Gaylord Texan, Dallas

SPECS Show 2019

March 3-5, 2019

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SPECS Show, now in its 55th year, focuses on what is next, and what is shaping the future of retail.

Exclusively produced by Chain Store Age, SPECS brings together the nation's top retailers and top suppliers to learn, share ideas, develop business partnerships and solve problems. At SPECS, retailers involved in the planning, design, construction and maintenance of stores and restaurants come to grapple with the challenges facing their brands, their buildings and their businesses – finding new solutions and forging new relationships.

SPECS is a high networking event, with an abundance of one-to-one exchanges that present an opportunity to make meaningful and lasting connections with high-level decision-makers across the industry. Everyone benefits from the face-to-face retailer-supplier interactions, three packed days of rich content including breakout sessions and top-tier keynote and Main Stage addresses, the solution-centric exhibit floor and memorable evening receptions.

With its laser focus on brick-and-mortar, SPECS is clearly at the Forefront of Physical Retail, presenting a forum designed to not just accommodate, but cultivate, relationship-building and problem-solving.

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SPECS is formatted to provide optimum opportunities for learning and growth, as well as meaningful dialog, best practice-sharing, and strategic face-to-face interactions – all under one roof. Once you arrive at the Gaylord, you'll stay for the duration of SPECS!


Headlining speakers deliver inspirational and actionable content specifically geared toward retail design and construction, planning, development and facilities executives.


Concurrent breakout sessions cover a variety of relevant topics, including big ideas, nuts-and-bolts solutions, design trends, professional development subjects, talent discussions, experiential retail, technology trends, and interactive demonstrations. Sessions range from 25-minute “quick hits” to more in-depth 50-minute presentations and workshops.


Within the SPECS agenda are multiple opportunities to meet and mingle with other guests in meaningful ways. SPECS is all about relationship-building, through interactive functions such as:

  • Retailer-only and Supplier-only networking receptions
  • Evening receptions
  • Networking breakfasts and round-table discussions
  • Face2Face information exchanges (require advance sign-up)
  • Networking lunches on the Exhibit Hall floor
  • Women-in-Retail networking reception
  • Wrap-up meetings for both retailers and suppliers
  • Closing night SPECS Appreciation Party at the Glass Cactus nightclub
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Chain Store Age is excited to be hosting our 55th annual SPECS Show in Grapevine, Texas, at the Gaylord Texan Resort. With the help from our distinguished advisory board, we've created a program that is designed to enlighten, educate and inspire. The 2019 program features not only critical issues and trends impacting store design/planning, construction and facilities management, but we also offer a program designed to elevate professional growth and development, and deliver big, new ideas that are transforming physical retail.

Just as the retail industry is constantly changing, so is SPECS. The one thing that stays the same is our dedication to providing you with the best possible conference experience.

Have a great show!


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What does SPECS stand for?

Store Planning, Equipment, Construction and Facilities Services Seminar. But that’s the 1965 definition. Really, we are The Forefront of Physical Retail.

How old is SPECS?

SPECS/2019 marks our 55th annual show.

Who produces SPECS?

SPECS is exclusively produced by Chain Store Age magazine.

What is included in the registration fee?

The registration fee includes admittance to all workshop sessions, keynote and general addresses, Exhibit Hall floor, all meal functions and evening receptions. All registrants must be employees of the same company to qualify for any discounts.

Why can't I bring my suppliers to SPECS?

Product manufacturers and service companies can attend SPECS only if they exhibit. This goal is to maintain an intimate, educational event that maximizes peer-networking opportunities and allows retailers time to engage in meaningful dialogue with suppliers. Retailers are encouraged to suggest to their suppliers that SPECS is a beneficial event that will help them grow their business.

Can I bring my architect or contractor to SPECS?

Your architect and contractor may attend SPECS but they will pay a higher registration rate and receive a separate registration form. They will pay a higher rate because they are able to meet new customers as a result of attending SPECS.

What is your cancellation policy?

Cancellations must be in writing. Cancellations for the conference postmarked on or before Friday, January 25, 2019 are subject to a service fee. No refunds will be provided after January 25th. Send your request to

What is Face2Face Information Exchange?

Our annual Face2Face Information Exchange is designed to help develop working relationships with your peers and business associates. It will provide an opportunity for both retailer and exhibitor to make quick introductions and determine if a working relationship is possible. Here’s how it works:

  • Retail companies each have a designated meeting table, and exhibitors move from table-to-table in a musical-chair, speed-dating style format
  • Provides uninterrupted time (1 hour and 40 minutes on Monday and 1 hour and 40 minutes on Tuesday) for retailers and vendors to determine if a working relationship is practical for both
  • Offers an opportunity to make quick introductions and exchange contact information as desired for future follow-up

Retailers who participate earn one complimentary hotel night at the Gaylord Texan for each morning of Face2Face participation, up to two nights total. Limited capacity, first come-first served. Sign up here.

MONDAY, MARCH 4, 9:15AM-10:55AM
TUESDAY, MARCH 5, 9:45AM-11:25AM

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Some Tips to Get SPECS Attendance Approval for You and Your Team

Anyone who’s been to SPECS will tell you it’s a game-changer. But, with busy schedules and a smaller workforce than ever before, making the case to be out of the office to attend an industry event can be a challenge. We get it.

So here’s some advice for garnering approval to attend SPECS, and also bring your team:


Review the full SPECS agenda with its concurrent workshops and sessions, as well as relevant keynote addresses and Main Stage presentations. There are sessions for every title and retail job description; review them all, read the session descriptions, and build a SPECS educational calendar that will keep you busy AND informed.


Once your calendar is prepared, schedule a brief meeting with your manager, as required, to state your case in person:

  • Explain the ROI on sending you to the event.
  • Tell your boss you’ll bring back best practices from leading retailers and brands.
  • Tell your boss about the sessions focused on big ideas for brick-and-mortar retail, on nuts-and-bolts solutions, value-engineering and top design trends, remodel tips, experiential retail ideas, succession plans and other talent-related topics, how to communicate with your team, how to grow professional and personally, and much more.
  • Tell your boss that SPECS packs a full year’s worth of value into just 2.5 days including access to a top-tier vendor pool via both the Exhibit Hall floor and over three hours of face-to-face information exchanges, saving you hours of time in selecting new partners.
  • Walk through the conference website together to review the agenda and speaker lineup.


Impress your boss with your communication skills by crafting a powerful campaign to win their approval.

Objection: “It’s too expensive.”
Your response: “This isn’t just a three-day event; its benefits will carry over through the rest of the year, so it’s a great value. I’ll capture detailed notes from every session, so our whole team can learn along with me.”

Objection: “You can’t be away from the office for three days.”
Your response: “I won’t be totally away from the office; the event offers a flexible schedule with strategic breaks between sessions and receptions that allow me to stay connected at the same time I’m gathering information and best practices.”

Your closing argument: “When I get back from the conference, I’ll schedule a download session with you and the team. I’ll present my notes and speaker handouts from all the sessions I attended. I’ll recommend new ideas and I’ll show you all the great resource material I picked up in the Exhibit Hall from vendors who can save us money and grow our profits. Sending me to the conference means elevating our whole team.”