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

  • Posted on: 05/26/2020

    Should Apple and other stores require shopper temperature checks?

    I think it is necessary just because you want the customers in the store to be comfortable of the risk levels. It isn't foolproof, but it is a way to manage the people flowing in and out of the store and potentially can help with contact tracing if someone is diagnosed later. Nothing is perfect, but we don't have a perfect solution.
  • Posted on: 05/18/2020

    Would an Uber/Grubhub merger be good for restaurant meal delivery?

    I just don't know if food delivery as a standalone business model. Unlike which can scale with warehouses and efficient distribution (down to owning the trucks and planes), by nature, food delivery services rely on the delivery contractors and more deliveries do not increase the efficiencies. Also, as we learnt through the COVID-19 crisis, restaurants are low margin that are financially susceptible to downturn and consumers, once pinched with job loss, will decrease food deliveries.
  • Posted on: 05/15/2020

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

    Here is the thing, face shields and masks I think will become near essential items in the U.S. going forward for the next year just like in Asia where it is normal for face coverings to be used in mass transit and crowded situations. It is important to get access and drive the costs down to gain maximum usage. Whether it is Amazon or another manufacturer we need the items. In the case of frontline workers they need it more because they have to change them out so often. Good for Amazon or any vendor capable of creating supply at a low cost.
  • Posted on: 05/11/2020

    What should retailers do about social distancing renegades?

    I think it has to be treated in the same way as shop lifting. You simply can't expect regular store employees to enforce the rules other than a mention. Store security needs to be involved and manpower resource needed for crowd management as well as rule enforcement.
  • Posted on: 04/30/2020

    More Americans put frozen pizza and Oreos on their shopping lists

    I think frozen pizza and Oreos are the go-to for working families who now have children at home. You can't sit down and prepare proper lunches and dinners when both are on conference calls and doing home schooling, and children will live (not well) on pizza and Oreos if you let them.
  • Posted on: 04/30/2020

    What will retail look like if half of department stores close?

    Traditional indoor malls have to be redesigned around food courts and restaurants and in person entertainment to drive traffic to the other tenants, rather than department store anchor stores. Open air street malls (like Santana Row in San Jose) don't have department stores as anchor stores to start with.
  • Posted on: 04/23/2020

    Getting back to business takes on a whole new meaning in the wake of COVID-19

    Pretty much none of the historical data and inventory forecasting software will be able to handle this year when stores reopen. Supply chain and consumer behavior is significantly changed. When luxury stores reopened in China there was a rush of binge shopping which is unusual. I think all retailers can do is be authentic, and ask customers to be considerate when they reopen the stores in terms of inventory availability and store hours.
  • Posted on: 04/19/2020

    Some customers play bait and zero tip tricks on Instacart shoppers

    A rating system for customers is part of the solution. I think part of the challenge is that consumer expectation is too high right now for the price charged. Is personal shopper service now supposed to have an "essential service" level of reach and availability? I personally don't use them right now because there are elderly and immune-deficient audiences who absolutely need this. The personal shopper is at a much higher risk of getting sick given they have to spend so much time in the store and managing substitutions for basically minimum wage per hour.
  • Posted on: 04/14/2020

    Amazon puts new online grocery customers on hold, reconfigures Whole Foods

    No retailer could have planned for or seamlessly adjust for a COVID-19 level of change in consumer behavior. Very few companies can afford pandemic fall-back plans. Amazon is doing what it needs to do to satisfy demand because consumers can't/don't want to leave their house, and it is doing it in a way that it can switch back after this is over. A certain percentage of consumers will find the convenience addicting and continue to shop grocery online. However I suspect many consumers having been forced to stay at home for 2 months will actually want to go out to physically shop just to get out of house....
  • Posted on: 04/07/2020

    Is it time for ‘essential’ retailers to stop running in-store promotions?

    Makes sense for grocers to stop advertising promotions. You can still offer discounts in the store if the savings are from suppliers, and customers would appreciate it. No one should go make grocery store trips because of sales. In the case of Lowe's, that's a bit different because it is essential (if something is broken that needs repair) but also discretionary (you don't have to start home improvement projects during a pandemic even if you are sheltered in place). I can see why Lowe's would offer discounts and promote it to support traffic for those who are still working in construction/repair business.
  • Posted on: 03/26/2020

    Should retail associates be treated like frontline health responders?

    Yes, it is impossible to sterilize grocery stores like you would a hospital, but all practical means need to be considered and the workers need to be protected and compensated for risking themselves to keep the infrastructure going. Gloves, disinfectant, masks etc. are a necessity since it is impossible to stay away from customers and still do the job.
  • Posted on: 03/24/2020

    Retailers are going to curbside and delivery. Will they stay that way?

    Right now it is the only option and some restaurants and retailers are using it to generate cash flow to pay rent and keep some employees (the alternative is total furlough and board up the store). Once the business reopens, I am not sure they can be maintained profitably. Remember, at the end of the day, the business need to provide service to consumers profitably. Even if the customer adjusts to the convenience, the business can't give away margins.
  • Posted on: 03/23/2020

    Costco is refusing returns on hoarded items

    I don't think you will find much disagreement on this one. If you hoard, you paid for it and you can't return it. Once the product is hoarded you really can't return it to the supply chain without worrying about open packages and other issues. I posted on social media that if someone hoarded TP or paper towels, they can donate it to shelters, masks and cleaning wipes to hospitals, and rice to food banks. Most stores now have a one package limit per person, which helps a bit. I drove past Costco today and still see people coming out with nothing but bottled water (which makes zero sense).
  • Posted on: 03/20/2020

    Will GameStop lose more than it wins keeping stores open during the coronavirus outbreak?

    Completely tone deaf. No, just no ... that's what the online channel is for.
  • Posted on: 03/17/2020

    Retailers act to protect seniors from coronavirus shopping chaos and contamination

    It is needed, given the group is highly at risk. Home delivery may help a bit, but some may not be tech savvy enough to shop online or on assistance programs. At a certain point technology solution is not the answer and we need to give way to a bit of human kindness.

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