June 23, 2020 – SAN JOSE, CALIFORNIA -The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the retail industry in ways no one could have imagined. A vast majority of retailers have needed to close doors, leaving many unemployed or furloughed while sales stalled. As the country begins to reopen, the retail industry is looking to stabilize and welcome shoppers back safely. It is imperative the industry keep guests and employees safe and technology can aid in this journey with transparency of crucial occupancy and shopper density metrics to help guide safer experiences in physical stores.
RetailNext, with support from a consortium of private enterprise companies, retailers, and property owners, has created ShopSafe – a not-for-profit enterprise focused on getting American retail businesses open again with infrastructure to deliver real-time occupancy data for shoppers to better understand precautionary measures in place. This free framework delivers transparency to crucial occupancy metrics to help guide safer experiences in physical stores.
“As America and the rest of the world adapts to the ‘new normal’ in the wake of COVID-19, retailers need a source of reliable consumer information now more than ever,” said Alexei Agratchev, CEO and co-founder of RetailNext. “ShopSafe provides benefits to everyone involved in the retail industry, giving peace of mind to consumers, employees, venue operators and retailers themselves during this period of gradual reopening and beyond.”
The initiative features collaborations with enterprise technology companies such as Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. and Intel, participation with several mall operators and retailers including Easton Town Center, Ulta Beauty, b8ta, Ted Baker, and Neighborhood Goods and retail technology partners like Foursquare and LiveRamp. The retail partners plan to deploy the technology in a variety of ways, including integrations into the retailers’ consumer-facing apps as well as other consumer apps that share store location details. A comprehensive list of members can be found at www.shop-safe.org.
“As we reopen our stores across the country, we’re excited to empower our guests with the best, most transparent data available,” said Prama Bhatt, chief digital officer at Ulta Beauty. “For safety reasons, our stores have limited occupancy and we know guests have individual comfort levels related to crowds. This initiative allows us to share occupancy levels with guests directly, enhancing our transparency in safety and ensuring guests feel most comfortable when coming to shop at Ulta Beauty.”
ShopSafe’s real-time, consumer-facing data includes occupancy and indications of thresholds as well as average time spent inside a given venue. The data will also be made available to those looking to integrate information into consumer-facing apps so consumers can more confidently plan their shopping trips. The data can be readily used to understand capacity at consumers’ favorite retailers in real-time. Launch partners include Yoobic, MishiPay, and Radius8, each delivering a differentiated solution for the ShopSafe retail participants.
“With RetailNext’s Aurora sensor, powered by a Qualcomm Technologies processor, retailers can provide data shoppers need to feel comfortable returning back to physical stores. Qualcomm Technologies is proud to collaborate with RetailNext on the ShopSafe initiative to support the program and goal of helping enable retailers to operate safely,” said Art Miller, senior director, business development, global retail IoT, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc.
Venues included in the ShopSafe initiative will identify as such, and consumers will have ready access to occupancy related information for the locations they plan to visit. This infrastructure will first be rolled out at shopping locations, but can be expanded to include other public venues such as sports and entertainment arenas, transportation hubs, museums and more.
RetailNext is the world-wide market leader and expert in smart store retail analytics for optimizing shopper experiences and brand performance for retailers, malls and product manufacturers. RetailNext technology is deployed in tens of thousands of retail locations in over 90 countries. With over 200,000 IoT sensors deployed globally, RetailNext currently measures over 11 billion shopper journeys every year and stores with RetailNext technology see almost a trillion dollars in annual sales.
ShopSafe is a non-profit organization created to provide a framework around delivering safe shopping experiences as the economy recovers from the COVID-19 destruction.
ShopSafe delivers low or no-cost infrastructure to shopping centers and retailers that allows them to communicate occupancy and other safe shopping details to consumers, a framework for retailers to leverage to communicate their initiatives around keeping shoppers and employees safe, and a set of applications that build on the data to provide additional tools that will help retailers take the friction out of the new consumer shopping experience.
Bridget Johns, CMO, RetailNext
Austin Dorrell, 150 Bond