NEW YORK - Some 37,000 people from 99 countries gathered on Sunday in New York city’s Javits Center to discuss the trends, opportunities and challenges looming ahead.

The event they attended is named NRF 2019: Retail’s big Show & Expo and runs from Jan. 13 to Jan. 15.

One of the largest of its kind, the expo features 16,000 retailers representing 3,500 retail companies, 792 exhibitors, 517 speakers, 200 sessions with more than 100 hours of content, and 265,000 square feet of Expo space. The expo’s highlights include an expanded innovation lab which showcases the newest technologies that are changing retail’s future - interactive exhibits of drones, wearables, AR/VR, AI, smart tech, robotics and smart cars, a startup zone where the industry’s most innovative companies display their ideas, and curated expo hall tours that cover topics including digital commerce, blockchain and in-store customer experience technology.

The expo is held at a time when the retail industry is undergoing tremendous transformation. While old-fashioned brick-and-mortar stores including Toys “R” Us, Bon-ton, and Sears filed for bankruptcy last year, online retailers like Amazon was reinventing physical stores featuring self-service, automated cashier-less.