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Consumers have expressed a desire to get back into stores, but in-person shoppers are the consumers with the least amount of data available. 

Expect changes to stores in 2022 and beyond in all retailers. Keep an eye out for deployed modernized checkout technology that allows shoppers to scan and purchase items using a cellphone and skip the checkout line. This tech will make shopping more convenient while giving merchants insight into shopper activity. Smart shelves will have a huge rollout in 2022, they will detect when an item has been removed, improve the restocking process, and are also coming fast. Advanced video surveillance equipped with artificial intelligence that can assist with loss prevention while giving managers insight into store traffic patterns is also on deck.

Implications: Physical retail is here to stay- but with a technology upgrade. The key is to deploy flexible architecture at the edge, capable of handling new requirements as circumstances change and local market needs revolutionize. Technology infrastructure is everything. Retailers who haven’t done so will need to modernize their technology infrastructure at the edge. The reality is that the edge gets more complicated, and there’s more requirements for technology to help shape a modern physical retail environment for 2022 and beyond.