NRF: Final thoughts

January 19, 2009 by Dave Haynes

So this is a little late, but last week got a little hectic.

Last week’s National Retail Federation Big Show in New York was my first – though it’s one I have wanted to attend for a few years now.

From the narrow perspective of our industry, here are my overall impressions:

Was the place crawling with retailers? Honestly, in two days I saw one guy with a recognizable retail chain on his access badge. There were clearly many, many others there, but the smart ones were walking around with their badge flipped over so they wouldn’t be tackled as they passed by slow booths. Some of the major vendors had very, very busy areas any time I looked, which must mean something.

Was it worth a DS software company having a booth presence? Probably not. The guys who were there looked bored, and they certainly weren’t busy.

Is it worth sending someone from a DS company? Yes, for networking and getting a sense of where retail is going, if retail is a focus.

Were the seminars and presentations worthwhile? Little of what was talked about had, understandably, much to do with DS. But if you needed to get up to speed on loss prevention, absolutely.

What struck you? The lines are getting more blurred between pure digital signage applications and retail systems. Most of the retail technology guys who sell things like POS and customer service systems were showing off new gear and back-ends that were capable of interactivity and showing marketing messages.

Is DS on the retail industry’s radar? Absolutely, but ongoing costs the big issue. 

If you want to read more from the show, the NRF has its own show blog

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