Retail Techies to Converge

NRF conference set for next week; cross-channel decision-makers convene

Angel Abcede, Senior Editor/Tobacco, CSP

NRF Big Show

NEW YORK -- About 27,000 attendees are expected to converge in New York City for the annual National Retail Federation (NRF) conference and trade show scheduled for Jan. 12-15. With NACS' decision not to host what had been the convenience store industry's annual technology trade show in its usual spring 2014 timeframe, the NRF conference takes on added importance as an opportunity for retailers to keep close to technology trends and meet with potential suppliers.

The food and c-store channels makes up 8% of attendees, second only to specialty/apparel shops at 16%, according to NRF statistics, with New York and New Jersey being No. 1 and No. 2 respectively in terms of where attendees come from. Surprisingly, California ranks No. 3 on that list.

For titles, 42% of attendees describe themselves as district managers; 22% as president, COO, executive or owners; while another 19% say they are the company's CEO, CIO, CTO or CFO. In terms of main job responsibilities, the highest percentage of attendees say it's information systems or technology.

Among the topics covered by scheduled sessions include consumer expectations with mobile point-of-sale (POS), shopper behavior in today's "Internet world of everything," and the "power couple" of loyalty and mobile.

Called "The BIG Show," the gathering presents retailers with sessions and speakers organized into content tracks and focusing on everything from mobile retailing and sustainability to research and global trending, according to conference press material. Technology "super stars" take the stage in keynotes talks, while breakout sessions concentrate on single topics.

From its kickoff opening night reception and exposition hall to more intimate working breakfasts and lunches, the convention offers networking opportunities for attendees. Those attending at the "full conference" level can go to the meeting's annual "Retail Industry Luncheon," which honors retailers for their innovation and industry achievements.

The exposition is a showcase for the industry's most innovative technologies. Retail executives searching for the most effective solutions and tools find them in specialty pavilions, exhibitor booths and exhibitor-led "Big Idea" sessions, with suppliers split between levels one and three of the convention center.

Overall, attendees range from executive level to regional managers and single store operators.

The event is scheduled to be held in Manhattan's Jacob K. Javits Convention Center from Jan. 12-15, 2014.

The full conference registration package includes all educational sessions, networking, the Sunday networking luncheon, the retail awards luncheon and access to the exposition. NRF and members receive a discount when registering either as a single or as a team. International delegations also receive a discount. An "EXPO-only" pass is also available for the two days the trade show is open.

Visit for more details and information on how to register.

Angel Abcede, CSP/Winsight By Angel Abcede, Senior Editor/Tobacco, CSP
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