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: 02/26/2020

    Will a CEO’s crowdsourcing plea save Modell’s Sporting Goods?

    I feel for him, but building a sustainable business needs a solid plan to grow the business from the customers. I am sure he is passionate about the business, but what he needs is a plan to draw shoppers into stores to buy. Crowd sourcing wouldn't help in the long run.
  • Posted on: 02/23/2020

    Shoppers have a love/hate relationship with self-checkouts

    The reality is you always need cashier at standby for self checkout, the difference is one cashier can service 4 scanners versus one. For those who is doing the basic "scan scan Tap" bring your own bag checkout, self service is more than fine. A cashier is needed when scales malfunction, or handling exceptions. Technology is never going to be perfect, but given the rise in labor costs in certain cities in the US especially, self checkout is here to stay
  • Posted on: 02/20/2020

    Should retailers scale hyper-localized store elements chainwide?

    I think scaling here means providing the space, budget and guidelines which the local store employee can be creative with the store design and experience. You can't centralize decisions for local experiences because it just doesn't work that way. Question is then whether retailers are hiring the right people in the stores to make the decisions.
  • Posted on: 02/10/2020

    Why isn’t voice commerce taking off?

    I think the issue is that the UI in voice for new purchase via smart speaker just isn't there yet and you are tied to a single vendor (in the case of Alexa, Amazon). Imagine being in a household and having the speaker announce throughout the house that you are buying cereal and confirming all the brand, price, shipping details etc, via voice. We have already heard stories of children treating Alexa as the new Santa. :-) I can see doing limited assortment reordering or maybe adding items into the shopping cart/reminder list. "Alexa reorder kitty litter" is a lot easier than "Alexa order 2 cans organic garbanzo beans 16 oz. from Whole Foods."
  • Posted on: 02/04/2020

    Is Forever 21 a wise investment for its new mall landlord owners?

    I think the Forever 21 customers are still there, the chain just got too big too fast and the revenue per square foot didn't work out financially. By buying it at a bargain basement price they can buy time to redo the real estate deals, and make it profitable by shrinking store sizes. Not everyone is going to e-commerce even with next day delivery when it comes to fashion and accessories, enough people still go browse and discover.
  • Posted on: 01/28/2020

    Will online food and beverage sales be even bigger than imagined?

    The question for me is, can any retailer do it profitably given the physics of shipping and delivery? Delivering a meal is one thing, bottled water and pet supplies is where I always scratch my head on how retailers can turn a profit with delivery overheads. I know consumers want it and are being conditioned by Amazon to continue to expect it, but will the economics sustain it?
  • Posted on: 01/21/2020

    Does IKEA need parking lots?

    I think this makes sense because of the convenience factor, some people want to shop close to home or online rather than drive out from urban centers. Given a lot of IKEA's target audience is small home in urban areas, with a proper delivery network, a location without parking on top of a transit village should work well
  • Posted on: 01/16/2020

    What does Target’s Christmas miss mean?

    Walmart and Best Buy for electronics. It is going to be a dogfight between Walmart and Target and Amazon for the price sensitive crowd in the foreseeable future. The question I think is where the rest of the consumers go, especially for higher margin items.
  • Posted on: 01/14/2020

    Will ‘guests’ love Target even more as Circle members?

    At the end of the day, loyalty is defined by what the shopper does when it isn't a discounted transaction. Programs that drives repeated purchases through discount does not promote loyalty -- once the points are gone shoppers will stop. Target needs to make sure the rest of customer experience is superior to competition so that people would visit and shop.
  • Posted on: 01/08/2020

    Can casinos save the mall?

    Is it a silver bullet to all existing mall development? No. If you have an underperforming mall, putting a casino in may draw more traffic, but obviously the location and other factors are involved for the success to the rest of the merchants. I think a well-run casino can co-exist in retail; you see many casinos with retail close by already.
  • Posted on: 01/07/2020

    Do alcohol and shopping mix?

    And I remember the Nordstrom at the Galleria Dallas had a bar built on the ground level where it is mostly men with beer watching sports while the women shopped. I always joked they should issue claim checks like it was a coat check, LOL!
  • Posted on: 01/07/2020

    Do alcohol and shopping mix?

    I think as long as it is beer and wine with a strong security presence, shouldn't be an issue. Individual stores can set rules about having food and drinks inside, I assume.
  • Posted on: 01/03/2020

    Can a grocer build a business on the keto diet trend?

    I hope the grocery store can pivot quickly or at least have an exit strategy when the keto trend fades. No single trend has lasted with the exception of organic and even there the leader in that category got knocked out as other retailers added aisles and nipped off the profitable sub-categories.
  • Posted on: 01/02/2020

    Are return rates out of control?

    I do wonder how the sustainability trend collides with the returns trend. There is no argument that returns are wasteful and damaging to the environment, especially for online purchased items even when they are returned in-store. Yet the same consumer is looking for sustainably-produced goods and carbon footprint impact information. In the end instant gratification wins out against environmentalism I think for many consumers.
  • Posted on: 12/24/2019

    Is Wawa in hot water over its data breach?

    Exactly, the impact to consumers are spread out and most of it is handled by the financial institutions who aren't putting the pressure on retailers and treat it as a cost of doing business

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