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Founder, Newmine.
Navjit Bhasin is a visionary expert in strategy, technology, operations and change management. As a veteran entrepreneur and an active angel investor he has worked in hands-on roles for 100s of retailers and consumer brands. He maintains a keen eye for creative ways to fund growth initiatives and increase profitability. Navjit has built his career as a natural problem solver, focused on sharing insights to navigate the retail industry arena to achieve long-term, sustained success. He is Founder and CEO of Newmine, an omnichannel retail consulting company, with a mission to help retailers build a better bottom line. Newmine is uniquely focused on optimizing retail commerce and returns reduction. Leading a team of accomplished retail professionals, Navjit has helped some of the retail industry’s biggest brands transform their customer experience and enhance profitability. Newmine’s flagship software product, Chief Returns Officer, is the only AI-powered Returns Reduction Platform.
  • Posted on: 11/07/2022

    Is it time to shut down the free returns party?

    Why are we acting that all customers are a parasite on your business? When did this happen? Successful retailers make adjustments to serve their customers. That's good business. We need to reduce the return volume through better strategies and operations. Studies show that over 70% of returns can be controlled by the retailer, and that returns indicate upstream issues in the business that need to be addressed. It's time for retailers to delve into their data and uncover the root cause instead of only thinking that adding fees and changing policies will solve the problem.
  • Posted on: 08/28/2021

    Do retailers need a chief data officer?

    Retailers don’t need another “C” level executive. Data/Analytics/Insights should be embedded in every business decision and day to day activities of the retailer. Rather than creating a new role, retailers need to enable their existing workforce with the right tools and mindset to leverage the data.
  • Posted on: 03/17/2021

    Why is gaining meaningful insights from data still so hard?

    Cathy - we have been hearing of retailers calling themselves "data driven" for a long time now. But to remain competitive and ahead of the pack, they will be forced to make it happen soon.
  • Posted on: 03/17/2021

    Why is gaining meaningful insights from data still so hard?

    Christine, I totally agree! Lack of internal data scientists should not stop anyone from gleaning customer insights. In order for data to solve problems, it needs to be unified into a single version of the truth, distilled to the most meaningful insights, and provide corrective actions. Decision intelligence is going to be the the next wave of retail transformation.
  • Posted on: 10/12/2020

    Staples to accept returns from other stores

    While driving store traffic in this way has some benefits for both retailers and consumers who are seeking ease of returns, it ignores the primary challenge of returns, which is that they have become out of control for many retailers to manage and reduce. Returns need to be viewed for what they are: A drain on retailers’ bottom lines as well as harmful to our planet. If we seek to build sustainable businesses and a sustainable environment, we need to optimize returns logistics by reducing returns overall.
  • Posted on: 01/02/2020

    Are return rates out of control?

    Returns have risen out of control for retailers, causing a significant hit to the bottom line and customer experience. Because solving the returns challenge requires collaboration across all functional areas of the enterprise, much of what has been done to minimize the return problem has been more akin to putting a band-aid on a broken limb. Returns are a problem that need to be solved by understanding the root cause, and the answer requires a tremendous amount of ever-changing data (including Voice of Customer) from multiple sources plus the ability to quickly analyze and distill the results into actionable intelligence. Retailers cannot eliminate returns, but AI makes it possible for retailers to meaningfully reduce them.
  • Posted on: 07/25/2019

    Has Amazon ‘destroyed the retail industry’ in the U.S.?

    In my opinion, Amazon is the leading force in meeting the ever-increasing expectations of today’s consumers, especially Millennials and Gen-Z – who are the future of this nation. In fact, Amazon has the chops to take risks and innovate to expand beyond the traditional retail model. It didn’t destroy the retail industry – It elevated it. Amazon is a pioneer in the 21st century Retail Revolution and should be used as an example to foster innovation in a struggling industry. Look how Alibaba followed their footsteps. What Walmart did 50 years ago, Amazon did in the digital age. This doesn’t mean that Amazon is immune to competition, or will eradicate all other retailers. Alongside Walmart, Target and Sears coexisted for decades. Don’t live in the past, embrace change and grow. Rather than curbing innovators like Bezos and inhibiting others from being risk-takers for innovation, lawmakers should stay away from such “witch-hunting.” If a law is broken, absolutely, they should be scrutinized.
  • Posted on: 04/04/2019

    Can subscription retail solve its retention problem?

