Allison McCabeDirector Retail Technology, enVista
Allison McCabe is Director Retail Technology in enVista’s Retail Technology practice with over 25 years of experience in merchandising, planning, and operations for department stores, vertical specialty retail for all channels, national and international businesses, and start up content and ecommerce companies. Allison’s expertise includes merchandise planning, inventory management, product development, promotional planning and strategy as well as selection and implementation of merchandise financial planning, assortment planning, allocation and replenishment including business process development to maximize effectiveness. Prior to joining enVista, Allison was Managing Director of Talbots International Merchandising, Stores and Operations, Head of Merchandising at F+W Media, and Chief Merchant at Keepsake Quilting. Allison earned her degree in Economics from Wellesley College
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- Posted on: 05/25/2023
Do Ads Work Better On Podcasts?As an avid podcast listener, I will admit that a "personal" recommendation from a host I trust has convinced me more than a few times to follow up on a product and sometimes purchase. Yes, there is a lot of noise in the world of podcasts, but they are here to stay - covering anything from pop culture and politics to cold cases. Marketing analysis of effective advertising methods should allow for continuing growth in results unless there is a huge shift to paid podcast subscriptions where the selling point is "ad free". Don't think that will happen.
- Posted on: 05/24/2023
Will Goodwill Build Good Will With Mixed-Use Retail And Housing Project?Walking the walk. So many positives from both business and social perspectives. Goodwill will win big as will the greater human community which Goodwill continues to serve so well. While not all retail businesses have such a clear path, retailers would be well served to determine the potential benefits of mixed use developments as store footprints and consumer habits continue to evolve. Real estate has often been part of the mix of storied retailers. This could be an element of a new way forward.
- Posted on: 05/18/2023
Is Flexibility The Key to TJX’s Success?At the heart of the TJX organization are talented, disciplined and intuitive merchants who know why they're investing in every product sold in their channels and how they will position it to sell. With that reputation, they also attract well known brands which enhance the treasure hunt for customers. By creating a highly shoppable, well classified environment, customers of every type will find reasons to return.
- Posted on: 05/08/2023
Is Saying ‘Sorry’ Complicated For Retailers?At the heart of a true apology is a real understanding of the customer's problem. All of us need to be heard, acknowledged and then believe in the solution provided. High maintenance customers can appear to be exhausting, but there is a real issue which needs to be addressed. Acceptance and respect will go a long way in resolving both the current problem and improving/creating/maintaining the long term relationship.
- Posted on: 05/04/2023
Should Print Circulars Stay or Go?As with any major strategic change, the development of a true test to measure the impact of circular vs. no circular/print vs. digital in targeted markets could provide real metrics to assess the impact on sales. Size, content, and frequency should be part of those tests. No need for the all-or-nothing approach when the ability to make an informed decision is available. People have preferences and they aren't all age related.
- Posted on: 05/03/2023
Will Mattel And Hasbro Sell More Games and Toys Through New Collab?Since both are highly recognized companies, the consumer, the licensor and the licensee can have confidence in the quality of the products being offered. Hasbro is highly recognized for games. Mattel not so much. Licensing should be with those businesses with complementary, similar quality products, not redundant or one-off offerings. Barbie consumers should be very happy with this partnership.
- Posted on: 05/01/2023
Can Walmart Train Its Store Managers to Become Leaders?This is a great start. Increased loyalty, employee retention and a better customer facing experience should follow. The trick is long term commitment to constantly upping the skill set with courses and mentorship not only through six months, but with additional courses throughout. Leading with empathy should always be reinforced with self evaluation of management style. Embracing change is great and also needs the ability to guide others through it. Writing and delivering feedback are critical. Checking the box as trained is a strong step. Next keep raising the bar with supplemental options.
- Posted on: 04/28/2023
Will Big Lots and The Container Store Make Bed Bath & Beyond Coupons Work For Them?While the purist in me says that The Container Store is a far cry from Bed Bath & Beyond, traffic is traffic. Big Lots is a no-brainer. As long as the coupon push doesn't become a constant, there will be wins for the businesses and discoveries for the consumer.
- Posted on: 04/21/2023
What Are The Keys To Empathetic Leadership?Google/Oxford Languages defines "empathy" as the following: em·pa·thy noun the ability to understand and share the feelings of another. This is a critically necessary soft skill which needs to be consistently demonstrated and reinforced as a strength in leadership. It can't be faked. Early in my career, I was given an excellent piece of advice, "Treat others as they want to be treated." There will always be those that attempt to take advantage of empathy, but their performance will reflect that and the solution will be obvious. On the other hand, those that are heard and understood will continually raise the bar on their own performance. It is worth every moment and adds real value on every level.
- Posted on: 04/19/2023
Does David’s Bridal Have Irreconcilable Differences With Consumers?Agree with you Neil, that alternatives to owning as well as the push for sustainability have shifted mindsets from the selection of the perfect gown to live the rest of it's life in storage is not the lure that it once was. Growing any business from a once in a lifetime need (ok, maybe 2 or 3) is an uphill battle once the market share is maxed out.
- Posted on: 04/13/2023
Is Shoplifting Killing Store Morale?Anyone who has dealt one on one with a clearly shoplifted return knows how disheartening that interaction can be. It's the full scope of the experience which is not only in the deterrence of the act (which can be skillfully choreographed by the shoplifters and next to impossible to impede) but dealing with the frustration of taking product back as a return knowing the business has been duped. Giving employees the tools/words to deal with these transactions as painlessly as possible would go a long way to reducing the negative impact on morale.
- Posted on: 04/05/2023
How Will Generative AI Shape Retail Customer Service?I totally agree Bob. My immediate reaction was, "it depends on how brain dead the AI is" which correlates with the continued need for human intervention if the quality of the information is not complete. This has lots of potential but it is not simple. Standards in claiming AI capabilities need to be high.
- Posted on: 04/03/2023
Will Retailers Do Good And Do Well In The Recommerce Market?I agree that a key factor in the success of these ventures will require real curation -- evaluation of the items, presentation of the items, and a plan to liquidate items that don't have a selling price at the end of the day. This is a complex challenge and a worthy endeavor -- one that can quickly become a mountain of stuff if not managed thoughtfully with tech and talent.
- Posted on: 03/27/2023
Bloomingdale’s Hires The First Chief Merchant In Its HistoryA true merchant marries the magic and logic/art and science of the business. Data only misses the intricacies of merchandising, while selection only misses the analytics necessary to reinforce instincts. If those subtleties weren't critical, a system could select assortments. But it can't. Since the merchant-CEO is an uncommon breed these days, it appears that Ms. Magid brings that blend and provides that guidance and rigor to the rest of the merchandising organization. Good for Bloomingdale's for recognizing the need.
- Posted on: 03/24/2023
Will Geoffrey’s Road Trip Drive New Kids To Toys”R”Us?Toys "R" Us of old was an immersive experience in aisles and aisles of toys with endless possibilities. If the tour can provide a modern, interactive and immersive experience that engages young customers beyond the four-walled visit of a Macy's, anything is possible. However kids still want "the toy." They don't care where it comes from. The aisles and aisles are now online when it comes to purchasing.