PROFILE

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: www.tcgsummit.com
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  • Posted on: 06/08/2020

    Are words of support no longer enough?

    Yes, definitely. For a company to make statements of solidarity but then have workers at its own subcontractors in Asia working under unethical conditions is rather embarrassing. This behavior is not accepted anymore by a growing number of consumers -- and this is good!
  • Posted on: 06/05/2020

    Should Amazon, Walmart, others be held liable for workers sickened by COVID-19?

    Employers need to do everything to ensure that given safety rules are followed. If that is the case, then the employer should not be made liable if an employee gets infected.
  • Posted on: 05/28/2020

    Retailers focus on making safe spaces for customers and associates

    Smart retailers can learn from retailers in other countries who have had their stores open already for quite some time and try to understand how they have managed it. Retailers must win the consumer's confidence. This can only be achieved by implementing a strict, well-communicated safety measure plan. Education for the staff will be another important part. Compulsory mask, contactless payment, plexiglass at the cashier area, regular disinfection of the shopping carts, social distancing marks, drive-thru purchase, etc. Retailers in some European countries built a lot of trust when they introduced special hours for elder customers only. Checking temperatures before entering a store is useless, in my opinion.
  • Posted on: 05/26/2020

    Should Apple and other stores require shopper temperature checks?

    Safety for customers and staff must be top priority. However, to check temperature before a person enters a store is nonsense. The most dangerous time to infect others is most of the time BEFORE people feel any symptoms. Social distancing and safety measures (masks, plexiglass at counters, contactless payment etc.) are much more important and needed to regain trust from the customer.
  • Posted on: 05/04/2020

    Should face masks be mandatory for shoppers?

    Yes, absolutely. Everybody has to contribute to the big effort to have the virus more or less under control. By wearing a mask, the chance to infect someone is much lower than without mask. People should be responsible for this themselves, however if they don't obey the rules, then they should be gently reminded by a security guard to follow the directives.
  • Posted on: 04/15/2020

    Will Walmart’s daily pickup hour for seniors cause operational challenges?

    With this move, Walmart shows responsibility and that it cares about an important customer group: the seniors. I would promote the opportunity this offers, for example: "Hey, seniors, we understand that you need special treatment to protect yourself and we ensure that you will put yourself in less danger when you shop at our stores during these special hours." This will be a strong message. Yes, I expect it to be expanded across the country.
  • Posted on: 04/02/2020

    How will this change us?

    No, I don't think so. People will forget and the appreciation will not carry on after this crisis period has passed.
  • 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.

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