Bethany Allee

Executive Vice President Marketing, Cybera

First time retail business person, long time retail shopper. Coming at you as a results-driven problem solver with 20+ years of battle-tested experience in high tech marketing. Passionate about transforming and growing organizations through correctly identifying business objectives and aligning them with technology leadership.

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  • Posted on: 07/16/2020

    How murky has COVID-19 made retail data?

    Depends on how long-term we're talking. Three to five years: we're looking at similar buying trends. Five+ years: It's too early to tell. With Americans making decisions that will prolong the impact of the pandemic, current behavior changes could remain the norm for the foreseeable future.
  • Posted on: 07/16/2020

    The Queer Eye for the Walmart guy

    I think the question is: Will a LGBTQ brand work with Walmart's customers? The answer is yes. If it's cute, it will be a hit. The items pictured in this article are cute. If there's any perceived stigma associated with where Walmart sources its goods, this hasn't been a concern for Walmart shoppers historically.
  • Posted on: 07/15/2020

    Are subscriptions a winning strategy to get through the pandemic?

    Yes. Full stop. Experience is the metric that drives up cart size, shopper return rate, and loyalty. With consumers facing many complex issues, they want product solutions that make their lives easier. Additionally, with many consumers not going into stores, it is advantageous to retailers to package goods in a way to anchor new or growth items to legacy goods. Existing subscription services can improve and differentiate themselves best through partnership. This motion helps them scale, diversify, and capture more share of market.
  • Posted on: 07/13/2020

    Starbucks becomes latest retailer to make masks mandatory

    Thank you, Gene. It's also the nicest description I have.
  • Posted on: 07/13/2020

    Starbucks becomes latest retailer to make masks mandatory

    As someone who lives in an area where confrontations are high, this bad behavior from anti-maskers is short-lived. Back in the pre-COVID-19 days, I used to tell my young children they can make the getting ready in the morning routine as difficult or pleasant as they would like, but they would still end up at school. Anti-maskers are like children, it's taking them a while to understand that they will wear masks - it's up to them how difficult that journey will be. So yes, there may be short-term resistance at Starbucks, but I predict it is a short-term issue. And I'm sorry that they, and any other retailer, are still having to deal with such selfish consumer behavior.
  • Posted on: 07/13/2020

    Will Boomers and Gen X keep shopping online post-pandemic?

    It takes anywhere from 18 to 254 days for a person to form a new habit. It also takes an average of 66 days for a new behavior to become automatic. Many Americans have been in some version of isolation, lockdown, or stay-at-home for 130 days. New habits are being formed and many of them are here to stay.
  • Posted on: 06/15/2020

    Should Children’s Place’s future be digital?

    Performance is relative right now - stores are struggling to get shoppers in, so ditching expensive real estate is a performance enhancement when it comes to the bottom line. Will overall sales appear down or flat this year? Most likely. Are they setting themselves up for a more profitable and stable future? There are still so many unknowns, but Children's Place's path is a good path for their business.
  • Posted on: 06/15/2020

    Do retailers need a chief health officer?

    Managing health considerations for customers and employees is part of well-run organizations and it takes shape through operations or human resources. Health experts need guidance from human resources experts, and it makes sense for them to in turn guide HR. The companies I see as most effective in managing the health component of their business in the midst of the pandemic are the ones with strong HR leaders who are seeking (AND LISTENING TO) outside health experts. Huge kudos to the McKesson team for trying to help guide our government and openly sharing data and best practices they've been able to obtain to help ensure the safety of their customers and employees.
  • Posted on: 06/12/2020

    Sephora commits 15 percent of its shelf space to black-owned brands

    The goal of committing 15 percent of shelf-space to black-owned brands is noble, as long as it best addresses consumer needs. Ultimately retail is about best addressing customer needs. In the beauty space, it's a no-brainer. The African American beauty market has been grossly under-served, considering African Americans spend nine times what their white counterparts do in the beauty category. Additionally, African American skin products have a higher propensity to have talc in them - and it is estimated that 20 percent of talc products contain asbestos. The beauty category can certainly do better. Sephora committing to better serve a lucrative market is socially responsible, and it's good business sense.
  • Posted on: 06/08/2020

    Is remote working bad for corporate culture?

    WFH modifies corporate culture. Some work better from home. Some work better from the office. Some work better with a blend. This is a wake-up call to employees to understand how they work best and for employers to facilitate that environment.
  • Posted on: 06/08/2020

    Gap to ‘mothball’ unsold inventory until next year

    Pack-and-hold is smart if you have the resources to shelve and if the goods will remain relevant, which is why it works for Gap. This strategy signifies part of the long-term trickle down economic impact we will see from COVID-19. Designers and manufacturers may have escaped some of the initial impact of the pandemic, only to be hit financially later.
  • Posted on: 06/08/2020

    Are words of support no longer enough?

    Consumers now demand that companies put their money where their mouth is when it comes to social causes - and this is a good thing. Companies stepping up to fund and address racial inequality furthers this notion. For most social causes, to ensure sensitivity and inclusion, diversity boards will help companies ensure their execution meets the mark. Good intentions are nice, but mis-execution negatively impacts brands and soils the intent.
  • Posted on: 05/29/2020

    Socially distant Americans find comfort in retail therapy

    Before COVID-19, buying trends favored experiences. With experiences limited, it's natural that the consumer experience shifted to nesting. Houses fill up quickly. Experiences will make a comeback, but they'll look different - and this is an opportunity where retailers can capitalize. Goods packaged together to provide experiences will see growth for the foreseeable future.
  • Posted on: 05/26/2020

    Should Apple and other stores require shopper temperature checks?

    Should they? If they want to. Every store/company should make their own safety decisions. Before you dismiss this as careless... For me, I've already stopped shopping at stores that don't offer safety decisions and policies I agree with. This weekend, I went into a local chain I've been a loyal customer of for almost 30 years. They had social distancing measures in place, but the cashiers weren't wearing masks and there was no plexi protection. During my checkout process, when social distancing was not an option, the unmasked cashier sneezed. It told me this business is not interested in my well being and I will not shop there again. 30 years of customer loyalty down the drain in an instant. The moral of the story is - safety policies should match the policies of your customers. If they don't, you'll lose customers.
  • Posted on: 05/26/2020

    Lowe’s and Home Depot get a boost as customers stay-at-home

    Home Depot offered new curbside service throughout the lockdown. This was key in helping them maintain and grow sales during the pandemic. As restrictions started lifting, they said curbside would no longer be an option. My local Home Depot said curbside service would end May 15. They were slammed with orders and complaints and Home Depot (at least in my area) recognized the importance of continuing this service as a mid- and potentially long-term option for their customers. An opportunity is to sell more kitted items. Want to redo your deck? Here's the kitted recommendation. Looking to start an herb garden? Here's a pre-set grouping of seeds, soil, containers...

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