Di Di Chan

President of FutureProof Retail

Di Di Chan is the President and Co-Founder of FutureProof Retail, a New York-based company with the mission of bringing touch-free frictionless shopping technologies into physical retail stores. FutureProof leads in providing simple, quality, and customizable Mobile Checkout and Mobile Order Ahead solutions for retailers.

Di Di is a global entrepreneur who is passionate about technology, education, and sustainability. Her experience and network in over 15 different countries directly shape FutureProof Retail’s global vision, bringing their solutions to three continents and five different types of retail to date. She holds an M.A. in Economics from New York University and a B.A. in Global Studies from the University of California, Los Angeles.

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  • Posted on: 03/02/2021

    Is off-mall where it’s at?

    It depends on location, location, location. If the off-mall places are next to cute restaurants and exciting theatre experiences, then it's a brilliant move that would generate enough success to keep that strategy. If the off-mall locations have nothing else exciting or fun nearby, then the plan will likely not generate a huge success.
  • Posted on: 03/01/2021

    Automated checkout ‘will be everywhere’ sooner rather than later

    Amazon and Alibaba validated the new frictionless checkout industry when they both came offline in 2017. The pandemic brought a lot more attention to the new frictionless checkout industry as part of retail stores' future. Overall, the pandemic accelerated many different pilot projects and investment deals into this new industry. However the actual technology rollouts accelerated to help retailers respond to the pandemic are scan and go mobile checkout solutions. Reaching over 30 percent shopper adoption at top locations, scan and go mobile checkout has established proven results and attracted a lot more retailer adoption during the pandemic. Examples of top U.S. grocers accelerating their scan-and-go programs during this time include Fairway, Westside Market, Big Y, Mckeever Price Chopper, Mother's Market, Co-Opportunity, Hy-Vee, Walmart, Sam's Club, H-E-B, Kroger, Wegmans, Dollar General, Ahold and more.
  • Posted on: 02/25/2021

    Marketers are going online more and in-person less to gather research data

    It's a myth that digital will remain only online. Investing in digital is not wrong. Investing in only online digitization analysis is already falling behind. When Amazon and Alibaba came offline in 2017, they validated a new online-to-offline direction for the future of retail. For example, the fastest-growing retail technology during pandemic times is scan and go mobile checkout, which reached over 30 percent shopper adoption at top grocery locations after only a few years of rolling out. With more than two decades of market adoption, the pandemic only boosted e-commerce adoption in the grocery space in the high 20 percent.
  • Posted on: 02/23/2021

    What’s so funny about authenticity, integrity and transparency?

    Farmgirl Flowers' is successful because Christina Stembel is in charge and represents her business story. Farmgirl Flowers is a direct reflection of Christina Stembel's vision and values. She is the critical leadership and can grow the company in alignment with what she prioritizes most. For many large retailers and brands, the founder is no longer a significant part of its story or culture. They've gotten so big that it's a group of shareholders running a collection of stores and brands. When there are many different shareholders, there are likely many different values represented. It will first require an agreement and alignment of leadership and shareholder value before a company could transparently lead with those values.
  • Posted on: 02/18/2021

    Is suburban retail (malls, too) primed for a comeback?

    Suburban retail and malls have always been about a lot more than just buying stuff. They have often been the community hub of social experiences. As more communities move back to suburban neighborhoods, I expect the suburban retail scene to innovate and modernize with new social and shopping experiences. Suburban retail will not be the same as before, but they will boom again as new communities grow once more.
  • Posted on: 02/11/2021

    Should Aldi’s growing store count and digital progress keep rivals up at night?

    Aldi is extremely efficient and organized. They have more than 10,000 stores in 20 countries, so it is not surprising they are expanding in U.S. too. Part of Aldi's success is in integrating technology solutions into their stores. With so many locations worldwide, they can easily test different solutions and then quickly roll out the ones that fit their brand the best. By expanding so quickly, they can also take advantage of economies of scale and enjoy bulk discounts. They are a formidable competitor to keep an eye on.
  • Posted on: 02/10/2021

    Clothing retailers are trying to cut their way to higher profits

    The overproduction of fashion is coming to an end. Previously, brands could afford a lot of waste and still make a profit. Now that people are going out less and buying less, garments' overproduction shifted from a sustainable theory for intellectual discussions into a real bottom-line-impacting business pain-point. When brands are forced to cut orders to self-sustain, the adoption of innovative fashion technology solutions is accelerated. Circular economy and digital fashion are now in fashion. For example, H&M partnered with Flux for digital rewards and Loop for recycling clothes. Adidas, Macy's, and Modcloth worked with Zeekit for virtual fitting. Levi announced the launch of a new buyback and resale program to reduce denim waste. COS launched resell collection with Reflaunt. The Fabricant collaborated with DressX and made the first digital fashion for this month's L'Officiel Ukraine cover page. Change of Paradigm produced a virtual gallery/3-D interactive experience showcase with Spring Studios.
  • Posted on: 02/05/2021

