PROFILE

Melissa Minkow

Director, Retail Strategy, CI&T

Retail strategist and spectator for CI&T — a customized digital solutions provider for some of the largest global retailers. Passionate about drawing from consumer insights, pop culture phenomenon, and outside-of-industry best practices to improve the retail landscape.

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Melissa has overseen CI&T's retail strategy and industry perspective for a year now, after 2 years in merchandising strategy at Target, 6 years covering omni-channel, e-commerce, and social media retail at Gartner, a stint in pharmaceutical market research, and the completion of a Kellogg MBA. She is a retail futurist whose methodology is rooted in cross-industry consumer insights and innovation.
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  • Posted on: 08/08/2022

    Can venture funds help retailers keep apace with technology?

    I love this approach. Big corporations often have so much process weighing them down, keeping them from innovating and encouraging new thinking. These are mutually beneficial relationships for both parties and, ultimately, for the end-consumer as well.
  • Posted on: 08/03/2022

    How should influencer marketing be measured?

    This one is tricky because, as an influencer friend of mine was saying the other day, if followers don't click on her link for something, but they buy it in person because they were influenced by her review, the brand will never know that she caused that purchase. Thus, even with clickable links now making it easier to track an influencer's influence, there are still large gaps in accuracy when determining how far the reach actually goes. I used to think views weren't as accurate an indication as active engagement (likes, shares, comments), but views do often mean influence. Until the in-person purchases can be linked to digital content, we won't really have the full picture on influencer marketing.
  • Posted on: 08/02/2022

    Comic-Con can teach retailers a lot about curation

    All of these examples prove that retailers can cater to a specific customer and creatively derive value for them. This is the type of thinking we should see year-round from brands.
  • Posted on: 08/01/2022

    Are Rent The Runway’s second-hand clothes the perfect fit for Saks Off 5th?

    The target markets for both Off 5th and RTR are extremely similar, so this is a perfect fit. I'm just curious at what point RTR decides their inventory shouldn't be rented anymore and is ready for Off 5th to sell.
  • Posted on: 07/29/2022

    Will the ‘Credit Card Competition Act’ lead to lower prices for retailers and consumers?

    This would be great for retailers during a time when cost savings are extra necessary. I don’t anticipate prices for consumers coming down the same amount, but it could make a difference in other ways.
  • Posted on: 07/29/2022

    Kohl’s throws back with Levi’s

    I'm always a fan of on-trend collaborations between retailers and DTC brands as long as they are part of a bigger picture strategic vision.
  • Posted on: 07/28/2022

    Are mobile devices creating connected store associates yet?

    Customers continue to seek more expert-level service when going into physical stores. Equipping employees with devices that enable the ability to deliver on those expectations is really important. Retailers just have to make sure this isn't just a spectacle, but is actually productive.
  • Posted on: 07/27/2022

    Can Walmart roll back inflation?

    Slashing margins is really only possible in places where excess inventory and low demand already exists, so this approach only minimally can help both the retailer and the consumer. I would instead love to see retailers upcycling the excess inventory, or finding other ways to avoid the easy markdown "way out," as selling unwanted items at extreme discounts is only going to go so far. Unfortunately, when it comes to inflation, most of the strategies that can help turn things around make for unhappy shoppers. I appreciate retailers like Target and Walmart being willing to cut into their profits to aid customers, but there's not really much aid they can provide with non-discretionary categories, and that's what would help shoppers the most.
  • Posted on: 07/22/2022

    Is Amazon on the verge of reinventing American healthcare?

    I’m excited by the idea of any sort of healthcare reinvention. Our system is incredibly broken, and the “customer (patient) experience” is usually terrible. Hopefully more people will get the care they need at the caliber it’s needed since the retailization should mean efficiencies.
  • Posted on: 07/20/2022

    Will more Americans make e-grocery delivery a weekly habit?

    Online grocery numbers had nowhere to go but up, so I'm not surprised to see the lift. However I still don't think for U.S. consumers it will ever be a category where we prefer to shop online over in-store. This is one space where the physical store simply cannot be replaced by an online experience, no matter how good it is.
  • Posted on: 07/19/2022

    Will Toys“R”Us kids help Macy’s have a very merry Christmas?

    Toys are certainly a safe bet when it comes to providing a sales lift during the holiday season. Macy’s will have to do a lot of marketing though to ensure that shoppers are aware of this partnership so that this store-within-a-store becomes the destination it’s intended to be. Would this alone be what saves either brand? No, but it’s a smart pairing.
  • Posted on: 07/15/2022

    Inflation didn’t slow Amazon’s Prime Day roll – or its rivals’ either

    I wonder if they sold many more units this year because they put more items on discount? I’m still slightly skeptical of these numbers, but I do think consumers still want to buy, despite inflation. We love a deal, and the Prime Day experience was better organized and more shoppable than ever before. The improvements in their interface and the fact that the site never crashed certainly helped.
  • Posted on: 07/13/2022

    Will Yeezy find it easy to operate stores?

    This could be the best or worst thing for Yeezy. There's no doubt the demand is there for a physical retail space. And, Ye is known for sometimes having a genius team help pull off the most exclusive experiences. However that "sometimes" is a key word here. Ye has let down fans in the past in a few different ways, so this is a key opportunity to nail it. If Ye and team deliver to fans and go beyond, this will (as he is known to do) set a precedent for style and shopping. If something goes awry or disappoints (as he has also been known to occasionally do), it will advance that narrative instead. This is really most interesting to me from the perspective of his brand and the future of it.
  • Posted on: 07/12/2022

    Amazon says it has built a better smart shopping cart

    The advertising Amazon is able to do on the screens while users shop is the biggest win for the brand, in my opinion, as I worry about the accuracy and efficiency of this still. Self-checkout uses weight in a lot of instances, and it slows the process down considerably. I’m wondering why they’re focusing on this alternative to Just Walk Out technology because that is such a winner in my book - for retailers and shoppers.
  • Posted on: 07/11/2022

    Are outlet centers ready to resume growth?

    Though heightened price-sensitivity is a large draw for outlet centers, I think the trend back towards mall culture and experiential shopping is also extremely relevant. Consumers are looking to retailers to provide destinations for engagement, and outlet centers could be that.

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