David Naumann

Retail Industry Analyst

David has more than 20 years of experience marketing to retail and hospitality companies. His broad marketing experience is focused on designing and executing successful strategic marketing plans, demand generation, public relations and branding through customer-centric messaging. He has significant experience marketing retail technology and services at Retek (acquired by Oracle), Fujitsu, ParTech, BRP Consulting and enVista.

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David has more than 20 years of experience in marketing leadership roles at retail technology companies including: enVista, BRP Consulting, ParTech, Fujitsu and Retek.
  • Posted on: 08/06/2020

    Is it time for Walmart to drop its COVID-19 return policy?

    Since Target and Kohl's are allowing customers to return apparel items, I think Walmart should too. Consumers are accustomed to friendly return policies and often choose to shop at stores that have convenient returns. Walmart has done a good job of managing masks and social distancing for purchases and they can develop a safe way to handle in-store returns.
  • Posted on: 08/05/2020

    Can influencers make stores feel safer?

    For the segment of consumers that follow social media influencers, using influencers to show how safe in-store shopping is seems like a smart strategy. Consumers that respect the opinions of celebrities and see that they feel stores are safe enough for them is an emotional endorsement. The brands that embark on using social media influencers for this purpose need strict enforcement of masks and social distancing among staff and shoppers in all their stores or else their efforts could backfire.
  • Posted on: 08/04/2020

    Is now a good time to launch a retail startup?

    While it is true that there are some pros to starting a new retail startup during the pandemic, the cons are much more concerning. As discussed, there are some advantages to starting a new retail concept today, as rent is easier to find at bargain rates and talent is more available, but with so many people on unemployment or still working at reduced wages as a result of the pandemic, discretionary spending is low and many people are avoiding physical stores. That said, if you have a new product that has high demand, especially during the pandemic, and it is conducive to selling online, it is a great time to start a new retail concept online.
  • Posted on: 08/03/2020

    Is the future of malls outside?

    Open-air pop-up stores are not a realistic alternative to enclosed malls, as there are big pitfalls. Pop-up stores can only offer a fraction of the merchandise of full-size stores and the weather in much of the country is not conducive to outdoor shopping for several months of the year. Malls are in a difficult situation that has been exacerbated by the pandemic. During the pandemic we will see some malls mandate and offer masks, enforce social distancing, check temperatures of shoppers before they enter the store, limit the number of shoppers in the mall or in specific stores, and install hand sanitation and mask stands throughout the mall. The best bet for malls is to make the environment as safe as possible for shoppers and employees, but it may not be enough.
  • Posted on: 07/31/2020

    Nov. 2021: How should retail plan for a return to normal?

    We many never fully return to the "normal" of pre-pandemic shopping. While wearing masks and gloves will be a thing of the past post-pandemic, some things may change forever. Retailers and shoppers may adopt the following habits for the long-term: contactless payments, hand sanitizers at entrances/exits, plexiglass at cashier stands, and digital menus at restaurants. Some of these changes are welcomed by all.
  • Posted on: 07/31/2020

    Pandemic ‘fast-forwarded everything’ for nation’s largest cannabis retailer

    Enabling debit card purchases, curbside pickup and delivery are big steps in making cannabis retailers seem more like traditional retailers. I always thought it was an odd law that everyone had to pay in cash at cannabis stores. During the past five years, many cannabis retailers have raised the bar on professional looking stores that appear more clinical than the "head shop" feel of other stores. There is also a move to much bigger chains as independents are being gobbled up by big investors. This industry was due for a change and the pandemic is accelerating the change.
  • Posted on: 07/30/2020

    Is a drive-through-only store the shape of things to come for Wawa?

    It is all about convenience. Drive-through has been a growing trend in QSR and several coffee chains and independents have built successful business models based on drive-through-only concepts. With drive-through getting a bigger boost from the pandemic, more consumers have made drive-through a habit. The drive-through-only concept can work for Wawa, but the key will be to make it more convenient than walking into a convenience store. With mobile preorder and prepay capabilities and efficient picking processes, this could be very successful. Having at least two drive-up lanes would also improve service times.
  • Posted on: 07/29/2020

    How can retailers differentiate curbside delivery?

    Retailers should consider some of the creative ways that subscription services have delighted customers. For example, adding a free small gift of a trial-sized sample of a product that complements the products the consumer purchased. Offering special coupons or discounts off their next purchase are also great ways to surprise and delight curbside pickup customers.
  • Posted on: 07/28/2020

    Neiman Marcus launches digital hub to bring the in-store experience online

    Long before the pandemic many retailers, including Neiman Marcus, realized the need to combine the benefits of both the physical and digital shopping journeys into a cohesive omnichannel experience. The feature allowing customers to shop online with assistance is the most innovative of these services and is the biggest differentiator, especially for those customers that don't live near a Neiman Marcus store or are not comfortable entering a store or mall during the pandemic. NM Connect has already benefited Neiman Marcus and its customers and we will see more companies adopting these physical/digital services.
  • Posted on: 07/23/2020

    Is there a path to profitable grocery delivery?

    Eliminating data silos and aligning processes will help improve efficiencies and profitability, but it will require more changes. The two biggest cost components are the labor to pick items and the cost to deliver. While these costs can be optimized, they will still be an added cost that someone has to pay for. Consumers can't expect free delivery. Grocers must find the right pricing model that makes grocery delivery profitable in the long term.
  • Posted on: 07/22/2020

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

    It is noble that some of the big retailers are taking the plastic bag issue seriously. The Consortium to Reinvent the Retail Bag's three-year Beyond the Bag will hopefully come up with some innovative options to replace the traditional plastic bag. I wish there was a simple solution, like requiring all consumers to bring your own bag (BYOB). Other national and regional chains should probably help fund it and maybe all retailers could invest a small percentage of their annual sales.
  • Posted on: 07/21/2020

    Will wholesaling change L.L.Bean for the better?

    With less than 60 L.L.Bean branded stores in the U.S, (primarily in the East), offering its merchandise in other retail branded stores is a great way to drive incremental sales. Staples and Nordstrom are good choices, but I think L.L.Bean should expand to another sporting goods store beyond Scheels' 28 stores (primarily in the Midwest).
  • Posted on: 07/20/2020

    Will the return of sports bring a bonanza for retail?

    It will take creative approaches to boost the sales of team sporting merchandise. The MLB season is shorter with probably no fans. It is still questionable if the NFL will actually complete the season or if they will have any fans in the stadiums. Viewing at home, and potentially at bars that allow it, will definitely decrease the interest in all professional sports games. Social distancing rules may also limit the degree of home tailgating. With many people still unemployed or spending more cautiously due to the uncertainty of the economy, I don't see this as a good sign for retailers and brands of sports merchandise.
  • Posted on: 07/17/2020

    Should workers accept pay cuts in exchange for working remotely?

    Great point David and Peter! Employers can now significantly reduce their office space expense and since they are saving a ton of money, they should have more funds to cover salaries - not less.
  • Posted on: 07/17/2020

    Is retail’s contactless future here now?

    The pandemic has changed many customer behaviors and the increase in contactless payments is one of many examples. Just as the pandemic boosted online grocery and curbside pickup, we are seeing more consumers opt for anything that is contactless or limits their exposure to sales associates. Another good example is the increased use of mobile apps in restaurants for viewing menus, ordering and paying. I recently dined at a restaurant where the server held a plastic-coated menu with a QR code for me to scan to view the menu as an alternative to having guests touch menus. When our meal was done the server brought the receipt which also had a QR code for me to scan and pay for the meal. In addition to providing a contactless experience it also increases the security of payment card information.

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