PROFILE

DeAnn Campbell

Chief Strategy Officer, Hoobil8

DeAnn is a retail strategist and trend explorer with 20+ years in the biz and a zealous belief that healthy retail makes healthy communities. Currently head of strategy and insights at Harbor Retail, DeAnn works to help brands and retailers to build greater profitability by leveraging the interplay between e-Commerce and brick and mortar.

For more information, visit: harborretail.com

My passion for retail began in architecture and shopping center construction, and ultimately to leading Strategy and Insights teams. This career evolution has given me a unique 360 degree perspective on retail from the vantage of both the customer and the seller. With 20+ years of experience working with major brands and retailers across Canada and the U.S., I build marketing, design and operational strategies to grow revenue, improve lifetime customer value and expand profit margins.
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  • Posted on: 02/06/2023

    Should SMBs trust Gap to handle their logistics?

    Yes it’s an exercise in trust to assume a larger company will handle SMB fulfillment with the same care and priorities as their own. But partnership also frees smaller businesses to scale faster and reduce infrastructure costs. As long as performance standards are established that satisfy the SMB so as not to damage their own brand reputation, this is a win-win, and a potentially effective way for Gap to rent out their well established logistics expertise to generate a new recurring revenue stream.
  • Posted on: 02/03/2023

    Ahold Delhaize USA’s Retail Business Services CIO talks IT’s place at the table and the need to work differently

    The role of IT is becoming an instrumental part of today's retail business model because, more than any other function within the company, they have the best understanding of how digital works. E-commerce is blending more deeply with brick and mortar, retail media networks are following customer eyeballs into physical stores, data collection tools like cameras need to integrate with store security systems. Who better to understand and manage these important integrations than IT?
  • Posted on: 02/03/2023

    Will Kohl’s new CEO prove to be a good shepherd or a wolf in sheep’s clothing?

    His biggest challenge will be to not let the urgent drown out the important because he will have a lot to do. Kohl's still has a small window of opportunity to remain relevant, but it will take a lot of work across multiple departments. Their business model and branding are perfect -- for the 1980s -- so bringing their processes into alignment with today's multi-channel shopper will be critical. They have the benefit of some great brand partnerships like Nike and Vera Wang, but these aren't merchandised effectively. Their Sephora shop-in-shop is completely walled off from any Kohl's experience which de-motivates Sephora shoppers from exploring the rest of the store. The discount middle is a dangerous place to be; you only have to look at JC Penney or SteinMart to see that retailers in this zone don't have the same appeal to discount shoppers as stores in the TJX family that offer more of the treasure hunt experience. But they've chosen a CEO who has a solid background to turn Kohl's around.
  • Posted on: 02/01/2023

    Is technology the answer to better customer experiences in grocery stores?

    Self checkout is one of the most impactful automation points in the store, but it’s currently being misused by retailers as a way to reduce staff instead of improving the customer experience. The ideal checkout would leverage technology, not to shift more tasks onto the customer, but to enable proactive collaboration between staff and customer. Since the checkout is the last interaction a shopper has with the store, it needs to instill a positive memory, otherwise the shopper will be more inclined to try a competitor next time. People and technology are two parts that form one great customer experience.
  • Posted on: 01/30/2023

    How much say should retailers have over an associate’s appearance?

    While I can get behind asking employees to adhere to a dress code, I can’t get behind forcing them to smile, or hiring based on having a specific physical appearance. Employees who are well trained and feel valued will know how to make a customer feel welcome. And I’ve seen countless sales made because a shopper could relate to a staffer with similar physical traits like wearing braces, or having an arm in a cast, or a birthmark on their face. Shoppers who come to stores want a human experience, and that includes being served competently, not prettily. While a genuine smile is always appreciated, a forced one can have the opposite effect.
  • Posted on: 01/27/2023

    Is it time for retailers to radically rethink their business models?

    Technology innovation and societal norms have reached the point of change at which existing systems and processes are no longer able to produce results that work. In addition, the speed of change and risk of unforeseen events is at a higher level than we've experienced in centuries and current business models weren't built to evolve. The retail industry will need to break down their existing business models and rebuild around a new, headless, fundamentally flexible model that places equal value on employee and customer experience and fuses together all online and offline channels. The next five years are going to be really interesting!
  • Posted on: 01/25/2023

    Will consumer anger drive down inflation?

    It won't be consumer anger as much as it will be reduction of spending that will eventually force price reductions. Consumers are already rethinking purchases, buying less, switching to cheaper or store branded products. Protracted worries about inflation, recession and employment will only increase pressure on pricing as this year unfolds.
  • Posted on: 01/25/2023

    Should Dollar General sweat its former CEO taking over at Dollar Tree?

    There is still plenty of room for healthy competition in the discount sector. Dollar General has gained a significant lead with store count and expansion into alternative formats like Popshelf and DGX so they have no need to fear losing talent to the competition. This is an ideal time for Dollar Tree to bring in a new CEO with solid experience at the intersection of grocery and discount. The consumer has clearly shown their willingness to shop groceries in a discount store, all Dollar Tree has been missing is leadership willing to invest resources into attracting this important grocery consumer to their stores.
  • Posted on: 01/23/2023

    Does retail need a data-based rebuild?

    Data has become the heart and soul of retail driving everything from the quality of the customer's experience to the size of the retailer's profit margins. As funding becomes harder to obtain and shareholders demand results in shorter and shorter time frames, data is becoming essential to optimizing all aspects of business. Having access to cross departmental data will help brands and retailers make the right investments in people and technology with confidence that the money spent will fuel successful outcomes.
  • Posted on: 01/16/2023

    Is Saks Off Fifth better off online?

    It's a grave mistake for any retailer to think of themselves as "only online" or even "only stores." In today's retail it takes both sides to make a whole. Saks is doing their customers a disservice in failing to offer physical touch points, especially considering they are positioning to serve a higher end customer. This strategy, combined with their newer focus on second-hand goods, will do more to push their target shoppers toward Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus, as well as significantly undermine their profit margins for any online business they manage to retain.
  • Posted on: 01/13/2023

    Is nepotism all that bad for retail?

    Too often a business becomes successful because of the drive and dedication of its founder, but the sacrifices that founder made don’t translate into equal drive for their children — even less so for grandchildren.
  • Posted on: 01/13/2023

    Will advertisers benefit as Lowe’s brings its retail media sales and ops under one roof?

    Eliminating silos to converge decision making and manage results across all stakeholders is not just the best way, it's the only way to run a successful retail media network. Because the industry is so new, many retailers aren’t clear where to place ownership. Some companies assign digital media to marketing, others to IT, with little cross departmental collaboration. Lowe's, Target (Roundel) and Walmart are among the first to recognize the importance of a cross-functional dedicated team to manage the resulting outputs like data, customer experience or ad revenue.
  • Posted on: 01/05/2023

    Will others follow Shopify’s lead and cancel recurring meetings?

    If we remember that it isn't just the time spent in the meeting, it's the time, concentration and productivity lost before and after the meeting, then we can see the true impact that meetings can have on effective work. An average one hour meeting usually means significantly reduced productivity for a total of three hours. Two needless meetings can blow an entire day of real work.
  • Posted on: 01/05/2023

    Can enhanced self-checkout stop shrink?

    Technology can help with shrink but, at the end of the day, human oversight is still the most effective deterrent to shoplifting. Costco's receipt checkers at store exits and live cameras that indicate real time monitoring will deter more people from stealing at self-checkouts than more complex solutions.
  • Posted on: 12/30/2022

    Unionization efforts may shift gears in 2023

    Great points, Rick! When we know better, we do better.

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