<p>The NACDS Retail Advisory Board this week conducted the latest in its series of highly engaging retail market immersions&mdash;this time in Boston, the site of the 2014 <a href="http://tse.nacds.org/">NACDS Total Store Expo</a>. The team of 35 manufacturers, retailers and suppliers, representing 29 companies, immersed themselves in a full-on regional examination of the latest retail advancements and trends. The group also had the opportunity to tour several stores, including CVS, Chelsea Market Basket, Wegmans, Restoration Hardware, Radio Shack and Walgreens.</p>
<p>Tapping into some of the premier experts in the region, the group heard from prominent speakers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard, who discussed timely issues ranging from effective omni-channel merchandising to real-time inventory tracking and electronic medication records. Industry experts from A.T. Kearney and WSL Strategic Retail also presented. The interchange with representatives from the top educational institutions in the Boston area and national industry strategists and thought leaders could help lay the groundwork for potential future collaboration at the NACDS Total Store Expo, August 23&ndash;26.</p>
<p>This trip marks the fifth market immersion trip for the Retail Advisory Board. The overall objective of the immersions is to explore places where new ideas are being generated and new retail formats are taking hold. On the store tours, retailers and manufacturers are able to interact and get unique hands-on exposure to emerging trends, which facilitates a lively exchange&mdash;far from the traditional confines of a conference room.&nbsp;</p>