Cathy Hotka

Principal, Cathy Hotka & Associates

Cathy Hotka has personal relationships with most of North America’s most influential retail technology leaders. Cathy Hotka & Associates is a different kind of retail IT marketing firm, leveraging close relationships with CIOs to assist technology companies, and working with retail CIOs to create thought leadership materials. The company was founded in 2002 and enjoys working relationships with many Tier 1 retailers and vendors.

Prior to creating the firm, Hotka created the CIO Council for the National Retail Federation, and staffed the American Petroleum Institute’s IT Council. She has worked on Capitol Hill and the White House, and has been recognized by Computerworld, CIO, Executive Technology, and the Wharton School of Business.

  • Posted on: 12/06/2019

    Will Rent the Runway‘s hotel concierge deal change how people travel?

    Renting a wardrobe for $69 sounds like a true game-changer for W Hotels. If this takes off (and I'm sure it will) other hotels will be pressured to add this amenity as well. I'm sure the people at Le Tote and Lord & Taylor will be watching this closely.
  • Posted on: 12/04/2019

    The holiday season promises many unhappy returns for retailers

    Returns were an issue before e-commerce, but the problem is exacerbated now. Better descriptions, sizing information and customer reviews can help customers make better selections.
  • Posted on: 12/03/2019

    Why are brands so bad at identity resolution?

    The idea of half of brands being able to identify their customers seems wildly idealistic; even identifying an IP address provides next to no insight into the customers at that address and their motivations for purchase. Brands might want to provide clearer incentives.
  • Posted on: 12/02/2019

    Will its ‘culture of recognition’ be a game winner for Dick’s Sporting Goods?

    This is the future. The mantra among operations leaders last year was "customer engagement" but now "associate engagement" defines the retail experience. Let's see how creative other companies can be in retaining the best associates.
  • Posted on: 11/25/2019

    Is secondhand gifting a holiday disruptor?

    Giving a secondhand gift used to be unthinkable, but those days are well behind us. Kudos to retailers who embrace the change.
  • Posted on: 11/21/2019

    Should Starbucks stick with its open bathroom policy?

    I can't speak to the bathroom issue, but I can't have been the only person who boycotted Starbucks during Howard Schultz's short-lived Presidential bid...
  • Posted on: 11/20/2019

    Will a hack ruin Macy’s Christmas?

    This won't affect Macy's holiday sales, but it may affect Macy's performance on Wall Street. Let's hope this is the last such story we hear during the season.
  • Posted on: 11/20/2019

    Should Santa be a loyalty program perk?

    This is a huge public relations blunder. Harrods should rectify this by hosting a few evenings for less affluent children and making that gesture particularly festive. Without that, this is a huge Scrooge move.
  • Posted on: 11/18/2019

    Will a purpose-driven site do good for Zappos?

    There's a significant swath of socially-conscious customers who'll be drawn to this site, which poses some real upside for Zappos without much risk. Why not?
  • Posted on: 11/15/2019

    Should customers just be paid for their data?

    If consumers knew how much data is being collected on them, they'd be appalled. For years they've been told that data collection helps retailers to serve them better, but in the absence of real personalization, it feels pointless and offensive. Google's decision to pry into medical records seems like the final straw.
  • Posted on: 11/14/2019

    Shoptalk makes a statement with a conference featuring only women speakers

    Sure, it's a gimmick, but I love it. The question is whether men's tender feelings will be hurt and they'll fail to register as a result.
  • Posted on: 11/13/2019

    Retail apocalypse? How about a disruptor meltdown?

    Steve's right on all counts. And it's not about the channel, it's about consumer convenience. The shine wore off those gee-whiz online companies because ultimately they didn't work for customers. We'll keep seeing this evolution over time -- it's refreshing to see retailers have to compete this hard to retain their status.
  • Posted on: 11/12/2019

    What’s in store for retail in 2020?

    Now that retail companies have increased IT spending, expect new efforts to personalize the shopping experience and assist store associates. I'm also looking forward to more investment into those associates and enhanced job satisfaction for them.
  • Posted on: 11/08/2019

    Ralph Lauren offers consumers a DIY counterfeit-checking tool

    This is genius. Counterfeits have plagued the luxury industry for decades, sapping profits and eroding consumer confidence. If these technologies move the needle for Ralph Lauren, expect to see similar efforts by other upscale manufacturers.
  • Posted on: 11/06/2019

    Should the recent Instacart strike concern retailers?

    Income inequality is an issue of great concern to Millennials, and stiffing the drivers isn't a good look. Bob Amster is right -- retailers should be stable entities that take good care of employees and pay attention to details.

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