NRF 2022: Hanshow brings digital solutions to brick-and-mortar problems

Hanshow believes it has the solutions US retailers need to evolve and thrive in this period of uncertainty for the national retail sector.
19 January 2022

2022 NRF venue, the Javits Center in New York. (Source: Business Wire)

At the recently-concluded NRF Big Show in New York this past week, the biggest global trade show featuring groundbreaking retail-oriented innovation, leading digital retail solutions provider Hanshow made its US market debut at the annual tradeshow, where it showcased a series of new products, announcements, and partnerships.

Chinese intelligent retail giant Hanshow was founded a decade ago with an initial focus on just electronic shelf labels, or ESLs. After often triple-digit annual growth, plus expansion across Europe, Asia Pacific and 50 countries around the world, the company is now bringing its suite of digital retail solutions to the world’s largest retail market, the US.

Now after a decade of tested results with some of the world’s leading retailers in the Asia Pacific and Europe — including Auchan, Ahold Delhaize, Yamada Denki, and many more — Hanshow believes it has the solutions US retailers need to evolve and thrive in this period of uncertainty for the retail industry. The company arrives in the US at a time when its retail industry is facing dramatic changes from surging e-commerce, labor shortages, fluctuating prices, and supply chain disruptions.

Despite these developments, the brick-and-mortar retail space saw some resurgence in 2021 compared to 2020, with fewer people shopping online compared to the heavy pandemic period of the previous year. In fact the organizer of the NRF Big Show, the National Retail Federation cited widespread Covid-19 vaccinations in the US as the driving force in the shift, as it reported a drop in overall shoppers in the recent Thanksgiving ‘Black Friday’ stretch but confirmed its outlook for a “record” season overall.

NRF President Matthew Shay said widespread vaccinations meant a “dramatically improved health environment” compared with the 2020 season. Shay described overall economic conditions as “very favorable” given low unemployment and healthy consumer balance sheets, though he also acknowledged challenges that include shortages of some popular items and a labor crunch.

Hanshow sets up shop in the US

“Hanshow’s digital solutions address all of these challenges by adding automation, remote management, and efficiency upgrades for omnichannel retail,” according to Li Liangyan, Hanshow Senior Vice President.

In 2021 Hanshow opened its first US office in New York, where it will base its expansion of digital solutions for US retailers. This is also the company’s first major showing at the annual NRF Big Show. At this year’s NRF, Hanshow is demonstrating its technology for solving this range of retailer pain points.

Its Nebular ESL replaces paper price tags, has a battery life of up to 15 years, and includes a location lighting function that reduces in-store picking times for delivery by up to 68%. Hanshow’s Lumina LCD screens act as a dynamic content display designed for fresh food sections that has led to marked sales increases and reduced food waste. When managed through Hanshow’s SaaS, based on Microsoft Azure, these ESL and digital screens also allow for entire store networks to update their prices in minutes from centralized locations, a crucial advantage as many stores face labor shortages.

Hanshow is also showcasing its AI solution that uses fixed cameras and mobile robots for on-shelf status monitoring and fresh foods management. While its self-service kiosk and digital screen-equipped smart trolley allow for easy scan and go payments without a register. All of these products are adaptable across a range of retail from supermarkets to electronics and apparel, and several are already in the proof-of-concept phase with several retailers in the US.

These solutions also function within a technology ecosystem, as Hanshow is partnering with some of the world’s leading companies to bring added benefits for clients including being a partner in the recently announced Microsoft Cloud for Retail, while also having integrated solutions with Aruba, PwC, Lenovo, and Sony.

“We have the some of the best partnerships, biggest clients, best technology, and best track record in the industry,” notes Li Liangyan, “we are excited to bring this all together for the vital US retail market.”