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The Center for Advancing Retail and Technology (CART) has launched a new enterprise platform, advancingretail.org -- a free service to help retailers and brand manufacturers "find, learn about and connect with the best solutions for their businesses."
The platform is being introduced in tandem with the National Grocers Association (NGA), Retail World Alliance, the American Beverage Consortium, Certco Wholesale and Unified Grocers.
About 3,000 solutions are currently on the platform, making it the largest collection of retail solutions in the world, according to CART, which notes that hundreds of products from established providers are being added each month.
"Just as easily as you can search your smartphone for the latest apps, users can search CART for the latest retail solutions and connect with them through a single click," said Gary Hawkins, the Los Angeles-based company's CEO and founder. "CART is helping retailers and brand manufacturers keep pace with technology-fueled innovation."
Solution providers can choose from several options to participate; also available are case studies, papers, and searchable and downloadable publications from universities.
Accolades from Lowes, Unified
"CART has helped us identify important new innovative solutions that can provide deep insights into shopper behavior to help grow our business," noted Michael Moore, chief marketing officer at Winston-Salem, N.C.-based Lowes Foods. "The CART platform helps us understand and stay abreast of new capabilities coming into the industry."
"There have been dramatic changes in the use of consumer-level technologies in recent years, and the CART platform gives our members the ability to quickly find and understand solutions that are recommended by Unified," observed Mike Brown, VP of retail services and technology at Commerce, Calif.-based Unified Grocers. "The platform is a major benefit to our retailers."
"The retail industry is undergoing a transformation the likes of which has never been seen before," added Hawkins. "Two things are different this time. The first is that innovation is occurring in every part of retail simultaneously, not concentrated in one area, as was often the case in the past. Second, the pace of innovation is continuously growing. There are no breathers or time-outs for industry leaders. This environment is putting tremendous pressure on retailers and brand manufacturers to keep up."