PROFILE

Patricia Vekich Waldron

Contributing Editor, RetailWire; Founder and CEO, Vision First
For over two decades, Patricia has lived at the crossroads of consumers, technology, and data. Her track record is filled with the stories of companies who have, with her help, differentiated themselves through innovative strategies, solutions, and marketing initiatives. Patricia is CEO and Founder of Vision First an advisory firm that helps companies stand out in a crowded market where many are vying for visibility. She is known for identifying new market opportunities to drive growth, launching, repositioning offerings, and showing up differently in the marketplace. Patricia speaks at global industry events, including World Retail Congress, Consumer Goods Forum, Retail Leaders Forum, and the National Retail Federation (NRF) and is well known by clients, partners, press, and analysts around the world.
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  • Posted on: 08/05/2020

    Moving beyond product features and benefits in brand messaging

    With more time and in many cases fewer discretionary funds, consumers are making decisions more consciously. Retailers and brands that take the time to understand consumers' mindsets, needs, wants and aspirations and offer useful solutions (products and services) via relevant channels and messages will be rewarded with revenue and loyalty.
  • Posted on: 07/30/2020

    What didn’t Jeff Bezos know and when didn’t he know it?

    Bezos and Amazon have officially jumped over to the dark side. Their breadth and depth is so great that they are the default choice for many consumers purchase decisions. Managing an organization this vast is no easy task and I don’t except a CEO to know all operational details, but I do expect them to prepare to respond appropriately to Congress. Bezos is no better than tobacco, airline and auto executives that effectively lied to Congress in the past.
  • Posted on: 07/24/2020

    Has retail permanently downsized?

    Retail will return (at some point in time), but in a very different form. Large legacy brands and mall/shopping spaces will be replaced by new concepts and multipurpose venues. Job roles will change to better serve customers and to increase efficiency that supports a leaner business model.
  • Posted on: 07/20/2020

    How will digital transform trade shows?

    Everyone goes to events for news and networking. In addition, vendors (who largely fund trade shows) want to generate new clients and expand existing relationships. I’m convinced that new models for trade show relationships are coming in the future.
  • Posted on: 07/14/2020

    Will battery power energize retailing performance?

    ESLs, RFID etc. have all been around for decades, but have not been widely adopted because of costs. Batteries have the potential to remove barriers and costs related to physical installation and power connection. This will enable retailers to operate and communicate in real-time, giving customers up-to-date information on inventory position.
  • Posted on: 07/10/2020

    Is consumer arrogance driving word-of-mouth recommendations?

    I’m tired of arrogance and bragging. The concept that having a certain product can make one "superior" and will entice other consumers to buy is not likely to replace intentional marketing for relevant brands.
  • Posted on: 07/09/2020

    Will doctors prove a cure-all for Walgreens competitive ills?

    Making healthcare affordable, convenient and integrated with pharmacy services can close a big gap for many. Walgreens will need to refresh its stores and merchandise to make the experience positive for consumers.
  • Posted on: 07/08/2020

    What white people need to know

    Top-down mandates and policies must be accompanied by grass roots individual efforts to understand and get beyond biases that limit diverse people, thinking and practices.
  • Posted on: 07/01/2020

    Anti-mask shoppers find themselves publicly shamed

    Sadly there is no cure for bad behavior, and with the prevalence of smartphones and polarization shaming of retailers will continue. Retailers' best response is for employees (with support from management and security) to keep cool and professionally reinforce the policy.
  • Posted on: 06/22/2020

    Should retailers boycott Facebook?

    Just consumers vote with their wallets, retailers and brands must do the same with their advertising dollars, based on their internal ethics and those of their shoppers.
  • Posted on: 06/19/2020

    Target wants to be known as the best place to work in retail

    What was the old adage about, that keeping your employees happy will keep your customers happy? Higher wages, benefits and recognition are all key to attracting top talent. Once you have a top team, then it’s one's responsibility to train, advance, coach and listen to them.
  • Posted on: 06/15/2020

    Do retailers need a chief health officer?

    It would make a lot of sense for industry organizations (NRF, FMI) to create a body of knowledge and authority on health, so there are standards and consistency in the industry, and all retailers regardless of size can have the information needed to keep customers and staff safe.
  • Posted on: 06/10/2020

    Stitch Fix finds California stylists too pricey

    Wouldn’t it be interesting to know what percentage of Stitch Fix customers live in Dallas, Pittsburgh or Cleveland?
  • Posted on: 06/09/2020

    Has Macy’s secured its future success with its new financing deal?

    Has Gennette been in a store recently? Unless Macy’s can address the underlying issues: lack of compelling reason for customers to visit stores and the merchandise (assortment and how it’s displayed) and shopping experience once they’re inside, additional capital sadly just prolongs the inevitable death of the brand.
  • Posted on: 06/05/2020

    Will the post-COVID-19 world be less global?

    It’s a complicated question with two main themes: products/supply chain and interconnections. Brands are well served to diversify sourcing, curate products to account for consumer preferences for local, sustainable, artisan and meaningful good. Regarding global influences, that genie is permanently out of the bottle, as technology and travel will continue to connect people around the world.

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