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Digital Directions Lead at NRF

Technology was the hot topic for the second day in a row at National Retail Federation’s Big Show in New York City.

NEW YORK — The technology theme that was so apparent Monday at the National Retail Federation’s Big Show at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center here continued Tuesday. During a session on the evolution of e-commerce and multichannel retail, Forrester Research analyst Patti Freeman Evans said 20 percent of all retail will be digital by 2020 for a total of $441 billion in sales. At the Expo, tech firms unveiled the following products:

This story first appeared in the January 12, 2011 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

■ A cloud-based service from SAP that’s being piloted by an unnamed apparel retailer. The social media dashboard lets retailers respond to consumer comments on all social media and get feedback on product development.

■ SAP software that manages promotions and discounts in formats such as mobile, e-mail and in-store signage.

■ Intel Corp., along with several brands, showed how the store and virtual worlds will come together. New concepts combined aspects of mobile commerce and social media. Levi’s fashion design game and Adidas’ giant wall display of digital shoes containing product information and consumer reviews will be tested in some U.K. stores this year.

■ The Disney Stores used the Oracle booth to reveal it will unveil new or remodeled units in 11 North American and 10 European locations this year. New units will bow in London; Copenhagen; Dublin; Antwerp, Belgium; Vancouver; Minnesota; Seattle, and Bellevue, Wash. More locations will be identified later this year.

■ Providing good service is just lip service for some retailers, but not the 10 recognized by the NRF Foundation and American Express. A survey of 9,200 consumers determined the winners. Five of the top 10 rankings went to retailers that don’t operate brick-and-mortar stores. The list, from first to 10th: Zappos.com, Amazon.com, L.L. Bean, Overstock.com, Lands End, J.C. Penney, Kohl’s, QVC, Nordstrom and Newegg.com. Avon, not ranked last year, moved to 14th place, while Old Navy and Gap entered at 25th and 26th. Target fell four slots to 21, Wal-Mart dropped one to number 27 and Dillard’s slipped six notches to 29.

■ Individual retail leaders honored included Kip Tindell, chief executive officer of the Container Store Inc.; Glen Senk, ceo of Urban Outfitters Inc., and Sir Philip Green, ceo of Arcadia Group Ltd.

In other NRF news, David French was named senior vice president for government relations. French, who held the same post at the International Franchise Association, succeeds Steve Pfister, who left the NRF in October. The NRF wants a stronger presence in Washington on issues critical to U.S. retailers.