David Leibowitz

Worldwide Director, Industry Strategy, Microsoft

David has worked in the shoes of retail, having held senior leadership positions or consulting to many well known global fashion and footwear brands. He has incubated new market (product & services) offerings across CPG and enterprise technology and education. He has also launched award winning software in use by retail/CPG, K12 / Hi-Ed and Finance industries.

Currently with Microsoft, David helps organizations globally drive the reinvention of cross-industry experiences.

You can find him writing at:

Postings are solely the opinion of the author and the author reserves the right to be wrong in many cases.

  • Posted on: 02/24/2022

    Will shoppers engage with bitcoin loyalty rewards?

    This appears to capitalize more on the buzzy addition of "Bitcoin" to a marketing play, than it is a substantial loyalty game changer. Here's why - buried in the details of the program is this: "all bitcoin loyalty points may only be redeemed for Landry's Select Club rewards and will not be transferrable outside of the Landry's Select Club." So the Bitcoin can only be used at Landry's restaurants. By any other name, this is essentially still a closed door rewards system. But the key difference is that if it is truly pegged to Bitcoin fluctuations, members may see their balances increase (or decrease) over time.
  • Posted on: 01/14/2022

    Can the metaverse solve retail’s returns challenges?

    Expecting 3-D and augmented reality to solve for the variety of sizes and interpretations by manufacturers would seem to be a monumental and costly challenge. And puts the onus for fit on the consumer. I'd prefer to see a lower tech solution -- a standard for sizing in the industry, with adherence by suppliers. Standard sizing exists for footwear and intimate wear. Though not perfect, it's a lot better than the simple buckets we currently have across S-M-L-XL in apparel.
  • Posted on: 09/27/2021

    Will reducing seasonal hires pose a big risk for Target?

    One of the reasons cited for employee exits has been a lack of predictability when it comes to hours worked and weekly pay. In addition, workers may only be eligible for benefits like health insurance and paid leave after a minimum number of hours. Providing more hours to employees (without overworking them) for predictable pay and so they can achieve full-time status to access benefits may provide the stability needed to retain associates.
  • Posted on: 09/02/2021

    Can 14 and 15-year-olds solve the labor shortage?

    I don't understand how this is "news" or a new topic for debate. Teenagers aren't some new untapped market. I got my working permit (as required in my state) to begin part-time employment after school and on weekends at age 14 eons ago for a national theater chain.
  • Posted on: 08/27/2021

    Are robots taking over Schnucks’ stores?

    I've worked with retailers who piloted robots in-store and primarily the feedback was that the solutions are less than optimal. That's because the data is stale the moment the bot moves on to the next aisle, they can sometimes frustrate shopping customers, and the maintenance of hardware can be a chore. The ROI is challenging when it's a one-trick pony too. That's why some stores opted for bots that can serve multiple purposes, like also cleaning floors, monitoring for spills or other safety hazards, and providing screens for automated customer service like item location or self checkout. That said, most retailers are looking to utilize existing assets and investments with enhancements to existing technology. For example, existing loss prevention cameras may be used to spot voids on the shelf and confirm planogram compliance using custom vision and AI. Those sorts of solutions don't require a lot of new h/w to install or maintain and the near real time updates from an existing fleet of AP/LP cameras already scanning the store can see spills and out-of-stocks instantly. Hazards and shelf issues that a robot would miss as it turns the corner.
  • Posted on: 06/29/2021

    Will a Target-themed Monopoly game be a winner?

    As a holiday gift to their own employees? Sure. Other than that, I'm not so sure.
  • Posted on: 05/26/2021

    Will a web game drive sales for a ‘farm-to-face’ beauty brand?

    This looks like an innovative concept to drive consumer engagement. Brands that focus on integrated marketing are realizing that the consumer website is the destination. To drive awareness and traffic, brands need compelling, interactive and shareable experiences.
  • Posted on: 04/07/2021

    Will shelf scanning robots put an end to out-of-stocks?

    Robots in-store solely for the purpose of inventory detection may not provide the best ROI. Also, they'd never be able to manage inventory in real-time. If the bot is scanning aisle 2, it's not checking aisle 10, so that's hardly an advancement. And they can be intrusive to shoppers. Alternatives are cheaper, multipurpose, and offer lower maintenance. Consider that most retailers have loss prevention cameras already in the ceiling. Those could be used to detect shelf voids too (with the right resolution and cognition). And advances in battery powered electronic shelf labels can also double as stock detectors and planogram compliance. Robots do have a place in retail, however. They can be used for repetitive tasks like order packing and fulfillment in the back room. And why not use small autonomous bots to deliver groceries for pickup in the parking lot?
  • Posted on: 02/24/2021

    Can making deliveries once a week make e-commerce sustainable and more profitable?

    I'm not convinced that the Hugo Boss or Saks shopper is willing to wait a week for delivery, even if it is sans cardboard. Consider also that ShopRunner was providing two-day delivery for many more retailers and, according to them, already has millions of customers. And now that FedEx has purchased the company (in December), they have extended their ability to do exactly what Olive hopes to do. By using a vast distribution center network, they can also consolidate e-commerce orders across merchants, speed reverse logistics, and do it all at scale.
  • Posted on: 02/19/2021

    Will 7-Eleven’s beer and wine on tap be a c-store game changer?

    This is a head scratcher. Bellying up for a drink at a convenience store? Kroger has tried to do this recently and I'll say it's really awkward to be shopping for fresh meat directly adjacent to someone at a high top slurping from a growler. Like awkward for both parties.
  • Posted on: 02/12/2021

    Will IKEA’s new furniture line be a winner with video gamers?

    The opportunity seems ripe, but can they at least call it a "School From Home" rig so it's a little easier for me, and other parents, to justify pulling out the credit card?
  • Posted on: 01/20/2021

    Is My Pillow being ‘cancelled’ or is its CEO trashing the business all on his own?

    Who doesn't love a good pillow fight?
  • Posted on: 01/11/2021

    Did Amazon Pantry outlive its usefulness?

    Focus group of one here -- I tried the service and found it confusing since you had to order through another shopping cart interface. It also appeared to cannibalize the narrative of "subscribe and save" which is prevalent on most Amazon product pages.
  • Posted on: 01/11/2021

    Retailers give customers refunds and tell them to keep items

    Target has been quietly doing this since last April. I suspect many other retailers have as well, prior to this being "news." Why? To help train the algorithms and reduce fraud in the system with disingenuous purchases/returns. Once this is out in the ether as a "policy," it could be gamed.
  • Posted on: 12/16/2020

    Are retailers facing a no-win decision in mandating vaccines for workers?

    Encourage? Yes. Mandatory? Not likely. That's not how it works in the U.S. Though vaccinations may be required in healthcare settings, some states mandate that hospital workers get certain vaccinations. Outside of that, proof of vaccination (measles, etc.) for other diseases is typically only for school registrations. I'm no attorney, but I'm pretty sure that's a non-starter as a private industry requirement.

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