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January 19th, 2011Retail’s technology revolution marches on

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by Michael Baker

The retail “technology revolution” was front and centre of the National Retail Federation’s annual convention, the so-called “Big Show,” in New York this month.

Small wonder, given the galloping growth of internet sales and the wide range of technologies – some in their infancy but others already in adolescence – which are transforming the way we market, sell and shop.

The technologies on display at the convention are designed both to manage costs and drive top-line growth.

But are they relevant to small business, or mainly the playthings of the large retail chains with huge capital budgets?

Some, such as technologies that help customise store merchandise for the local market, are being implemented by large chains so they can behave more like local independent retailers at the store level.

Others, such as mobile marketing programs, are more likely to be useful for small retailers themselves.

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