PROFILE

Kenneth Leung

Retail and Customer Experience Expert

Kenneth Leung was the enterprise industry director at Avaya, responsible for vertical industry strategies.

Kenneth previously was with Cisco Systems, with the last position as senior marketing strategy manager for Internet of Everything campaign. His roles at Cisco included development of private sector industries strategy and messaging at Cisco as well as retail industry marketing.

Prior to Cisco, he worked at IBM software group in WebSphere Commerce and Information Management groups with responsibility in marketing management for retail and e-commerce. Before joining IBM, Kenneth was retail industry director for Informix Software where he was responsible for market management and programs.

Kenneth Leung is currently working on his first marketing book and pursuing future opportunities. Learn more at:about.me/kennethleung

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  • Posted on: 10/26/2020

    Where are curbside and BOPIS services falling short?

    I think, besides technology, the other part of BOPIS is the parking lot and people flow. Big format stores like Walmart and Best Buy have their own parking lots and it is easier to reconfigure with dedicated spaces and stack personnel with mobile devices to greet customers upon parking to ensure services and parking compliance. Fast food service drive through would be a great learning for that. For stores that don't have dedicated parking, that becomes an issue for customer service and expectation.
  • Posted on: 10/20/2020

    Albertsons offers a new refrigerated take on store pickup

    Just like any technology, it serves a segment and not a total solution. It isn't a magic bullet and stores have to deal with cleaning for spills and produce dirt buildup. For certain areas, it is a good concept and customer adoption will tell whether it is worthwhile.
  • Posted on: 10/12/2020

    Staples to accept returns from other stores

    Being a returns location and leveraging store footprint that is already committed is fine, I think the key is who Optoro is processing returns for and whether those customers have upsell opportunities for Staples. Given that everyone is working from a home office these days, there may be a better chance that someone coming in for returns may pick up office supplies rather than a new t-shirt. Since there is already a Staples/Optoro business relationship, it isn't a bad extension to try.
  • Posted on: 10/07/2020

    Will a new round of panic buying empty grocery store shelves?

    To a degree, I think that because consumers are stuck at home and they are looking for something to do, shopping for staples seem to become a standing reason to go out. Yes, people are eating in more and consuming more staples, but the empty shelves is also caused by people overstocking at home on long shelf life items like paper towels. I am seeing it in local targets on specific brands, but there are others available in the same category. Limits now are probably not a bad idea to smooth out the supply chain before the holiday season.
  • Posted on: 10/05/2020

    Are employees or execs holding back data-driven cultures?

    The key is trust in the data. I think the newer generation is more accepting to being data driven after seeing the success of analytics and also raised on metrics starting with personal social media (likes, followers, etc) to online shopping/advertising which are obviously data driven. Some execs have the "managing the message" approach to running the business and probably have less trust in data, especially when it goes against previous experiences.
  • Posted on: 09/30/2020

    Is the Halloween retail opportunity becoming less scary?

    I think it depends on the kind of candy. Adults recently have been buying more candy for self indulgence and Halloween is more "I will buy extra candy that I want to eat afterwards and give out the stuff I don't like." I think certain categories like candy corn will decline while chocolates will increase.
  • Posted on: 09/29/2020

    Are Amazon Prime delivery shoppers disrupting Whole Foods’ stores?

    I have noticed in any supermarket I visit there are increased number of Pick and Pack shoppers. I think it is a general phenomena and not just whole foods and Amazon Prime delivery shoppers. Given the number of increased orders and the size of some of the Whole food stores, it is certainly most noticeable. In the store near me, they have reduced the shopping hours to 9:00 a.m. to 1 p.m. and after 1 p.m. it is an online fulfillment center only, and they have the checkin desk for pick and pack shoppers in a separate area of the garage.
  • Posted on: 09/28/2020

    Are Amazon’s flying security drones a threat to homeowner privacy?

    It is a personal decision regarding privacy, but I was an adopter of self-driving vacuum cleaners and it seems to always find spaces to get stuck in. A flying drone inside the home is just asking for accidents from my POV, regardless of how good the avoidance technology is. If you have cameras in the entry points, do you really need a mobile drone in an empty house? If you are running the drone with people in the house, I am envisioning all sorts of unintended personal consequences.
  • Posted on: 09/24/2020

    Will homes of the future include ‘Amazon Rooms’?

    I don't see people remodeling houses to add delivery rooms. In some areas there are already mud rooms which can be for the purpose. I think given the increased volume in delivery and package sizes, the mail slot/post box concept could use a reinvention into a package slot/package locker attached to the dwelling. That makes more sense than putting an package room into a house.
  • Posted on: 09/22/2020

    Will Walmart’s new private clothing line have ‘staying power’?

    It makes sense as Walmart evolves to compete against Amazon and Target. Personally I do have a concern about $5 to $45 "high quality pieces" because we are trying to move away from fast fashion/ the "wear a few times and discard" mentality for sustainability reasons and we are seeing, because of COVID-19, the issues of supply chain upstream in terms of the low cost labor needed for such apparel. From a business perspective for Walmart it makes sense.
  • Posted on: 09/21/2020

    Will 2020 be the year the holiday selling season changed forever?

    Forever is a long time. I think that for the next two holiday seasons, as people emphasize online and delivery and minimize personal interactions, this will be an online Christmas. I suspect once people feel comfortable with proximity, they will head out in droves because majority of people are social creatures (at least I hope so) to shop and dine and meet up. There will be a vocal group that will say "I didn't leave the house during COVID and I will never leave again" but I suspect a large group will realize they want to get out of the house now that they were stuck in for a year.
  • Posted on: 09/16/2020

    Will Amazon’s new online store disrupt the luxury fashion and beauty business?

    I think Amazon is testing how well its customers would buy first-run exclusive luxury items off the runway, like Moda Operandi does. Really, the question is whether the luxury brands would be willing to work with Amazon. Given COVID, you can't really do luxury shopping experiences in person and be pampered, so it comes down to the trust of the luxury brand. Amazon is basically saying "you trust the luxury brand, we are the middleman to deliver an authentic item to you exclusively." The customer gets the Oscar De La Renta, Amazon delivery will not be mentioned, so customer is happy, brand is happy, Amazon gets a piece of the business. Is it mass disruption of luxury? I don't think so. Is it a viable business and testing ground for Amazon? Yes.
  • Posted on: 09/09/2020

    Is it okay for retailers to ease up on cleaning their stores?

    Perception wise, stores need to maintain cleanness in high traffic and high touch areas where people interact. Whether it is COVID or flu/cold, I think visible cleanness is going to be a priority in the short term.
  • Posted on: 08/10/2020

    Will Amazon install distribution hubs in malls across America?

    This solves the short-term problem of generating rent for the mall owner without heavy remodeling, however, it doesn't solve of the problem of driving traffic to the mall and the other tenants within it. Part of the reason you open in a mall is the traffic driven by the anchor stores. Without the anchor stores, it decreases overall flow and doesn't contribute to the success of the mall.
  • Posted on: 08/05/2020

    Will shortages shortchange soft goods recovery?

    I think it will be spotty because some categories have a glut in inventory, like workwear, while leisure and workout wear (whether people are really working out in it is a different question) probably moved online and stores like Target and Walmart were open the entire time. Some categories have faced a restock issue given factory closures (in this case Crocs is also being cautious, I am sure, even as more people bought Crocs for wearing at home) but others face a glut of out-of-season inventory.

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