Don’t neglect your bricks and mortar operations, because a multitude of new technology is about to hit your competitors’ stores warned a leading retail analyst off the back of this year’s annual National Retail Federation (NRF) conference.

“Brick is the New Black” was one of NRF’s main messages thanks to solution provider JDA’s keynote session on that topic. But some retailers have let their stores slide in their rush to develop e-commerce- a trend that “quickly needs to be reversed”, said Planet Retail analyst Joachim Pinhammer.

Pinhammer identified convenience-centred instore technology as a focus at NRF- with faster checkout options such as fully-automated scanners and mobile PoS systems playing a crucial role. “It is safe to predict that over the next few months more retailers will trial automated checkouts and the first roll-outs are not far off,” Pinhammer said.

There is now more than enough technology to help retailers re-energise their bricks and mortar operations and this will help stores provide the “ultimate stage” for experiencing their brand, Pinhammer added. “While it is true that more and more retail revenues now derive from online, the role of bricks and mortar must not be underestimated. Physical outlets and online supplement each other and in combination can leverage revenues. Therefore, even established pure-players like Amazon are looking to establish a physical presence at least through lockers or pop-up stores.”