Christine Russo

Principal, Retail Creative and Consulting Agency

Christine is an industry analyst for retailers, brands and technology solution providers through her firm, the Retail Creative and Consulting Agency. She is a graduate of Cornell University, has made her way to retail by way of Deloitte and worked for global retail brands. Her expertise is in digital and physical retail.

RCCA works with brands and retailers from enterprise through independent and is a source for optimizing business through digitization, automation and technology.

RCCA specializes in authentic reports and interviews with leading technology platform service providers for real-talk about solutions — game-changing, affordable, manageable solutions — that have big impact on the bottom line.

She has served as a mentor and strategist for companies such as Chief Strategy Officer of The Robin Report, mentor for NY Fashion Tech Lab and Graduate School Professor of Global Retail for the Fashion Institute of Technology Graduate School.

Christine lives in New York City, has three grown daughters,  one American Eskimo and one English Bulldog.  If she wasn’t relentlessly researching retail tech and growth strategies, she’d be a very average stand-up comedian.

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  • Posted on: 02/06/2023

    Should SMBs trust Gap to handle their logistics?

    I do not think SMBs should own warehouses, but to outsource to Gap? I wonder how their FBA capabilities are. What a distraction for Gap -- but between becoming 3PLs and advertising vehicles like RMNs, retailers are looking to either add to or reinforce revenue. Are these distractions from the core business of selling clothing or genius moves? I think the add-ons work if the retailer is coming from a position of strength -- financial and organizationally.
  • Posted on: 01/30/2023

    What will David’s Bridal gain from its wedding vendor marketplace?

    It's genius. And they also can turn it into a dev center as a Retail Media Network.
  • Posted on: 01/13/2023

    Will advertisers benefit as Lowe’s brings its retail media sales and ops under one roof?

    RMNs can add income for the retailer, capitalizing on their traffic. The revenue can be very substantial. It also can be considered a distraction and cost center from a retailer's core business which could be an issue.
  • Posted on: 01/10/2023

    Rite Aid puts out ‘help wanted’ sign for a new CEO

    The sector is struggling in general but they are definitely the worst of the lot. It looks like they do not invest in their stores and customer experience and it shows in the numbers.
  • Posted on: 01/09/2023

    Stitch Fix’s woes reflect a broader subscription box problem

    I agree that subscription services do not win on price -- in general, it's about the product. Selections for the clients -- either by AI or human (or somewhere in between) -- has to be spot on. Because as exciting as it is to get a box of curated items, it's more deflating to get a box of items you do not like or love. The risk of disappointment is quite high leading to churn.
  • Posted on: 12/21/2022

    Does self-checkout set up Walmart for theft?

    People are walking in the front door with empty bags, filling them or filling carts and walking out. I think self-checkout theft would pale in comparison to the scale of those kinds of thefts. Both need to be addressed.
  • Posted on: 12/13/2022

    Is Toys ‘R’ Us just playing around with NFTs or serious about the opportunity?

    There is a nostalgia mentality for many people of the age who are now exploring NFTs -- younger Millennials (Zillennials). With the being Toys "R" Us's come-back, it's interesting to explore modern offerings and reengage former customers through NFTs.
  • Posted on: 12/12/2022

    7-Eleven tops best grocery store list

    Perhaps it's a testament to the size (smaller) and the speed and seamless checkout due to their tech stack. Also, who doesn't want a Slurpee when grocery shopping?!
  • Posted on: 11/21/2022

    Are department store shoppers getting a late start on Christmas or taking a pass?

    It should be very worrisome. The customer is waiting for markdowns. This is a good case for using loyalty programs to drive sales in October and November -- customers feel special and rewarded for their loyalty. I guess that didn't really happen (enough) and so now it's a fight to the finish. All being equal, it will be price-drops and a race to the bottom.
  • Posted on: 10/28/2022

    Will Apple find more room to grow inside of Target?

    I do see it going chainwide. Target, Starbucks, and Apple are lifestyles with cult-like followings -- not just products. These are tentpoles. So the continuation of trends in fashion with brand collabs can continue to drive newness.
  • Posted on: 10/20/2022

    Christmas 2022’s inventory looks a lot like 2021

    Pack and hold inventory was a common (dreaded) practice well before these disruptions. It depends on the retailers' strategy and if they wanted to mark down unsold inventory. But this refers to strategic decisions to hold unsold merchandise as a hedge against some potential new supply chain issue. Assuming the product that was held is in good condition, customers do not care. An upside is that brands and retailers with off-price retail clients have what the customer would consider to be A- level product so they could become stickier shoppers.
  • Posted on: 10/19/2022

    Big retailers say they need more tech to deliver better customer experiences

    This is a bit depressing! Talking about tech doesn't get it implemented and so, in the end, the conveniences the employees and customers would get are still compromised.
  • Posted on: 10/18/2022

    How can grocers prevail in inflationary times without winning on price?

    The question is, how do they compete during regular times? I think it's the same business strategy and nothing changes -- there is just more margin pressure across the board.
  • Posted on: 10/17/2022

    Are donation requests at the checkout worth the shopper anxiety they cause?

    I think it's a form of friction but not necessarily a reason someone wouldn't come back. The tech should develop and be more dynamic so that, for example, if someone says no to a donation request then they aren't asked again for like a month and then the ask is reintroduced. This way it's less invasive and less potentially annoying.
  • Posted on: 10/14/2022

    What’s holding back creativity in marketing?

    Deloitte also published a white paper with Cannes Lions about the demise of creativity. Merging marketing and sales under a chief revenue officer has partially contributed. Marketers feel more like lever-pullers than creatives.

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