Good, Great and Epic Stuff Heard at NRF 2014

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Good, Great and Epic Stuff Heard at NRF 2014

By Joe Skorupa - 01/15/2014
There was a good vibe at the 2014 NRF Big Show. The expanded floor space, aisles and booths seemed right sized and retailers were optimistic. Expansion and growth are key strategies in the next 12 months and they require technology support. So both retailers and vendors were on the same wavelength — seeking partners to collaborate with in 2014. Here is the annual look back at the best quotes from the smartest people at the Big Show.

"I keep my Facebook account so I can keep up with my grandparents." — Millennial Panel at Retail ROI SuperSaturday

"I am a man of few words and few characters." — Jack Dorsey, co-founder of Twitter and CEO of Square

"The era of intentional innovation has arrived. The search for innovation is encouraged, but not rewarded because retailers hate risk. Senior management has to encourage failure. Fail faster, fall forward, move ahead." — Jeff Roster, Gartner

"Innovation isn't about the next whizbang gadget. It is about providing insight into the consumer and delivering better customer experiences. We don't see ourselves as innovation leaders. We just want to be aggressive in categories and functions that matter to us especially in enabling the consumer to buy how and when she wants." — Karen Etzkorn, HSNi

"In the last five years RetailROI has raised $1.6 million that has been used to support efforts in 17 countries and helped 143,275 children. 93% of money raised at SuperSaturday directly impacts children." — Greg Buzek, IHL Group

"We call it boundary-less retail. It is all about engagement and interaction." — Karen Etzkorn, HSNi

"I don't use the word omnichannel retail. If you have to call it something, maybe channel agnostic is best." — Jeff Roster, Gartner

"What did Jeff call it, channel obnoxious?" — Greg Buzek, IHL Group

"Maybe we should call it channel omnoxious to describe the process of doing all channels poorly." — Steve Methvin, Bozzuto's

"I have never understood why we call a store a non-digital channel, because there is quite a lot of digital technology in a store. — John Davidson, Gartner

"Every two to three years a big change emerges in retailing. Every four years in-store processes change. But retailers only change their POS every seven to 10 years. POS has become a big problem retailers need to solve." — Leo Suarez, Toshiba Global Commerce

"Smartphones are not phones. They are windows into everthing a customer wants to do." —Alan Dabiere, chairman of AirWatch

"Jeff Bezos is out innovating the rest of the retail industry put together. It is time to innovate or die." — Jeff Roster, Gartner

"It used to be that analytics was not a crowded field. Now everyone seems to be saying they are in analytics and we have gone from having siloed operations to having siloed analytics." — Joe Dalton, PivotLink

"Optimization efforts are usually done in silos, but the problem is that all benefits are not being fully realized because some efforts cancel each other out and the balance sheet blows up. Optimization efforts need to be managed holistically to achieve real benefits." — Kevin Sterneckert, Gartner

"Walking around the aisles at NRF it feels like the NSA has nothing on retailing in terms of tracking consumers." — Anonymous retailer who wants to protect identity

"Agility is an archetype. Every successful retail strategy is about agility." — Jeff Roster, Gartner

"Unless you are pregnant or have a heart condition you should go on a Retail ROI vision trip. — Millennial Panel at Retail ROI SuperSaturday

"Execute strongly on the basics, particularly in the store, to nurture loyalty and combat bleeding to competitors – in-stock availability, fast checkout, easy returns. Find out what your customers define as the basics and focus on them. — John Davidson, Gartner

"A lot of retailers don't want analytics as a service as much as they want answers as a service. It's not about the software, it's about the answers." — Joe Dalton, PivotLink

"President Bush said he misses nothing about the presidency except flying on Air Force One.” — Steven Dahan, SweetIQ

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