Join a roundtable discussion with retailers on a timely and important discussion on inflation and retail, its impact, their response and thoughts about the future of their businesses and industry.

The Wharton Retail Network invites you to join a discussion on June 28 at 6PM with a roundtable of five retailers spanning multiple areas in retail:  fashion, food and beverage, and automotive sales and servicing.

Panelist will share their perspectives on:
  • How has their business changed since the pandemic started.
  • Which elements of their businesses is inflation impacting most significantly (supply chain, component pricing etc).
  • Customer reaction and how they are addressing this.
  • How they see their business changing over the next 12-24 months.
  • How they see their business changing permanently.
  • Which changes they have made that they will incorporate permanently.
Following the panel discussion, each panelist will take questions from attendees. There will also be an additional session following the panel for networking.

The panel:

- Fashion -
Patricia Assui Reed launched Martriark with its first concept store in May 2019 in Sag Harbor. Matriark is a luxury retail brand focused exclusively on women-owned brands. Matriark is dedicated to advancing girls and women’s equity through commerce, community and philanthropy.

Patricia was born in Brazil to Japanese grandparents. She spent her childhood in Brazil and moved to the US after graduating from college to attend UC Berkeley and FIDM. For the past 20 years she has worked in luxury fashion retail for a number of companies including, but not limited to, Tiffany & Co, ABC Carpet and Home, and Polo Ralph Lauren. Most recently, and through the Brazilian powerhouse Iguatemi, she has had the privilege to collaborate with Goyard, Christian Louboutin, Lanvin, Diane von Furstenberg and many more. Patricia lives in Sag Harbor with her husband Ron, her children Sophie and Ethan, and her dogs Umi and Nori.

James Jurney (W’90, C’90) is the Co-founder and CEO of GROUPE Inc, the first true vertically and horizontally integrated fashion incubator and collective, which launched at 198 Bowery in NYC in November 2016. GROUPE aims to revolutionize the fashion industry by creating a deep retail experience via a direct, emotional connection between designers and consumers, bringing the process of fashion design and creation much closer to the consumer than ever before. Prior to launching GROUPE in 1998, James, along with his wife and partner Gwendolyn, created and have been managing the brand Seize sur Vingt, the luxury menswear collection which has now been merged into the new GROUPE umbrella.

- Food -
Ben Conniff is the Co-Founder and Chief Innovation Officer of Luke’s Lobster, a sustainable seafood company with a restaurant group, branded grocery business, and a direct-to consumer online market founded in 2009. Ben has worn almost every hat through Luke’s Lobster’s evolution, but currently focuses on brand and culinary development, innovation, sustainability and social responsibility. He is the author of Real Maine Food: 100 Plates from Fisherman, Farmers, Pie Champs and Clam Shacks and has also written for Saveur, Food 52, GQ, Smithsonian, Yankee and Tasting Table. Ben sits on the Board of the Maine Lobster Marketing Collaborative and the Maine Business Immigration Coalition, and is an advisor to many startup food and beverage companies. He lives in Portland, Maine with his wife Liz and dog Taco.

Jon Kaplan is the founder and operating partner of Carnegie Pizza in Times Square. A native New Yorker with 15+ years of experience in the industry across all types of hospitality businesses, from nightclubs to restaurants (including opening made In New York Pizza with his father, a food and hospitality industry veteran) Jon signed the lease for his store in January 2020. He immediately felt the effects of Covid-19 and had to adapt to new/unknown protocols, rules and regulation in order to move forward with the business, which was finally able to open in late October. As Times Square has once again become a busy hub of the city with Broadway theaters reopening and tourists, in addition to locals returning, Jon’s business has soared. Carnegie Pizza is a premium New York pizzeria using the best ingredients and time tested recipes in a sleek and modern space in the center of Manhattan. All aspects of the pizza are made from scratch in house, from the dough to the sauce and all the toppings

- Auto -
Harrison Gray (W ’73) is the President & CEO of Respect Auto Group and has been an auto dealer for 45 years. Harrison has held over 20 auto franchises over the course of his career, providing him with a broad perspective and in depth experience in retail, finance and insurance. After starting his career in inivestment banking, he bought his first auto dealership at age 26.

Besides four dealerships, Harrison currently runs a self insurance entity with 9000 vehicle extended warranties. Harrison has opened and operated an in-house financing and leasing operation with over $150 Million in assets and 4,700 auto leases in his portfolio. He has also owned, leased, developed and financed many buildings both as business and personal investments.

Susan Teplitz (WG’86), VP of Business Networking for the Wharton Club of New York.

Tuesday, June 28, 2022
6:00 PM ET - 8:00 PM ET

WCNY Supporting Members - $10 (WCNY supporting membership costs $95/yr at Join/Renew Membership)
Other Wharton Alumni & Alumni Guests - $20
Gold & Benefactor Members - $0

Virtual Meeting Access Information:
A link, accessible by personal computer, tablet or smartphone, will be emailed to all registered guests 24-48 hours prior to the event to the "Primary Email" address listed in your profile.  Please login to update your profile and confirm that the email address listed is correct.  We will attempt to provide the ability to ask questions at the end of the presentation and time permitting.

By registering for this event, you agree to the following:
I understand that this session may be recorded and made available, and that my image, name, comments, or questions may appear on-screen.

Pre-registration is required. Please register early as events can and do sell out quickly.
Registration is subject to availability and will close on Tuesday, June 28th at 4:00pm.

Registering from another Wharton alumni club? Click here for assistance.

Cancellations must be made at least 48-hours (business day) prior to the event date by sending an email to Gabriela Sanchez. Refunds or credits for future events are not available for any no-shows or late cancellations. Click here for full details.