Elizabeth Meaney

PARIS RETAIL WEEK will take place September 19-21, 2017 at Paris Expo Porte de Versailles. We are looking for experts and journalists to contribute to our English-language retail blog.
  • Posted on: 07/20/2018

    Seven ways Gen Z is different that don’t include tech

    I'd love to hear more thoughts on how retailers should change for a more diverse generation, and which retailers are doing it right. My first thought was advertising -- brands like Aerie who target young people and have inclusive ads and diverse models -- but it would be great to get more thoughts about how product offerings and retail models should take this aspect of Gen Z into account.
  • Posted on: 06/05/2018

    Are podcasts the next big ad opportunity for brands?

    Podcasts are not only popular but "intimate" -- many people fall asleep to podcasts every night. Recently a friend and I discussed how emotional we got when married podcasters we'd been listening to for years announced their divorce! Intimacy with listeners can be valuable, as podcasters can add authenticity and get consumers to trust and try a new brand (as many podcast ads seem to be for younger companies), or could potentially turn listeners off if the podcaster becomes popular and starts hawking every product that pays them.
  • Posted on: 04/06/2018

    Should retailers lower expectations around last-mile delivery?

    Good point about the washer/dryer, Paula -- it seems fair for customers to have high expectations of quality delivery and complete service (installation, etc.) for large-ticket (and physically large) items they're investing in.
  • Posted on: 03/06/2018

    Walmart debuts prepared meals and meal kits

    Good point about the target consumer, Dr. George -- I was just going to ask if anyone has insight or could link to an article about the demographics of that "small percentage of Americans" who try/use meal kits? My first assumption would be urban and high-income smaller households, but perhaps not?
  • Posted on: 02/26/2018

    Amazon’s apparel moves are wearing on Target

    Some questions for you experts ... it seems like I hear the most about Target with those aforementioned low-price designer collaborations. Is that because those are big moneymakers, or are those Lily Pulitzer-type collabs mostly about buzz while the real profits come from Target's in-house labels? Does Amazon do any similar low-price designer collaborations? Also, there must still be a significant demographic who would shop at Target but not Amazon, correct? Or am I rare to have older relatives who do not trust online shopping?
  • Posted on: 02/26/2018

    Amazon’s apparel moves are wearing on Target

    Definitely agree that many Target clothes are purchase "on a whim," especially from that sales rack, and especially when you are strolling by with your cart on a mission to buy something eminently more practical! I wonder how many Amazon purchases are spontaneous due to that row of recommended items that comes up on the site as you shop ... seems like those Amazon recommendations would be less random compared to going to Target for batteries and buying a swimsuit.
  • Posted on: 11/20/2017

    Retailers get into Friendsgiving with Millennials

    With the political landscape as divisive as it is, no wonder people are looking for a more relaxed alternative to dinner with the extended family! The recent Wall Street Journal piece about retailers offering more practical workshops and classes to lure in the oh-so-desirable 26-year-old demographic makes me wonder: is there a way to make Friendsgiving a learning experience? A cooking class to learn to cook your first turkey? (Daunting to me as a Millennial). Beer tasting or drink-mixing classes to pair the right craft beer or cranberry cocktail with your bird? Seems like you could offer an Instagramable meal kit OR a gathering space for the friend group (complicated in expensive cities with small apartments).
  • Posted on: 08/08/2017

    Why is big food turning to pop-up stores to tell brand stories?

    Totally agree! And not just "new," but temporary ("don't miss out!"). I do think people miss that social and collective experience of, for example, watching TV live (instead of streaming on-demand whenever you want) and discussing. A one-time shared experience brings people together and generates good feelings around the brand.
  • Posted on: 04/21/2017

    Are Millennials and Gen Z more about convenience or price when they shop?

    It's surprising to me how badly many American ecommerce sites still function on phones, especially when you read about the percentages of sales via mcommerce in countries like China. I am personally reluctant to shop via app, although I do download apps temporarily (for example, from CVS) when they offer a coupon code via app-only and I already have a certain product picked out. Any thoughts on when mobile functionality will step up?
  • Posted on: 03/28/2017

    Is ‘experiential retail’ taking a new form?

    I think brick-and-mortar stores do need to move in this direction, considering all the studies showing that Millennials value experiences more than material goods as compared to past generations. Perhaps because experiences such as travel can be shared via social media and become a status symbol in that way? Stores need to evolve into informative, entertaining social centers where we climb an indoor rock wall (AND buy climbing gear), take language classes (AND buy luggage/travel gadgets), learn to cook new cuisines and taste wines and coffees (AND buy groceries). I'm not sure how effective a hotel will ultimately be in selling a furniture style/lifestyle, although the Restoration Hardware restaurant in Chicago is gorgeous and fun to explore! (I've still never bought anything from them a year later, however....)
  • Posted on: 03/07/2017

    Are chains cannibalizing their own in-store sales with e-commerce?

    It was a bit unclear to me in this article: if customer A buys the same product in-store as customer B buys online, does the store profit more from the in-store purchase? And if so, why? Is it shipping and handling costs? Or the loss of opportunity for an upsell or additional impulse purchase which is (I'm assuming) more likely in-store? Would love thoughts on this.
  • Posted on: 02/01/2017

    How will online shopping transform the grocery business?

    Agreed! While there is a trend towards delivery and online shopping replacing mundane errands, grocery-shopping is a pleasure for many people. Do you think there will be some pushback from stores like Trader Joe's or Whole Foods making shopping even more of an experience (with coffee/wine tastings, cooking classes, etc)? Or will consumers combine the two -- delivery for boring standard necessities, and that saved time spent enjoying the experience of a farmers' market or shopping for the perfect gourmet cheese?
  • Posted on: 05/19/2016

    Will Amazon be the first to truly nail omnichannel retailing?

    Does anyone have thoughts on fashion? Personally I've been buying more and more clothes from Amazon. Prime and the good return policy make it so easy to order something, try it on, mail it back ... and a brick-and-mortar clothing store would be even easier. Shop online, pick up several items at my local Amazon Department Store, try them on in-store and return them right then and there if I don't like them.
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