Tech at NRF

Suppliers to announce new products

NEW YORK -- Technology suppliers to the convenience store industry are set to make several announcements at next week's National Retail Federation (NRF) annual convention and exposition.

To be held at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York from January 15-18, the 95th NRF convention features educational sessions on retail trends and technology and a full trade show of suppliers catering to the retailers across multiple channels.

Several technology suppliers to the c-store industry intend to make announcements at the [image-nocss] show, including the following:

New Edge Networks, Vancouver, Wash., will announce a new networking option targeting c-stores with locations in hard-to-connect areas. Business Objects, San Jose, Calif., will reveal the results of a survey about retailers and the use of business intelligence solutions in their daily operations. Aruba Networks, Sunnyvale, Calif., will unveil a line of wireless networking products specifically for the retail market. As described by a spokesperson, the products will allow companies to deploy wireless fidelity (WiFi) applications at all outlets, while allowing retailers to manage the network from a single location. Socket Communications Inc., Newark, Calif., will unveil its new cordless ring scanner, which combines laser barcode scanning with Bluetooth wireless technology, providing a hands-free, finger-pointing solution.

The conference will include educational seminars on a number of topics, including how cultural attitudes affect buying patterns, collaboration between retailers and vendors as it relates to technology implementation and challenges facing global companies in delivering a targeted customer experience.

NRF is one of the world's largest retail trade associations, with members who come from all retail formats and channels of distribution. Some of these channels include department stores, specialty, discount, catalog, Internet, independent stores, chain restaurants and grocery stores. The association represents more than 1.4 million U.S. retail establishments, with more than 23 million employees (about one in five American workers). In 2004, its members recorded sales of $4.1 trillion. NRF also represents more than 100 state, national and international retail associations.