Francal Ablac Show, a partnership between Francal Feiras and Brazilian Association of Shopkeepers of Artifacts and Shoes (Ablac), carried out the Ablac NRF Mission between January 12th and 14th, 2020 , which took a group of 20 people, including shopkeepers, representatives from footwear industry, Francal and Ablac to NRF Retail's Big Show & Expo. The fair, considered the largest in world retail, was held in New York, in the United States.
This commercial mission was the first in a series of coordinated actions to boost the footwear market throughout the year. The Ablac NRF Mission was carried out in two stages, with the participation in the retail fair and technical visits in New York stores, focusing on the footwear and bags markets. "It was a very important mission. We were at the main retail fair in the world. We saw a lot of news, mainly in the technological aspect", highlights Francal's business director, Fernando Ruas.
Among the novelties presented at the event are the use of accessible technology aimed at theshopping experience, mapping the customer's habits, and the practice of taking the product inthe physical store after the purchase in the online store. "The physical store is not going to die,it is being reframed. The buying channel is decided by the customer and the channelscomplement each other", comments Ruas, who stressed that the stores are more focused onplacing the consumer in the center of attention. "The important thing is always to look at othersectors and see where they are doing well, so that we can adapt their news to our realities".
When pointing out the main cases among the stores visited, Ruas highlighted Amazon Go, a physical store of the multinational Amazon, which doesn’t have attendants and there is no need to go to the checkout. "The entire store has a video monitoring system with facial recognition of the client. He can take the product he wants and the payment will be registered on his credit card as soon as he leaves the unit", he explains. He adds that for Francal it was a privilege to allow this experience to the group of Brazilian shopkeepers. "Our idea is to continue and improve this action, so that our missions are increasingly relevant to the sectors in which we operate."
Mission of success
The Francal Feiras president, Abdala Jamil Abdala, was one of the members of the Ablac NRF Mission. He guarantees that everything that was seen in the NRF and in the technical visits will benefit the reformatting of Brazilian stores. "They were able to see in practice the applicability of modern concepts, such as the use of information channels, visual merchandising and technology. Selling is no longer just exposing products, it’s relationship and content. This is the only way to attract more customers", he comments. And the president of Ablac, Marcone Tavares, recalls that the first participation of the entity in the NRF makes clear the revolution that is coming in the Brazilian shoes retail, according to him, based on the consumer shopping experience and on technology. "A fair of this magnitude induces investment and modernization, and great movements can arise from it", he points out.
Positive feeling by shopkeepers
Among the shopkeepers participating in the mission, the technology was also the most prominent theme. The owner of Azul Calçados (Itu/São Paulo - Brazil), Antoniel Lordelo, reinforces that North American retail achieved excellence for their technological operations, and that to offer all this, it is necessary to have a margin, because the investment is high and continuous. "The opportunity to witness the processes and ways of acting - as well as to identify clear and differentiated strategies for the execution efficiency, obsessive focus on the customer, innovation, purpose and brand construction - is the main motivation of retailers, who seek to acquire new knowledge that can be applied in the Brazilian market ", he reports.
The owner of Lojas Dullius (Cruzeiro do Sul/Rio Grande do Sul - Brazil), Claudir Dullius, considers that retailers should not be frightened by the high investment in technology, nor turn a blind eye to the difficulties. For him, technology provides consumer experience, and also increases the productivity and reduces labor costs, impacting on the results. "The flow in the physical store is no longer the same as in other times, and the e-commerce is advancing quickly. If everything was touch before, now the voice command is highlighted, not only in relation to consumers, but also to all staff. Everything that adds value to the customer's experience contributes to the satisfaction of employees, the business and the company's sustainability ", he says.