PROFILE

Liza Amlani

Principal and Founder, Retail Strategy Group

With over 20 years of retail insider experience and industry knowledge in merchandising, buying, product development and strategy, I bring an end-to-end perspective to help navigate the ever-changing retail landscape.

I have worked closely with retailers such as Ralph Lauren Europe and Canada, Club Monaco, Nike, and Walmart as well as departments stores in North America, UK, Ireland and across Europe. Working with both luxury and mass merchant retailers across global markets, my perspective on retail is through my industry experience lens.

The last few years have been spent in retail consulting, supporting several major business transformations across merchandising, product creation, speed to market and materials management.

Website: www.retailstrategygroup.com

Newsletter: www.themerchantlife.com

YouTube: www.youtube.com/c/TheMerchantLife

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  • Posted on: 05/17/2022

    Which exec role should guide the path to the metaverse?

    No matter what exec role guides the path to the metaverse, product should drive the customer experience no matter the channel. We should be moving away from siloed ways of thinking about channel and merchandising strategies. Customer experience should be embedded in product delight. The metaverse is just another channel in which to serve and engage with the customer which should be top of mind.
  • Posted on: 05/17/2022

    Will Walmart’s career path strategy give it a recruiting advantage?

    Walmart’s career path strategy is spot on in retention, recruitment and empowerment of retail workers. The strategy sets Walmart apart from other retailers and I hope they will learn to do the same. We need to empower our retail workers and staff so they become true brand ambassadors embedded in great customer service. This is what retail needs today.
  • Posted on: 05/16/2022

    Nordstrom Local is summering in the Hamptons

    Meeting customers where they hang out and gather should be a steadfast rule of any retailers. I love this strategy for Nordstrom and it will help elevate the experience for existing and new customers. The showroom experience can be a great one and planning events like a wine tasting or cocktail party alongside the local mobile shop could engage even more customers who love elevation and exclusivity.
  • Posted on: 05/16/2022

    Should Zara (and other retailers) be charging for online returns?

    Retailers will have no choice but to start charging for returns until they can solve the sizing challenge. Zara is also a culprit for unrealistic styling and should be called out as not being able to visualize what a product looks like on a body will increase the rate of returns.
  • Posted on: 05/13/2022

    Will the lack of skilled people derail retail’s digital supply chain transformation?

    Most challenges with any transformation and rethinking ways of working comes down to seasoned staff not wanting to change. It can be daunting to think that your role will change as your organization enables new technology or processes because it could mean job loss. Empowering existing staff and bringing on new and diverse teams will help implement a successful transformation.
  • Posted on: 05/06/2022

    Which personalization techniques work best?

    Personalization, especially via email marketing, can be so hit or miss. Once you get it wrong, the customer will remember and never trust you. I’ve had many emails sent to me after I have bought a baby gift where the retailer targeted me with product suggestions of everything I would need after my baby was born. I clearly bought off a registry from their website. It can be annoying and frustrating.
  • Posted on: 05/05/2022

    How should retail companies best navigate the abortion controversy?

    Any company, retail or not, should be following Levi's in its example of supporting their employees and their communities. Our voices are everything. How retailers and brands support or do not show support will translate to customer and employee loyalty. Aligning with values on equality, diversity and inclusion, racism and abortion rights are the very values that will fuel the "great resignation." Like customers, employees have more choices than ever and it's important to remain authentic in what we believe in. Make a stand.
  • Posted on: 05/05/2022

    Macy’s goes small outside the mall

    This is bigger than the reinvention of Macy's - it's about rethinking the purpose of the anchor department store. It's a great strategy on getting closer to the customer and meeting them in their communities. The challenge will come down to localized and curated merchandising assortments that are reflective of what the local customer is looking for. Insights and data will help drive these decisions and old school retailing methodologies such as boots on the ground, shopping the market and building physical relationships with the local customer.
  • Posted on: 05/04/2022

    L.L.Bean is taking a month-long mental health break from social media

    A strategy that is truly being authentically executed. L.L.Bean is putting their money where their mouth is and practicing what they preach. Authenticity is so important in retail messaging today. Transparency on strategy and processes is exactly what will drive customer loyalty. There is so much noise out there from brands talking health yet photoshopping body shapes and faces and many of us are sick of it. We want reality and truth in messaging and marketing. L.L. Bean is doing a wonderful thing and I’m here for it.
  • Posted on: 05/02/2022

    Are Walmart and Abercombie too late for the activewear party?

    Walmart and Abercrombie are not late to the game at all. In fact if they didn't invest in the performance category, I would question their merchandising strategy. Capturing insights and closing the feedback loop is critical as in any new product launch. Learning from the customer from product mix, gaps and opportunities, fit, aesthetic and sizing is critical as in any journey. I am excited to see the new assortments and how they resonate with the customer.
  • Posted on: 04/28/2022

    Will a bigger gas discount drive Walmart+’s subscriber numbers higher?

    This is a great strategy for Walmart and will help their customer in their everyday life. This is not only a great perk for their subscribers, but it's added value that will translate into loyalty for the retailer. If you are not looking to join Costco, Walmart is a great alternative and will definitely attract new customers. And we need to give Costco a run for their money at the pumps!
  • Posted on: 04/27/2022

    Walmart’s new celebrity collab is its answer to Chip and Joanna Gaines’ line at Target

    The HGTV brand alone will make customers curious and Walmart is in dire need of a hardgoods refresh. This celebrity collab is a good start and will fill the void in Walmart’s current assortment. They may never top Target’s brand recognition and their incredible collaboration initiatives but I’m excited to see what Walmart brings to the table with this new launch.
  • Posted on: 04/26/2022

    May brings Meta’s first physical store

    Physical retail is a great way to test Meta’s product assortment and build out new product offerings as they connect and learn what the customer wants in real-time. A great showroom experience comes down to product that delights and knowledgeable and engaging brand ambassadors. As long as Meta has this secret sauce, this could be a win for the brand, even if the hype doesn’t last. They are meeting the customer where they want to shop - in a physical store. As for other retailers selling Meta products - the Meta store will pique the interest of curious customers who can’t get to the Meta store.
  • Posted on: 04/25/2022

    Sam’s Club upgrades its Member’s Mark private label, sustainably

    Well said and I completely agree. A sustainability strategy that is forward thinking and aligned with customer values is what will set the retailer apart. Sam’s Club will pave the way for other retailers to learn how to be more green and responsible.
  • Posted on: 04/25/2022

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

    Old Navy’s blip is just that. A short term challenge that they will overcome as they spend more time determining what the customer is looking for. Shoppers are more fickle and price conscious than ever before. This is clearly a product assortment issue in addition to an ongoing supply chain issue. For the most part, Old Navy gets it. It’s inclusive and representative. They missed the mark on a few trends but that will pass. The supply chain hasn’t seen the end of disruption and all retailers are still navigating the impacts of factory closures, capacity constraints and longer lead times. This is not just an Old Navy problem.

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