Hosted by URW, at their Westfield Stratford City location, 40 + participants, representing 20 retailers, invested two days of their work plan to discover, learn and debate the use of video in retail, via an agenda that included site visits, key note talks, round table discussions and learning exercises.
The first day begain with a mini benchmarking exercise, which revealed that 80% of the participants were planning on increasing their investment in video Vs last year, with 20% staying the same. In terms of routine users of video, the loss prevention department continued to be the function most often using video, however there was emerging evidence to suggest that more functions, such as Supply Chain and Marketing were increasingly using the video capability routinely. Finally, the group were asked about facial recognition, and here the reveal was that 60% of the participants would love to get started in this use of video analytics, however their company were not as supportive!
After this exercise, the group participated in a speed dating session, where each participant "dated" three of their peers, to share their work plan priorities for video. After lunch, the group were joined by Adrian Howles of URW, who described the strategy, enabled by video technology, that leads to 63 incidents per million visitors, a statistic that makes this shopping centre a very safe place to shop and work. This talk was followed by a tour of the site, and a visit to the Control Room, the K9 team who manage suspicious packages, Aspers Casino, and M&S, who along with the local law enforcement are ensuring that Westfield remains a very hard target for thieves.
Following a debrief and review of the talk and site visits, leading lawyers in the world of privacy, GDPR and litigation provided an update on facial recognition, and the likely level of acceptance from the judiciary, standards bodies and groups representing privacy and data protection. A discussion, which in the absence of precedent / case law and inaccurate technology, will continue to be lively and to a certain extent, inconclusive. Their advice to retailers last year was to be very cautious on the use of this technology, based on developments since then, their counsel is to suggest even more caution. The group then departed for an agreeable social night at the Crate Brewery.
The second day kicked off with a key note talk from Brad Brekke, on delivering change, bringing this talk to by referencing his learnings from building the enterprise wide video system at Target USA. Professor Beck followed and he delivered an update on his research on the use of video, based off interviews and site visits to over 20 retailers (with more to be interviewed) helping him build up a very clear understanding of how retailers are using video to monitor, deter, conform, anticipate, etc. The research will be published in April. To bring together the research from Adrian, and the talk from Brad, the group discussed the relevance of the Kotter framework, and discussed in groups where their journey stood on each of the 8 steps.
The group intend to meet again in 2021, on January 20th & 21st, to review progress, challenges and opportunities in the use of video in retail. The workshop is free to attend for any retailer.