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Kathleen Fischer

Director of Retail Marketing, enVista
Kathleen has more than 20 years of experience in marketing and consulting within the retail industry. Her broad marketing experience is focused on designing and executing successful strategic marketing plans, demand generation, public relations and branding through thought leadership. She has significant experience developing and publishing industry-leading benchmarking surveys over the last 20 years for LakeWest Group, Boston Retail Partners and now enVista. To learn more, visit:
  • Posted on: 12/04/2019

    The holiday season promises many unhappy returns for retailers

    Returns have always been a part of retail and now customers expect free returns when dealing with an online retailer. Retailers' best bet is to provide as much product information as possible so the customer has accurate and thorough data available before the purchase and then utilize customer purchasing information and browsing history to offer recommendations on the item being purchased.
  • Posted on: 12/03/2019

    The RetailWire Christmas Commercial Challenge: Kohl’s vs. Macy’s

    While the spot from Kohl's is fun and exciting and certainly does more to highlight Kohl's merchandise and promotions, the spot from Macy's captures the heart of the season and makes Baby Boomers and Gen Xers nostalgic for their childhoods. The overall feelings evoked from the Macy's spot should touch anyone with a heart this season and offers a view into what Macy's "stands for."
  • Posted on: 12/02/2019

    Mobile jumps out as retailers get a mixed start to the holiday season

    There is no denying the power of mobile as a disruptor in the retail industry. The proliferation and convenience of mobile devices has completely changed shopping behaviors and elevated customer expectations. Mobile is an important part of the customer journey as many consumers use it as a research tool throughout their journey to look up brand, product, pricing and inventory information. In a recent survey, a third of consumers even used their phone while they were in the store to do further research. Retailers need to ensure that their offerings via mobile are relevant, responsive, and real-time to ensure they are meeting today's customer expectations.
  • Posted on: 11/27/2019

    Big things are happening as Small Business Saturday turns 10

    The "shop small" message is definitely growing as consumers become more aware of the impact buying at local stores has on their communities. One of the best ways to promote Small Business Saturday is to have local businesses work together on a promotion or event to encourage shopping at the small local businesses. For example, in my community there is a trolley to easily transport shoppers from section to section of local businesses, making it simple and fun to shop multiple areas of small businesses.
  • Posted on: 11/26/2019

    The RetailWire Christmas Commercial Challenge: Old Navy vs. T.J. Maxx, Marshalls and HomeGoods

    The TJX song and festive holiday scenes clearly communicate the brand's message and there is the addition of levity to show that the brand does not take itself too seriously. These factors make this commercial the winner of this challenge.
  • Posted on: 11/25/2019

    Why is Sephora paying associates to leave shoppers alone?

    The growth of digital - both online and mobile - is driving demand for enhanced engagement and personalization in the store, but this doesn't always mean they want more interaction with an associate. In a recent consumer survey, more than half the consumers said they would choose a store with an automated pick-up process or automated returns process over one not offering these service options. Customers want better service, but on their terms, and often using technology as a means of getting more personalized service. I think Sephora's basket-assistance system is brilliant while being so simple. What an easy way to help tailor the assistance offered by sales associates to those customers who actually need/want it.
  • Posted on: 11/21/2019

    Is Target killing department stores and specialty clothing chains?

    Target appeals to younger demographics over traditional department stores due to product offerings, location, price points, shipping options, etc. so it is not surprising that it is doing well and is likely to have a productive holiday season.
  • Posted on: 11/20/2019

    Should Santa be a loyalty program perk?

    While rewarding your best customers with an in-store event can be a great idea, limiting the ability to visit with Santa is definitely not a good way to gain positive press around the important holiday season. Offering a private in-store event for your best customers (which maybe could include a visit with Santa) and then opening up the Grotto visits to more customers through a lottery system may be a better option to appease a broader group of customers.
  • Posted on: 11/19/2019

    Are Americans ready for a DTC shopping holiday?

    From the customers' viewpoint, DTC is not anything unusual and a special shopping holiday to promote direct-to-consumer is not likely to gain much traction. I think the "mega trend" idea comes from within the industry as we see more brands expand their DTC opportunities, but a holiday promoting DTC is not going to be a major sales driver, overall convenience and assortment will be.
  • Posted on: 11/18/2019

    What will happen now that Five Below has gone above $5?

    Overall, the price points in the store remain under $5 and the company has indicated that anything over $5 is very clearly marked so it is unlikely that this will negatively affect the brand. While there will be some customers who take a negative stance, most customers will hardly notice or care.
  • Posted on: 11/15/2019

    Is the environment Amazon’s Achilles heel or opportunity?

    If Amazon - or any retailer - communicates to the customer the opportunities for a reduced environmental impact when they shop or choose their delivery options, many consumers will make the "right choice." Most people aren't consciously trying to cause more waste or create more carbon emissions, but we, as consumers, have become accustomed to instant gratification - so we want what we want, when we want it. As consumers become more aware of the critical need to be environmentally friendly, they will react positively when asked to make a choice to wait another day or two for an item. However, thinking about the effect your shopping decisions make on the environment requires a major shift in overall shopping and fulfillment expectations from a "me first" to an "earth first" perspective. As Amazon tends to be seen as a disruptor in the industry, if they take this on as an initiative, this may help to shift the industry as a whole.
  • Posted on: 11/14/2019

    Shoptalk makes a statement with a conference featuring only women speakers

    It's a smart move in the current environment, both in and out of the retail industry. It marks another step forward in recognizing female leadership while also offering a way for ShopTalk to create buzz around the conference. There is still a lot of progress that needs to be made to recognize and reward female talent, but anything that brings attention and awareness is a plus.
  • Posted on: 11/13/2019

    Study: Consumers don’t enjoy doing their holiday shopping online

    Pleasing the customer after their purchase is just as important as providing the customer the experience they expect when they shop. Customers want to know where their product is and when it will get to them. Unfortunately, retailers are still struggling with order tracking and fulfillment to ensure the product gets to the customer as expected. Retailers need to move from disparate systems to a single commerce platform to alleviate these issues.
  • Posted on: 11/12/2019

    What’s in store for retail in 2020?

    The blurring lines of retail will continue to have the greatest impact as DTC options change the way consumers think and how retailers have to operate to be successful.
  • Posted on: 11/11/2019

    Why is Trader Joe’s hiding stuffed animals in its stores?

    What a great and simple way to offer kids an activity while they are shopping in the store with their parents. Parents know the challenges of trying to check off items on a shopping list with small kids in tow! Kids don't generally want to go grocery shopping. But the challenge of finding a stuffed animal (or getting free samples at Costco, or getting a free treat at Giant Eagle) offers kids a reason to want to go. This is a great example of providing "experiences" within the store environment to encourage shopping.
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