Dave Bruno

Director, Retail Market Insights, Aptos

With over 25 years of experience in retail technology, Dave supports Aptos with brand development, corporate messaging, and product marketing. His deep resume includes widely varying experiences helping bring retail technology to market at GERS, Escalate Retail, RedPrairie, JDA and Epicor.

Dave is a frequent speaker at industry events and is highly regarded for his ability to identify emerging technology trends that will impact the retail model. He has worked with many of the world’s leading retailers, and he is an accomplished marketer, having won numerous awards for his content marketing programs and campaigns.

He is a member of the advisory board for DemandGen Report, and the executive producer of the CommerceofCaring podcast series. Dave is also a regular contributor to

  • Posted on: 06/29/2022

    Will a gas tax holiday drive retail in the right direction?

    Relief at the pump has historically translated to increased spending in other segments of the economy, and I certainly have no reason not to think a tax holiday now would have the same impact. However I would caution us from expecting all of that windfall to go directly into retail coffers. I expect a large portion of the savings will be spent on experiences, rather than non-essential goods.
  • Posted on: 06/29/2022

    Retail workers want the right to defend themselves

    There are simply no easy answers here. Of course, people need the right to protect themselves when assaulted, but with the terrifying proliferation of weapons in our society today, one must always take steps to prevent altercations from escalating. In addition to the right to protect themselves, associates should demand proper incident training techniques. De-escalation is almost always the right answer, but rarely easy to achieve.
  • Posted on: 06/28/2022

    Retailers tell their customers to keep their returns

    I get it. Returns are ridiculously expensive and impactful to the entire enterprise. I'm just not sure that widespread "keep it and donate it" policies make for good strategy, despite the results from Chewy and a few others. We have to stop giving away all these expenses at some point and begin reshaping consumer expectations. Think about all the consumers who bracket their sizes when purchasing apparel online. Will we just tell them to keep all three items? Where does that lead? I'd think we would be better off studying ways to disincentivize returns slightly. Return shipping fees are certainly a return deterrent, although they may of course also be a purchase deterrent. Perhaps we should spend more time studying the new return fee Zara is trying. We have to stop the cycle of giving away everything.
  • Posted on: 06/28/2022

    Can in-store coffee add pep to retail sales?

    While the results are indeed interesting, the wannabe but completely untrained data scientist in me can't help but wonder if caffeine may be a correlation rather than a cause of the higher spend. One could suggest that people who drink decaffeinated coffee and water, tend to be more practical people, no? I also can't help but wonder (slightly tongue in cheek) that if lowering inhibitions before shopping is the goal, perhaps offering margaritas and martinis on the way in is a more scientifically-proven direct line to higher spend?
  • Posted on: 06/27/2022

    Are mall shoppers hungry for in-stock data?

    Thanks, Georganne! Although, the early BrainTrust results indicate we may be the outliers with this opinion! I am honestly surprised so many people are bullish on this idea...
  • Posted on: 06/27/2022

    Are outsized private label gains in grocery a foregone conclusion?

    Maybe it's time to stop using the phrase "trading down" to store brands? I am a loyal consumer of several store brands, not necessarily because of price but rather quality (I'm looking at you, Simple Truth Organic, 365, etc). Tom reports that 43 percent of respondents to the FMI survey agree with me. And when you put that 43 percent in the context of the uphill perception battle store brands face overcoming "trading down" language that reinforces negative stigmas, I would say their future looks extremely bright, with or without help from inflationary prices.
  • Posted on: 06/27/2022

    Are mall shoppers hungry for in-stock data?

    Color me skeptical. I just don't know how many people really want to search in-stock positions across an entire mall. Maybe it's me, but I always thought what made malls work with so many similar stores located literally right next door to each other was the uniqueness of their assortments. Malls are designed to foster the social side of shopping coupled with the joy of discovery from store to store. I am not sure how many people have highly targeted shopping lists in mind before they head to an expansive mall. I'll be happy to eat crow if Simon proves me wrong, but I just don't see widespread appeal for this program.
  • Posted on: 06/21/2022

    Uber Eats ships big city meals nationwide

    If - and this is a big if - prices are even somewhat reasonable, this has some potential. As a transplanted New Yorker in Califonia, there are plenty of days when I am craving an authentic black and white cookie, and trust me, they just don't do them right out here (Californians, don't try to argue with me - I have tried them everywhere I see them here!). However how many times a year will people really indulge in these cravings? That's for sure a function of price and quality of experience (e.g., speed, freshness, packing, etc.). Time will tell I suppose, but I am already online searching for my black and white cookies!
  • Posted on: 06/21/2022

    Will Walmart become the go-to shopping destination for cord cutters?

    This feels like one small step for Roku, one significant step for TV shopping. Eliminating the QR code from the shopping experience eliminates a giant obstacle and the integrated payment platform certainly streamlines things. The two key questions in my mind are as follows:
    1. In the short term, is the Walmart assortment offered through Roku broad and deep enough to lead to meaningful revenue?
    2. In the long run, how long will Roku maintain meaningful market share as smart TVs eliminate the need for streaming boxes?
    This will be fun to watch (see what I did there?).
  • Posted on: 06/17/2022

    Do Twitter users want to hear and tweet about product drops?

    I am skeptical. There are some very successful brands with super-smart marketers testing this out, which makes me think this has at least a chance of working. But consider me leery of yet another product expansion scheme from Twitter. Maybe we can all talk about it in a Twitter Space, since they are so popular. Oh, wait...
  • Posted on: 06/17/2022

    Ultra-fast delivery may burn out or fade away

    Is anyone the least bit surprised that an industry without clear customer demand and an upside-down cost/revenue model has failed? Most BrainTrusters have been predicting doom for ultra-fast delivery since the day they launched, and we have all been right. Too bad the investment bankers who elevated ultra-fast to unicorn status don't spend more time on RetailWire - they could have saved billions!
  • Posted on: 06/17/2022

    Does Amazon need a great Prime Day now more than ever?

    I do think Amazon needs to rebuild some momentum, and I certainly think there is more pressure for a strong Prime Day this year. I suspect that competing retailers will apply their own pressure on Amazon and "kick them while they are down" with compelling offers and promotions at the same time. We saw a big move by others last year, and I suspect we will only see more this year.
  • Posted on: 06/16/2022

    Instacart has a family plan to build shopping carts

    Call it what you will, but I am not sold that adding the household/"family shopping cart" feature is a real game-changer here. Couldn't people in the same household just share the same login if they needed these features? I do think the digital ad revenue and shoppable video ads are nice features and, in my opinion, that is where the opportunity lies for Instacart. They need to differentiate on price (admittedly very difficult given their cost model) and experience - not cart sharing - if they hope to overcome the subscription overload syndrome that most consumers face. Especially as more and more grocery shoppers are returning to the store themselves, grocery delivery subscriptions seem like an easy monthly bill to eliminate without a really compelling reason to stay.
  • Posted on: 06/16/2022

    Will country star Miranda Lambert raise Walmart’s profit margins?

    Another potentially smart move by Walmart. Ms. Lambert will likely have very high awareness and appeal among Walmart's customer base. The key to success, as it so often is, will be whether the Wanda June assortment matches those same customers' preferences and tastes. I suspect the appeal of her music will not be enough to overcome mis-aligned assortments. I wish them luck and will be watching closely.
  • Posted on: 06/15/2022

    Are consumers going to take a vacation from buying things?

    After almost two years of limited life experiences and disposable income being spent on things at home, it comes as a surprise to no one that people are spending on travel and hospitality again in a big way. The real test will come when (if) a recession kicks in later this summer.

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