Press release


Ron Thurston Launches Retail in America Tour to Celebrate America’s Frontline Retail Heroes

One bestselling author. One AIRSTREAM trailer. One year. Countless U.S. retail success stories. 


NEW YORK, March 3, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- Bestselling author and acclaimed retail executive Ron Thurston today announced the launch of his Retail in America Tour. This year-long U.S. 20 city road trip will see Ron travel the length and breadth of the country, from New York City to New Orleans to California on a mission to discover America’s top retail operators, from national brands to startups and small businesses, and most importantly to celebrate their frontline retail teams. 

Starting in mid-March 2022, Ron will kick off the Retail in America Tour in New York City, where retail has defined the city’s streetscape for generations and provided a livelihood for countless New Yorkers. The tour is sponsored by several retail industry icons  including YOOBIC, KWI, and Spotify Advertising.

Ron will host a few in-store events to celebrate the stories of retail teams in the modern metropolis and record the inaugural episodes of his new podcast. He will then travel the country in an AIRSTREAM trailer, meeting with industry leaders, retail tech innovators, mom-and-pop entrepreneurs, students, store managers and their sales associates, and launch a full suite of audio and video content to offer a compelling new look at the changing face of American retail in 2022 and beyond.

Ron will draw on these experiences and insights for a new podcast, Retail in America, and write his second book during the journey to be published after the tour. The much-anticipated follow-up to his acclaimed bestseller RETAIL PRIDE, the new book will feature highlights from his interviews to give the inside story of how retail workers support communities and breathe life into cities and neighborhoods all around the United States.

“I fell in love with retail because of the amazing people — the entrepreneurs and visionaries, the hard-working folks on the sales floor, and of course the customers. I can’t imagine a better way to spend the next year than traveling the country and telling their stories,” Ron said. “Retail isn’t just an economic powerhouse — it connects us all and embodies the spirit and identity of communities across our nation. Our retail teams are everyday heroes, and I’m on a mission to hear their stories and celebrate their successes — and to do it loudly!”

Named one of the top 100 retail influencers by RETHINK Retail for the last two years, Thurston is an accomplished retail leader who, during his 30-year career, headed the field teams for iconic American retail brands, including GAP, Apple, West Elm, Bonobos, Saint Laurent, and INTERMIX. From part-time sales associate to a Vice President of Stores, Ron has worked at all levels of the retail industry, and in 2020 he published his first best-selling book, RETAIL PRIDE, The Guide to Celebrating Your Accidental Career with Lioncrest to share his learnings and urge retail workers to take pride in their chosen career. Thurston also serves on the Board of Directors of GOODWILL NY/NJ and on the Advisory Board of several emerging retail technology startups including Reflex, Job Pixel, and IMMERSS

In April, Thurston and his husband will leave New York City and live full time on the road for a year to celebrate the 25% of Americans who work in the retail industry. After beginning his tour in his hometown, Ron will visit other cities in the Northeast, then continue on to Asheville, NC, Nashville, Charleston, Savannah, and New Orleans before heading west to Texas, New Mexico, and beyond. He will interview local retail leaders and their teams to create “fireside chat” podcast episodes, curated audio and video content, blog posts, live-streaming events, and more for each city that he visits. 

“Ron is arguably the single most important champion of America’s frontline retail teams, and with employers of all kinds struggling in the face of the Great Resignation, his perspective has never been more urgently needed,” said Fabrice Haiat, YOOBIC CEO and co-founder. “Like YOOBIC, Ron is committed to making retail an attractive career option for smart, talented, and ambitious people and believes that we need to do more to motivate and empower our retail employees. The Retail in America Tour is an important step toward that goal, and we’re thrilled to be along for the ride.” 

“Both Ron and KWI have spent the last 30+ years supporting retailers as they improve their business practices,” said Sam Kliger, founder and CEO of KWI. “During the pandemic, we’ve seen how central retail is to our economy and our shared sense of American identity. Like Ron, we’re committed to this important cause, and we’re looking forward to seeing what he has in store.”

“Enabling cultural connections for our listeners is a key tenet of the Spotify mission. The same holds true in our support of the industries and advertisers who partner with Spotify Advertising,” said John Gregory, Global Retail Category Officer at Spotify. “In our sponsorship of The Retail in American Tour, we join Ron in celebrating the rich culture of retail organizations and the store employees who bring the shopping experience to life for consumers across the nation.”

Follow along on the journey by subscribing to the Retail in America newsletter, Spotify podcast & playlist, and YouTube video series. Visit and follow Ron on Instagram @retailpride



YOOBIC is an all-in-one digital workplace for frontline teams. YOOBIC provides business leaders and frontline teams with the performance tools they need to work, learn and communicate seamlessly in the flow of work. With digitized task management, mobile learning and streamlined communications, YOOBIC drives operational excellence while drastically improving the frontline employee working experience. 300+ companies around the world including Boots, Lancôme, Lacoste, Logitech, Peloton, Puma, Vans and Sanofi trust YOOBIC to drive retail performance at scale, get real-time visibility into multi-location business execution, and improve their customer experience. To learn more about YOOBIC visit or follow us on LinkedIn.

About Spotify Advertising:

Spotify Advertising helps businesses of all sizes reach listeners as they stream what they love. From white-glove service for enterprise brands to self-serve solutions for small businesses, we can connect you to the people you care about with audio, video, and podcast ad experiences. With over 380 million monthly active users around the globe, we help you reach and target your audience with precision in relevant moments across devices, locations, and formats. To learn more about how we keep All Ears on You, visit the Spotify advertising website or follow along on LinkedIn.

About KWI: 

KWI is the industry’s only true turnkey omnichannel platform for specialty retailers. KWI helps brands maximize sales by delivering unforgettable on-line and in-store shopper experiences using mobile-first and global payment technology. Execute omnichannel flawlessly with the features that matter most including endless aisle, clienteling, mobile checkout, inventory management, e-commerce and more. KWI offers world-class implementation and support services — providing both the tech and humans retailers need to put their customers at the center. KWI serves top brands such as Pandora, Oscar de la Renta, Bluemercury, Dylan’s Candy Bar, and David Yurman. To learn more about KWI visit or follow us on LinkedIn.