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: 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.
  • Posted on: 12/14/2020

    Is retail ready to distribute the COVID- 19 vaccine?

    I'm encouraged that the delivery isn't by general "retail." Vaccines will be delivered by leading pharmacies (CVS + Walgreens), which also have experience in delivering flu shots and other care. Bumps along the way in logistics and scheduling? Sure. But we will all get through this. I'm actually less concerned with the theft/crime element given the cold storage requirements and the blockchain delivery. That should make it difficult to swipe, and even more challenging to peddle on a secondary market.
  • Posted on: 12/08/2020

    Is IKEA making a dumb mistake ending its catalog?

    Digital natives no longer desire a paper book to shop. They want experiences. Interestingly, IKEA was one of the early pioneers of "shoppable media." They took television ads and converted them to interactive and "living" catalogs. They did this too with static images. One of them was a promotion to sell furnishings from popular TV culture - the living room set from Friends, or Stranger Things. I covered part of that campaign here.
  • Posted on: 12/04/2020

    Can retailers get Americans to trust in-store clinics?

    I'm not sure where UPShow stands in this space (I looked them up, and they are a digital signage company?) - but there is a considerable amount of research and market movement that shows why leading retailers are moving aggressively into health care -- including Walmart, CVS, Walgreens, and even Amazon.
    • 48 percent of retail pharmacy customers have used a pharmacy health service (up 5 percent) - JD Power;
  • There will be an estimated shortfall of 139,000 physicians by 2033 (AAMC).
This creates significant opportunity. And a "clinic" is not necessarily limited to the physical footprint. The front door to health care is also through virtual consult or through a partner ecosystem. Or ambient - through the use of IoT telemetry from medical to consumer devices. These will promote healthy lifestyles, adherence, and reduce visits for acute care. This is the aspiration of retail + health of the future. It goes way beyond the "minute clinic."
  • Posted on: 12/02/2020

    Will ending minimum purchases turn Walmart+ into a serious Amazon Prime rival?

    It's a good first step - customers demand this feature, so it will help Walmart remain competitive. The next step? An incentive to either fill the basket with more goods, or an offer to wait for slower delivery (Amazon offers a digital coupon if you opt out of next-day delivery and choose to wait a few days). Both of these are good strategies to increase customer loyalty and, more importantly, lower the delivery costs to retailers.
  • Posted on: 11/13/2020

    Do affiliate links undermine the marketing value of holiday gift guides?

    Affiliate links, paid content, and free or low-fee products in exchange for reviews all fall into the same bucket: As long as there is disclosure, then it's not unethical. Without disclosure -- yes, very seedy. Brands should enforce compliance and transparency in order to foster trust.
  • Posted on: 11/10/2020

    Will Ulta shops turn Target into a beauty destination?

    This looks like a good strategy to cross-pollinate traffic and improve sales with brand recognition. As customers become more comfortable shopping in-store, I think some recent behaviors will stick. Like reducing the number of overall stops on a shopping trip, leading to more intentional store browsing. Traipsing across town to five different stores on a weekend shopping run may be a thing of the past. So the shop-in-a-shop (or dare I say "department store"), may be the solution. Stores like Target can then cater to multiple category needs (grocery, home goods, cosmetics) all in one basket.
  • Posted on: 11/09/2020

    What will President Joe Biden mean for retail?

    I am hopeful that science-backed policies will lead to a healthy and prosperous economic return.
  • Posted on: 11/09/2020

    Should Trader Joe’s have gone public with COVID-19 rates?

    Transparency is welcomed by the shopping public. This step appears to have been done with careful thought and concern, rather than a humblebrag.
  • Posted on: 11/06/2020

    Can virtual working move beyond clumsy Zoom calls?

    The hurdle for critical masses is both cost of hardware and the number/quality of applications. AR/MR has some very exciting use cases. Taking the place of the Zoom meeting? Not just yet. I see this evolving as more of a step change approach. We may not need fully immersive experiences for all remote work. Instead, we could possibly start with smaller (and less costly) hardware add-ons (like something that clips to my glasses) to provide "heads up" style notifications (new message, someone trying to ping me) - rather than 2D on-screen toast pop-ups.
  • Posted on: 11/05/2020

    Did Gap just learn that no good tweet goes unpunished?

    So a tweet with a message of unification, and nothing to sell - i.e. no profiteering arbitrage to any side -- was met with a negative response? And subsequently pulled? smh.
  • Posted on: 10/19/2020

    Should local book stores be taking on Amazon?

    "Local book store" sounds an awful lot like "Blockbuster Video." With the move to digital media, rather than print or paper, I'm not sure that Amazon is their greatest threat. The model has been disrupted, customer expectations have changed. The way we consume printed information has changed. It's time to adapt.
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