourcing for Li & Fung (Trading) Limited and wholesale branding for Li & Fung USA. In 2017, Ms. Fung was named in the Business of Fashion 500, and the WWD 10 of Tomorrow.
Ms. Fung graduated from Harvard University, with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics in 1993. She is a member of the McLaren Advisory Group, Special Task Group of the Moral Education Concern Group, the advisor of IBM Collaborative Innovative Program, the Advisory Committee of the Tanoto Center for Asian Family Business and Entrepreneurship Studies at HKUST, the Hong Kong-Europe Business Council (HKEBC), the University Court of The University of Hong Kong (HKU), the Hong Kong-France Business Council, the Board of Trustees of The Carnegie Hall Corporation, New York (Class of 2020) and the executive committee of the Faculty of Business and Economics of HKU respectively. In addition, Ms. Fung is the Co-Chair of Asia Council of St Paul’s School in New Hampshire, US, and previously served on its Board of Trustees. She was a member of the Mainland Business Advisory Committee of Hong Kong Trade Development Council.
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Brian Cornell is board chairman and CEO of Target Corp. He is responsible for Target’s global business,
including the company’s nearly 1,900 U.S. stores, digital properties and more than 350,000 team
Cornell joined Target in August 2014 after more than 30 years in escalating leadership positions at
leading retail and global consumer product companies, including three CEO roles and more than two
decades doing business in North America, Asia, Europe and Latin America. His past experience includes
time as both a vendor partner and a competitor to Target, and he brings insights from those roles to the
Cornell currently serves as the non-executive chairman of the board of directors for Yum! Brands and is
the Immediate Past Chairman of the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA). He previously served as
a director for other global brands, including The Home Depot and Polaris Industries.
Cornell is also a board member for Catalyst and the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African
American History and Culture. He earned a bachelor’s degree from UCLA in 1981 and attended its
Anderson School of Management.