Kathy Kimple

Chief Retail Officer, FitForCommerce

Kathy Kimple is the Chief Retail Officer at FitForCommerce, where she leverages her 25+ years of leadership in digital and store operations for multichannel retailers, with a focus on luxury brands.

Kathy began her career at The Children’s Place, where she worked up the ranks to Divisional VP Store Operations. After that, she was at Linens N Things for almost 20 years, ending her time there as Corporate VP of Marketing, Ecommerce and Product Development. She was accountable for the success of all internet merchandising, operations and gift registry programs and initiated and implemented many omnichannel projects. She then went on to become VP of Ecommerce at Dick’s Sporting Goods, where she had complete P+L responsibility for their ecommerce business.

Prior to joining FitForCommerce, Kathy was Executive VP of Ecommerce and Registry at XO Group (including where she had complete responsibility for the ecommerce business (10 sites) and their successful registry business.

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  • Posted on: 05/27/2020

    Are store brands set for a big growth spurt?

    Private label brands that offer quality and value have been gaining ground for some time now, and the pandemic gave them a huge boost. The market share expansion for store brands is likely to continue, especially as essential items remain hard to find and consumers stay in "prepper" mode.
  • Posted on: 05/26/2020

    Should Apple and other stores require shopper temperature checks?

    A retailer's priority is to keep their store associates and customers safe. Towards that end, retailers should look to follow state and CDC guidelines on reopening and managing a safe environment. In the case of temperature checks and customers, implementation is likely to face many challenges. Managing the customers that say no, and training store staff to deal with borderline readings creates additional pressure on store teams. It is also a given that some people may be contagious before presenting a temperature. I would suggest stores work to ensure 100% compliance with existing guidelines on masks, cleanliness and social distancing rather than adding temperature checks for customers.
  • Posted on: 05/26/2020

    Who wins/loses if Amazon pushes Prime Day to September?

    Regardless of when it occurs, Amazon might find Prime Day is less of an "event" this year, unless the discounts go really deep. Have a look at the emails you have been receiving from the retailers and brands you follow: since mid-March, most have been regularly running the kinds of offers you typically see on Prime Day or Cyber Monday.
  • Posted on: 05/20/2020

    Will face masks be a lifeline for apparel retail?

    We have seen many apparel brands large and small add face masks to their product mix, and have seen fashion-forward consumers begin to think about masks as accessories. Masks are likely to be a daily staple for the near future, and I expect to see brands beyond fashion players (e.g., restaurants, airlines) begin to "brand" their masks for differentiation and awareness.
  • Posted on: 05/20/2020

    Wegmans breaks price increase news to its customers

    Even before the pandemic, upscale grocers like Wegmans were battling competition from mass retailers who had begun to carry higher-quality goods at low prices. Now, it is crucial for Wegmans and other upscale grocers to enhance the customer service they are known for, which includes being transparent about how and why their business practices may need to change.
  • Posted on: 05/15/2020

    How can brands support shuttered independent retailers?

    The more brands can do to bolster omnichannel retailing the better, and I agree this is a time when brands and retailers need to find new ways to work together.
  • Posted on: 05/14/2020

    Should grocers keep paying their associates like heroes?

    They are heroes, and yes they should be compensated as such. As the grocery business continues to adapt, companies will need to continue to optimize their compensation structure based on customer and business needs.
  • Posted on: 05/13/2020

    Americans are shopping more impulsively online

    Pandemic-related shopping patterns are giving retailers a great deal of new data to parse. What they learn about impulse buying and other trends should inform their marketing through the holiday season.
  • Posted on: 05/13/2020

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

    I agree that sanitation seems like the best place to begin. I look forward to the results of tests in which robots offer assistance to virtual shoppers.
  • Posted on: 05/11/2020

    What should retailers do about social distancing renegades?

    The rules are the rules. Retailers will need to take care that they are enforced in a fair and uniform manner.
  • Posted on: 05/06/2020

    Auction winner will get to pitch products to Walmart’s CEO

    From a marketing standpoint, the clear winner here is Walmart. (Along with the named charities.) Look at all the media attention this is driving already, and it will continue through when the winner's product hits Kudos to Walmart for being an early adopter.
  • Posted on: 05/05/2020

    Kristin’s farm-to-consumer model fills in food supply gaps at a critical time

    The advice I have is don't bite off more than you can chew. The impression you make with consumers today will be crucial to your business once panic-buying has passed. While speed to market is important, so is getting it right. This is the time to reach out to colleagues and experts in the industry to provide advice about how you can scale your business efficiently and effectively.
  • Posted on: 05/04/2020

    There go the profits. Amazon to spend $4B on coronavirus response.

    Amazon absolutely needs to deal with the worker health and safety issues that have been reported. But this is hardly the first time Amazon has given up profits to try to recruit every consumer out there. Amazon's actions should light an even bigger fire under Walmart, Target, grocers who are expanding beyond groceries and every other merchant who hopes to become more essential to consumers.
  • Posted on: 05/04/2020

    Will Walmart’s customers pay $10 more to get deliveries in two hours?

    Walmart is one of several merchants who are introducing or expanding same-day delivery to better compete with Amazon and Prime, with similar annual fees. Many are offering free 30-day trials, and while I see consumers taking advantage of these offers, whether they are willing to pay the annual fee is going to depend on how well the services perform during this tryout period, and whether shopping for groceries remains a hassle into the summer and fall.
  • Posted on: 04/30/2020

    More Americans put frozen pizza and Oreos on their shopping lists

    Some of the current shifts in behavior -- to frozen food consumption, cooking at home -- are likely to stick when the virus recedes. Smart merchants are figuring out now how to take advantage of these and other trends, including changing their product assortments and delivery methods.
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