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35+ years retail experience. COO/CIO - Commerce technology and supply chain operations.
  • Posted on: 10/14/2022

    Are pop-ups ready to become a permanent fixture in retail?

    There is no doubt pop-ups are going to be part of the future of retailing. With the advent of new technologies: powerful, inexpensive omnichannel solution providers allowing for the smallest store to participate as a fully-capable retail location for the customer; mobile communications technology to allow a location to be up in running in a matter of minutes with full functionality at the store level; and other technologies to help with staffing issues (self-service, mobile, pickup in-store). No doubt they should be planned for and exploited in today's new retail landscape.
  • Posted on: 10/07/2022

    What’s still lacking in retailer shopping apps?

    In my experience, as we evolve in this journey, retailers need to embrace the revolutionary change in technology, not just follow the tried and true, just faster, cheaper and better. I was in a national fast-food restaurant trying to use their kiosk and stood in front of this beautiful at least 24-inch portrait-oriented touch screen, with a hamburger image the size of my head, and text even I could see from over 5 feet away surrounded by fields of white space. Basically, they took their "responsive UI" and just ported it over to the larger format. Not only was it unappealing, but it also didn't work because much of the salient information was at the bottom of the screen (think the "enter" key) that until I've used it a few times, will be much harder to use than just going up to the associate to place my order. My point in this is: the technology world has changed: networks are much faster, phones, monitors and other devices are light years ahead of browser technology; and people have evolved in their use of technology. Revolutionize the experience, multi-media, UX design, AI, all the new stuff. You make it easier for me to shop. Trust me, I will.
  • Posted on: 02/11/2022

    Walmart inventory bots flopped. Will Sam’s succeed?

    Robotics provide for a more dynamic response to these types of situations, i.e. as stores re-merchandise, change layouts, move floor displays, adjust lighting, respond to environmental situations - robots are much more adept at adjusting dynamically to the new playing field. Fixed mounted scanners or cameras require adjustments and tuning individually for each store no matter how consistent in design, so these solutions will become less effective over time. Robots can take any shape or form, work any hours, and require very little supervision when implemented correctly. Whether it be inventory analysis, planogram adherence, shrink or shortage, etc., robots can adjust through software to changing requirements - remotely managed to require very little on-site support. I would contend here it wasn't a well-thoughtout implementation of robotics that doomed the pilot vs the technology used. You can't just "pave the cow path" when it comes to technology implementations. You need to start over targeting the problems, not the symptoms. Plus, this information could automatically feed planogram-based replenishment models to a fulfillment or distribution center or, in many new cases, the back of the store, where robotics can automate the replenishment process into any form factor (totes, cartons, even pallets) to move product to the front of the store where an associate just needs to put them on the shelf. This is the future of retail. It has to be.
  • Posted on: 12/08/2021

    Will five banners work better than one for Wayfair as it begins to open stores?

    My first answer was that they don't need the five but, as I read further into the detail, it does sound like it makes sense. The overriding consideration is that all Wayfair product is available regardless of store to anyone at anytime, seamlessly. Which sounds like the case. Each brand has a point of view that should be represented in the store experience to give the customer what they expect, all sitting on the Wayfair infrastructure.
  • Posted on: 12/03/2021

    Will Toys ‘R’ Us become an American comeback story?

    What does Toys "R" Us bring to this new toy equation? Toys "R" Us used to be the place to go for selection, breadth of categories, immediate availability and for exclusives which no other toy channel could match. I could walk in (browse) today and have what I (my kids ) wanted today - that was the value of the brand. What is it today? This will be a tough hill to climb.
  • Posted on: 11/23/2021

    Will Macy’s curated marketplace distinguish it from online rivals?

    I agree with the sentiments here regarding Macy's being late to a game that is declining in value. Amazon's experience with marketplaces is arguably worse for the consumer -- shipping times, returns, and customer service, but I understand why Amazon went this way, Walmart, Target, and now Macy's -- saves money per order: no inventory, DC operations, shipping, returns, or cost of obsolescence. All get transferred to the merchants and the customer suffers under the guise of an "Amazon" experience -- sounds like a bad tradeoff to me.
  • Posted on: 11/23/2021

    What’s driving shoppers to Amazon?

    Consumers will change if there are comparable options -- not apparent today. Others are a distant second when it comes to the top 4 reasons to shop Amazon. I'm still waiting for this to get better. Many reasons for this -- we'd be here all day!
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