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Retail IT News: 2021 in Review

Hello and welcome to 2021: In Review

Trapped between the hope of the future, and fears of a persisting pandemic, 2021 switched between hot and cold seemingly every other week. Retailers worked around the clock to introduce a host of new innovations that could help them to weather the storm caused not only by Covid, but by ever-changing customer expectations.

As we step into 2022 there are many questions that remain unanswered: Will smart stores with ‘walk in/walk out’ technology rapidly expand? Will paying for groceries with cryptocurrency become the norm? Will BOPIS and BOPAC continue to grow? Time will tell what the answers will be but it sure promises to be an exciting year ahead.

Looking back over some of the innovations in 2021, from many leading retailers, one can see a renewed sense of innovation that will stand them in good stead for the year ahead:

Walmart achieve industry first:
fully driverless deliveries

The route moves customer orders between a Walmart dark store and a Neighborhood Market in a fleet of multi-temperature autonomous box trucks.

Nike files trademark for downloadable virtual goods

The sportswear brand said that it wants to trademark computer programmes featuring footwear, clothing, headwear, eyewear, bags, sports bags, backpacks, sports equipment, art, toys and accessories, hinting at the company’s first foray into the metaverse.

On-demand webinar: giving convenience stores an 'EDGE'

We thoroughly enjoyed producing a live webinar with CSP Daily this month ‘Giving Convenience Stores an ‘Edge’ where we were fortunate to have guest speakers David Konynenbelt, Retail IT Manager/CIO, Shell Canada and Gray Taylor, Executive Director, Connexus participate.

Canadian firm’s interactive mirror technology sets retail and hospitality sectors buzzing

No lengthy fitting-room sessions with piles of discarded clothes. The mirror can even recommend outfits and tell buyers what’s in stock.

Retailers are adopting blockchain technology to simplify payments

Retail companies should consider blockchain technology to streamline payments, alongside better supply chain and inventory management.

Sheetz aims to be first c-store chain to accept bitcoin

The retailer is partnering with Flexa and NCR to enable digital currency payments this summer.

Meet the vertical automated grocery store

Boston-based startup Urbx aims to build its futuristic stores in cities across the country and provide micro-fulfillment technology to retailers.

DoorDash has acquired salad-making robot company Chowbotics

The food delivery platform says the deal will let it help restaurant clients expand their offerings.

NCR signs definitive agreement to acquire cryptocurrency leader LibertyX

“Due to growing consumer demand, our customers require a complete digital currency solution, including the ability to buy and sell cryptocurrency, conduct cross-border remittance and accept digital currency payments across digital and physical channels,” said Tim Vanderham, Chief Technology Officer, NCR Corporation.

Can c-stores afford IT downtime?

As Covid-19 restrictions continue to ease and customers steadily return to in-store shopping with new found confidence, the importance of maintaining up-time in stores cannot be underestimated.

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On-Demand Webinar: Giving Convenience Stores an 'EDGE'View On-Demand