    The retail apocalypse didn’t happen last year, despite the coverage

    Many of these stories are not targeted at everyday readers or helping non-publically traded business leaders better understand and respond to what is going on in their industry. These kinds of anxious and urgent business analyses are often targeted at financial players and investors. For example, reading the news from the speculative financial market's point of view, the marketing of the "retail apocalypse" could signal private equity players to grab a bigger piece of the retail pie by looking for struggling retailers and sweeping in on cheaper deals.
  • Posted on: 02/04/2021

    Where does the chief digital officer fit into retail’s executive team?

    The future of retail is a hybrid online-offline model. When Alibaba and Amazon, the e-giants of the East and West, started competing offline, they validated a wave of digital upgrades to the physical retail world. Chief digital officers will play a significant role in facilitating the digitizing and "futureproofing" of existing retail stores.
  • Posted on: 02/02/2021

    Will Allure editors outdo other beauty merchandisers with a new store concept?

    The future of retail stores will be a lot more animated, fun, and interactive. There will be a merger between digital reality and actual reality, and only the physical store could offer a complete shopping experience that includes the best of both worlds. In the process of exploring what that could look like, there will be a lot of trials. The experiences that will stay are the experiences that shoppers enjoy the most. Allure is a trendsetter. I expect to see many more stores experimenting with different setups and experiences they could offer their shoppers, too.
  • Posted on: 02/02/2021

    Allbirds’ profitable business soars higher as it continues opening stores

    It's not surprising that Allbirds is opening more stores. For most people, shopping is a fun experience. Going out, physically interacting with the products, and engaging in the full sensory experience that a store can create is part of a fun shopping trip that many shopping-lovers crave and miss. Both Amazon and Alibaba are expanding offline. Other top online brands will eventually have a growing physical presence too. The difference is, the future of retail stores will use technology to bring the best online features: personalized recommendations, easy navigation, and simple line-free mobile checkouts to make the in-person shopping experience even better.
  • Posted on: 01/29/2021

    Not every retailer is sold on curbside pickup

    Trends with the strongest staying power are easy to implement, simple to maintain, and generate enough ROI to keep. For example, outsourced delivery alternatives, health and wellness trends, touch-free scan and go mobile checkouts, and mobile payments are the most viable solutions to keep operating long past the pandemic. In contrast, solutions that take a lot of ongoing effort to keep up will have a higher churn rate once it is not necessary.
  • Posted on: 01/28/2021

    A digital first approach is essential to retail success

    Successful retail is still focusing on prioritizing the consumer first. Digital is a response to shopper's behavior change. Digital, especially mobile technology, has become part of modern consumers' day-to-day life and the most popular communication form. Like in the early 2000s when many retailers developed their own branded website or in 2010s when many retailers launched their own branded mobile application, digital-first will not generate the expected ROI if retailers literally focus on digital-first. A successful website, mobile app, or any other digital implementation still places consumers first. Retail technology is not the primary business. An excellent digital implementation should feel like a "digital last." The digital experience should be so seamless that it's just a background tool. The shopper's experience that's the background tool help highlight should be the actual shopping experience.
  • Posted on: 01/27/2021

    Can Rosalind Brewer cure what is ailing Walgreens business?

    When Rosalind Brewer was CEO of Sam's club in 2012, she focused on health and wellness by doubling the number of organic products offered at Sam's Clubs. When Brewer was Starbucks Board of Directors and COO in 2017, she implemented policy changes and instituted racial bias training for employees in 8,000 stores on racial bias. I expect Rosalind Brewer to bring in more healthy innovations to Walgreens's product section and to make improvements to Walgreens's corporate culture. She'll likely face similar challenges and push back against making big product and culture changes, but it's unlikely to be a significant challenge that she hasn't experienced and overcome already.
  • Posted on: 01/21/2021

    What’s next for data privacy?

    The pursuit to access more intrusive customer data is not done out of technological necessity. Retailers don't need that much data to achieve great personalized marketing results. A few relevant data (that can be easily aligned with privacy protection) are more than enough to generate the best personalized marketing results.

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