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Impact Analytics At NRF 2024: Retail’s Big Show

NRF 2024 showcased an unparalleled gathering of the retail industry–40,000+ attendees from 100+ countries plus 6,200 brands and 450 speakers—sharing insights, trends, and solutions pivotal for the retail sector’s advancement.

The three-day conference was an immense success for Impact Analytics: We made literally thousands of connections and ran demos nonstop!

Here we curate key Impact Analytics highlights for those who could not attend or simply wish to revisit the experience, particularly our three expert-led sessions addressing retail’s most pressing challenges and opportunities.

  • Supply Chain 360: Optimizing the Supply Chain—with JOANN + Party City
  • Big Ideas Session 1: Pricing Optimization—with Big Lots!
  • Big Ideas Session 2: Forecasting Trends & Opportunities—with Carter’s

Detailed Recap of Daily Sessions and Key Takeaways

Day 1 Recap

Supply Chain 360 Summit
Optimizing the Supply Chain to Augment Efficiency and Customer Experience

Speakers: Prashant Agrawal | Guest Speaker: Peter Smith COO of Party City + Kyle Molloy, Director of Analytics & Inventory Management, JoAnn Stores

Key Takeaways of the Session

  • Supply Chain Volatility Management: The importance of managing and anticipating supply chain volatility, heightened by global events, to maintain operational efficiency.
  • Inventory Management Optimization: Challenges in inventory management due to rising interest rates, emphasizing the need for agility and avoiding excess inventory through scenario planning.
  • Omnichannel Retail Adaptation: Adapting to omnichannel retail strategies to reduce customer friction and ensure profitability, with a focus on refining services and minimizing costs.
  • Supply Chain Efficiency through Analytics: Utilizing advanced analytics to optimize inventory placement and order fulfillment, leading to smarter strategies and increased profitability.
  • Sustainability in Supply Chain: Addressing consumer expectations for sustainability and the challenges of delivering eco-friendly products without compromising on cost-effectiveness.

Day 2 Recap

Big Idea 1
Retail Forecasting: Unraveling Consumer Trends and Unlocking Growth Opportunities.

Speakers: Prashant Agrawal | Guest Speaker: Ben Pivar SVP and Chief Information Officer at Carter’s

Key Takeaways of the Session

  • Impact of COVID-19 on Forecasting: Traditional forecasting methods became ineffective due to the pandemic’s unprecedented changes, highlighting the need for new approaches.
  • Need for Adaptive AI/ML: The shift towards AI/ML to handle changing demand patterns, especially with short product life cycles, emphasizing the inadequacy of relying solely on historical data.
  • Attribute-Based Forecasting: Introduction of AI/ML for attribute-based forecasting in fashion retail to improve accuracy for new product launches.
  • Transition to New Forecasting Method: Carter’s move from manual to attribute-based forecasting, requiring cross-team collaboration for successful implementation.
  • Integrating Pricing with Forecasting: Highlighting the importance of pricing optimization in enhancing demand planning and forecast accuracy.

Day 3 Recap

Big Idea 2
Retail Price Optimization: Balancing Profitability and Customer Value in the Digital Age

Key Takeaways of the Session

  • Dynamic Pricing Needs: Necessity for dynamic pricing in retail to manage margins against inflation and interest rates, using AI and machine learning to adjust to demand.
  • AI Implementation Hurdles: Challenges of adopting AI in retail, including the need for stakeholder education on personalized pricing and transparency.
  • Anticipated Pricing Challenges for 2024: Retailers face future challenges like tariff cost pressures and adapting to post-COVID consumer behavior changes.
  • Internal Strategy Navigation: Insights on handling internal debates over pricing strategies among marketing and merchant teams.
  • Personalized Pricing via Machine Learning: Using machine learning for individualized pricing and promotions based on customer behavior analysis.
  • Education and Advocacy: The importance of educating stakeholders and identifying champions for new pricing strategy adoption.
  • Benefits of Electronic Price Tags: The role of electronic price tags in reducing labor costs and improving pricing flexibility and customer experience.

Closing Thoughts

This year’s event highlighted the pivotal role of technology—particularly artificial intelligence—in driving retail forward.

We extend our heartfelt gratitude to everyone who visited our booths, engaged with us, and contributed to the vibrant exchange of ideas. Your enthusiasm and insights are the cornerstone of the show’s success. We’re certain the connections made, the discussions held, and the solutions showcased will shape the future of retail.

We’d also like to acknowledge the exceptional support and dedication of Maria Brenes, Isabelle Brennan, Kathryn Duque, and Donghyeok Yang—talented students from the Fashion Institute of Technology. Their tireless efforts behind the scenes significantly enhanced our ability to connect with attendees and deliver impactful sessions.

Thank you all for making NRF 2024 a remarkable milestone for Impact Analytics. We look forward to continuing the conversations started here as we explore new horizons in retail innovation together.


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