PROFILE

Meaghan Brophy

Senior Retail Writer

Meaghan is a retail writer for Fit Small Business where she offers how-to advice and buyer’s guides for business owners.

Meaghan Brophy is also the editorial director Independent Retailer, the industry’s trusted source for indie retail news, where she covers retail trends, tech, ecommerce, marketing tips, and keeps her finger on the pulse of the industry by visiting with and interviewing retail store owners.

Before becoming a full-time retail writer, Meaghan has held retail and business management roles. Through these positions, she’s gained ample experience in sales, employee training, human resources, customer service, and leadership.

In her free time, Meaghan enjoys tap dancing and a quiet cup of coffee. She also holds an M.S. in Publishing from Pace University.

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Meaghan is the Senior Retail Writer for Fit Small Business where she offers how-to advice and buyer’s guides for business owners. Previously, Meaghan Brophy was the editorial director Independent Retailer, where she covered retail trends, tech, ecommerce, marketing tips, and kept her finger on the pulse of the industry by visiting with and interviewing retail store owners. Before becoming a full-time retail writer, Meaghan has held retail and business management roles. Through these positions, she’s gained ample experience in sales, employee training, human resources, customer service, and leadership. In her free time, Meaghan enjoys tap dancing and a quiet cup of coffee. She also holds an M.S. in Publishing from Pace University.
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  • Posted on: 05/28/2020

    Retailers focus on making safe spaces for customers and associates

    I agree, Paula. A clear, and enforced protocol is the way to handle this. Having national CDC health guidelines will also take some of the guesswork and stress out of retailers needing to come up with their own solutions. It will also help set shopper expectations because everything will be the same across different stores and communities.
  • Posted on: 05/28/2020

    Will Facebook Shops launch social commerce into the mainstream?

    Facebook has been inching toward seamless shopping for so long that the reveal almost feels anti-climactic, though I think the results will be big. For many local shops, Instagram has been the main source for new customers for years now, and Facebook has served as a big engagement and retention driver. The new Shops features will be a nice supplemental tool (in addition to storefronts, online stores, and email marketing) for small businesses to boost sales with current customers and decrease the time between discovery and purchase for new customers.
  • Posted on: 05/22/2020

    Who wins/loses if Amazon pushes Prime Day to September?

    The pandemic and economic downturn will impact Amazon's 2020 results regardless of whether Prime Day is in July or September. In normal years. Prime Day was so successful because it created a brand new shopping holiday without significantly impacting Back to School and Back to College sales numbers. This year, neither Amazon's operations nor consumers' pockets are ready for a blow-out shopping event, as people are still focused on stocking up on essentials. Pushing the sale to September is a smart move. However, I predict department stores will try to take advantage by having sales of their own in July. But as many department and apparel retailers have been advertising deep discounts online for a while now, I'm not sure how many consumers will bite.
  • Posted on: 05/13/2020

    Americans are shopping more impulsively online

    Personally, my impulse buying has absolutely increased over the past weeks. When placing grocery orders for pick-up, I'm sneaking in sweet treats and snacks that I normally don't purchase, as well as a few extra cleaning supplies. I've also splurged on some items that, while they aren't essential, make staying at home more comfortable, like a new set of pajamas and a few houseplants. However I've made most of these purchases through small businesses and independent sellers. I think online impulse spending will remain at heightened levels while we're stuck at home. Once restrictions are lifted, that impulse spending will shift to in-person spending at restaurants and shops.
  • Posted on: 05/04/2020

    Should face masks be mandatory for shoppers?

    Stores should require all shoppers and employees to wear masks, full stop. Requiring masks is the least retailers can do to try and keep employees safe. "Recommending" masks leaves too much open to interpretation and possibilities of selective enforcement. Wearing a mask is certainly not comfortable, but, at least for me, the choice between wearing a mask or unknowingly infecting someone else seems like a no-brainer.
  • Posted on: 04/20/2020

    DTC brand sales soar in a time of social distancing

    The pandemic is absolutely accelerating DTC growth in the CPG space. To me, the bigger question is whether that growth is long-term. As food supply chains are near their breaking points, and shoppers are avoiding stores, more people are turning to online grocery. Yet, in many cases, delivery times are unavailable, or products are sold out. So consumers are searching for alternatives. If DTC brands want to sustain current growth, they need to form strategic partnerships with retailers, offer subscription programs, and work with fulfillment partners to ensure fast delivery.
  • Posted on: 04/03/2020

    Will off-pricers be major share gainers post-coronavirus?

