Gary Hawkins has lived his career ahead of the curve, putting him in the right place at the right time to help guide the fast moving consumer goods retail industry into the future in a time of exponential technology growth using never-before-available capabilities to innovate the future of shopping.
Hawkins is the Founder and CEO of CART (Center for Advancing Retail & Technology). CART’s mission is to connect retail to new innovative capabilities through programs, events, and education. Knowing that awareness and discovery of new technologies are only one part of future success, the CART team is at the forefront of helping retailers, wholesalers, brand manufacturers, and solution providers cultivate a culture of innovation and agility through a proven process and approach. On the other side of innovation lies strategy development, technology roadmaps, and systems assessments. Hawkins and his team are uniquely positioned to assist retailers in preparing for the future.
Hawkins’ work is built on a legacy of driving retail industry innovation. Early in his career, understanding the transformative power of technology, Hawkins launched one of the first loyalty programs in the US supermarket sector, quickly leading industry learning around shopper insights and analytics. That work soon expanded to assisting premier retailers in markets around the world in gaining customer intelligence. Next up were leading packaged goods brand manufacturers, helping companies like Procter & Gamble and Unilever develop a shopper focus and leverage customer insights and analytics into collaborative marketing initiatives with key retailers, laying the foundation for today’s shopper marketing movement. Realizing the ineffectiveness of mass marketing across the supply chain, Hawkins leveraged early insight to new innovative technologies to develop and deploy the first personalized marketing system for mass retail, driving industry focus on the power of marketing personalization.
Hawkins leverages his unique perspective into his role as board member and strategic adviser at select companies bringing exciting and game-changing capabilities to the market. Retail Mindsteps (retailmindsteps.com) serves as Hawkins’ personal blog and repository of the myriad articles and papers written for industry publications where he distills the complexity of tech-fueled retail innovation into digestible and actionable insights. Hawkins is the author of three books including the latest, Retail in the Age of ‘i’, that explores the future of retail propelled by the exponential growth of technology. In addition, Hawkins is a regular guest lecturer at Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business in addition to keynoting retail conferences in the US and abroad.