Retail & Distribution

NRF Big Show dominated by AI, robots and customer experience

31 January 2019

4 min
The retail community got together at the Javits Convention Center in New York from January 13-15, 2019 for Retail’s Big Show. With its numerous conferences and discussions, and with hundreds of exhibitors arrayed in vast halls, the industry trade event was once again well worth the trip.

NRF 2019 – aka ‘Retail’s Big Show’ – has certainly left a big impression on us. The National Retail Federation’s 108th annual show and expo in New York exceeded our high expectations, with top speakers and exhibitors from around the world.

If, like us, you were lucky enough to attend (January 13-15), you probably witnessed all types of breakthrough technologies and discovered some amazing things retailers are doing around the globe. It was fascinating to hear industry giants share their latest thinking on omnichannel retail, and the pressing need to future-proof to survive and thrive.

We found it especially exciting to see how closely our unified commerce technology aligns with the latest retail trends, discussed on the main stage and breakout sessions over the three-day conference. We enjoyed networking with our peers and demonstrating to delegates how Cegid delivers key elements of the advanced technology so urgently needed to meet the needs of the retail industry in 2019.

Anchoring growth with tech

The fast-changing nature of retail was the dominant theme at NRF 2019. Wal-Mart’s CTO Jeremy King detailed how the company is placing unprecedented levels of investment in cutting edge technologies to position it strongly against the likes of Amazon. Alex Gourlay, COO of Walgreens Boots Alliance spoke passionately on the importance of partnerships and diversification to shore up operations for the future. And Kroger’s CEO, Rodney McMullen, explored the evolving role of the store and retail jobs of the future.

Charismatic CEOs of Dick’s Sporting Goods, Levi’s and Lowe’s all focused on the power of leading with conviction in this era of realignment. And, of course, it was fascinating to hear Alibaba discuss its audacious globalization strategy.

Showcasing unified commerce at NRF’s Big Show

For Cegid, this year’s Big Show proved the perfect occasion to unveil our latest Inventory Tracking solution, and to host a series of networking events. Our focus throughout the show was the importance of delivering the omnichannel customer experience, profitably and efficiently. Our unified commerce insight comes from years of retail experience and from working with leading brands including GANTPaul SmithLacosteQuiksilverYves RocherOrlebar Brown and Longchamp.

Inventory Tracking is our latest omnichannel mobile application, which helps integrate a retailer’s back-store to give real-time visibility of inventory, improve stock accuracy and reduce out of stocks. There was a real buzz around what can be achieved with this solution in terms of delivering an omnichannel customer experience.

The application allows store associates to optimise the movement of stock, so that the store can effectively operate like a mini-DC. Delegates were impressed that staff can be immediately notified to pick and pack online reservations or click-and-collect orders – just one of the many benefits of the application.

Nathalie Echinard, Director of Retail Markets at Cegid, said:

We’re proud to be showcasing the integrated solutions needed to deliver a holistic view of shoppers, products and stock across the entire retail demand and supply chain. This empowers retailers to deliver seamless shopping encounters creating personalized and memorable experiences that increase conversions and grow customer lifetime value.

The Cegid Retail Experience


Cegid Retail Experience Lounge


At NRF 2019, Cegid also hosted a series of networking events – ‘The Cegid Retail Experience’ and an evening Retail Party. The Cegid Retail Experience gave retailers the chance to discover first-hand the full suite of Cegid’s solutions – from the latest modules to new features and products, all designed to ensure retailers never miss a sale. Meanwhile the Retail Party brought together over 300 international retailers and brands for an engaging round table discussion and cocktail party.

A highpoint was Terry J. Lundgren, former CEO of Macy’s advocating customer centricity. “If you put the customer at the centre of your questions you will always get the right answers,” he told the audience.


Former CEO, President of Macy’s Terry Lundgren speaking at FF Retail Party in NYC


Cegid’s unified commerce solutions have been implemented by retailers across 75 countries, so we enjoy a global perspective on the challenges of modern retailing. It was a delight to share our knowledge at NRF 2019, learn from so many others, and simply to be part of the industry-wide enthusiasm for successful retailing today and into the future.

If you weren’t able to join us at NRF 2019, you can find out about unified commerce and the full range of Cegid solutions for retail and fashion here.

Contact us

Interested in a product demo, more information or to become a reseller?

Get in touch with our experts today