Is AI the Answer to All the Convenience Channel's Questions?

Thousands of tech-minded attendees gathered at NRF 2024: Retail's Big Show to catch a glimpse of the future.
Melissa Kress
Executive Editor
People walking a trade show

Earlier this week, two notable things happened in my world: Winter finally arrived in New York City, after a 701-day snow drought, and I joined several thousand retail-technology minded attendees at NRF 2024: Retail's Big Show, the National Retail Federation's annual show at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York. 

Admittedly, I was much more excited for one than the other. My countdown to Memorial Day (130 days) should give you a hint. 

Over the course of the show, myself and my colleague Angela Hanson sat in on education sessions and met with tech vendors on the show floor. Not only our senior editor but also our lead foodservice editor, Angela toured the Foodservice Innovation Zone as well to get a sneak peek at what may be coming down the pike for how convenience store retailers manage that all-important category in the not-so-far-off future. 

[Read more: NRF Highlights Four Guiding Principles for Using Artificial Intelligence]

Convenience Store News will be posting coverage of NRF 2024 over the next two weeks, but I thought I would share a few key insights I took away from the show:  

  • Artificial intelligence (AI) is moving from the theoretical stage to the application stage. AI is not going away any time soon. Now, retailers and their supplier partners need to find the best way to implement AI into their business strategy.  
  • Retail crime is more than just a news story. Whether it is finding solutions to cut back on shrink at self-checkout kiosks or using cameras and license plate readers to combat drive-off theft on the forecourt, c-store retailers are taking back their stores. 
  • Price and promotion are top of mind. How should retailers decide which promotions to run? Which price point is the sweet spot? 

Not surprisingly, the solution for the last two bullet points could very well be the first. 

Did you attend NRF 2024: Retail's Big Show? I would love to hear your takeaways. 

Stay warm and think beach thoughts. 

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