Retailers to browse supply-chain tools

As the flood of holiday gift returns wanes, 15,000 retailers are expected to convene in New York next week to do a little browsing of their own at the National Retail Federation’s annual technology show.

NRF 2002 will host 300 exhibitors as well as the International Retail Standards Forum, where standards bodies, including the Association for Retail Technology Standards, will report their progress on e-commerce and application integration standards, and also detail cooperative efforts among XML standards groups.

Slated to make its debut at the show is Brickstream Corp. The company is headed by Amir Hudda, who in 1993 founded Entevo Corp., which made a suite of Windows NT management tools. After selling Entevo in January 2000, Hudda founded mobile customer relationship management (CRM) vendor Emtera Corp., of which Brickstream appears to be a descendent.

Brickstream purports to do for brick-and-mortar stores what click-stream Web-analysis software does for online retail sites: Capture data about customer shopping behaviour, load it into a data warehouse for analysis, and turn it into usable sales, marketing and customer service metrics. Video cameras tape in-store shoppers, then Brickstream’s software analyses the images and gleans data for reports, which can be pushed to wireless handheld devices so retailers can track customer habits on the fly.

A number of exhibitors will also announce products at the show: