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What Will Retail Technology Look Like in 2015?

BY Marc Millstein

In one of the most entertaining and enlightening sessions at this year’s TOPSS event, two of the industry’s true research luminaries squared off in one-minute rounds to each give an opinion of what retail technology in 2015 will look like and provide to retailing. TOPSS is the Technology & Operations Store Summit produced by Chain Store Age and Retail Technology Quarterly. It was held in October in Las Vegas.

The two industry analysts were Greg Buzek, president, IHL Consulting, and Jeff Roster, research VP, Global Industries, Retail, Gartner. The moderator, or in this case hostess, of the tag-team debate, was Cathy Hotka, IT/relationship diva, Cathy Hotka & Associates. Herewith a sampling:

Hotka: POS was a cash drawer in the 1970s. What will it be in 2015?

Buzek: POS is undergoing major changes because of broadband access, the need and ability for inventory visibility, customers ordering online, returns and pick-up in the store and also the movement toward an ASP (application service provider) model.

Roster: Technology in the store is all moving toward integration and more and more savvy customers. You will need to have totally integrated POS technology and the ability for associates to access information to be successful in 2015 if not sooner.

Hotka: Personalized marketing?

Roster: REI, Cabelas, Best Buy will work even more on this. They are looking for new opportunities for personalized interaction. But it better be carefully done, gentle and not too frequent, or you risk alienating the customer. But it is not going away, that’s for sure.

Buzek: I think retailers have to be very careful about this. You send the wrong message to the wrong person once and you can cause some serious problems. It has happened already.

Hotka: Wi-Fi and Wi-Max?

Buzek: I am a big fan. Better broadband access is incredibly important and is one of the true disruptive technologies.

Roster: Broadband is the heart and soul of applications, and anything that speeds it up or helps in that way is going to be useful.

Hotka: Markdown optimization?

Roster: One of the fun technologies that is now actually fairly well-adopted in retail. Wall Street loves it. Wall Street is now frequently asking CEOs about it. It is only going to increase in adoption rate year after year.

Buzek: Markdown optimization is the quickest technology I have ever seen adopted in retail. It has happened in just three years vs. kiosks that have been around for 20 years and still do not have their right place.

Hotka: Workforce optimization?

Roster: Another optimization, another good technology that optimizes work schedules and just does everything right. But retailers have to be doing it right. They need to have solid work rules in place.

Buzek: Workforce management and inventory are two of the biggest areas that can deliver a huge difference in cutting costs. Sobey’s system for running work-force-management optimization is almost as big as an ERP system. It is extremely complex.

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S.B says:
Apr-15-2013 06:30 am

The TOPSS event is a great
The TOPSS event is a great gift for us . We can learn many things from this about technology. With Consumers leveraging multiple channels during most shopping experiences retailers are finding that merchandising and planning becomes very difficult if done separately for store vs. direct-to-consumer channels. In addition, merchandising executives have far more data available to them beyond historic sales data and they must find a way to leverage that data for more accurate plans and better merchandising decisions. If someone emphasis to visit this site, I could appreciate you. custom writing from BestCustomWriting.com

S.B says:
Apr-15-2013 06:30 am

The TOPSS event is a great gift for us . We can learn many things from this about technology. With Consumers leveraging multiple channels during most shopping experiences retailers are finding that merchandising and planning becomes very difficult if done separately for store vs. direct-to-consumer channels. In addition, merchandising executives have far more data available to them beyond historic sales data and they must find a way to leverage that data for more accurate plans and better merchandising decisions. If someone emphasis to visit this site, I could appreciate you. custom writing from BestCustomWriting.com

S.Gacho says:
Mar-19-2013 04:21 am

Technology kind of business
Technology kind of business is one of the most popular business nowadays. However, it is also the most expensive business today to invest. - Michael Courouleau

S.Gacho says:
Mar-19-2013 04:21 am

Technology kind of business is one of the most popular business nowadays. However, it is also the most expensive business today to invest. - Michael Courouleau

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CompUSA may get a new look

BY CSA STAFF

ADDISON, Tx. After opening a new format store last month, CompUSA may be changing the format of its other stores, depending on customer demand and product interest.

According to reports, the elements found in the prototype store, located in Texas, will be incorporated into other CompUSA locations across the United States.

The nearly 7,700 square-ft. relocation site includes an Apple shop featuring Mac computers, iPods and Apple accessories, and a full-length LCD TV wall.

Additional expansions include extended gaming, which includes an entire wall devoted to the Nintendo Wii, PlayStation3 and Xbox 360 gaming platforms, plus a PC gaming setup to test equipment and play new titles.

While businesses can get their share of support with a specialized services section, all consumers can visit the store’s redesigned IT support area.

“This new store aligns CompUSA’s vision to better serve its three core customers, the technology enthusiast, educated professional and small and medium businesses,” said Gabriela Villalobos, the retailer’s sales and operations evp.

CompUSA announced in April that it would narrow its focus to three core customer groups rather than try to serve a mass audience.

The move was part of a comprehensive restructuring, initiated last February, that included an overhaul of senior management and the closure of half its store base as the privately held chain looked to improve sales and profitability.

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Walgreens withdraws from CVS provider plans

BY CSA STAFF

DEERFIELD, Ill. After many months of talks over low and below-market payment rates by CVS Caremark for four prescription plans, Walgreens has withdrawn as a pharmacy provider from the plans.

Patients affected include members of prescription benefit plans managed by CVS Caremark for ArcelorMittal, Johnson Controls, Progressive Casualty Insurance and Wisconsin Education Association Trust.

Most of the affected members live in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin.

Trent Taylor, president of Walgreens Health Services, the managed care division of Walgreens, released the following statement:

“This is not where we wanted negotiations to lead,” he said. “We’re sorry that our pharmacy patients and CVS Caremark’s clients are caught in the middle, and we’ll do all we can to ensure a smooth transition for our patients to another pharmacy. Meanwhile, we’ll continue to work on resolving this issue with CVS Caremark.

“Leaving a benefits plan is an extraordinary step for us, but it demonstrates how extraordinarily low our payments were from CVS Caremark. We can’t continue accepting reimbursement rates that are drastically below market, while offering patients needed special services such as 24-hour pharmacy access and drive-thru pharmacies.”

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