Home Featured Samsung Hits NRF with New Retail Tech, Partnerships – WWD

Samsung Hits NRF with New Retail Tech, Partnerships – WWD

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Samsung Hits NRF with New Retail Tech, Partnerships – WWD


Even for a massive tech conglomerate, Samsung is having a crazed month between CES 2024 and preparations to unveil its new AI-packed Galaxy smartphones next week. But those teams have nothing on the retail division, which hit NRF with its own announcements and partnerships on Friday, including a recent collaboration with Khloé Kardashian’s Good American.

Founded by Kardashian and Emma Grede in 2016, the Los Angeles–based brand loaded its flagship store at the Westfield Century City Mall with Samsung’s commercial LED displays so it can feature new styles and best-sellers, while offering shoppers some fashion inspiration.

This isn’t a measly tablet stationed at the cash wrap or a single screen tacked onto a pillar. Samsung described the effort as “a custom 31.5-feet-wide LED ribbon extends across a wall filled with the brand’s extensive range of size-inclusive jeans,” plus on-screen content that conveys each denim product’s cut, wash and level of stretch, so shoppers can find the right fit.

The effort plays directly in Good American’s raison d’être as a label focused on body positivity. But if visitors somehow don’t get the point, “head-turning 4K displays” and touchscreens will air content that reinforces the brand’s inclusive message.

The displays and interactive features were installed to share product info and immerse shoppers in the brand, according to Good American’s Misti Blasko.

“While integrating Samsung technology into our flagship store, we anticipate a significant impact on customer engagement and satisfaction,” Misti Blasko, vice president of retail at Good American, told WWD. The immersive displays and interactive features were designed with the intent to forge a deeper connection with customers by creating a dynamic shopping experience. For now, the experience is limited to the sole flagship store, which opened in L.A.’s Westfield mall last June, but more will follow, Blasko added.

“As we expand, the upcoming store openings at Caesars Forum in Las Vegas and Fashion Island in Newport Beach, Calif., will also feature Samsung Displays, extending this innovative and customer-centric approach to a broader audience,” she said.

Samsung first publicized the collaboration earlier this week, ahead of NRF, but on Friday, it made clear that this technology is part of a sweeping bid to court retailers. The company’s mission is to enable them to show compelling content that resonates with in-store shoppers, so it’s offering all the hardware, software, systems and insights to make that happen. That includes advanced displays, mobile tech, artificial intelligence, social media, data and analytics.

Many of the examples involved other verticals, such as food or gas station retail, but even those hold a few takeaways for apparel, footwear, beauty and other categories. That’s mainly in the strategic thinking Samsung promotes. It envisions everything from digital advertising and first-party online data for retail media networks to generative AI-driven “digital humans” that can assist with personalized, interactive shopping.

The notion of digital humans has been gaining traction in the current AI boom, and for Samsung, it’s not just a splashy, futuristic tech to impress consumers. The company sees it as a way to address potential labor shortages that can sink service, and therefore the ability to meet consumer expectations.

It’s not as far-fetched as it might have seemed just a year or two ago. “New generative and conversational AI advancements are emerging to help retailers fill the labor gap and deliver exceptional customer experiences,” wrote Samsung. This is why it’s spotlighting them at NRF.

The company’s version of digital people are the product of its AI research lab. Samsung didn’t use the term “bot” in describing them, instead referring to them as “hyper-realistic virtual beings” that retailers can deploy through its Galaxy tablets, kiosks and interactive displays to engage with shoppers, recommend product and complete transactions using voice and live chat.