NRF 2019

After having spent the last couple of days roaming the halls of the Javits Center Expo floor, here are a few trends that caught my attention. In no particular order…

Everything has a screen.

Anything that can be plug into a wall, from food label printers, to scales, to bar code scanners and point-of-sales stations, is outfitted with a large-format touchscreen. This means plenty of opportunities for using retail stores as a digital marketing channel. Either by extending the digital experience of the retailer to self-service checkout kiosk or monetizing the real estate by pushing advertisement of suppliers to a price scanner at a grocery store, brands now have many moments to capitalize on.

Grab-And-Go grocery is everywhere.

Speaking of grocery stores. There are half a dozen showcases of cashier-less grocery store technology. The same way Apple was able to set the bar of the smartphone experience, even while having a tiny fraction of market share, Amazon Go has the potential of redefining how we buy groceries globally, even without expanding outside of the US anytime soon.

AI is the new engine of retail.

Artificial Intelligence is in every industry’s pitch. Supply chain powered by AI? Check! In-store analytics powered by AI? Of course! Machine learning applied to taking credit cards online? You bet! Trend or not, AI has become a must-offer feature for suppliers of retailers. It’s safe to say, that at this point, we are past the threshold of hype as there are now enough products out there that sport the technology to start thinking about the impact of algorithmic retail in our lives.

Chinese vendors are on the rise.

Many solution and service providers offer novel ways to reach and engage with Chinese consumers. This new trend is one to watch closely because we will soon start to see retail innovations to percolate from China into the US.


Now, back to the showroom floor!