Chris Buecker

Founder & Chairman, International TCG Retail Summit
Since 2014 to present: Founder & Chairman, TCG Summit, the leading international retail conference in electrical retail (CE, Appliances, IT, Telecommunications). Since 2012 to present: President & CEO of Retailplus, a retail consultancy and organization of innovation tours with a special focus on retail. 2012-2005: Managing Director of Expert International, one of Europe's leading electrical retail organizations (13bn USD turnover). To learn more, visit:
  • Posted on: 03/26/2020

    Would bundled tech services spur the sales of smart home devices?

    So far I have not seen any retailer who has really inspired the consumer to dig into smart home devices. And I have seen many tech stores. From the U.S. to the Middle East, all attempts have not worked. Some even created a smart home concept inside the store. The problem always was that when the consumer went to this "smart home area," the section of the store was mostly abandoned by the staff and the consumer did not get professional advice. Putting together a smart home just by picking different products from the shelves does not work.
  • Posted on: 03/25/2020

    How should retailers guide staff through the coronavirus crisis?

    First things will get worse, the number of people dying will increase exponentially over the next weeks. This will be shocking to the public and put a lot of pressure on legislators to apply more drastic measures to fight the virus. The first thing for an employer is to take care of its customers and own staff. It needs to be certain that the latter are not exposed to any danger of getting infected. Even if that means that stores need to be closed for a couple of weeks. Lives are more important than business.
  • Posted on: 03/16/2020

    Should retail close?

    There is no alternative to shutting down. Every day counts and every day will save (in particular elderly) people's lives. Here in Switzerland, we expect a national shutdown of all stores (except grocery, drugstores, and pharmacy) soon.
  • Posted on: 01/24/2020

    Can aesthetics cure our throw-away society?

    Thanks, David. I believe this is the only way to go.
  • Posted on: 01/24/2020

    Can aesthetics cure our throw-away society?

    Changes in consumers' behavior will only be brought about through their wallet. As long as, for example, one way packaging is cheaper, consumers will most likely prefer it to any reusable option. Fixing this is a task for legislation. Simply encouraging reuse will not be enough.
  • Posted on: 01/22/2020

    Is a ‘hassle cost’ justified in resolving customer service issues?

    Intentionally added obstacles or any obstacle along the customer service chain will be a boomerang for retailers. The customer paid the full price for a product or service and this needs to be respected and fulfilled. I would even turn the argument around and say: Retailers who offer an easy complaint service will be rewarded by having loyal customers and by achieving a high NPS over the long run.
  • Posted on: 11/15/2019

    Is the environment Amazon’s Achilles heel or opportunity?

    Yes, definitely, the environmental conscience among consumers will only increase going forward. The whole online industry needs to develop environmentally friendly solutions. The current hype of package deliveries cannot go on like this. And it will not go on. A credible and trusted "green" online policy will be needed.
  • Posted on: 11/14/2019

    Shoptalk makes a statement with a conference featuring only women speakers

    There is no doubt that we need more women at the top management level. Surveys have shown that companies are more successful with a better gender mix at the top level. I believe that the U.S. is in this respect further along than Europe. In my main sector, CE retail, there are still extremely few women on the management team or on the board. The reason are various. In the future I believe that in Europe there will be, at least for a certain time period, a compulsory minimum quota of women as board members.
  • Posted on: 11/05/2019

    Is Amazon starting to fall out of favor with American consumers?

    Amazon has always proven to be innovative and agile. When something needs to be adjusted, it will do it quickly. In the end, Amazon will always possess a better cost structure, be more customer-centric and take advantage of its outstanding supply chain.
  • Posted on: 11/04/2019

    Should McDonald’s CEO have been fired over a ‘consensual relationship’?

    If there is no conflict of interest, then a consensual relationship should not be prohibited.
  • Posted on: 11/01/2019

    Survey says consumers want online orders shipped fast and free

    Absolutely. Shoppers have been spoiled. And once spoiled, they do not like to go back. Amazon sets the bar higher and higher and are top of mind for shoppers. That doesn't change even if the retailer might not be a direct competitor to Amazon.
  • Posted on: 10/31/2019

    McDonald’s drive-thru AI knows what you want before you order

    Everything which brings convenience to consumers will succeed at the end of the day. Consumers simply love more convenience! As McDonald's asks permission from the customer first, I believe the use of this AI-led technology is fine. In addition to more customer convenience, the process efficiency will increase.
  • Posted on: 10/30/2019

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

    The interest and subscriptions of new Prime members will definitely go up. Zero cost for grocery delivery is, of course, very attractive to consumers. It will just be a matter of time until grocery giants like Walmart will (need to) follow. This is bad news for individual stores or smaller grocery chains, as they will hardly be able to offer the same service at no extra cost.
  • Posted on: 10/29/2019

    AI needs to be more than just a bright, shiny object

    "Retail is detail" is a classic phrase which is still valid today. Retailers should try technology out in a micro-environment and then analyze carefully the result before any full scale roll-out. Secondly, it is not always wise to belong to the early adopters in areas where the technology, benefit or acceptance of the consumer is not proven. Sometimes it might be wiser to first analyze best practices across retail sectors and then judge if a certain AI solution would be an improvement for one's own company.
  • Posted on: 10/28/2019

    What makes voice assistants creepy?

    Personalization is OK (as it is when customers are surfing online) but receiving ads based on what consumers have said in conversations without prompting the voice assistant device is a strong no-go. The question is also how to break up the oligopoly of Amazon, Google, Apple etc. and to open voice to everybody. It cannot stay like this.

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