Best of NRF 2014: Top 10 Takeaways


  1. The Big Show Keeps Getting Bigger
    This year's NRF Big Show expanded its footprint taking over 200,000 square feet of the Javits Center – including the North Building for keynote presentations – with more than 30,000 attendees and 500 exhibiting companies. The vibe was very positive with a renewed confidence for retailers and vendors alike. With more space came a more comfortable show floor – the aisles weren't cramped and busy booths weren't obstacles to get around – in general the booths seemed more spacious. The Big Show doesn't just get bigger physically though, it's been reported that next year the Big Show will be a day longer, opening on Sunday.
  1. Home Depot Improves Store Assortment Planning Data across 2,200 Locations
    The Home Depot implemented the Predictix assortment applications suite, including modules for analytics, planning and in-season management across its 2,262 stores. The solution allows the retailer to creat assortments that meet customer demands and optimize sales and margins, enabling the retailer to spend more time on forward-looking planning and analysis. "The Predictix tool provides a seamless ability to evaluate assortment changes at both the national and local level," said Steve Huth, VP The Home Depot merchandising. "The flexibility of this solution enabled integration with internal systems. This provides our merchants tools to evaluate and execute decisions quickly, in turn enabling an increased service to our customers."
  2. SuperSaturday Analyst Day Hits Home with Millennials
    Five years ago RetailROI was launched to help change the world and help children in need. Over the last five years, the Retail Orphan Initiative has raised $1.6 million and helped more than 143,000 kids in 17 countries, helping 8,000 of those children get out of foster care. 93% of all moneys raised have been used to impact children. More than 200 retailers attended SuperSaturday at the PwC auditorium this year and there were over 300 total registrations. Bringing a full house just like the big show, SuperSaturday was a bigger and better event with a strong agenda. All attendees were in agreement that the highlight session was the Millennial panel comprised of millennials that spoke of their experiences from the summer 2013 Honduras trip and the impact that it has made.
  1. Rock & Roll Retail Rocks the House
    The theme for the 2014 Big Show was bigger and better, but NRF wasn't the only one that was on to something. This year's Rock & Roll Retail was bigger, better and badder. The event made the move to the Hard Rock CafÉ this year, bringing record attendance, as well as many improvements to previous years. Three bands rocked the stage for three and a half hours – not only was the vibe buzzing with excitement, but there was better seating, a great stage and plenty of room for the dancers of the crowd to take the floor.
  1. Macy's RFID Increases Inventory Accuracy at World's Largest Shoe Floor
    As a premier omnichannel retailer, Macy's implemented Tyco Retail Solutions' TrueVUE Inventory Display Execution application across its 850 stores. The RFID technology enables the retailer to increase inventory accuracy, enhance the customer experience, drive sales and increase efficiency. The "World's Largest Shoe Floor" in Macy's Herald Square NYC location layed the foundation for a larger rollout across all
  2. Costco Honored with NRF's Gold Award
    Jim Sinegal, Costco co-founder and NRF board member, was awarded the Gold Medal Award in 2014 during Retail's Big Show. "Jim was an obvious choice for NRF's Gold Award, given his commitment to the industry and Costco, and dedication to creating such a well-respected culture throughout the organization he helped build," said Matt Shay, NRF president and CEO. "All of the award winners have successfully been able to cut through the clutter to make an outstanding name for themselves by continuing to innovate and effectively serve their customers in an ever-changing world."
  3. Top Store Technology Trends Revealed
    At NRF Greg Buzek, president of IHL Group, provided highlights from the 11th Annual RIS/IHL Store Systems Study, which proves that 2014 is shaping up to be a year for innovation and growth. Retailers are making plans to invest more dollars in innovative technologies this year than ever before. And it’s not just about getting bigger, better, faster. It’s about getting smarter and delivering more omnichannel services and functions to shoppers in brick-and-mortar stores. To learn more about where store technologies are heading in 2014 and benchmark your organization against your competitors, join the Webinar with IHL lead retail analyst Lee Holman.
  4. Retail Technology Deployments
    • Guess Inc. has unveiled its new mobile app for customers powered by the MicroStrategy Alert Platform. The new app offers a personalized, loyal experience, including customer service, fashion inspiration, product information, omnichannel shopping, promotions, social networking, and more.
    • Wakefern, operator of more than 300 stores under the ShopRite, PriceRite and The Fresh Grocer brands, has adopted IBM Smarter Commerce on Cloud to respond to changing consumer trends, compete more effectively in local markets and extend the brand into new regions. The retailer is also leveraging IBM's cloud analytics to build sophisticated, real-time analytics to help its store owners make better business decisions on a regional basis.
