design:retail - February 2015 - (Page 6)

editor's note 006 Brick by Brick ALISON EMBREY MEDINA EXECUTIVE EDITOR @dretaileditor L AST SUMMER, I received a call from the National Retail Federation's (NRF) conference chair for Retail's BIG Show in New York. She was calling to ask if I would be available to speak on the main expo stage of this year's January show about customer experience in bricksand-mortar retail stores today. As many of you know, NRF has morphed into one of the world's largest tradeshows for technology in the retail market, with a show floor packed with e-commerce players, POS solutions, cloud operators and digital integrators. "So, you basically want me to showcase how physical retailers are integrating technology to enhance the customer experience in-store, right?" I asked, assuming this was the end game. "No. We don't want you to talk about technology or online commerce at all," she answered matter-of-factly. "We're really focused on what's happening inside the physical store." Well isn't that interesting. With all of the headlines today forecasting and expounding on the "death of bricks and mortar" and the "rise of online retail," one would think we were all gasping our last breaths in the slow, unwinding demise of physical retail stores as we know them. But this year's NRF show infused a giant breath of fresh, retail-heavy air into our lungs. FEBRUARY 2015 DESIGNRETAILONLINE.COM By the afternoon keynote on the first day of the show, the message was clear that technology was not-I repeat WAS NOT-becoming the death knell for bricks-and-mortar retail. In a session titled, "Brick Is the New Black," moderator Baljit (Bal) Dail, CEO of JDA Software, strongly proclaimed, "The physical store is not dead. It is still very much at the emotional and financial core of today's retail model." If anything, Dail continued, technology today is making retail stores smarter. Better. In another session on global retail innovation the following day, the founders of Bilder & De Clercq (a Dutch market focused on home cooking made easy) illustrated the notion of experience and the powerful effect of the store on the consumer. With a giant slide reading, "LONG LIVE RETAIL" in the background, the two founders emphasized experience above all: "A retail store is the best billboard you can have," they said. This coming from a firm that is about to launch a major collaboration with Google and that will be integrating digital ordering, interactive TV, NFC technology and same-day online delivery-their single physical store is still the heart, soul and lifeblood of their powerful brand. When it was my turn to speak (to an international crowd of 800-plus, egad!!), my message followed suit. Physical retail isn't going anywhere anytime soon. Stores are getting smarter by the day, but they aren't disappearing. They are the heart and soul of the brand. And certainly the heart and soul of this brand. Long live retail! http://www.DESIGNRETAILONLINE.COM

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of design:retail - February 2015

design:retail - February 2015
Editor’s Note
Show Talk
On Trend
We Love This!
Designer Picks
How’d They Do That?
Have You Heard?
The Digical Store
Shopping with Paco
Joseph Cheaney
Countdown to GlobalShop 2015
POP Supplier Listing

design:retail - February 2015