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NRF and Comexposium Enter the APAC Market with Retail's Big Show Asia Pacific The event was based on the theme "Fast Track Your Success," and held sessions that addressed various modern technologies, the latest trends, and strategies transforming the retail industry in the Asia Pacific region

By Paromita Gupta

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The first edition of the National Retail Federation's Asia Pacific Retail Show in association with Comexposium was held from June 11-13, 2024, at the Sands Expo and Convention Center in Singapore. This event marked a significant milestone, co-organized by Comexposium and the NRF, following the success of NRF 2024 in New York. The show aimed to unite regional and global leaders in the retail industry to foster collaboration across the Asia Pacific region.

"The warm and favourable reception we have received from the retail communities spanning across India, Japan, China, the Philippines, Vietnam, and New Zealand strongly indicates a significant demand for a pan-regional retail event. The energy and enthusiasm from participants have been incredible, underscoring the dynamic and evolving nature of the retail industry in the region," said Ryf Quail, Managing Director of NRF 2024, Retail's Big Show Asia Pacific, Comexposium.

NRF's Retail's Big Show ranked one of the top 200 events in North America and one of the 50 fastest-growing trade events internationally. Deemed as the world's largest retail trade association, this was the inaugural NRF APAC 2024. The event saw significant participation of more than 7,000 visitors and approximately 240 exhibitors from 52 countries worldwide.

The three-day event saw leaders and experts representing the Singapore Tourism Board, Domino's Pizza, Fast Retailing (UNIQLO), Amazon, Coca-Cola, Hermès, Mastercard, Decathlon Hong Kong, Under Armour, L'Oréal, 7-Eleven and PUMA share their insights with the audience.

The event was based on the theme "Fast Track Your Success," and held sesions that addressed various modern technologies, the latest trends, and strategies transforming the retail industry in the Asia Pacific region. The event featured more than 100 speakers across 60 sessions, including keynotes, panel discussions, special programmes and tours.

Topics discussed included the latest digital and data trends; reducing costs; the future of retail; and customer first. When it comes to AI's impact on e-commerce, the market demand is expected to grow exponentially in the coming years, with the potential to revolutionize how businesses operate and how customers shop. With respect to AI, topics were discussed such as Utilising AI to create engaged frontline employees & an unparalleled customer experience; Putting generative AI to work today; Revolutionizing Retail: Harnessing IoT, AI, and Data for Enhanced Experiences; and How can AI help Retailers on their digital transformation journey.

One of the standout features was the NRF Innovation Lab, which showcased the most visionary and current modern retail technologies that are being used and have a promising future. The immersive experience segment, through hands-on demonstrations, highlighted emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, augmented reality, virtual reality, machine learning, facial recognition, robotics, data analytics, and Web3.

The class of Innovation Lab included Adpaka, Chain.io, corsight, Datarize, Mishi Pay, Optimum Retailing, Shopreme, Storewise, Svarmony, Syte, Trollee, Trustana, Vcat.ai, Visenze, Wayvee, Whale, Zapper, Zero10, and Zoku.

A notable highlight was the substantial participation from Business France, which brought ten innovative retail tech startups to the event. These startups showcased cutting-edge solutions, ranging from AI-driven customer experiences to sustainable retail technologies.

NRF 2024 APAC also saw an attendance of French delegations, accompanied by the French Chamber of Commerce in Singapore (FCCS)- Team France Export. The delegations comprised 10 innovative French startups and SMEs such as IMKI, Mirakl, Quividi, Maple Technologies, Smartway, Sinfin, Technis, Veesual, Trust-Place, and Velou who shared important solutions focused on expanding retail operations, customer experiences, and sustainability with the use of modern solutions.

The startups showcased their latest retail innovations. For instance, Maple Technologies' super-app helps retailers achieve Operational Excellence in their stores with Pre-Made, TailorMade, and Customizable modules, while VusionGroup enables retailers to re-imagine their physical stores into efficient, intelligent, connected, and data-driven assets. Additionally, in terms of growing online business, startups such as Mirakl and VEESUAL offer services and products which help itc clients drive significant growth and efficiency in their online business.

In Addition to this, Dentsu, one of the world's leading advertising and media agencies based in Japan and which operates in more than 145 countries, also exhibited some innovative solutions. Its executives shared insights into their expansive operations, innovative solutions, power of data, modern technologies, and their client-centric approach with attendees.

It unveiled Infinite Commerce Experiences product for retail data and identity solutions. "Dentsu's services are not confined to traditional advertising mediums like TV, print, and radio. They have adeptly expanded into the digital realm, covering programmatic advertising, data technology, and e-commerce. This broad range of services ensures that Dentsu can address virtually any marketing challenge a client might face. What we're trying to solve for clients is anything related to marketing. It doesn't necessarily have to be only about advertising and media. Our approach is all about solving for clients, Whether it's a marketing strategy, market entry, brand strategy, or creating and placing ads, we cover it all. The digital space, which now comprises up to 80% of media budgets, is where we see significant growth and opportunity." the Dentsu executive shared on the sidelines of the event.

Following the success of the inaugural show, NRF announced the NRF 2025: Retail's Big Show Asia Pacific which will take place between June 3-5, 2025, at the Sands Expo and Convention Center in Singapore. For exhibiting, bookings will open from July 1, 2024.

Paromita Gupta

Entrepreneur Staff

Features Writer with Entrepreneur India

Covering news and trends in AI and Metaverse segments. An avid book reader running her personal blog on the side. You may reach me at paromita@entrepreneurindia.com. 
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