WASHINGTON -- Retail Systems Alert's Retail Systems '94, perhaps the most informative of the peppering of retail technology conferences, will run from June 13-15 at the Sheraton Washington hotel here.
Show organizers expect a total of 85 companies to set up booths -- 79 were signed up at presstime -- but the real draw is a seminar schedule boasting speakers from Wal-Mart, Target, The Home Depot, Nordstrom, Strawbridge & Clothier and numerous technology companies and consultants.
Three-quarters of the attendees at last year's Boston show were retailers, making Retail Systems Alert one of the few shows where retailer personnel outnumber exhibitors and other attendees. One thousand people attended Retail Systems '93; 750 were retailers.
Randy Mott, vice-president and chief information officer at Wal-Mart Stores, will give the keynote speech at 9:45 a.m. on June 13. Titled "Crowning the End-User King," it will lay out how the nation's largest retailer is engaging its end users in corporate-wide applications development. Mott said Wal-Mart is working closely with end users to ensure that every application brought on line is cost effective and responsive to user needs. He will give actual examples of end user involvement in applications development.
TV shopping will also be on the agenda Monday morning when Sandy Goldman, president of ShopperVision, will discuss an interactive customer interface for TV. Called "How Retailers Can Plug Into the Information Highway," the lecture will address how retailers from supermarkets to department stores to discounters can use TV to reach potential customers.
On Tuesday, June 14, Jim Stikeleather of Clearwater, Fla.-based Technical Resource Connection will give an overview of client/server technology in the retail industry. Stikeleather brought a client/server system live while working at Kash n' Karry, a Florida supermarket chain. Mark Factor of Au Bon Pain and Brian Kilcourse of Long's Drug Store will also speak in Tuesday's client/server track. On Wednesday that track will feature presentations by Lechters, Burlington Coat Factory and Nordstrom.
Bob Hayes, manager of technology and architecture at Nordstrom, will detail the evolution of client/ server systems at the 85-store specialty fashion chain. His presentation is titled "How to Design a Client/Server Architecture for Merchandising."Presentations by Kurt Salmon Associates and Target Stores and a panel discussion comparing Quick Response with the supermarket industry's Efficient Consumer Response initiative will make up the supply-chain systems track. Target's vice-president for systems and technology, Paul Singer, will outline the company's Quick Response program with a special emphasis of standardizing a decision-support tool set for use by Target suppliers. Standardization is considered especially important as retailers expand Quick Response relationships to more and more suppliers.
The store automation track will feature Dan Smith, senior vice-president and chief information officer at Des Moines-based Younkers Department Stores. His presentation is titled "How to Design and Implement a Wireless POS Environment." Younkers has already rolled out wireless point-of-sale systems to all 54 of its stores.
Other presenters in the store automation track include supermarkets Supervalu and Raley's, Frank's Nursery and Crafts, music retailer Camelot Enterprises and The Home Depot. A fourth track, decision systems, will offer three presentations.
Tutorials on specific systems and applications will augment the four tracks. The deadline for exhibitor registration is May 1. Attendees may register on site or call Retail Systems Alert at (617) 527-4626.
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