The Women in Retail Leadership Summit (WIRLS) is celebrating its fifth anniversary this year! Can you believe it? It’s been five years since we started connecting women leaders in the retail space at a gathering in Miami. Since that first Summit in April 2014, WIRLS has tripled in size!

And we’re open for business!

The 2018 Summit will take place April 16-18 at the Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne, Miami. We’re expecting to host 300 leading women retail executives for two-and-a-half days of inspiring content focused on business strategy and professional development — not to mention all of the networking opportunities.

For some background, the Women in Retail Leadership Summit was co-founded by Jennifer DiPasquale, publisher of Total Retail, and myself. We saw the need for the then dwindling number of C-suite women in retail to connect, network and foster peer empowerment within the industry.

The Summit is designed to enable women in leadership positions at retail companies to network, learn from each other and improve business processes. Focusing on the unique needs of executive women in retail, attendees experience a balanced mix of content, including passionate presentations from industry peers, as well as fruitful networking opportunities.

A sampling of past speakers include retail juggernauts such as Barbara Bradley Baekgaard, co-founder, chief creative officer and director, Vera Bradley; Cindy DiPietrantonio, president, Alex and Ani; Shelley Broader, president and CEO, Chico’s FAS; Swan Sit, vice president of global digital, Revlon; and Becky Gebhardt, executive vice president and chief marketing officer, Lands’ End.

All in all, we’re thrilled to celebrate five years of connecting women leaders in the retail industry, and we hope you’ll join us at our 2018 Summit!

For more information about the 2018 Women in Retail Leadership Summit or to obtain a conference pass, visit or contact Jennifer DiPasquale ( or me (

Melissa Campanelli


Women in Retail Leadership Circle

P.S.: A great time was had by all at Girl Talks East last week! Keep your eyes peeled for coverage from the event next week and the week after! And we can’t wait for Girl Talks West, taking place in San Francisco on Oct. 23. We have some great speakers signed up, including Jenny Ming, president and CEO, Charlotte Russe Inc.; Meaghan Rose, founder and CEO, Rocksbox; and Shelley Zalis, CEO/creator, The Female Quotient/The Girls’ Lounge. Interested in attending? Register here!