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: 07/27/2020

    Will COVID-19 bludgeon Halloween sales?

    I actually think Halloween could be a potential bright spot for retail. As Tom mentioned, trick or treating is traditionally an outdoor activity, where many kids wear masks. Plus there are lots of tweaks that can be made to eliminate doorbell ringing to enhance safety. I think the real opportunity for retail, however, is in providing a safe space for trick or treat activities in their parking lots and on their sidewalks. Now is the time to work with landlords, property managers, and city planners to develop comprehensive plans to create safe trick or treat zones that attract families to your spaces for candy, costumes, and community. Look for add-on activities that can be safely added to the trick or treating to create a truly fun family atmosphere. I am thinking of things like socially distanced costume contests and kid-friendly Halloween drive-in movies in the parking lots.
  • Posted on: 07/23/2020

    Best Buy connects strong sales to frontline worker performance

    The last mile of the shopping journey is now more important than ever, and Best Buy recognizes the role store associates play in ensuring last mile excellence. I congratulate them on their recent success, and I commend them for the investments they are making in future successes by rewarding their frontline workers.
  • Posted on: 07/22/2020

    Will Walmart, Target, Kroger and other chains fix America’s plastic bag problem?

    Let's hope this is one of the silver linings to emerge from this mess, Cathy....
  • Posted on: 07/22/2020

    How can retailers cope with anxiety about the future?

    I would add one more thing to Bob's list: explore new (safe) ways to make your stores relevant to your customers. Distract your brain from the anxiety by investing mental energy in productive solutions that help allay some of those anxieties. There are many ways to improve the store experience within this pandemic, including optimizing new fulfillment models. Experiment, observe, measure, and adjust. Staying mentally busy this way will help your customers and your anxiety.
  • Posted on: 07/22/2020

    Will Walmart, Target, Kroger and other chains fix America’s plastic bag problem?

    Let's be clear: as an industry, it's on us to solve this serious problem. We simply have to solve it. Living in a city that long ago banned plastic bags, it was striking to see how quickly local retailers were able to revert to plastic when the pandemic unfolded. They struggled to keep many essential items of their assortments in stock, but the dreaded plastic bags were plentiful. I applaud the consortium, hope they are successful -- and fast -- and I strongly encourage other chains to participate. The planet can not endure much more.
  • Posted on: 07/22/2020

    It is a different year. Walmart is closing on Thanksgiving.

    The decision to close on Thanksgiving is just another in a long line of good decisions Walmart has made lately -- as is the second round of bonuses. I suspect others will follow suit with Thanksgiving news shortly, and as an industry, we are all better for it.
  • Posted on: 07/14/2020

    Will battery power energize retailing performance?

    Very interesting article and point-of-view, Adrian! I suspect that as battery life continues to extend, apps that fuel remote device installations will extend and expand as well. The possibilities for value are limited only by the imagination of retailers and their software developers. I am excited to see what the future holds!
  • Posted on: 07/14/2020

    What will retail’s back-to-school season look like this year?

    It's all a mess, to be honest. But I suspect many universities, as well as many urban and suburban school districts, will begin the school year with remote learning. I also suspect that once again "non-essential" retail categories will suffer. Only this time, non-essential refers specifically to apparel and footwear. Technology and furniture categories that optimize remote learning environments will likely soar. I just can't see parents spending a lot of cash on new clothes for Zoom classes, but I can see them investing in optimizing the at-home learning environment. Big boxes and Amazon will likely outperform LY. Others, not so much.
  • Posted on: 07/13/2020

    Starbucks becomes latest retailer to make masks mandatory

    It should be simple: no shirt, no shoes, no mask, no service. Sadly, the federal government, fueled by social media and our hyper-partisan climate, has turned a public health issue into a culture war. I agree with Tom's suggestion that a more unified and consistent approach to mask mandates across states is the key to higher compliance -- and fewer confrontations. Here's hoping many more retailers soon follow the lead of Starbucks, Costco, et al, and we can end this headache for store associates everywhere.
  • Posted on: 07/13/2020

    Will Boomers and Gen X keep shopping online post-pandemic?

    As with most things in retail, older shoppers (a group that I may, in fact, belong to) will go where their experiences take them. If we continue to deliver online experiences that meet their expectations, then stores will have to up their game to deliver experiences that differentiate and add value to what older shoppers are getting online. Otherwise, these "younger" habits are likely to persist with "older" shoppers long after the crisis fades.
  • Posted on: 07/10/2020

    Can a socially distanced event launch a sneakerhead hub?

    These days when it comes to athletic shoes it seems like if you build it, they will come. And as such I suspect the SNIPES store will be popular at first, despite the pandemic. The question will of course be if they can develop unique and highly sought-after assortments to help sustain their popularity, as I don't see a lot in the article to make me think that their store experience will be truly compelling.
  • Posted on: 07/10/2020

    Retailers need way more fulfillment space to keep up with booming online sales

    This space issue is just one more another example of the inefficiencies inherent in e-commerce. Smart retailers will continue to invest in strategies that keep their stores open and relevant to shoppers, even within the constraints of this current crisis. One way to keep stores relevant and minimize the need for additional DC space is to optimize, advertise, and proselytize the important role of the store in the new shopping journey. When the modern store is functioning at its best, it becomes a true brand hub, showcasing truly localized assortments while also providing information, education, entertainment, quick (and safe) fulfillment and returns handling options. However if we fail to convert more people into store shoppers once again, the looming crisis in commercial real estate created by the pandemic-fueled work-from-home movement will provide ample square footage for all those big, inefficient and expensive distribution centers.
  • Posted on: 07/09/2020

    Will doctors prove a cure-all for Walgreens competitive ills?

    I love it when retailers invest in adjacent business categories that make their stores more relevant to consumers. And while I don't believe this will be a cure-all for what ails Walgreens, I do think it is a smart move that will work out well for them and for the people near these stores who will now have more access to primary health care.
  • Posted on: 07/09/2020

    Dunkin’ retreats from gas stations

    Ahhh, the joys and challenges of brand development. Building a brand from scratch is tough enough, requiring difficult choices and decisions, and many times those choices affect potential revenue. When evolving or reinventing a brand, sometimes those strategic branding decisions impact paying customers and come with actual revenues attached. Even when "only" 0.5 percent of revenues (almost $7 million dollars at Dunkin') are impacted, these decisions are both difficult and risky. The good news, however, is that I do believe this is a wise branding decision and in keeping with their new objectives for the brand. I applaud them for having the courage and intestinal fortitude to proceed down this road.
  • Posted on: 07/08/2020

    What roles will store displays play in retail’s new normal?

    In the near-term, I suspect we will see a varied approach to displays. Certainly retailers in all categories need to find ways to increase impulse spending. Safety concerns, lower store traffic, and curbside fulfillment have all devastated impulse-driven revenues. Retailers will get creative within the confines of current store designs, to be sure. However what we really need is a revolutionary change to store design and visual merchandising that both reflects and adapts to the new normal. I suspect soon I will be wishing Aptos had a planogramming solution to offer!

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