As part of Chain Store Age’s lead-up coverage to RECon 2012, to be held May 20-23 in Las Vegas, we talked with customer analytics firm Buxton’s Charles Wetzel about what his expectations are for the big real estate show. Visit Buxton’s booth 701 in the North Hall Marketplace area of RECon.
What are your expectations for RECon 2012?
We are extremely excited about the ICSC RECon show this year. Besides our expectation that this will be our best RECon, we cannot wait to unveil SCOUT 3.0. We fully anticipate this to change not only the real estate game, but how retailers will use this tool and our solutions to keep their associated brand relevant.
What solutions will you be focused on at your booth this year?
There is a lot of noise in the marketplace around what a retailer should focus on. Since our inception in 1994, we have focused squarely on knowing not only who your customers are, but where they are located, and ultimately the total value of the customer. As technology has evolved, the importance of the customer has not. We are continually illustrating to our clients and prospects the importance of just that: the customer.
What categories of retail do you feel will be actively in expansion mode in the back half of the year?
Luxury goods are going to make an encore act. They have been hibernating for too long. Along with that, instead of seeing drugstore and bank expansion the customer will see "smart" consolidation. I think C-stores and grocery stores will continue to evaluate growth opportunities. Lastly, all retailers will begin to ensure the integration of both the online and off-line customer to ensure continued success and relevance.
What key convention indicators do you feel will tell the tale of the rest of the year in terms of recovery?
The golden rule of success is measured very simply. We always feel we are at the cutting edge of consumer insights...with not only the services we provide, but the technology we deliver our insights through. The message or show has to do two things though...resonate with the retail base and be purchased. Our ROI of RECon is measured by the amount of additional meeting requests and total product purchased. Each year has been our best year, and we anticipate this year to follow suit.