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IDC Comment: NRF 2015: The Growing Importance of Europe

(PresseBox) (London, ) It can no longer be said that the annual National Retail Federation (NRF) Big Show event at the start of January is still only US focused. This year more than ever has seen the event become, unofficially at least, much more global in nature, as more retailers travel from Europe and Asia-Pacific (APAC) to the event.

It was evident from the discussions IDC Retail Insights had with both vendors and retailers that the broad messaging from vendors at NRF 2015 was closer aligned to the immediate demands and challenges that retailers operating across Europe are facing. From a European perspective, numerous vendors provided strong messaging in regards to supporting retailers on their transformational omni-channel business journey, moving from an established push-based sales model to a modern pull-based one, where personalization and ease of shopping both online and in-store for consumers is of paramount importance.

It was reassuring to IDC Retail Insights that the majority of vendors at NRF had a stronger balance in 2015 between what retailers need from technology to support them in the short-term as well as the usual future of retail that vendors often show at events. This closer alignment to the practicalities of adopting omni-channel behaviors better resonates with retailers both in North America and across a 'multi-speed' Europe.

The dynamics of retailing both across Europe and per country means vendors cannot afford a "one size fits all" product strategy and have to understand the dynamics of Europe to leverage the most out of operating in it. The opportunities for vendors to be successful in Europe are present due to a significant amount of mid-sized retailers operating in and across European countries. However, each country in Europe is moving at different speeds and paces of investment and maturity, but the common thread is that consumer behavior is evolving in the same direction as that of North America and, because of this, European retailers must prepare now.

When speaking to, and advising, retailers it is clear to IDC Retail Insights that consumers are looking for richer in-store experiences that are similar in nature to the personalized approach provided by retailers online. To achieve this retailers operate in a mature technology-enabled customer environment where omni-channel is a necessity to maintaining a healthy business.

Spencer Izard, Research Director, IDC Retail Insights,

Luca Bonacina, Senior Research Analyst, IDC Retail Insights,

Miya Knights, Senior Research Analyst, IDC Retail Insights,, @mazzaknights

For additional information on IDC's analysis of NRF 2015 or to arrange an analyst briefing, please e-mail

About IDC Retail Insights

IDC Retail Insights assists retail businesses and IT leaders, as well as the suppliers that serve them, in making more effective technology decisions by providing accurate, timely, and insightful fact-based research and consulting services. Staffed by senior analysts with decades of industry experience, our global research analyzes and advises on business and technology issues facing the retail industry. International Data Corporation (IDC) is the premier global provider of market intelligence, advisory services, and events for the information technology market. IDC is a subsidiary of IDG, the world's leading technology, media, research, and events company. For more information, please visit, email, or call +44(0)2089877100. Visit the IDC Retail Insights Community at

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