    Agreed, Mark and Dick. Off-price retailers have a great opportunity to scoop up deeply discounted products. But they will not be able to cash in on that opportunity until stores re-open and people feel comfortable shopping in-store again
  • Posted on: 03/25/2020

    How should retailers guide staff through the coronavirus crisis?

    This is a great list, Bob. I would also add that retailers need to ramp up and establish tighter protocols around store cleaning. Also, they must work together with employees to come up with best practices around minimal contact checkouts with options like:
    • Implementing contactless payments;
    • Setting guides for customers to maintain social distance while waiting in line;
    • Bringing online or phone orders out to customers' cars.
    The other thing retail managers need to keep top-of-mind is that their employees are going through a lot right now with kids being home from school, having sick or at-risk family members, trying to provide great service to on-edge customers, and the stress of employees putting themselves at risk by coming to work every day.
  • Posted on: 03/25/2020

    Are retailers and landlords destined to head to court over rents?

    Ricardo, that is my take as well. Struggling storefronts and landlords need to work together. It's unlikely that businesses will be opening up stores any time soon, so landlords would be smart to work with their current tenants as much as they can. A legal dispute just adds costs to each side.
  • Posted on: 03/20/2020

    How can indie restaurants survive the coronavirus?

    Cathy, I agree. It's really sad to see - some indie restaurants in my area are already shuttering for good. Restaurants operate on such thin margins as it is - a pandemic coupled with a recession means we will see many indie restaurants close their doors. Curbside pickup and delivery are helping a few restaurants stay open, but that doesn't help the servers and bartenders who are out of jobs. And as consumers continue to tighten their wallets and cut back on spending, many people simply won't be able to order takeout and support their local businesses even if they want to.
  • Posted on: 03/09/2020

    Burlington Stores walks away from e-commerce

    It definitely makes sense for Burlington to walk away from e-commerce. If, after 11 years, the sales aren't there and the margins are too small, there's no point in trying to force a costly operation shoppers aren't interested in.
  • Posted on: 02/26/2020

    Will fulfilling third-party vendor orders give Walmart an edge over Amazon?

    This is a no-brainer. Honestly, it's surprising that Walmart hasn't offered fulfillment services sooner. This move will definitely result in more third-party sellers joining the marketplace. However, it's less clear whether that will translate to additional customers. Amazon has such strong brand loyalty that I doubt many shoppers would switch to Walmart, even though there's no annual fee for free two-day shipping.
  • Posted on: 02/24/2020

    What are the biggest barriers to AI adoption for retailers?

    I find it hard to discuss AI in one broad bucket because it has so many different applications and use cases. Like the study suggests, chatbots, self-checkout, and even personalization are practical and low-barrier uses for retailers. They are relatively easy to implement, and the benefits in improved customer service are tangible. AI can also be beneficial for predicting supply chain demands (Amazon has been doing this for a while). However, inserting new tech in a complicated supply chain is a lot harder than adding a chatbot to a website.
  • Posted on: 12/03/2019

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

    The Kohl's spot is energetic and gives shoppers a clear reason to buy from Kohl's - they have the season's hottest gifts and toys. However, the Macy's ad does a fantastic job of connecting with core customers through the use of their Thanksgiving Day parade as the kickoff to the holiday season. My vote is for Macy's.
  • Posted on: 11/22/2019

    The RetailWire Christmas Commercial Challenge: Amazon vs. Etsy

    Both commercials are strong. Amazon has used the singing boxes to pull at heartstrings for a few years now, and it is an effective strategy when it comes to invoking the holiday spirit while also showing how Amazon deliveries play an integral role. However, I like Etsy's commercial better. I think it does a great job of highlighting not just products, but the people behind the products. When it comes to attracting more customers, I think Etsy makes a stronger case as to why shoppers should buy from them.

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