PROFILE

April Sabral

President & Founder, retailu.ca
I have over two decades of Leadership within retail sales and operations, also a certified leadership coach. I now help retailers build their people through live, and online leadership development programs as well as provide consulting around operations and strategy. retailu is a online leadership development platform that focuses on skill-building courses for retailers.
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  • Posted on: 01/24/2020

    Can aesthetics cure our throw-away society?

    I think sustainability won't be enough on its own, the total package makes sense as we are a culture of buy what is marketed. However, my 23 year old daughter was home at Christmas and is highly sensitive to the planet and sustainability. Even being around her made me re-think my own usage. So yes, packaging and branding works, but so does peer pressure and influence of those around us. The biggest question I think that also needs to be answered is convenience, as well as pricing.
  • Posted on: 01/24/2020

    Is Trump declaring war on counterfeits or Amazon and other e-marketplaces?

    I agree with Ralph, not a simple answer. However it should be a joint effort. Counterfeits are so good that as a consumer its hard to detect. How can a consumer hold a retailer accountable when they do not recognize a counterfeit?
  • Posted on: 01/20/2020

    What does it take to create a risk-taking, innovating retail culture?

    Listening to the customers and employees and taking calculated risks are necessary in today's retail landscape. I agree with Jeffrey. It must come from the entire C-Suite and this poses the challenge with so many competing priorities today for executives to sift through. It almost becomes which one is the most important, I think what Starbucks has done with their innovation lab for employees in Seattle is something that others should adopt. I heard them speak at Future Stores, last fall and they have a good process in place for their teams to be innovative and try things out. I saw a store that had solar panels on the top that came from an employee!
  • Posted on: 01/20/2020

    Best Buy CEO faces alleged misconduct probe

    It is a difficult one indeed. Working in the field and in retail operations for over twenty years, I am a strong believer in keeping your personal and business relationships separate. However, I also worked with people that met the LOVE of their life and ten years later are happily married with a family. They may have missed this. At the end of the day, performance should be measured on her leadership and if there are no allegations against her then she should be able to continue to lead.
  • Posted on: 01/20/2020

    Is Bose doing the smart thing in closing its stores?

    It makes sense considering they have other avenues for the customer to experience the product. However, it is always sad to see brick and mortar stores disappear. It would be nice to see what they can do in the future with pop-ups these are other ways to have the direct consumer experience the amazing sound quality. I am sure this is not the end for them.
  • Posted on: 01/16/2020

    Burger King sets the dining mood with a ‘Whopperish’ aesthetic

    Got it ... It is catchy though!
  • Posted on: 01/16/2020

    Burger King sets the dining mood with a ‘Whopperish’ aesthetic

    I applaud them for this effort however we know that consumers are now looking for healthy local options, even in the fast-food business. A&W with their no hormones campaign was a good one and always made me feel like it's a better option. McDonald's has moved toward being a cafe and introduced local and healthier options. Is "Whopperishness" a play on the current offering? if so they will have more work to do here.
  • Posted on: 01/16/2020

    Did Trump’s phase one deal with China deliver the goods for retailers?

    The problem is not knowing what will come next. It's hard to say as he's not very predictable, it depends on how he feels. Watch Twitter for an update!
  • Posted on: 01/16/2020

    What does Target’s Christmas miss mean?

    I shopped a Target most recently when in the U.S. for the holidays and was happy with the overall selection where they delivered positive results, so I think they have a good strategy around apparel which is hard to compete with these days. I think the results are strong considering the overall trend in retail brick and mortar right now. I am not concerned. It's also nice to hear Mr. Cornell recognize the hard work of all involved.
  • Posted on: 01/14/2020

    Is Walmart’s Alphabot what the future of e-grocery fulfillment will look like?

    I agree with you Gene, I was in Whole Foods recently and experienced the same thing.
  • Posted on: 01/14/2020

    Consumers want up-to-date online reviews

    I think one of the largest problems retailers face is how to manage the data. Using a voice of the customer survey myself internally helped us tremendously, however, that was just one survey. This needs to become top of mind for retailers to have a strategy around data analytics because even if you use a review platform management system it is still hard internally to manage it and use all the data. As a consumer, I read reviews more and more, I hope they figure out a good way to use all the reviews online to listen to really take heed and listen to the customers -- it's golden information just sitting there.
  • Posted on: 01/14/2020

    Will ‘guests’ love Target even more as Circle members?

    I think the fact that you can vote on a charity for your local store will resonate well with the consumer that is looking for purpose within their experience. More and more consumers are searching for businesses that have a purpose and this is an active way of engaging with that demographic that cares, I like this approach and looks like their customers do too.
  • Posted on: 01/09/2020

    Will ‘five pillars’ provide the foundation Bed Bath & Beyond needs to succeed?

    Even though the 5 Ps are fundamental and getting back to basics is a must for any retailer, my thoughts here are how are they going to drive traffic to the stores? Product is king, however, new ways of engaging in stores are key to these big-box retailers. The new generations do not want to walk around endless isles. I will be interested to see what getting back to the basics means to the in-store experience as this has been a tough one for big chains like this with higher wage costs and large locations. Convenience and ease are essential in today's store experience. Will be watching the "Place and People" pillars for sure.
  • Posted on: 01/09/2020

    Will coffee drinkers miss single-use cups?

    I find this refreshing to hear a CEO say "We may lose some business" in the effort of doing the right thing for the planet. I carry my own water bottle every day. It is going to take leaders like this to influence the changes needed. Bravo!
  • Posted on: 01/09/2020

    Kroger goes beyond meat and looks for impossible growth with private brand

    As a consumer and someone that has worked with customers for two decades in retail, I find it interesting that more and more non-meat alternatives are popping up. I was educated by my 22-year-old daughter who recently visited for the Holidays who is meat-free. She is happy that it's becoming easier to buy meat-free options in the supermarkets. The younger generation is demanding more plant-based and they need more affordable options so happy to see this continue to grow in more private label brands.
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