NEW YORK — Retailers from across the globe gathered in New York City this week for Retail’s BIG Show 2017, the annual innovation and technology conference of the National Retail Federation (NRF).
This year’s show, held Jan. 15-17 at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, featured keynotes on the future retail workforce from such major retail figures as Walmart US CEO Greg Foran, HSNi CEO Mindy Grossman, Macy’s Chairman Terry Lundgren, and Ashley Stewart CEO James Rhee.
Other noted speakers included Virgin Group founder and serial entrepreneur Richard Branson and legendary New York City restaurateur Danny Meyer.
As in past years, the show included a heavy focus on technology, with exhibitors showcasing a myriad of innovative solutions to help retailers more efficiently connect with consumers. “Smart Retail Solutions,” “Streamlined Currency Management,” “eCommerce Made Easy,” “Unified Commerce,” and “The Connected Consumer” were among the many buzzwords and expressions on display at the 240,000-square-foot expo that featured more than 510 exhibitors, plus Exhibitors Insights sessions.
Here’s a selection of what solution providers were showing that has application for the convenience store industry:
Workjam Chief Operating Officer and co-founder Joshua Ostrega spoke about the digital workplace platform’s global partnership with Shell, deploying a new employee engagement suite in Shell’s convenience stores across 17 countries. “At the end of the day, it’s all about creating the digital workplace,” said Ostrega, as he demonstrated how easy the new app-based platform allows for seamless communication among and between workers and managers for an array of tasks from communicating schedule changes to improving training — all easily accessed by a smartphone or tablet.
At the show, Workjam also unveiled the latest version of its software service with the addition of Task Management. The platform now includes full integration with existing back-office systems in tandem with standalone capabilities to provide a seamless, real-time, digital employee experience covering scheduling, schedule execution including the broadcasting of open shifts, communication, training and operational tasks.
“It enables retailers to reach the last mile of workforce management and bridge the gap with customer engagement,” said Ostrega.
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