Brent Biddulph

General Manager, Retail & Consumer Goods, Cloudera

Brent has extensive experience working closely with a variety of leading retail and consumer goods companies providing thought leadership to help align strategic objectives with technology and analytic solutions to drive top-line growth, reduce costs, improve profits and create a differentiated competitive advantage in the marketplace.

During his career at Cloudera, Teradata and Oracle he developed solution go to market positioning, sales plays, use cases and led big data analytics consulting engagements at a number of Fortune 50 companies. Working as a trusted advisor with client executives to identify, define and capture business improvement opportunities.

Brent is known as a customer-focused advocate and innovator, leveraging his extensive domain experience in store operations, replenishment, merchandising and marketing at senior management levels in retail, distribution and consumer goods.

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  • Posted on: 01/15/2020

    NRF puts on another ‘big show’ for a hopeful industry

    What was inspiring to me at NRF this year was retail winners clearly recognize data as a strategic asset, are investing heavily in talent and tech, and embracing the responsibility of owning (creating) new IP, competencies and even new business models. It was also evident that traditional retail leaders that are making big bets in their "digital transformation" and demonstrably breaking away from the competition, may well be leaving more data and analytic impaired laggards in the dust in 2020.
  • Posted on: 01/09/2020

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

    Brilliant. This will mean that Kroger, now with its own brand, will be driven to carving out space, signage, and actively promoting the entire category both on/offline. This is a category commitment (with broader category expansion branding and merchandising opportunities -- akin to organic, and natural) as much as it is about private label, which is the real headline here, IMHO.
  • Posted on: 01/09/2020

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

    Perhaps I'm joining the chorus here. Hopefully the new leadership takes the time to drill down deeper with a focus on how to differentiate in those five pillars -- with a good dose of reinvention. And it is clear Wall Street expects this. Let's take "product" for example. I would argue that Bed Bath & Beyond has not fully leveraged the relationship with Shark Tank as the go-to place (retailer) for bringing new, innovative products to market. Yes they have been a leader in this respect, but why not start negotiating and working with the Sharks more closely for exclusivity/social media buzz/branding, etc.? Retail success in the future will depend on distinctive products. Then there's "promo" (and "price") - honestly, who shops at Bed Bath & Beyond without using the 20 percent off coupon which this retailer has perpetuated for years as a requirement to get a fair price (meaning their everyday prices will always be higher than Amazon, with far less reach and rapid DTC delivery capabilities). When is the last time you searched for a product and Bed Bath & Beyond made the top five search results on the first page? Beyond Amazon, Wayfair and other digital disruptors beat them to the top of search results often. SEO is also something they will need to improve. The business has a solid foundation, but new leadership could not have been brought in with the expectation of just tweaking the fundamentals (five Ps) of retailing - transformation with big, bold ideas are needed, and the clock is ticking.
  • Posted on: 11/14/2019

    Is ‘OK Boomer’ a merchandising opportunity?

    What immediately came to mind for me was the Oklahoma (OU) Boomer Sooners... ...someone needs to be a bit more creative with the tagline in order to get any traction IMHO.
  • Posted on: 11/06/2019

    Should the recent Instacart strike concern retailers?

    Yet another cost of outsourcing last mile delivery. It's a head-scratcher for me why any grocery retailer (mid-size and above) should not have anticipated this risk, along with losing control of customer data and delivery experiences.
  • Posted on: 10/30/2019

    Will free deliveries for Prime members make Amazon the driving force in online grocery?

    Amazon really had no choice after a decade of failed efforts to get any meaningful traction with Amazon Fresh, and customer backlash to two-tiered pricing at Whole Foods more recently. While Amazon has very successfully taken share from laggard grocers in the commodity center store departments via traditional Prime, that has not translated well to fresh foods or grocery shopping missions. After a decade of failed efforts to get any meaningful traction with Amazon Fresh, and the Whole Foods debacle with two-tiered pricing and eroding market share, perhaps they have learned new lessons. That's the thing about Amazon, they test, learn, adjust, and invest heavily in that philosophy (with great loss in many cases, and Wall Street still rewards them). Beyond Walmart, Kroger, Albertsons and a few other regional grocers who own the local credibility in fresh, and are also investing in people, technology and analytic capabilities - this move may impact independent grocers and laggard regionals in the near-term; those still in denial about the changing consumer and investments that need to be made to survive long-term.
  • Posted on: 10/18/2019

    Why is Walmart so concerned about Aldi and Lidl?

