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Three Tech-Themed Sessions at SPECS


Chain Store’s Age’s 51st annual SPECS Conference starts on March 15, at the Sands Expo at the Venetian/Palazzo Hotel, Las Vegas. The conference is focused on store planning/design, equipment, construction and facility services — all areas where technology is beginning to play an increasingly important role. Here are three SPECS sessions where the role of technology will be highlighted:

Nadia Shourabora

Attendees have not one but two opportunities to hear Dr. Nadia Shourabora, founder and CEO of innovative denimwear retailer Hointer, discuss how her company s reinventing the brick-and-mortar shopping experience by bringing online and robotics technologies to physical stores. A former Amazon executive, Shourabora has created a retail game-changer that combines the best of online and offline retail in Hointer.

In a Tuesday morning session, attendees can learn how Hointer integrates the best of digital and physical retail and, in so doing, creates a roadmap for the future. Then, in a more informal and intimate setting Tuesday afternoon, attendees can directly engage with Shourabora in a Q&A session.


Obviously when you think of technology innovation, in retail or any other sector, you think of mega-company Google. And now Google has grown way beyond its original search-engine foundings, as evidenced by the technology giant's first-ever SPECS session.

Attendees can join Google in a Tuesday afternoon session to discuss how new store technology is providing opportunities for brick-and-mortar retailers to create compelling experiences that drive customer loyalty and sales. Google is partnering with retailers to drive this transformation in varying ways, including session highlights such as how retailers are using Google Solutions to improve collaboration and coordinate new store openings, constructions, and redesigns.

The session will also examine Google-related retail innovation trends such as how new digital signage technology reduces operating costs and increases store sales, and how retail store workers are being transformed into lifestyle consultants, increasing associate effectiveness.

Construction Technology Forecast

Data security, cloud computing, and augmented reality are all well-worn buzzwords in retail IT. However, one specific area of the retail enterprise where there has not been a lot of technology coverage given is construction. In a Tuesday afternoon session, attendees can change that and learn about these and other hot trends in building technologies, identifying short-term fads and long-term game changers from tablets and mobile applications to virtual BIM and automated machinery.

Also results of the second annual Construction Technology Integration Report, revealing how more than 700 construction professionals are employing and integrating technology on building projects, will be reviewed.

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