NRF's 2012 show will feature new content geared to C-level executives, indies and all things digital.
As the National Retail Federation readies for its 101st Annual Convention and Expo set to take place Jan. 15-18 at the Jacob Javits Center in New York, Progressive Grocer is pleased to present a preview highlighting some of the most relevant offerings — including summaries of key educational sessions as well as highlights of some grocery-related exhibitors and their new offerings for the event — to help our readers sift through the many offerings available at NRF's BIG 2012 show.
With a sold-out expo floor that promises to be that much bigger next year when it expands to another floor, retail technology will again factor heavily in NRF's 2012 offerings. With this in mind, PG reached out to Susan Newman, NRF's SVP of conferences, to find out what's new for this year's show, which will feature content and attractions spanning the gamut for retailers of all shapes and sizes.
Progressive Grocer: The NRF Annual Convention and Expo has seen tremendous growth over the past few years. To what do you attribute this success?
Susan Newman: For the show, our content is always cutting-edge; we are always focused on what's relevant and what's going to be relevant a year from now, and we get the amount and quality of retailers at the show because of this. A lot of our exhibitors do major product launches especially for our show, which adds to the excitement. A lot if it comes from the fact that because we are a technology show, and technology in this sector is moving so quickly, there is so much to be learned. Shop.org is our fastest-growing division, because of all the activity with online, mobile and social technology.
PG: What's new for the 2012 expo floor?
Newman: We are sold out, which is always exciting from our perspective and which means we have even more interesting, amazing technologies being showcased on the floor. We are putting more content on the expo floor; we have our own pavilion stage where we have put together some great free content for our attendees. Plus we still have our Exhibitor Big Ideas sessions where exhibitors talk about what's going great in their world; in fact, many of them bring their retailer customers to speak. We also have two Happy Hours on the show floor to add to the networking opportunities, and our opening reception — which is not on the expo floor — that is open to everybody.
PG: What's new from a content perspective?
Newman: One thing new is a focus on high-level programming, so we are catering to what your C-level retailers need to know to be successful now and in the future. Everybody is welcome, but we want to challenge attendees more than anything, as well as give them takeaways that they can implement right away.
We've also added a Shop.org track to the show for the first time. The track is a two-day digital retail-focused track. It's aimed at both brick-and-mortar retailers with an online presence and pure-play online retailers. And we have Bill Clinton speaking. He's going to be looking at a more global perspective and how global circumstance impacts the retail industry.
Another new item we developed includes a nearly full day of content primarily for the small independent retailer. I think the smaller retailer plays a vital role in the economy, providing jobs, and that's one of our biggest campaigns right now: that retail provides jobs.
PG: How is NRF leveraging online, mobile and social media for the event?
Newman: This is the first year in which we are leveraging a true mobile app, which will be available through the app stores. It's much more robust, with a lot more capabilities than what we had last year. You can do session evaluations and get information on session speakers and speaker bios, among other features. It will be in the Apple store and available for other mobile platforms as well. We will blog on-site from all of our sessions as well. We'll also have Twitter walls — one in the Crystal Palace registration area and one in each of our breakout hallways.
On the Show Floor
Can't-miss companies exhibiting at this year's NRF show.
AisleBuyer (Booth No. 2937)
AisleBuyer mShop was developed to empower consumers to shop and pay in real time using their smartphones. Retailers can use it to provide customers with quick and easily accessible, detailed product information; customer reviews; and the ability to instantly make a purchase from anywhere in a store without waiting in line.
By scanning product bar codes or browsing customized product catalogs, shoppers can immediately find the information they need to make the best purchasing decisions. Data generated from shoppers' use of the application gives retailers insight into in-store consumer behavior. For more information, call 617-606-7062 or visit www.aislebuyer.com.
Aldata (Booth No. 227)
Aldata Insights provides retail chains with immediate access to relevant and meaningful business information through a consolidated and conclusive dashboard with a variety of views, including levels, results and comparisons — delivering business intelligence across the supply chain to decision-makers. The application also offers a consolidated dashboard view of data culled from multiple platforms. For more information, call 404-355-3220 or e-mail [email protected].
ECRS (Booth No. 3121)
ECRS will present its complete retail automation suite at this year’s NRF BIG Show. Highlights include the Mobile Executive Dashboard and Maintenance, Mobile POS, Self Checkout (full-pay and kiosk), the newly redesigned Catapult version 6.0, video-enhanced customer display, LogicSync-enhanced inventory replenishment and supply chain management, and the Supply Gateway bi-directional supplier communication service. For more information, contact Ashlee Olson, VP of marketing, at 800-211-1172 or [email protected].
KSS Retail (Booth No. 119)
KSS Retail will showcase the benefits from the integration of “customer segments” within pricing and promotion optimization at this year's show. According to KSS, by modeling pricing and promotions by customer segment, retailers are better able to understand how their current plans serve each shopper segment, and model different pricing and promotional scenarios to achieve targeted objectives. For more information, call 310-756-4431 or e-mail [email protected].
Manhattan Associates (Booth No. 1937)
Research has shown that only 30 percent of all grocery SKUs are profitable, but the question is: which 30 percent? Instead of the usual top-down approach using averages that hide the true cost of each SKU, companies are investigating the “Total Cost to Serve.” Working from the bottom up, Manhattan's Total Cost to Serve solution was developed to capture and allocate each cost in the supply chain as it happens, for each and every SKU. For more information, contact Will Haraway, senior manager, media relations, at 678-597-7466 or [email protected].
Manthan Systems (Booth No. 2369)
Manthan Systems produces analytic solutions for global retailers. These solutions, under the brand name ARC, were developed to transform the way retailers use analytics-driven decision-making for strategic advantage. The ARC product portfolio spans the entire spectrum of retail decision-making with role-based, pre-built applications, and includes products for merchandising analytics, financial analytics, customer-centric analytics and supplier portals. For more information, call Peter Charness, president, Manthan Americas, at 800-746-9730 or visit www.manthansystems.com.
NCR Corp. (Booth No. 415)
NCR Corp. will highlight new technologies, services and interactive demonstrations for its converged retailing — or NCR “c-tailing” — solutions. NCR c-tailing solutions were created to enable a personalized experience based on experience based on consumer preference through multichannel solutions. NCR will guide booth visitors through the c-tailing journey, from the eye of a retail customer, as it delivers a consistent, converged retailing experience. For more information, call 800-225-5627 or e-mail [email protected].
NEC Display Solutions (Booth No. 2805)
NEC's V422 commercial-grade large-screen LCD display offers digital signage users a cost-effective solution. Its V Series displays were developed to be ideal for use in applications that require extended use, including retail and restaurant markets, or locations that include indoor venues, training facilities and corporate boardrooms. The V422 features a built-in expansion slot that allows for integration of NEC accessories, third-party components and open pluggable specification (OPS) products. It offers built-in 10-watt speakers, a public display-grade panel to protect against permanent image retention and a full selection of inputs, including digital loop-through. For more information, contact Philip Anast at 847-279-0022, ext. 238, or [email protected].
Revionics (Booth No. 459)
Revionics' Life Cycle Price Optimization solutions — which include Base Price, Promotion and Mark-down planning and optimization — are developed to enable retailers to make shopper-centric decisions based on customer demand and advanced analytics and science. Aided by a sophisticated yet usable pricing science that evaluates and predicts shopping behavior, retailers can leverage Revionics' solutions to execute strategies for improving revenue, margins and customer loyalty. More than 20,000 retail locations across a variety of channels employ Revionics Life Cycle Price Optimization solutions. For more information, call 916-865-5402 or e-mail [email protected].