Retailers need to innovate, innovate, innovate, said Schafer. They must understand what’s coming. If they were not the early adopters, they must execute this year. “Technology should no longer be an expense item, it needs to be strategic,” she said. Schafer mentioned new technologies, such as Google Glass and beacon technology. Regarding beacons, “It’s finally taking off after being around for a few years.” Retailers can now deliver personalized offers within a few inches of when a shopper stops in front of a product on the shelf. She added that companies like Giant Eagle and Safeway already are testing it.