Highlights from the Show Floor
In mid-January the Javits Center in New York hosted the National Retail Federation (NRF) Big Show, where the latest retail technologies were on display to nearly 40,000 visitors. Above all, NRF 2019 stood out for focusing more on critical operational technologies than flashy customer-facing tech designed to engage the digital-native consumer. This meant fewer customer assistant robots, virtual reality, and Amazon Go-style stores, and more RFID, shelf-monitoring cameras and AI-driven optimization software. While engaging the new generation of customers remains an ongoing challenge for the retail industry, it’s becoming clear that brick and mortar retailers are now turning to the supply chain as a key strategic weapon in the fight against the march of online retail and the dominance of the Amazons of this world.
On day one of the show Alibaba highlighted how it has pressed home its advantage omnichannel retail by focusing on operational technologies that...
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