By Sarah E Taylor-Oracle on Jan 11, 2011
It's the week of the NRF Big Show and all eyes in the retail industry are on New York. The Big Apple is famous for Big Retail -with a proliferation of incredibly iconic stores. The environment is exciting and familiar even to people visiting this small island for the first time. Most of us have travelled down Fifth Avenue watching movies and TV even if we have never set foot on American soil. I find it one of the most exciting retail cities in the world and I am thrilled this year to be here with so many of Oracle's International retail customers who are joining us for the Retail Exchange. The Oracle program brings retailers from all over the planet together to share ideas and be inspired by New York retail and the NRF event. The show celebrates its 100th year in 2011 and New York itself has been recognized globally as the capital of innovative retail for just as long.
Fifth Avenue is where many global brands have placed their flagship stores, and businesses are in constant competition to set themselves apart from their competitors - both in the store and from the street. These flag ship retail destinations present what today's customers are finding most exciting and delightful about retail. For the tourist market, they may only visit these stores once, but the impression that a trip to a flagship store leaves with a customer can last a lifetime.
One of the stores that is currently turning heads on Fifth Avenue is Hollister, sister brand to Abercrombie and Fitch, which has filled its shop front with a massive live video (and audio) feed of surfers on the beach in California. To complete the effect, they also have troughs of water in front of the video screens to bring the sea to the street. And this isn't the only kind of surfing that retailers are considering today and multi-channel retail is a hot topic that all of the retailers joining the Retail Exchange are considering.
The rest of the world looks to the brands along Fifth Avenue for inspiration - how they take advantage of new opportunities, how they set themselves apart from their competitors and how they keep their products fresh and desirable.
With these inspiring pioneers in New York, it's little wonder that NRF's Big Show is so popular, and that New York is viewed as one of the retail capitals of the world. It is a pleasure to be here with so many of the world's greatest international retailers.