Kathleen Fischer

Director of Retail Marketing, enVista

Kathleen has more than 20 years of experience in marketing and consulting within the retail industry. Her broad marketing experience is focused on designing and executing successful strategic marketing plans, demand generation, public relations and branding through thought leadership. She has significant experience developing and publishing industry-leading benchmarking surveys over the last 20 years for LakeWest Group, Boston Retail Partners and now enVista.

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  • Posted on: 06/02/2020

    Nordstrom crushes inventory optimization

    Nordstrom was able to pivot in the face of business disruption. Agility within its sales and distribution channels allowed it to shift its focus and mitigate losses - other retailers could learn a few things from Nordstrom's moves.
  • Posted on: 06/01/2020

    Is the REI/West Elm collaboration a win-win?

    West Elm and REI have complementary products, customers, and messaging plus the two brands do not directly compete with each other, so a collaboration makes sense. In today's environment retailers need to look for - and be open to - different sales models to survive and thrive.
  • Posted on: 05/27/2020

    Is Walmart about to become the king of online resale retailing?

    What an interesting idea and a smart way for Walmart to attract a different clientele to their website. Thrift shopping has grown tremendously over the past few years and, with the events of the past few months changing the way many consumers look at purchasing, is likely to become more mainstream.
  • Posted on: 05/26/2020

    Should Apple and other stores require shopper temperature checks?

    Unfortunately, a person's temperature is not a solid indicator of illness, but, an elevated temperature can help identify someone who is sick and may prevent someone else from being exposed to the virus. Taking customers' and employees' temperatures, ensuring everyone is wearing a mask, and providing hand sanitizer for all are key ways to help stop the spread of this disease. It is not going to be easy to manage and customers will balk at being required to do so or being barred from entering if they have a fever, but we are not in "normal" times and it seems that wearing a mask and allowing an employee to take my temperature (in a safe manner of course) is a small price to pay to allow the economy to get started again safely.
  • Posted on: 05/18/2020

    The new normal will look a lot like the old normal

    The "new normal" going forward will be different. Consumer acceptance and usage of online grocery shopping and delivery has increased significantly and will stay at higher levels. This will require grocers to continue to make changes and update their systems and processes to offer this option more effectively. I do hope that the recognition of workers who have been on the front lines putting their safety - and that of their families - at risk, continues forward as we have found over the last few months that they truly are essential.
  • Posted on: 05/15/2020

    Are Amazon’s at-cost face shields an act of goodwill or predatory behavior?

    Whether their motives are altruistic in nature or purely business - or more likely some combination of both - Amazon is providing protective gear to people who need it at a fair price and that should be recognized and appreciated.
  • Posted on: 05/14/2020

    Does a Neiman Marcus and Saks hookup make sense?

    The market is just not big enough or strong enough right now to support both these luxury retailers, so working together may be their only hope of staying afloat. There will definitely be further consolidation over the next few months as everyone tries to recover from the recent difficulties and decreased demand.
  • Posted on: 05/13/2020

    Where can robots assist in retail’s COVID-19 efforts?

    I agree, now is the time to evaluate the potential of robots. Utilizing robots to clean/sanitize also takes away some of the risks the frontline workers would face from potential infection.
  • Posted on: 05/12/2020

    What has made Walmart a shutdown star?

    Walmart's massive footprint - especially in rural areas - has proven to be invaluable. That footprint paired with an established online grocery service allowed it to fill customer needs and remain essential. A key area for other retailers to learn from is Walmart's ability to adapt and stay agile as customer needs and government requirements have changed rapidly over the past few months.
  • Posted on: 05/11/2020

    Is the coronavirus pandemic sparking a meal kits comeback?

    Meal kits are a great way to get "restaurant quality" meals without the worry of physical interaction plus they offer everything you need for the meal in one box so you can avoid multiple store visits. Meal kit companies need to position themselves as a substitute for restaurant meals and highlight the "cooking together" aspect while maintaining high-quality standards and ingredients.
  • Posted on: 05/08/2020

    Gap plans move into non-apparel categories

    In "normal" times I would be all for it as a means for diversification, especially as apparel is struggling. However, in today's environment, launching a new segment is not ideal. Demand is weak, supply chains are broken, and money is tight. Gap would be best served to try to shore up its current business model before branching into something new.
  • Posted on: 05/01/2020

    Has COVID-19 made the ‘shop local’ message more real for consumers?

    COVID-19 has shown a spotlight on local businesses as they are feeling some of the biggest impacts. Their struggles directly affect the community in which they live and work so they should emphasize their importance within the community. Local business owners are your neighbors and friends and your kids' sports team's sponsors! Shopping local has been a growing trend over the last few years, the current situation has just increased the trend's growth and importance.
  • Posted on: 04/30/2020

    Will working remotely change how we communicate?

    Having worked remotely for more than 10 years I find that it is often easier to focus and hammer out big projects without office noise in the background, however, it is nice to have face-to-face interaction sometimes to foster that team feeling. With current technology (such as Zoom) it beomes easier to work remotely and still feel connected.
  • Posted on: 04/16/2020

    Is virtual selling set to take off?

    Now is the time to try new virtual selling techniques as we face limitations on physical personal interaction. While it won't replace traditional in-store services it is a way to move forward in a safer manner which is critical to all involved.
  • Posted on: 04/15/2020

    Is remote working here for good?

    COVID-19 has rapidly increased the adoption rate of remote working and demonstrated that it can work. Not in all cases, definitely - but it does offer advantages to organizations and individual workers in cost savings and increased productivity. The environment resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic will not go away quickly, we will be dealing with this for at least the next year or two as we work towards a vaccine, so the shift to remote working will continue for many organizations. This allows them to continue to operate while helping to keep their employees safe.

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