From The Plug and Play Perspective: Three Technologies Every Retailer Should Invest In
By Nicole Chen, brand outreach associate and Michael Olmstead, director, Plug and Play Retail
In today’s day and age, technology pervades into every aspect of our lives. With an emphasis on the fast and easy, nearly all of our day-to-day transactions are now being condensed and expressed through technological gateways. With new trends appearing in the startup space and technology industry every day, it is often difficult to choose what is a good investment and what may turn out to be a dud.
Plug and Play Tech Center, a tech startup investor in the Silicon Valley, has made it its mission to connect promising tech startups with retail corporations in an attempt to help these retailers transition into the technological age. Here are three technologies Plug and Play Tech believes retailers should take advantage of to better manage and adapt in this next fast-growing generation of digital retailing.
1. Mobile Technology
Our generation has a constant inflow of information, much of which we receive on our mobile electronics. From text messages and emails to world news to discounts on stores and restaurants, nearly all information is readily available and easily attained.
In recent years, many retailers have realized the importance of mobile technology and have begun to implement it to more effectively target customers. The ability to instantly send out time-, product-, and location-sensitive retailer information to a tailored group of consumers is an aspect of mobile technology that can bring more attention to retailer activity. This will establish a better retailer-consumer relationship by boosting both sales and consumer satisfaction.
How many times have you received information about a retailer only to disregard it due to your inability to utilize the information at the give moment? Timing is everything, and as newsletters are given less and less attention due to their being received at an inopportune time, retailers are in need of a way to make the information they send out pertinent to the customer’s desires.
Utilizing Beacons will change the retail game. The ability to track the location of smart devices (and therefore the location of the consumer) would allow retail companies to send out store discounts, sales, and special events information directly to the smart devices of the consumer when they enter a certain radius. Similarly, this technology could potentially be used to track and assist in the clocking in and out of retailer employees as well as store traffic.
Employing this technology would increase the efficacy of almost every facet of information distribution and gathering in the retail sector.
3. Image Recognition
As the world moves away from paper and onto electronic transactions, it seems only logical that the hassle of barcodes, price tags, and SKUs has got to go.
The transition of current methods of product tracking in-stores towards image recognition will redefine how retailers manage their stock. Imagine being able to simply snap a photo of the product of interest and immediately receive the specifications of said product – from style and materials to price and availability – right there on your smart device. Applying this type of system could greatly reduce the clutter and simplify organization process in the retail business.
The possibilities of what today’s budding technology could provide for retailers is endless, and at Plug and Play we firmly believe that adapting to these advances will not only benefit retailers in the long run, but be imperative when keeping up with online giants like Amazon.
Burger King to buy Tim Hortons for $11.4 billion
Miami — Burger King Worldwide agreed to buy Canadian quick-serve chain Tim Hortons for approximately $11.4 billion, creating the world’s third largest quick-serve restaurant company. Under a tax inversion deal, the corporate headquarters of the new company will be in Canada, where the combined company’s biggest market will be.
The two chains will continue to be run independently. Burger King will still operate out of Miami, and Tim Hortons will remain based in Oakville, Ontario. The combined company will have 18,000 restaurants in 100 countries, and $23 billion in annual revenue.
The location of the corporate base outside the United States is sure to ignite controversy as it comes at a time when such moves are coming under heavy criticism from Washington. According to the New York Times however, the decision to locate the headquarters in Canada is primarily aimed at appeasing Canadian regulators wary of a company outside its borders buying such a beloved national icon as Tim Hortons, Burger King is expected to save only a little on taxes through the move, the report said.
Under the terms of the deal, Burger King will pay 65.50 Canadian dollars in cash and 0.8025 of one of its shares for each Tim Hortons share. That amounts to about 94.05 dollars a share, or $85.78 a share, based on Burger King’s closing price on Monday.
3G Capital, the Brazil-based private equity firm that controls Burger King, will retain majority control of the combined company, with a 51% stake. Alex Behring, 3G managing partner Alex Behring will be executive chairman of the merged company.
“Our combined size, international footprint and industry-leading growth trajectory will deliver superb value and opportunity for both Burger King and Tim Hortons shareholders, our dedicated employees, strong franchisees, and partners,” Behring said in a statement. “We have great respect for the Tim Hortons team and look forward to working together to realize the full potential of these two extraordinary businesses.”
Wegmans looks to win with “Wild Caught”
Leading Northeastern food retailer Wegmans is introducing a new line of peeled, deveined and wild-caught Gulf of Mexico shrimp and enticing shoppers with seafood promotion featuring a wide range of domestically sourced products.
Wegmans and the Gulf Seafood Marketing Coalition in a joint announcement said the retailer was celebrating the end of summer by featuring fresh Gulf seafood through Sept. 6 and was launching its proprietary line of wild-caught Gulf of Mexico peeled and deveined shrimp that would be available year-round. Plans also call for Wegmans to feature Gulf Coast seafood cooking demonstrations, freshly prepared wild-caught Gulf shrimp dish samples and educational grilling techniques at each of its 84 stores. The stores will showcase seafood harvested from Gulf of Mexico waters, including wild-caught shrimp, snapper, grouper and blue crab.
"Wegmans is dedicated to providing the freshest ingredients to our customers, helping to make great meals easy and affordable. The savory Gulf of Mexico seafood flavors fit into this plan, and the Gulf Seafood Marketing Coalition is a great partner to us," said Dave Wagner, Wegmans VP of seafood merchandising. "We are confident that once customers taste our new Wegmans brand wild-caught Gulf of Mexico shrimp and learn easy preparation techniques, it will soon become a favorite."