    • Stage Stores has licensed SAS Size Optimization to help improve sales, margins and team efficiencies while lowering costs. By applying analytics to transform sales data into powerful, size-demand knowledge, future sales and inventory needs by size can be predicted to meet changing demand.
    • Tesco has partnered with Verizon to migrate to a single global network infrastructure. Verizon is providing secure connectivity to link Tesco's suppliers, partners, customers and colleagues in 12 countries. The new network infrastructure also offers a foundation from which Tesco can consistently deliver key business applications to all stakeholders.
    • Wisteria, a retailer of home furnishings and accessories, selected NetSuite as its single platform to power financials/ERP, e-commerce, POS, order management and CRM. The retailer will deploy NetSuite SuiteCommerce and POS to gain a single customer view across in-store, online and call center channels, as well as the mail-in orders from its more than 800,000 print catalogs each month.
    • Natural Markets Food Group has partnered with ThoughtWorks, a provider of innovative retail technology and strategic customer engagement solutions, to develop a solution architecture that could support multiple customer end-point experience within its enterprise. The retailer will leverage the technology to enhance its customer experience and drive operational efficiency while emphasizing its product selection.
  1. New Tech News
    • SAP. SAP launched its new retail mobile app Shopper Experience, which is a personalized and engaging mobile app that transforms shopping through social media sharing, loyalty programs and a self-payment system for shoppers.
    • Starmount. Starmount announced Engage 3.0,a mobile selling solution for retailers, and Connect 3.0, an omnichannel commerce and customer engagement platform. The two allow retailers to meet consumer expectations by using mobile devices to engage customer and deliver a personalized, highly relevant selling experience in the store aisle.
    • Manthan. Retail analytics and BI provider, Manthan released its Offer Recommendation Engine, allowing retailers to recommend best offers based on customers' purchase histories using a patent pending recommendation engine. The engine will add accuracy to targeting customers with the right offers based on purchase and redemption history across sales channels.
    • Epicor. Epicor revealed the Retail CRM 7.0 is a multi-brand, multi-channel database offering retailers a 360-degree customer view, including their attributes and behaviors. This allows for more personalized campaigns and promotions for improved profits and brand loyalty.
    • Fujitsu. Fujitsu introduced its omnichannel POS application, Retail Solution Market Place, which allows retailers to increase revenue by reducing IT costs by supporting enterprise-wide transactio and order fulfillment to deliver consistent and seamless buying experiences to customers via POS, online and mobile channels.
    • Reflexis. Reflexis Systems, Inc. announced new native apps available on Apple’s iOS7 and Google’s Android mobile operating systems. Each application provides role-based interfaces with data viewing and functionality tailored to the user’s responsibilities in the organization. New native mobile applications include: Reflexis StorePulse (real-time execution); Reflexis Task Manager for Store Managers; Reflexis Task Manager for Regional Managers; and Reflexis StoreWalk.
    • Epson. Epson America, Inc. introduced the OmniLink™ TM-H6000IV-DT, the industry’s first multifunction POS solution powerful enough to serve as an entire POS system, yet small enough to fit almost anywhere. The unit features impressive computing power, robust peripheral connectivity, and industry leading receipt printing. It supports flexible POS configurations such as thin client, web POS and legacy-system integration.
    • LightHaus.  LightHaus introduced new in-store insights features for the LightHaus Visual Customer Intelligence(VCI) system, including enhanced traffic-based in-store performance measures that will help retailers garner deeper insights into shopper behavior and store performance.
    • Motorola. Motorola highlighted the new DS4800 Series barcode scanner. The scanner offers style without compromise, marrying impressive design and leading-edge technologies with the enterprise reliability and functionality. The units are completely customizable with unlimited colors/design choices and various sound alerts to blend the scanner into the overall brand experience.
  1. Intel Booth Delivers Engaging Experiences
    Intel is well-known for having a stellar booth with leading-edge technologies and demos that provide visionary, futuristic glimpses into retail technology. This year's booth didn't disappoint. As always the Intel booth was filled with both new technology and people craning their necks to see it. Among the new innovations on display was the Intel-based Shopping Anywhere Solution, which makes the shop-from-home experience even more immersive; allowing viewers to purchase clothing, furniture, home goods and more that they see on their favorite television shows in real-time. By using the Intel Retail Client Manager (RCM), along with technology from NCR and ACTV8.ME viewers can identify goods they are interested in in an episode and receive special offers, play games to earn digital currency or purchase the products instantly.
For related content:
2014 Retail IT Spend Trends Revealed
Where to Find RIS at NRF 2014
Terry Lundgren and Ginni Rometty Share the Stage
Top 5 Must-Attend Sessions at the NRF Big Show 2014
3 Huge Mistakes Companies Make at NRF’s Big Show
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