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Retail and Hospitality

Retail Business Technology Expo news

Retail Business Technology Expo 2012 kicked off yesterday at Earl’s Court London. Karen McCandless reports back from day one at the show

In only its second year, the show has already doubled in size, in terms of exhibitors, size and estimated visitors.

Over 7,000 retailers, hospitality and leisure providers from the UK, Europe and even Australia are expected to visit over the two-day event, which is also taking place today.

Some of this year’s key exhibitors include Dell, Intel, HP, NCR, Wipro Retail, The Logic Group, Servebase Global Multi-Channel Payments, RedPrairie, and Cegid.

There was a lot on offer for visitors to RBTE as the Global Retail Forum launched its first major conference at Retail Business Technology Expo, holding a series of meetings with key industry speakers during the Expo in their own dedicated 100 seat theatre.

BT’s The Future of Retail – Lighting Up the High Street’ stand proved very popular with retailers and media alike, with the company showcasing what it expects to feature in the industry in the.

Meanwhile, hot on the heels of Retail’s Big Show in January, The National Retail Federation and its retail technology standards division, ARTS, and digital division, Shop.org, is hosting a pavilion.

OnWindows chatted to Vicki Cantrell, NRF's senior vice president, Communities, about initiatives such as Retail Means Jobs, as well as trends in the industry such as consumerisation of IT, omni-channel and the resurgence of the store.

Cantrell also reflected on the success of NRF 2012, which was the biggest and busiest in many years, and how a reinvigorated retail industry impacts on many other industries including manufacturing and financial services.

Nordic ID is also using the second retail expo as a platform to see all elements of radio frequency identification (RFID) in a practical environment. Highlights in the Nordic ID RFID Zone will include demo areas for apparel RFID retail and convenience retail.

There was a lot going on at many exhibitor stands with the K3 Champagne bar proving a hit not only for the company’s Microsoft Dynamics capabilities but also the range of beverages on offer! The day prior to the show, the company announced its partnership with JustEnough for Microsoft Dynamics AX, cementing its position in the UK Dynamics market.

Tony Bryant, head of business development at K3 Retail, revealed that the company has seen a great increase in interest in the solution since the release of Dynamic AX 2012 for Retail last month. K3 Retail currently has beta implementations at Irish retailer Easons and Icon.

HP Retail continued its support of the show (although no cupcakes this year) with interactive digital signage, facial recognition and POS all on display with partners such as Torex.

The company also gave OnWindows a UK media exclusive as it presented its HP Windows 7-based slate with POS sleeve that is currently only available for the US market but which HP is considering introducing to EMEA.

Intel was demoing its Macy's Beauty Spot, which is a touch-screen kiosk built on Windows Embedded Standard 7 that is changing the cosmetics buying experience. It displays products, specific looks and how to create them, and detailed purchasing information; the technology is in four stores already and is rolling out to a total of ten pilot sites.

NCR showcased its SelfServ Checkout Convertible, which switches between self- or assisted-service checkout modes based on a retailer’s operating model and customer traffic.

Cegid unveiled its latest retail management software operating for the first time at the show. The Cegid mobile solutions are available for both Apple and Windows operating systems and are being deployed using a wide range of handheld devices, including PDA’s (personal digital assistants), smart phones and tablet computers.

The company also demonstrated its Innovation Store technology, which was launched last year with partners including Retail IT and Tagsys, which demonstrated its RFID solution that has been implemented at retailers including Serge Blanco.

At the Cards & Payments Solutions part of the Retail Business Technology Expo at Earls Court next week, Servebase demonstrated how card payment solutions can increase profits, enhance loyalty and reduce costs.

Paul Rodgers, chairman of independent payments organisation Vendorcom, talked about the importance of collaboration in the industry, as well as how fraud and PCI DSS are hot topics for payments providers.

Interestingly, while fraud in the banking and card payment industries fell in most of the UK in 2011 it actually rocketed in Northern Ireland, with losses up 652 per cent on 2010 to £6.3 million.

Phoenix Managed Networks, Mako Networks and In Technology demonstrated the importance of the collaboration that Rodgers mentioned with the launch of PaySecure Connect. This new offering provides a safe merchant card payment processing and settlement solution and other managed services such as voice and data communications in a single bundle.

PaySecure Connect is the first PCI DSS compliant, card authorisation and settlement service for merchants.

In Technology leverages Microsoft Office Communications Server and Lync for voice and data communications.

And that was just a selection of the news from day one at Retail Business Technology Expo – day two promises even more!

Karen McCandless

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