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The Season of Winning

Tim Denman
Editor in Chief
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While the rest of the population is deep into the holiday spirit, stringing lights and belting out carols, retailers are stressing through the most important time of the year.

The holiday shopping season can put a shiny bow on those end-of-the-year numbers, or place the organization behind the proverbial eight-ball before the New Year even begins. But unfortunately, at this point, there is little retailers can do to affect the outcome.

Sure they can ensure stores are neat and tidy, and add a few extra shifts at the fulfillment center to guarantee packages make it to the customer’s doorstep before the clock strikes midnight on the holiday rush — but for the most part, the work that will define the success, or failure, of the season is already complete.

Planning for a successful holiday season is a year-round event. It starts as soon as the previous season ends and continues to pick up steam throughout the early part of the calendar year. The key to winning the holidays is successfully pinpointing customer demand and trends and then putting the technology in place to meet them.

Predicting the future is no easy task. Hot technologies come and go, and customer wants and needs are in constant flux. But that doesn’t mean that doing a little soothsaying is impossible. To help uncover what the next year will hold for retail, RIS asked some of the industry’s biggest names their thoughts on the next 12 months. What will be the hot trends? Which technologies are must haves? And how will the industry continue to evolve in the face of an increasingly competitive landscape?

Their responses are the basis of our annual Review and Outlook cover story. Check them out. Do you agree? Or did our experts miss the mark? Drop us a line, we would love to hear your thoughts.

Once your predictions are in place, it is time to begin planning and executing, building the technological firepower to meet that future head on. And there is no better place to compare a massive amount of tech in a limited amount of time than the NRF Big Show, January 13-15. The Expo is a great opportunity to network with fellow retailers and solution providers and get a glimpse of the technology that will define the industry over the next year, and beyond.

But the sheer size of the Big Show can be daunting. More than 37,000 attendees are expected to cram into the Jacob Javits Center next month to explore the massive show floor. To help make the experience a little less overwhelming, RIS has gone through the agenda and pulled out the must-attend events and educational sessions. Be sure to check out our picks in our annual preview guide.

If you are able to make it out to the Big Show be sure to visit us at booth 4901, we would love to see you.

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