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: 01/15/2020

    Is Amazon more friend or foe for digital start-ups?

    Brands, beware of diluting your image by selling through Amazon! In this era of differentiation, commoditization can be lethal. I understand the appeal of reach and revenue, but there are definitely two sides to Amazon coins...
  • Posted on: 01/15/2020

    Will Walmart become a fashion destination in 2020?

    No matter who comes or goes in the executive suite, and no matter which celebrity endorsements/designers they hire, I think Walmart's brand image will prevent them from becoming a fashion destination. They have spent hundreds of millions of dollars building and entrenching that value-based brand image. I just don't think they will be able to rise above all that brand equity in fashion.
  • Posted on: 01/09/2020

    Will ‘five pillars’ provide the foundation Bed Bath & Beyond needs to succeed?

    Thanks, Mark! I guess that still leaves me wondering what the real brand promise is that will help strengthen loyalty and lifetime value. "Connecting, engaging and motivating," tells me their aspirations, but doesn't really tell me the brand promise. I will wait and see, I guess!
  • Posted on: 01/09/2020

    Will coffee drinkers miss single-use cups?

    Kudos to Blue Bottle for putting the good of the planet ahead of the good of the business. While they may experience some short-term pain, I for one will seek them out solely based on this decision (in addition to their delicious coffee), and I expect I will not be alone in my thinking...
  • Posted on: 01/09/2020

    Will ‘five pillars’ provide the foundation Bed Bath & Beyond needs to succeed?

    I will reserve judgment until we learn more about what lies behind "promise." Bed Bath & Beyond has an opportunity to look beyond the iconic coupon to redefine its brand promise to younger generations. But "curating assortments" and "omnichannel experiences" must be aligned to a brand promise that is relevant and meaningful to their core segments. Until that promise is carefully defined, revival strategies will be difficult to hone...
  • Posted on: 01/09/2020

    Kroger goes beyond meat and looks for impossible growth with private brand

    As a 25-year pescatarian who hasn't eaten a burger since 1994, I feel I am somewhat of an authority on plant-based substitutes. I am genuinely excited by the investment in new alternatives. Our bodies and our planet can both benefit from less factory-farmed animal products, and while I have grown to love black-bean burgers and the like, I know they have limited appeal to most meat lovers. The new products from Impossible and Beyond really do mimic beef in many ways, and I have many carnivore friends who enjoy them. If Kroger is able to produce similar quality at a lower price, and that increases adoption by more meat lovers, that would be a win-win for us and the planet.
  • Posted on: 01/08/2020

    Pier 1 to close up to 450 stores as it faces uncertain future

    I fear the assortments at Pier 1 have just not remained as relevant as they must to compete with a host of new entrants. I am saddened by this news and sincerely hope they bounce back, but I have long feared that their assortments have lost touch with their core segments.
  • Posted on: 01/08/2020

    Can casinos save the mall?

    I don't object to adding casinos to the mix as we reinvent malls as destinations, but I am not at all convinced they will consistently draw traffic to places outside the four walls of the casino. Just as we are over-stored, many places are beginning to be over-casinoed. I think there are plenty of other more interesting options for some of these big spaces in malls, but in certain markets maybe casinos will work.
  • Posted on: 01/08/2020

    Does ‘selfish shopping’ justify post-holiday discounting?

    According to most reports, deep and unrelenting discounts took a heavy toll on the pre-holiday season this year, so I expect to soon see reports of even deeper discounting in the days immediately after Christmas. We seem to be stuck in this endless cycle of fear-based pricing, where everyone is afraid of getting out-discounted by the store down the street. I totally understand the pressure to perform drives these discount decisions, but I really wish more brands would compete on their assortments and experiences with personalized offers targeted to specific segments that drive strategic conversion targets. I don't expect this to happen, but one can dream, right?
  • Posted on: 01/07/2020

    Will 3-D printing tech change the footwear industry?

    From an environmental standpoint, I see nothing but goodness in these 3-D printed shoes from Native Shoes. From a business perspective, I do think they have the potential to scale, but that will only matter if consumers find them to their liking - a big hurdle for most 3-D printed products to date. Most consumers won't care how the products are made if they find them fashionable and comfortable, so solve for that and popularity - and scale - will follow.
  • Posted on: 01/07/2020

    Do alcohol and shopping mix?

    There are definitely some risks when mixing alcohol and an area where teenagers commonly hang out without parents, but if alcohol is served in the restaurants in those malls anyway, I am not sure how much risk is added with "to-go cups." If strong security measures can be established, I see this as another step toward the future of retail as a holistic experience, rather than an isolated "shopping" activity, and I support the measure.
  • Posted on: 01/06/2020

    Will 2020 be the year of elevated shopping experiences?

    As always, Gabriela's instincts are spot-on. I would even up the ante on her predictions to say that while experiences will matter more in the near future, I expect that by 2023, we will see a redefinition of what we think of as a "store." For many categories, I expect that experiences will come first, with selling stuff a by-product of that experience.
  • Posted on: 01/06/2020

    Study: Digital commerce sites competing and collaborating with Amazon

    I certainly hope this study does not indicate where these retailers will be investing in their attempts to compete with Amazon. While customer service is without question an excellent opportunity for differentiation for any retailers with stores, I question several other items on this survey. Choice of products? Ummm, no. Delivery? No way you can out-Amazon Amazon on delivery (the only way you beat Amazon in fulfillment is by leveraging the stores as fulfillment centers). Innovation? Other than the very few largest retailers, none will have an innovation budget anywhere close to that of Amazon. I would much rather see things like "creating a community" and "personalized services" rank higher on the list than "product choice" "delivery" and "innovation."
  • Posted on: 01/06/2020

    Did Domino’s gouge Time Square revelers?

    It's interesting that the person responsible for overseeing a $90 billion budget has such a limited understanding of economics. Maybe the mayor skipped class the day they studied the price elasticity of demand? While I have different feelings about taking advantage of people in times of crisis, I have no concerns with a pizza franchise raising prices for people who eagerly volunteer to spend all day standing in the freezing cold just to see a little ball drop. For those people, I say caveat emptor - or try Ray's!
  • Posted on: 01/03/2020

    Which retailer will rule in 2020?

    Target gets my vote, but with an asterisk. While they certainly had great results in an extremely difficult position between Walmart and Amazon, if they wish to extend their success, I believe they need to get their inventory management program cleaned up. The number of empty shelves, hooks, bins, and racks I see continues to be very high, and at some point, that will certainly impact results.

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