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This week a video from the IHL Group and a couple of IT posts sparked some thoughts on the evolution of retail as it is accelerating on aRetail Shoe String Budget technology shoestring budget.

According to the latest 2013 "State of the CIO" survey from CIO Magazine, the average IT budget as a percentage of revenue is 5.2%, and it was up from 4.7% the previous year. Contrast this to the retail industry where according to Jerry Sheldon from the IHL group, the average IT spend as a percentage of total sales ranged from 1.1% to 1.2%.


The latest BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands survey has insightful data for both technology companies and the retail World's Brands Rankingindustry.

For the retail industry, the brand value data projects continued economic recovery especially in the United States and in luxury brands.


New technologies such as RFID, NFC, augmented reality and gamefied retail apps will directly interact with consumers based on predictiveScreenHunter 227Apr.3022.05 behaviors identified by "Big Data". - Tony D'Onofrio

This month RIS News published a great post on 12 key takeaways from a recent Onmichannel Merchandising Symposium


"Retail IT is being transformed. CIOs are shifting from proprietary systems to package solutions and from an emphasis on cost $940 Billion Retail Lossesreduction to a solid bump in IT capital spending. A strong customer focus means CIOs are fixing their attention on channel integration and analytics that will help them spot and anticipate shopper preferences more quickly." (5) - NRF Stores Magazine, April 2013


"We're out of the (cash) register business.(2)" - Urban Outfitters CIO

As demonstrated by the recent Walmart announcement that they are expanding their "Scan & Go" iPhone app to 40 more stores in Mobile RetailDenver, mobile POS continues to gain traction in global retail.

For Walmart, "Scan & Go enables a shopper to scan the bar codes on products as she (the shopper) picks the products off shelves and puts them into her shopping cart. The app creates a list of all products scanned. When the shopper has completed shopping, she presses the Done Shopping button and the app generates a custom QR code. The self-checkout terminals scan the QR code on the smartphone, tally the list, and ask the shopper to select a payment option to complete the transaction at the terminal.(1)"


THOUGHTS & INSIGHTS FROM NRF 2013 "Now, you know the rest of the story." - Paul Harvey NRF 2013

Over 27,000 people from 70 countries gathered in New York this week to attend the NRF 2013 retail "Big Show." Post the holiday season, this trade event is the wrap up gift to close the previous year, think about the new year, and more importantly filter through the messages on the long term trends of the global retail industry.


As we are near the end of 2012, let's start this week's discussion by revisiting the Apparel Magazine 2013 RFID retail predictions that were published in the October personal post "RFID's Moment of Retail Truth" (1):

2013 will be the year of the "Specialty Retailer" with a noticeable proliferation of RFID implementations.


"Fools ignore complexity. Pragmatists suffer it. Some can avoid it. Geniuses remove it." Alan Perlis (*)

Last week's post was focused on predicting the 2013 top 10 retail trends for retail. This week want to expand this discussion with some additional insights from some other sources on how technology continues to add both complexity and opportunity to our mutual futures.


"With high hopes for the future, no prediction is ventured." - Abraham Lincoln

On March 4, 1865, the above words were spoken by Abraham Lincoln in a short, yet very powerful speech given on the day of his second inauguration as President of the United States. As backdrop to this speech, Lincoln had just won a major legislative win in passing the 13th Constitutional Amendment abolishing slavery (as dramatically depicted in the current Steven Spielberg movie) and the Civil War raged on taking over 620,000 lives (the most of any war in USA history) by the time it ended in April 1865. The same month the war ended, roughly one month after this speech, Lincoln was assassinated.


" The (RFID) industry got out in front of its headlights and over invested in a phenomenon that just wasn't ready to take off yet—and that, by the way, happens all the time. The RFID industry, in general, has underperformed, because it was impatient and tried to drive toward a tornado too quickly. It is easy to see that in hindsight. There are real problems to be solved, and in the current market's state of adoption, end users want to give RFID companies money, but not for tags and readers. They want to give them money for solutions to their problems. If the RFID industry responds to that, it will be successful." -- Geoffrey Moore, Author of Crossing the Chasm, as quoted in RFID Journal (June 4, 2012)