2009 Retail Year in Review

2009 was a tumultuous year for US Retailers.  We entered the year in the throws of a recession that resulted in the bankruptcy of Circuit City.  The ongoing economic challenges kept the likes of Gordon Brothers Group busy as they helped numerous retails close stores and liquidate assets.

While it wasn’t fun, we’ve clearly been over retailed in the US for some time.  The economic climate created a unique opportunity for many retailers to slow their expansion plans, trim underperforming stores, and generally get more healthy without raising the ire of their public markets.

And there is some reason for optimism as well, many retailers continued to innovate. (more)

In Las Vegas for Global Shop 2009

The annual gathering of retail designers and in-store marketers starts Monday in Las Vegas.  I’m in town and will be blogging a recap of the show.  Last year, the show was over spring break, during some unseasonably bad weather in Chicago, and attendance was lack-luster.  At the time, I speculated that it was also a bit quiet because the show started a month after the much larger EuroShop which takes place every three years in Dusseldorf, Germany. (more)

ad:tech San Francisco recap

On Tuesday April 15, I had the opportunity to attend my first ad:tech event, and speak on one of the Power Panels (Tales from the Bleeding Edge – Game-Changing Opportunities for Tomorrow’s Marketer).

Ad:tech is an interactive advertising and technology conference and exhibition. They do a number of events each year at a variety of international venues. The primary attendees are brands, agencies, publishers, portals, and service providers.

I’m not sure if it’s the intention, but the bulk of exhibitors and content are primarily focused on web based activities (media buying, search, e-mail marketing, web analytics, affiliate marketing, blogging, etc…). There is not (yet) much of a presence for Digital Out of Home, much less retail environment specific content. (more)

Global Shop Day 2

I’m happy to report that traffic picked up at the show on Wednesday. I still think overall attendance will end up down for the show, but day 2 was much better than day 1. Thursday is a half day and typically has pretty light attendance.

Wednesday was also "Digital Signage" day at the show. Which included a conference track of six sessions on digital signage topics presented by digitalsignagetoday.com. The program kicked off at 8:30am with Bradly Walker and Brian Ardinger of Nanonation doing their usual great job of showcases some best of class customer experiences. Bradly and Brian are both business partners of mine, whom have become good friends that I really enjoying working with. (more)

Global Shop Day One – Where is everyone?

Global Shop has long been one of my favorite shows. I love to hang out with lots of smart people who spend their days thinking about great retail experiences.

This year’s show got off to a slow start. After getting swamped in our booth the last two years, I was surprised to the trickle of people coming by. Our traffic is probably down 25% from last year, and although we’re seeing most of our key clients, we’re not seeing as many new prospects as we’d usually expect. (more)

Next up…. Global Shop

The next stop on the tour is Chicago for Global Shop. My company MTI has an exhibit here, and the team has been working long hours to get the booth constructed while complying with the all the quirky Chicago exhibitor rules. The show opens tomorrow, and I’ll look forward to posting a recap. If you happen to be attending the show, feel free to stop by booth 3416 and say hello. (more)

Digital Signage Expo

Las Vegas, Feb 25-26. Digital Signage Expo (DSE). This was the fourth year of the show, which used to be called the Digital Retail Expo. This is one of several shows trying to become the main destination for vendors and customers of Digital Signage and Kiosks Digital Merchandising. The show moved from Chicago to Las Vegas this year, which prompted some discussion in the blogosphere (Bill Gerba and Dave Haynes). The show is making nice progress with more exhibitors and more attendees each year. Most exciting the attendees this year weren’t just integrators looking at Digital Signage as a new industry to enter, but also end users (like retailers and public venue owners) looking to learn more about best practices. If I had to bet on one stand alone Digital Signage trade show to survive, I’d bet on this one right now. (more)

EuroShop

Dusseldorf, Germany February 23-27. Euroshop is held every three years in Germany.

I always get a kick out of the fact that Europe has the largest retail show in the world with over 100,000 attendees and over 1900 booths and they call it EuroShop, while in the US we have a retail show with 15,000 attendees and over 900 booths and we call it GlobalShop. (more)

DIGI Awards

Yet another thing we have too much of in the digital merchandising / retail design space is awards. I like to take credit for my teams hard work get recognized for my work just as much as the next guy… OK more than the next guy.

But when is the last time you saw a shopper buy an extra accessory for their IPOD because the display it was on won an award? Worse there are so many awards, that none can really stand out as a special achievement. (more)

Retail’s Big Show (National Retail Federation)

January 13-16, 2008, New York City. The Big Show is the trade show put on by the National Retail Federation (NRF). It’s a great trade organization that does a lot of useful work for different functional areas in the retail industry (IT, Marketing, Supply Chain, etc…).

Because NRF’s show is so close to CES, I rarely get the chance to attend NRF, but I did make the trek to New York for this years. Frankly, I was disappointed to see that the overwhelming majority of exhibitors were focused on IT. I like a good POS system as much as the next guy, but I expected to see more variety of exhibitors than I found. (more)