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: 05/25/2022

    Nordstrom is staffed, stocked and ready to serve as store traffic increases

    People are definitely going out in person and adjusting to COVID risks. The question now is whether the wallet is willing given inflation and the cloud of economic uncertainty. The merchandising geared towards "revenge spending" may not match consumer sentiments; that's what Nordstrom has to watch out for now.
  • Posted on: 05/18/2022

    Should Apple have killed the iPod?

    Nostalgia is powerful, but I don't see the new generation of consumers having a separate music device unless they are a DJ or in the music business. It is a rational decision to simplify their product line and frankly the resources can be reallocated to their iPhone and other entertainment systems. It was great for its time and I will miss it. Who knows, maybe you will have an Apple portable speaker with built in storage as the next iteration or something we haven't thought about yet.
  • Posted on: 05/10/2022

    Can Starbucks replicate the ‘third place’ in the metaverse?

    I think it is worth the experimentation since the cost of entry for NFTs and the metaverse right now isn't that high. The key is to not over-rotate the investment because at the end of the day Starbucks is in the business of selling coffee and a space to either work remote or relax. Metaverse and NFTs can help the customer with loyalty to the brand, but that's all it is from my point of view. Anyone here remember the hype around Second Life?
  • Posted on: 05/05/2022

    Are Americans getting ready to hit the brakes on spending?

    The pent up demand from COVID is what has been driving the spending as people "live like it is 2019." With inflation and increase in interest rates, it will reduce spending on discretionary items and big ticket items that are usually financed. Retailers that sell into discretionary spending need to adjust their offering from a price and financing point of view. It could be tough when combined with the supply chain issues.
  • Posted on: 05/03/2022

    Does resale make sense for Dick’s Sporting Goods?

    Retailers need to drive traffic to the stores and resale is one area that can help. Given the size of the store and the destination format, as long as they have a good process to vet and price the inventory well, it will help with the revenue and allow them to cross sell other new items.
  • Posted on: 04/26/2022

    May brings Meta’s first physical store

    Determining success in this case is like the Amazon approach to their physical presence, it is experiment, change as needed, continue to experiment until desired outcome is achieved. Meta needs to learn firsthand what the consumer experience is on their hardware. Relying on Best Buy didn't cut it. Whether Meta's goal is to open a lot of stores or not is irrelevant. It needs that first hand store experience to gather customer feedback in person on a consistent basis.
  • Posted on: 04/25/2022

    Are Old Navy’s issues more about demand than supply?

    Old Navy is having issues because while their price point is correct, their client base is fragmenting: There is a trend away from fast fashion wear for environmental concerns, Existing fast fashion fans now have options from the social media driven brands, and the supply chain issues means Old Navy can't respond as quickly as before to address new trends.
  • Posted on: 04/21/2022

    Is palm payment past pilot at Whole Foods?

    I think most people still view fingerprints and biometric data to be the last barrier for commerce since it is so affiliated with law enforcement applications. The fact is all the transactions are tracked the same way whether it is credit card or biometrics is besides the point. I think it is a bridge too far for many consumers if they are given a choice.
  • Posted on: 04/19/2022

    Did stores prove their worth during the pandemic?

    The death of stores is always overstated in my point of view, from the vocal segment who swears they never want to step outside to shop again. One thing the pandemic pointed out is that not everyone wants everything delivered and be stuck at home. Good stores with good offerings will stay open and draw people there. In other cases, the traffic pattern -- especially around commuter areas -- definitely changed and some of those stores may not make it.
  • Posted on: 04/18/2022

    Are fuel-driven deals worth pumping?

    As long as fuel prices are in the mind of consumers, fuel based promotion will work, if anything on social media and by word-of-mouth, to drive traffic. I am sure the marketing agencies are constantly looking at trending topics and figuring out how to tie campaigns into them, and fuel prices is definitely one of them and it's apolitical enough to latch onto with a low risk of blowback.
  • Posted on: 04/13/2022

    Does Amazon have an edge in capturing America’s youth?

    Amazon's edge with the youth is oversized, with Amazon Prime tying in cloud services, entertainment and shopping in Prime's offering. The ease of use of the Amazon app is great given their head start. I think it is their strategy to be the best for the young and grow them as customers in the long term, and they are succeeding.
  • Posted on: 04/05/2022

    Did Howard Schultz make a wise course correction on his first day back at Starbucks?

    Building the business means needing liquidity to invest. Buying back stock when it needs to invest in technology and customer experiences is too short term. He is correct that he doesn't have a lot of time as more people venture to coffee shops and labor costs continue to rise. He has his work cut out for him
  • Posted on: 03/31/2022

    Have robo-pharmacies become a must-have for Walgreens and other drugstores?

    Performing repetitive, precise tasks is what robots are good for. Given the advances in visual, weight and other sensing technologies, the accuracy rate should be high enough to match human filling. Whether Walgreens uses it as a means to reduce the number of pharmacists in-store is still to be seen.
  • Posted on: 03/30/2022

    Have people had their fill of contact-free retail?

    It is a matter of location, labor availability customer preference and costs. They have the data to see how many orders are coming from app versus in-person ordering. If a store location is has way more no touch orders (such as transit locations) it makes sense to switch to that model. For locations where there are more walk-ins and dwell time is higher in the sit down area, personal service is better. I do wish Starbucks has a stronger policy against the social media people who come in with the 20 plus ingredients orders or film the cashiers while they are working, or worse throw drinks at them in the drive through. I understand customer first is important, but that's ridiculous behavior to enable.
  • Posted on: 03/28/2022

    Nike heads to the wholesale exits

    Nike's model is not sneakers for everyone, but sneakers for those who want to be someone. All their merchandise and branding alliances with sports celebrities are driving them that way. Switching to mostly direct sale plus special collaboration with specific retailers that bring something to the table other than volume make sense for Nike.

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