Shop! is hosting a series of half day industry discussions on topics shaping the future of retail. Emphasizing collaboration (CoLab), these meetups explore emerging challenges and opportunities by connecting attendees with subject matter experts and with each other.  

Our next CoLab will discuss Experiential Design at Retail.

Date: Thursday, September 9
Time: 11am – 3pm Eastern
Cost: $95/members and $295/non-members

Keynote Speaker:

David Kepron
Owner | Founder
NXTLVL Experience Design

David Kepron is a multifaceted creative professional who brings together his background as an architect, artist, educator, author, podcast host and builder to the making of meaningful and empathically- focused, community-centric customer connections at brand experience places around the globe.

David is a former VP-Global Design Strategies at Marriott International. While in that role, his focus was on the creation of strategic design platforms within Marriott’s “Premium Distinctive” segment which included: Westin, Renaissance, Le Meridien, Autograph Collection, Tribute Portfolio, Design Hotels and Gaylord hotels.

As a frequently requested international speaker, David shares his expertise on subjects ranging from consumer behaviors and trends, brain science and buying behavior, store design and visual merchandising, hotel strategy and design as well as creativity and innovation. He also puts his love for learning and having great discussions into hosting the “NXTLVL Experience Design” podcast which brings listeners dialogues about “DATA: Design, Architecture, Technology and the Arts.”

David currently shares his experience and insight on various industry boards including: VMSD magazine’s Editorial Advisory Board, the Interactive Customer Experience Association, Sign Research Foundation’s Program Committee as well as the Center For Retail Transformation at George Mason University.


Cynthia Hirsch


Cynthia Hirsch Ortiz is the International President of the Retail Design Institute. As President of the Institute, she is thrilled by the amazing experience shared with the Executive team in the growth and success achieved by growing membership and providing new educational content. She founded her business Collaborative Design Strategies in 2018 utilizing her many years working on both the vendor side and the architectural design firm side to make valuable connections assisting the retail industry. Her extensive knowledge in Visual and Store design has led to key relationships with Brooks Brothers, Target, Cartier, Fossil and many others. Cynthia is an active member of Shop! Association and was recently named to serve on the Shop! Board and also serves as board liaison for both their Creative Council and Women’s League. Cynthia also served as the host of the Retail Decoded: Defining the “Next” Normal podcast focusing on the effects of the Covid-10 pandemic on the retail industry. 2017 co-chair of the PAVE Gala. Speaking engagements include speaking at the 2020 Global Retail Show on Retail Revolution.

CoLab Presenters:

Catherine Keywan, IIDA, RDI, NCIDQ

Interior Designer

Designer of brand experiences, connecting customers to brands through engaging journeys, storytelling, and brand identity in interior spaces and activations. Recognized in VMSD Magazine’s 2020 Designer Dozen and as a 2020 IIDA Emerging Leader, Catherine is NCIDQ Certified, and a member of the IIDA and RDI New England Chapters.


Chris Brandewie
Vice President of Strategy and Design

I have over 25 years of experience in designing a wide range of brand driven retail and restaurant concepts. During my time I have led diverse teams of specialists on both domestic and international projects for a number of marquee companies. In my current role as Vice President of Strategy and Design at Outform, Inc., I am focused on where consumer behavior is heading across all commerce channels. 

Prior to my role at Outform, I was Head of Store Design for Best Buy, where I was responsible for the creation of concepts for the fleet of 1000 stores. I have also held senior positions with such well recognized design firms as Chute Gerdeman and WD Partners, as well as running my own consultancy, AstroMan Studio. Along with this work, I have held adjunct professor positions at The Ohio State University and The University of Minnesota. I was also a Faculty Member of the Path to Purchase Institute.


David Bailey, RDI

Globeateliê LLC

David Bailey is a brand experience expert specializing in brand environments and architecture. He is provides strategic guidance, creative direction, and execution of brand environments for US and international brands such as Levi Strauss & Co., COhatch, YUM! Brands, Victoria’s Secret, Tailored Brands, and FanDuel. David is a member of the Retail Design Institute, Shop! Association Creative Council, and associate member of the American Institute of Architects.



Ellen Johnson
Executive Vice President, Sales and Creative
NOA Brands

Combine deep knowledge of visual merchandising, genuine team passion, and an excellent sense of style, and you have Ellen Johnson. Serving as Executive Vice President at Fusion, Ellen leads Fusion’s commercial team of sales, marketing and creative professionals.  She is focused on making a positive difference in our industry through Fusion’s commitment to retail representation, inclusivity and sustainability. Throughout her visual merchandising career, Ellen has worked with some of the world’s largest retail brands, namely Target and Nike, to help them personify their brands through custom mannequin design.

With 24 years in the business, Ellen believes retail experiential design is a must for today’s brick and mortar experience. Creating environments that offer visual excitement and interest in tandem with excellent service, products and education will help bring customers back to physical stores.  Why not add elements of surprise to the physical environment that can be purely fun or functional and informative, too– like a giant banana as a wayfinding element!


Richard Lems
Director, Format and Design
Rituals Cosmetics

Already young, Richard knew that retail is his thing. Starting as the youngest manager for a big retail chain in the Netherlands he grew from area manager to director of Format & Design.

12 years ago he started with the start up “Rituals” and since then he is one of the key people responsible person for the amazing growth of Rituals. Responsible for the Format & Design strategy of the company and the general look and feel of all point of sales. His team managed the growth of point of sales locations from 7 stand alone stores to 900 and from 700 wholesale locations to 3000 wholesale locations in the last 10 years as well as numerous other projects including; designing shopping windows, pop up stores and exhibition stands.

Translating the brand philosophy in a retail experience and let the rituals fans get the best “slow down” experience they can have. At Rituals we don’t sell beauty, we’re here to make you feel special!


Grisha Serov

Retail Design Director, Alkor&Co ‎

In the beauty industry since 2011 as a part of r&d department of United Europe Holding, one of the ‎main players in the beauty market in Russia, as a Senior Designer. Until 2016 was responsible for ‎private label and flagship retail solutions development. ‎

Since 2016 working with Alkor&Co for its international projects developing global private labels and ‎international retail. In 2019 become the Retail Design Director for L’Etoile. Current major field is new ‎flagship experiences; implementation of the design strategy of seamless consumer experiences. ‎

Shop! CoLabs get great reviews:
“…Thoroughly enjoyed it. Plenty of fresh ideas and action items.”
“…Wonderful event with extremely interesting breakout sessions.”
“I took copious notes on the wealth of information provided.”
“It was immensely helpful hearing the experiences of others from around the world.”

CoLabs Pricing: $95/members and $295/non-members

Interested in Sponsoring CoLabs?

Shop! CoLabs sponsorship gives you an active role in directing the program, building your visibility and enhancing your reputation as a source of retail expertise. For more info, email Dina Meindl, Managing Director, Membership Services.

Thank You to Our CoLabs Sponsors