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Wednesday, September 12, 2018
10:30am US Eastern

Join Karen Pinney, Chief Merchandising Officer at rue21, Sonia Lapinsky, Managing Director, Retail at AlixPartners and Gretchen Jezerc, SVP, Marketing at First Insight, as they discuss how rue21 and other retailers are leveraging data and science to improve speed to market and drive value in their business.    

  • How to work smarter: cost-efficient strategies retailers and brands should consider to bring the right products to market, faster
  • How data and AI have enabled rue21 to focus its assortment earlier, enabling them to drive speed to market, maximize sell-through, and minimize risk
  • The processes rue21 streamlined to drive speed and financial results

About rue21 and Karen Pinney

rue21 is a fast fashion retailer in the U.S. specializing in young men and women’s casual apparel and accessories. Headquartered just north of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, rue21 currently operates 752 stores in 45 states in shopping centers and outlets and on its website. 

Karen Pinney is the Chief Merchandising Officer at rue21. She brings more than 30 years of experience to the role where she leads merchandising and design.

Karen has a demonstrated history of delivering results in Tier 1 retail organizations. Prior to joining rue21, she served as the Vice President and GMM of Five Below where she directed was Chief Merchandising Officer with Deb Shops, Inc.

About Alix Partners and Sonia Lapinsky

Sonia Lapinsky

Sonia Lapinsky

Alix Partners is a global management consulting firm offering clients small teams of highly qualified experts with profound sector and operational insight. Its clients include corporate boards and management, law firms, investments banks, investors and others who appreciate the dedication and transformative expertise of its team.

Sonia Lapinsky is a retail industry leader with nearly two decades of global, operational experience from industry and consulting in apparel, accessories, footwear, and hardlines. She leads the firm's Product to Market practice by applying deep experience in global sourcing, supply chain, merchandising, product development, design, and organizational design to assist clients in driving margin, speed, flexibility, and efficiency. Ms. Lapinsky has successfully led a number of complex, cross-functional and global transformation programs to rapidly meet aggressive financial improvement goals. Prior to AlixPartners, Ms. Lapinsky directed sourcing, manufacturing, design and product development in Asia, South Asia, and Europe, including as an expatriate in Shenzhen, China. Ms. Lapinsky has a mechanical engineering degree from Queen’s University in Canada.

About First Insight and Gretchen Jezerc


First Insight is the world’s leading platform for bringing actionable real-time customer data into product development, buying, planning and selling processes. First Insight customers include some of the world’s leading vertically integrated brands, sporting goods companies, department stores, mass merchant retailers, and wholesalers.

Gretchen Jezerc is Senior Vice President of Marketing at First Insight.  Prior to First Insight, Ms. Jezerc held the role of Vice President of Marketing at BodyMedia, which was acquired by Jawbone.  She has also held executive product, brand, and channel marketing roles at Kennametal, Philips Respironics, PPG Industries and Whirlpool. In her current role at First Insight, Ms. Jezerc is responsible for defining and launching new solution capabilities, strategic exploration of partnerships and new markets, marketing, and analyst and public relations.  Ms. Jezerc holds a B.S. in chemical engineering and a B.A. in psychology from the University of Notre Dame and an M.B.A. from INSEAD in Fontainebleau, France.