Faces: The Big Names at Financo

Gilbert Harrison knows how to pack a room. The Financo chief again drew the industry’s most powerful executives to his annual forum last week. The discussion wasn’t as heated as last year’s debate over the state of retail, but panel members addressed a hot topic nonetheless: the rise of social media and mobile commerce. Nicole Lapin of CNBC moderated a group of four that included Facebook director of media sales Stephen Zangre, Rue La La CEO Ben Fischman, Google retail industry director Daniel Schock and Lululemon Athletica founder, chairman and chief innovation officer Chip Wilson. “The Internet means so much now; it’s a medium in itself,” said Schock. “The game changer has been that it’s empowered consumers.” Department store execs filled the audience, including Bloomingdale’s Michael Gould and Stephen Sadove of Saks Fifth Avenue. Both maintained that brick-and-mortar is here to stay. “Stores are still going to be a credible part of business,” said Sadove.