Retail news from New York: Our discoveries during the NRF 2020

If there is one fair you should definitely visit as a retailer, it’s the New York Retail Fair (NRF): The biggest retail fair in the world. For more than 10 years, Dalosy organises the Dalosy Retail Trip, where Dalosy visits the NRF with some other retailers to get inspired. In this blog we will share the trends, developments and innovations we have discovered in New York.

Innovative shopping

Every year we create the program of the Dalosy Retail Trip with our partners Zebra and Extreme Networks. Not only do we visit the fair, we also visit different areas of New York City to be inspired by several innovative stores. Our visit to Showfields was extraordinary in every way. Due to the growth of online shopping, more and more stores are vanishing from the streets. Showfields shows us how a physical store can create value. Next to the brilliantly designed building that offers space to small startups, they also have a spectacular interior. There is even a slide which you can take to go from the third to the second floor. It’s all about creating experiences at Showfields.

Highlights and new solutions at NRF

Several partners of Dalosy organized a Booth Tour at NRF, that perfectly fit the interests of our retailers. We have seen several solutions that support in-store processes. Especially AI, ML and robotics were hot topics at the fair.

Robots and Automation Intelligence

At our innovative partner Zebra we saw several solutions based on automation intelligence. Such as Ema50, a robot that supports in-store staff. Ema drives past the shelves to detect empty spaces or wrongly placed goods and to see if there is need for replenishment. Store owners that deal with staff shortage use this robot, so the staff can focus on other tasks.

We were also presented to the LocusBot. This robot walks along with the order pickers in distribution centers. One employee places the goods in a basket, carried by the LocusBot. After pressing the button, LocusBot goes to an assigned place, where another employee performs the next step of the process. After that, the next LocusBot automatically goes to the first employee to carry the next order.

Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning

Extreme Networks has showed us the newest solutions, such as Extreme Cloud IQ. This solution for retail is based on AI and ML. With this solution, wireless networks can adjust to certain circumstances, all by themselves. For example, when a malfunction is detected. The wireless network is able to fix the problem before it causes problems. The WiFi network will just correct itself or use another channel. Smart!

Combining online with offline

Doddle presented their Collect & Return solution, that takes over a part of the logistics of large webstores. When placing an order online, consumers can choose when or where they want to collect the parcel. Subsequently, they receive a barcode on their smartphone to collect the parcel at the collect kiosk. Returning goods works just as easy, because at the exact same place there’s a Doddle Return kiosk, where smaller items can be returned. The return will be stated in an app. Again, you receive a barcode on your mobile phone which you scan at the kiosk. The kiosk prints a return label to put on the returned item, and the items goes into the kiosk. This saves employees behind the service desk a lot of time.

Dynamic pricing with ESL

At SES-imagotag, also a partner of Dalosy, new possibilities of dynamic pricing were shown. SES-Imagotag supplies Electronic Shelf Labels, which can easily be used for dynamic pricing and specific promotions. It is even possible to place a flashing LED-light on the shelf label, to make it easier for customers and employees to find a certain product. As soon as a customer or employee searches for a product via the app, the LED light of the product in the shelf starts flashing. This option an be applied in many forms to improve the ROI, for example to signal empty shelves.

Are you interested in one (or more) of these solutions? Feel free to contact us to discuss the possibilities for your company. We are happy to share our experiences and knowledge with you!

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