PROFILE

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 EngagingCustomersDifferently.com
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  • Posted on: 10/29/2020

    Kohl’s triples down on active lifestyle categories

    I don't know about anyone else here, but I haven't worn pants requiring a belt in six months and I like it! I am not sure if I ever want to make belts a regular part of my wardrobe again! And I suspect I am not alone. Hence my guess that athleisure wear will retain a significant share of wallet long after we return to whatever normal looks like at some point. However I do think it's critical that Kohl's finds a niche that differentiates their assortment. They must avoid "the middle" at all costs, or they will get lost in the shuffle.
  • Posted on: 10/29/2020

    Do retailers need to make price optimization a priority right now?

    Matt has convinced me that pricing is now as important as it has ever been. Competitive pressures, new shopping behaviors, lower foot traffic, and slower turns have all conspired to make pricing a critical strategic tool in merchandising's tool kit. I interviewed Matt for a webcast a couple of weeks ago, and he made the point during our conversation that the first step to better pricing is creating well-balanced pricing teams. He recommended investing in better team design to ensure the proper ratio of pricers to categories as a critical first step to more strategic pricing decisions, and I think he's right.
  • Posted on: 10/27/2020

    Chipotle battles escalating delivery costs

    This is an inevitable outcome of both the pandemic and the costs of third-party delivery options. I would suggest, however, that restaurants forego separate menu prices and instead include a "Grubhub" fee listed on the order so that consumers can see how the costs are derived. My sense is that many people will look for cheaper options, including take-out/curbside. Curbside does add some expense to the restaurant, but far less than third-party commissions.
  • Posted on: 10/27/2020

    Will its values-based approach turn Hive into an e-grocery powerhouse?

    I love this concept but have two concerns: timing and logistics. First, this is really tough timing to be launching a new brand based on an assortment full of higher-priced alternatives. Second, the article makes no mention of logistics and fulfillment strategies. How quickly will they deliver? How will they price for delivery? Value and (reliable) expediency are at a premium right now, and neither of these characteristics favor Hive's approach, I am afraid. I wish them luck, as the world needs more sustainable grocery options, but fear the deck is stacked against them.
  • Posted on: 10/22/2020

    How crucial is last mile fulfillment to 7-Eleven and the c-store channel?

    Obviously convenience stores need to expand last-mile options to keep up with consumer demands. The trick is doing so profitably, which is no easy feat. As of now it looks like the third-party providers are the best option, although I wonder if that model is financially sustainable as order volumes continue to increase.
  • Posted on: 10/22/2020

    Amazon will pay you to know what you bought somewhere else

    Ummm, no thanks, Amazon. Rather than trying to grab an even larger share of my wallet via data mining, I would rather you cleaned up your assortments of all the fakes and absolute junk. Outside of well-known national brands, your assortment is becoming almost un-shoppable. I would recommend spending money to fix those issues first. Then we can worry about how much better your ads and recommendations will get with my 10 receipts a month.
  • Posted on: 10/19/2020

    Has Shein reinvented teen e-tailing?

    Great insights from personal experience, Laura!
  • Posted on: 10/19/2020

    Retailers need to prep for in-store COVID conflicts

    While I appreciate the effort by NRF to support the stores with these training tools, it is just far too much to ask of a store associate to mitigate these types of conflicts. At the same time, the cost of full-time security is prohibitive for most retailers. There are no easy answers here, but from what I can tell, it does seem that the frequency of these confrontations appears to be diminishing. Let's hope that soon this becomes a non-issue.
  • Posted on: 10/19/2020

    Has Shein reinvented teen e-tailing?

    I don't see much different here: It appears that Shein trades on everything that the other fast fashion giants have been doing for quite some time: selection, social media influencers, and price. They just seem to be doing it faster and cheaper, with greater selection. Unfortunately, it also appears that they are doing so with little regard for laborers, the environment, or sustainability -- or, apparently, quality. I hope the suspicions are wrong but fear they may be right.
  • Posted on: 10/12/2020

    What’s behind the Amazon/SpartanNash deal?

    While there are lots of potential reasons for this move, I hope at least one of them is a serious effort to deal with the inventory management challenges in their grocery business. Sometimes shopping at Whole Foods online feels like a bingo game. You set up your shopping list, then hope some of your first choices turn up in stock. You just never know what will be out of stock -- or when the out-of-stock items will come back. I suspect - and hope - that getting deeper into the supply chain to better manage in-stock positions could be part of the play here.
  • Posted on: 10/12/2020

    Staples to accept returns from other stores

    Traffic, traffic, traffic. 'Nough said...
  • Posted on: 10/06/2020

    Brides-to-be say ‘yes’ to their dresses in AR

    I see lots of goodness here, and the interface seems pretty simple - which is key to AR adoption. I just wonder how many store visits it will save without providing any help with fit...
  • Posted on: 10/06/2020

    Will Levi’s Secondhand store give the brand a sustainable advantage?

    There is only good news here (except for the crazy re-imagining of sizes to accommodate our expanding waistlines!). Good for the planet, good for consumers, good for Levis, and also good for me, as apparently some of that "nostalgia" denim that I have saved from decades past is now on trend again!
  • Posted on: 10/05/2020

    Can one site make men love, not hate, shopping online?

    In theory I guess this is a good idea, but in practice it's just a curated collection of stuff curated by -- their "Fashion Gurus?" Who are these self-proclaimed gurus, and why should I trust them with fashion advice or their "MHS Certified" quality assurances? A quick look at their site makes more mention of their affiliation with Amazon than it does of their qualifications as stylists or product quality experts. I am a utilitarian male shopper who would - according to their PR anyway - be in their target demographic, and I can tell you I'm just not buying it -- and I suspect there are many others like me.
  • Posted on: 10/05/2020

    Neiman Marcus begins its new life outside of bankruptcy

    On paper, I really like all the moves Nieman Marcus is making. To survive they need to completely reinvent their go-to-market approach, and these tactics all feel like they are directionally correct. However as noted in Tom's article, there is one piece missing in my opinion: a carefully though-out investment strategy for attracting younger people. I think they need a plan for developing an army of influencers that are tightly connected to luxury audiences that can comment on trends, advise Neiman Marcus assortments, and most importantly stay in step with how store personnel will turn their influence into clientele conversions.

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