Debbie Hauss

Editor-in-Chief, Retail TouchPoints

In her role as Editor-in-Chief, Debbie manages the multi-media components of Retail TouchPoints, including a weekly newsletter with an audience of more than 23,000 retail executives. She has worked as an editorial manager, writer and editor in various industries for more than 25 years. Debbie has served as the Managing Editor for Retail Information Systems News, the Chief Content Editor for, and a Project Manager and Copy Editor for a Lexis Nexis web site called In her spare time she runs marathons.

  • Posted on: 12/05/2017

    Which off-price retailers will withstand the test of time?

    I think retailers operating off-price stores need to take another look at their target demographic and figure out if they need to shift their strategy. It's definitely not the off-price market of the '80s and '90s today. As we talk more and more about how important the "experience" is to new generations of shoppers, the off-price segment could fall behind if it doesn't gear up. The fastest-growing segments of younger shoppers just might not be enamored with the experience of searching through racks of clothing squeezed tightly together in the effort to find one great sweater deal.
  • Posted on: 07/17/2017

    Are $3.00 generics a sound grocery e-tailing model?

    Consumers could react in different ways toward this concept and it may depend on the type of product being sold as well as the static price point. Often shoppers have a more positive brand perception of products that are marketed as luxury or at a higher value, so the $3 across-the-board price may not resonate with some. Shoppers may be more willing to try out more commodity-type products via this offering at first to help determine their view of the brand, then they might veer toward different items. Or because it's such an inexpensive price point, some consumers may be willing to give all the products a try, since it is a low financial risk. It will be interesting to watch the brand develop.
  • Posted on: 07/10/2017

    Will Backstage shops draw customers to Macy’s mall stores?

    I appreciate the fact that Gennette admits Macy's is still in the "learning stages" of off-price retail. I don't think this is going to be the answer for Macy's. A non-mall Macy's store in New Jersey recently converted to Backstage and it was quite a turn-off for me. It was unorganized and messy, and just didn't make sense from a retail merchandising or marketing standpoint. My hope for Macy's is that the company could focus on improving customer service in the traditional stores they still have. I think the off-price concept is more of a sell-out for the brand.
  • Posted on: 01/12/2017

    How will Walgreens benefit from its FedEx drop-off/pickup deal?

    I think it can be a very successful partnership, especially in urban areas where consumers probably don't want packages dropped at their front door. The challenge will be effectively staffing the locations. If consumers have to wait too long for a pickup or don't receive high-quality communications from store or FedEx employees then both brands will lose customer confidence.
  • Posted on: 07/18/2016

    Pokémon Go showcases potential of augmented reality in retail

    I've been fascinated by how quickly this took off, and among a wide variety of age groups. My 28-year-old son said it is nostalgic for his group of friends, since they all played the card game when they were much younger. He also said he literally walked 10 miles in a few days playing the game. So from a fitness standpoint, for those who spend hours and days sitting playing these games, I'm glad to see some healthy activity associated with it. I do think it will drive traffic to stores who sponsor the game, but as we've seen already there are some hazards. Some folks are playing in inappropriate places, such as Arlington National Cemetery; some people have gotten injured by not paying attention to where they going; while others have been lured into unsafe spots. Game organizers must try to mitigate some of the negatives before getting significant buy-in from sponsors who want to put their name on it.
  • Posted on: 07/15/2016

    What is Starbucks baking up with its latest investment?

    I think it's a very niche investment. Quality control certainly will be an issue. And will the smell of baked goods overtake the coffee aromas we're used to when we walk into a Starbucks? As a chain-wide initiative, I think bringing in the ability to offer in-store baked items is valuable. Consumers want high-quality food items, especially at a retailer where they're spending top dollar on their daily caffeine fix.
  • Posted on: 07/13/2016

    Amazon declares victory – Prime Day II concludes

    Sales and new memberships certainly are going to be the key factors determining the success of Prime Day 2016. Also, the panic that was created in the industry among other retailers also is an indicator that Amazon and Prime Day are competitors that need to be reckoned with. As a consumer, I looked at the site a few times yesterday but did not end up making any purchases. Last year I was more motivated to purchase on Prime Day. Does that make me a consumer outlier in this case? Maybe.
  • Posted on: 07/12/2016

    Walmart counters Prime Day with free shipping, no minimum required

    I think Walmart needs to do both -- compete with Amazon on Prime Day and create its own unique events/promotions that will resonate with its most loyal shoppers. But ... I read recently that Prime members may be wealthier than the average citizen. That could mean that Walmart and Prime aren't really targeting the same shoppers, so maybe it's a waste of time, money and effort for Walmart to try to lure non-customers away, especially on this highly-promoted event day.
  • Posted on: 07/11/2016

    Will drop-off points boost online sales?

    Drop-off points will help all parties, including sellers, buyers and shippers. For sellers, it's a great way to have a secure place to ship items without having to open stores. Amazon, for example, has opened up drop-off/pickup points on college campuses -- a brilliant way to continue a relationship with the next generation of consumers. Drop-off points also have been great ways for city dwellers and others to receive packages securely and not have to worry about packages being nabbed from their front porches or outside their apartments.
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