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: 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.
  • Posted on: 11/20/2019

    Should Santa be a loyalty program perk?

    What a Grinch move. There are plenty of times when it makes sense to have invite-only events for rewards members - this is not one of them. Taking Santa away from a child that won't understand why they can't go this year is a shortsighted response. Instead, they could have offered early access to rewards members, or dedicated certain nights to rewards members.
  • Posted on: 11/04/2019

    Will Old Navy succeed with a one-price regardless of size concept?

    Size Yes is absolutely a great (if overdue) move for Old Navy. A majority of shoppers are not "sample size." The shopping experience needs to cater to the customer, not the other way around. Shopping is a social activity. Separating women's sizes into different departments (or even different stores) with different pricing makes it hard for friends and family to shop together. Size Yes should become a permanent concept for Old Navy, and other retailers should take note.
  • Posted on: 10/30/2019

    Will free deliveries for Prime members make Amazon the driving force in online grocery?

    A few curious Prime members will try out free grocery delivery. Big grocery players like Walmart will try to respond by also offering free grocery delivery. The problem is, consumer demand for online grocery shopping isn't quite there yet. People still like picking out their produce and the social interaction that comes with regular grocery shopping - for now. A few years from now, online grocery will likely gain traction. Amazon is starting another race to the bottom. They have the cashflow and willpower to lose money on grocery delivery (which is very expensive and logistically challenging) so that when consumers are ready to buy groceries online, Amazon will already be dominating the market.
  • Posted on: 10/22/2019

    Seven things store managers should do now to be ready for Christmas

    These are all good tips. I would take the suggestion of shift starter meetings - which every store should absolutely do - a step further and recommend that store managers get in the habit of providing one-on-one coaching for employees throughout the day. Developing those practices of role-playing sales situations now will make the process much more natural during the holiday season, instead of an added stressor. Plus, having those individual coaching sessions ahead of the holidays will help employees gain the confidence, feedback, and sales skills that will make them successful once the Christmas season starts. I would also add that even with a great sales team, a store needs a stellar appearance, welcoming environment, and great product selection.
  • Posted on: 10/21/2019

    Should Amazon be charging for ‘curated’ toy guide placements?

    As someone who has studied and worked in publishing, this is both upsetting and not at all surprising. Gift guides are generally meant to be editorially independent. If that is not the case, they should be clearly labeled as sponsored. Unfortunately, as we see here, that doesn't always happen. I suspect that ad dollars have a significant impact on what products make the cut for gift guides of many major retailers. However, small businesses and independent retailers have an opportunity to create truly curated guides that shoppers can trust.
  • Posted on: 10/14/2019

    REI ventures into drop shipping

    Dropshipping makes perfect sense for a retailer like REI where customers need specific parts for gear. There is not much sense in stocking each of these items in-store or even in-warehouse for the very occasional shopper. However, it's important for these pieces to be available from a customer service standpoint. So dropshipping is the logical solution. Dropshipping doesn't make sense for every retailer, but for REI it seems to be a no-brainer.
  • Posted on: 10/14/2019

    Will Best Buy wrap up Black Friday sales with a price match guarantee in October?

    Best Buy's price guarantee is a smart move. TVs are a notoriously popular Black Friday item that typically sells out fast. This promotion lets customers get the same deal without having to brave the crowds on Black Friday. Best Buy is known for exceptional customer service, so I am not surprised by this offer.
  • Posted on: 10/14/2019

    Is BOPIS a good fit for Dollar General?

    BOPIS is a great fit for Dollar General. As others have noted, delivery isn't economical for a dollar store with tight margins. But BOPIS offers shoppers an easy way to pick up errand items on-the-go. BOPIS also helps customers ensure the items they need will be there before they make the trip to the store, which is important for every shopper.
  • Posted on: 10/09/2019

    Why is Target helping Toys “R” Us get back online?

    The Toys "R" Us/Target partnership seems like a win for Target. I'd be curious to see what portion of the sales revenue the company is keeping. This move also solidifies Target as a destination for toy buying and gives them access to data on what Toys "R" Us shoppers are purchasing. My suspicion is that Target is either looking to purchase Toys "R" Us or launch their own private label brand for toys.
  • Posted on: 08/21/2019

    Do social influencers have the ability to boost back-to-school sales?

    Social media influencers absolutely impact sales, especially back-to-school sales where kids and parents are purchasing clothes for the school year. Purchases of actual school supplies like pens and notebooks might not be heavily driven by social media, but apparel, shoes, and accessories are (Hydro Flasks, anyone?) Target has recently expanded its Instagram Influencer campaigns (#TargetTalent) just in time for back-to-school. I'm curious to see what impact that campaign has on sales.
  • Posted on: 08/07/2019

    Would a fashion collaboration work for Starbucks?

    This reminds me of Taco Bell's successful merch campaigns. Taco Bell's brand was strong enough and marketing was successful enough to pull off some excellent campaigns. But I think part of what made Taco Bell's sales and what made Starbucks' crystal gift card sales successful is the fact that there were limited quantities. Having some element of exclusivity, limited time-frame, or limited quantities is necessary to keep Starbucks' apparel and home goods products from feeling like a static gift shop.
  • Posted on: 08/07/2019

    Has Christmas arrived too early at Selfridges?

    For Selfridges, it's a tradition! Christmas in July works great for them, there's no reason to change. However, Selfridges is the exception, not the rule. For other department stores, especially those in the U.S. I don't want to see Christmas displays until after Halloween. There are ways to test products and boost sales without pushing the Christmas creep, which is exhausting for customers and employees.
  • Posted on: 07/18/2019

    Amazon and rivals report record Prime Day results

    Prime Day is absolutely part of the American shopping psyche. However, it’s much bigger than just Prime Day. This is the first year I've seen widespread use of the phrase "Black Friday in July" from retailers promoting rival sales. Consumers seem to be very receptive to a Black Friday in July concept, as is reflected in the sales lift seen by many other retailers, both large and small. CNBC reported that niche retailers also saw a 30 percent increase in online sales on Monday. So this event is not exclusive to the Amazons and Walmarts of retail - consumers are taking advantage of every sales opportunity. Any retailer not experiencing a sales lift during Black Friday in July needs to reevaluate their marketing and promotional strategy and/or product selection.

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