    As any magazine subscription marketer can tell you, subscriber churn is a fact of life. But as a business model, there is hardly a better one to consistently deliver profits once a base is established. So all the prescriptions mentioned here – value, variety, tiers, offers, delight, timeliness, partnering etc. are crucial truisms. It is not an easy problem to solve. And it constantly evolves. A sustainable subscription marketer combines a dynamic merchandising element with a dynamic marketing element held to realistic financial boundaries and solid LTV projections. Laser focus of effort – recruitment, conversion, retention, re-activation are all areas to be constantly testing, reading and validating. Every once in a while, you’ll find a wonder product that can build your base and carry the business, but that’s not the time to coast, it’s the time to relentlessly look for the next new thing. No magic bullets here.
  • Posted on: 03/06/2019

    Target crushes it with strongest holiday results in years

    The biggest clue may be summed up by answering the simple question: what bag would you rather be seen with? A Walmart bag? Or a Target bag? Or should I say the oft-used cliché, “Targé”? Target has singularly managed to maintain its brand identity as the chic place to get fundamental stuff. To hold that aura, you have to fearlessly execute on multiple levels – merchandise, shopping experience, pricing, marketing, technology, culture – to make your core customers come back for stuff they can get elsewhere. It’s about feeling good walking out with that red target on your bag. But it is a relentless path to keep that feeling going. Much of today’s Target specialness is an afterglow of the formative years’ proprietary designer-on-the-cheap merchandising strategy. That initial differentiation established “Targé” and might be a place to revisit to keep the newly arriving Millennials coming.
  • Posted on: 03/05/2019

    Retailers take on massive legacy system challenges one module at a time

    It is a perfect storm for most retailers trying to maintain constantly demanding service standards in a hyper competitive arena. The annual race to cajole a legacy system to perform new tricks and installed in time for the November lock down is a logistics and budgetary dash. The alternative, total ERP replacement, is a daunting economic and organizational undertaking. Everyone is no doubt familiar with multiple tear down and rebuild horror stories. There is of course no magic solution. The ultimate path is different for every business with multiple variables to consider. The best clarifier in this fog is the constant flow of empirical data and feedback from one’s customer base coupled with ROI evaluations. If quick, incremental gains can be made via the plethora of “bolt-on” solutions available – let customer data prioritize what projects need to happen. At the same time, in the background, a strategic plan to overhaul legacy systems needs to be ready to go when incremental changes are no longer possible or uneconomic.
  • Posted on: 03/05/2019

    Where does J.C. Penney go after ending its Bombfell subscription deal?

    J.C. Penney could do a lot worse choosing a business model to pursue than the subscription model. Developing a business where selling expenses fall away and revenue flow becomes more predictable can only benefit their struggling brand. But choosing what opportunity and what merchandise is key. In retrospect, a subscription service that caters to big and tall men may seem like a winner, but is that what the J.C. Penney brand means? And what makes Penney’s menswear special? The key to subscription services is client acquisition and retention – Penney’s no doubt had a steep climb to educate and convert prospects to sign up and build a file. It is ironic that at one time, Penney was a premier cataloger and had mastered this skill. If they look back, they’ll see the key to this lucrative business model is differentiation – offering something only they have, that clients need regularly.
  • Posted on: 02/19/2019

    Are disappointing holiday sales numbers a harbinger of things to come?

    It will take some time to validate the soundness of the revised sales numbers for the 2018 holiday season. Meanwhile, it should come as no surprise for veterans of the compressed, last two weeks before Christmas, “make it or break it” retail season. If you will recall it was precisely then that the stock market turned on a dime (why exactly?) and plunged 11+% in this crucial time period. Nothing like watching your 401K tank to put your credit card away in a hurry. Now, with the post holiday rebound, many financial advisors are saying “we’re in the seventh inning” and expansion should go on for a while. Unfortunately, the dizzying number of economic variables is growing and make the future even more foggy. If it is the seventh inning, the starter may be tiring and you better have some plans for relief pitching ready to go.
  • Posted on: 02/18/2019

    eBay looks to lead a ‘retail revival’

    This is potentially a match made in heaven for both eBay and small businesses/local retailers who struggled with building website traffic and fulfillment when trying to compete in a digital marketplace. Younger generations demand local and sustainable products—eBay can remove the friction in the shopping experience for those consumers, which for those shoppers is a significant hurdle -- while allowing the businesses to keep brick-and-mortar locations that offer enhanced customer experience. Further, small businesses will gain the reach to eBay’s global connections. With a commission-based transaction business model, of course, the more players the better. And the easier the on-boarding process is, the more players you'll get. eBay is not alone of course; Amazon hogs the stage, and retailers must test where they get the best results. Where eBay stands apart is the brand still represents an opportunity for the individual to monetize the unique (where else can you move that old Pez dispenser?) on a level playing ground. It's a tricky brand proposition, being a platform for the new and the old, fixed price and open auction, but that's what makes eBay different. Let the education continue.
  • Posted on: 02/18/2019

    Will Amazon’s decision to bail cause a New York backlash?

    The competition for Amazon was like a king demanding tribute from his subjects. It was unsettling to watch all these cities (many you knew were not viable from the get go) prostrate themselves before King Amazon. What is Bezos worth? $180 billion? Getting 3 billion in tax breaks off the back of Queens was red meat for various groups. Lesson #1 for Amazon is to control the benefit narrative going forward. Of course, all parties lose in the aftermath. Amazon had a ready supply of tech talent from Cornell and NYU, and NY loses untold future tax revenues and retail development. Each party will soldier on. Amazon is far too engrained into the culture now. NYC is NYC.
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