    Walmart recognizes credible competitive threats and perhaps more importantly, has the leadership vision and ability to rally resources (people, process and data) to address market changes on multiple fronts, online and offline, including Amazon, other traditional offline competitors, channels including dollar stores, convenience, etc. The real threat (U.S. grocery market share shifts) are far more likely to be directly to independent grocery retailers (IGA, Save-A-Lot, even neighborhood stores) that simply lack the economic leverage and resources required to respond effectively to either the digital OR physical store realities of evolving consumer expectations and shopping preferences. Aldi has already proven successful here in the crowded U.S. grocery space (1,800+ locations). While a new entrant, Lidl also brings a very impressive, yet conservative and methodical approach that is highly likely to be successful here over time. Neither of these privately held companies rely on "buy-side" economics (read: CPG funds, product focused incentives) that many laggard U.S. retail grocers still do. Rather, it's all about best consumer price/value (e.g. Costco, WinCo) philosophy. Having just returned from Germany last week myself and having witnessed this on their own home turf, it's a relatively simple philosophy but very effective, consumer-focused and frankly impressive. "Hometown Proud" may only get U.S. independents so far, especially if a recession were to occur -- in that case, Aldi and Lidl will certainly benefit, grow customer numbers and market share.
  • Posted on: 10/17/2019

    Is e-grocery less convenient than shopping in stores?

    Grocery leaders are recognizing that the "big bet" in their digital transformation is circling back to brick-and-mortar. Now they are able to leverage new technologies to drive operational improvements and customer experience (e.g. real-time sensors to ensure freshness and reduce wastage, friction-less checkout, towers, lockers and curb-side pick-up to improve convenience, digital signage to enable story telling, instant promotions, reducing prices dynamically, and so on). Beyond these experience efficiency improvements, grocers are also stepping up their game leveraging deep customer insights (which most retailers envy) to tailor assortments, develop distinct private label products, and enhance overall quality and variety in prepared, and grab and go foods - focusing on what was described a decade ago as the broader "share of stomach" market (including convenience, QSRs, etc.) by leveraging local, fresh, healthy, artisanal products and ingredients that today's consumers are looking for. Grocers are uniquely positioned to own the authority/credibility here, having served many local neighborhoods in some cases for over a century.
  • Posted on: 10/16/2019

    Does Target need to address its associate morale problem?

    What if all the investments Target has made in recent years to automate DCs and the supply chain are now driving efficiencies to both optimize labor (warehouses to stores) and greatly improve in-stocks? Customer satisfaction is improved, and outdated replenishment activities are enhanced simultaneously?
  • Posted on: 10/16/2019

    Does Target need to address its associate morale problem?

    Facts matter. There are not enough facts here to draw conclusions. Lazy (or biased) reporting is no excuse.
  • Posted on: 10/16/2019

    Does Target need to address its associate morale problem?

    Um, a sample size of 23 is not only statistically insignificant considering the tens of thousands that Target employs, drawing any conclusions based on it is sadly misleading.
  • Posted on: 10/15/2019

    Why are grocers still missing the mark with small food brands?

    Simply put, old-school FMCG retail vendor collaboration is dead, as it was a one-way relationship to begin with. As customer-centric pure-plays and digital disruptors continue to exploit (take volume from) many traditional FMCG retailers' lack of sharing meaningful consumer insights and shared performance metrics (e.g. advertising, demand forecasts, in-stocks, consumer behavior) with trading partners - this will not change. However, leading FMCG retailers like Walmart, Kroger, Target and Edeka have not only recognized this gap, they are capitalizing on it - with success. Whether through incubators for local, unique products to bypass traditional slotting fees in a shared success model (a la Shark Tank), or by subsidizing small brands via online selling, even marketplace pricing support versus pure-plays like Amazon. Data- and analytics- driven FMCG leaders will continue to lead, laggards will continue to fall further behind.
  • Posted on: 09/30/2019

    Will consumers go for Kroger’s food hall concept?

    Food halls are not only a natural extension recognizing rapidly changing consumer demographics, the business model has already been proven in urban and suburban markets across the U.S. and abroad. Grocery leaders such as Kroger certainly recognize that looking beyond traditional competitors and even pure-play digital player threats - by setting their long-term strategic goals to be the most credible providers of fresh/farm-to-fork across the broader spectrum of "share of stomach" -- this is something they could credibly own. The real question here is, which grocer can also incorporate the right limited local assortment and fresh grab and go snacks, meals and delivery options into the adjacent store AND scale this out rapidly beyond a single, or even a handful of locations? Beyond testing a single location, first mover (at scale) advantage also applies. In that case, Kroger certainly has an opportunity here that many traditional grocers simply don't.
  • Posted on: 09/27/2019

    Amazon wants to take the lead on regulating facial recognition tech

    Classic Amazon, thinking they can create yet another moat (barrier) where the competition (e.g. Alibaba) is already far ahead of what they are doing. Ridiculous -- arrogance that not even a politician (regulator) would fall for.
  • Posted on: 09/23/2019

    Will free same-day delivery boost Macy’s online sales?

    Macy’s is simply leveling their odds as consumers today expect retailers to remove friction like delivery fees. Minimum purchase thresholds will become a thing of the past, as traditional retailers need to either revamp loyalty programs to account for free shipping or optimize shipping costs further. Either way, it is now a key element in the overall pricing strategy that needs to be accounted for.

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