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Key Insights from NRF 2024

NRF 2024

With over 40,000 attendees, representation from 6,200 brands across 100 countries, and a staggering 1,000 exhibitors, NRF 2024: Retail’s Big Show left an indelible mark as the unofficial kickoff to the new year. This dynamic event was not just about the numbers; it was a hub of innovation and a treasure trove of ideas. Here are three significant takeaways that stood out to us:

#1. Positive Outlook for Retail in 2024

NRF President and CEO, Matthew Shay, shared insights on the positive outlook for the retail sector. With an expected sales growth of 3%-4%, the industry is on track for sustainable expansion compared to the rapid growth seen during the pandemic. This growth is attributed to retailers meeting consumer expectations for value and seamless experiences across digital and physical stores. Shay emphasized the influence of factors such as low unemployment rates and steady wage growth on consumer spending, highlighting the underlying strength of the economy.

#2. The Rise of AI: Beyond Concept to Application

The buzz around Artificial Intelligence (AI) was not merely conceptual at NRF 2024; it was integrated into various sessions and discussions. AI and generative AI emerged as focal points, with practical use cases taking center stage. Panelists in sessions like “Harnessing Data to Stay Connected to Consumers” discussed leveraging gen AI for marketing spend allocation. Abercrombie & Fitch Co. mentioned experimenting with AI tools for copywriting and The Vitamin Shoppe spoke about being mindful of what AI tells the customer in its space.

#3. Omnichannel Thinking is Key to Retail Success

The importance of thinking like an omnichannel retailer echoed throughout NRF 2024. Retail giants like Kohl’s and Walmart highlighted the need for an omnichannel approach. Kohl’s success story, under Michelle Gass’s leadership, involved accepting Amazon returns in its stores, attracting new customers and boosting business. Walmart showcased app updates facilitating seamless checkout experiences, emphasizing the integration of AI and computer vision technology to enhance customer convenience.

Made4net’s Made Waves

Made4net made waves at NRF 2024 with the launch of BuyerExpert—a comprehensive solution for retail-focused procurement teams. BuyerExpert seamlessly integrates features like Store Allocation, Order Management, Procurement, and Vendor Compliance and Scoring. The platform ensures end-to-end visibility and a shared user experience, streamlining processes from forecasting to purchasing.

A sneak peek into how the Ingka Group plans to utilize Made4net’s SCExpert platform showcased an ambitious omnichannel transformation at IKEA. This initiative aims to drive worldwide fulfillment across 482 stores in over 30 countries, prioritizing a customer-centric experience based on flexibility, accuracy, and timely shopping and delivery of goods.

In Summary

In summary, NRF 2024 was not just a showcase of industry trends but a platform where innovation, positive industry outlook, and the importance of omnichannel strategies took center stage. The event set the tone for a promising year ahead in the world of retail. To learn more about MAde4net retail capabilities, visit our retail industry page.