On Wednesdays, we wear pink spotlight Retail Brew’s readers. After years as an analyst and building two startups of her own, Diana Melencio now searches for the next big thing in retail tech as a partner at XRC Labs. How would you describe your job to someone who doesn’t work in retail? I invest and advise the new brand you saw on Instagram and/or at CVS; same for the companies that enable you to purchase and return that product-faster and easier. One thing we can’t guess about your job from your LinkedIn profile: I take an average of five calls every day with a company you’ve never heard of…but, hopefully, will soon. What’s your favorite project you’ve worked on? I’m spending a lot of time looking at grocery technology, companies like KanduAI that enable faster self-checkout and Pod Foods, which brings emerging food brands to your local grocery shelves. Which emerging retail trend are you most excited about this year? I’m excited about all the trends! Covid really pushed retailers to innovate and that’s brought on more experimentation in how they think about true omnichannel, how they leverage their stores and store associates, how they handle returns, and how they can serve an Amazon-trained audience by bettering their supply chains.