One of the most often-asked questions posed to me while at the NRF Big Show 2010 was, "What's the big news from the show?" In years past, my answer may have included new products being released that could change the landscape of retail. As day one of the 2010 show kicked off, last year's NRF was still fresh in my mind: slow floor traffic, a lack of new products planned for 2009, and a state of near-depression from those manufacturers I spoke with. New York is always cold and grey in January for NRF, but last year seemed a little colder and a lot darker.
I'm happy to say that this year was the opposite. While there were many new products and technologies released at this event (see the News tab on our Inside NRF resource center to catch the highlights), the biggest trend I could identify at this show was simply a positive outlook. VARs were reporting that customers had started spending again. Manufacturers I spoke with said that retailers who had delayed spending in 2009 were finally giving projects the green light. A couple vendors I spoke with said the change in attitude and spending happened immediately when the new year began. One said, "we aren't seeing a slow increase in sales. It's been a huge jump from many customers."
In addition to stories of more spending, the sheer amount of new products being released at the show and in 2010 indicate that manufacturers truly feel things are changing and there's a viable market for their new products.
So, what's your feeling for 2010? Have you seen any increase in your business or indicators that tell you we're on our way toward recovery?