Paula Rosenblum

Managing Partner, RSR Research

Paula Rosenblum is co-founder and Managing Partner at RSR Research and is widely recognized as one of the industry’s top retail technology analysts. She has been selected as one of the “Top 50 Retail Technology Influencers” from 2014 -2018. She also writes a blog for Forbes and is frequently quoted in other major media outlets including the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, LA Times, NPR Marketplace and many others. She serves on the advisory board of three consumer goods import companies.

Previous to her years as an analyst, she spent over 20 years as a retail technology executive and CIO at companies including iParty, Hit or Miss, Morse Shoe, Domain Home Fashions and others.

Paula received her MBA in 1991 from Northeastern University, with a major in management of High Technology firms and was nominated to the Beta Gamma Sigma honor society. She’s active in a variety of organizations supporting human growth and development, and in particular has been involved with the RetailROI charity since its earliest days.

Other Links from Paula Rosenblum:

RSR Research blog

  • Posted on: 12/02/2020

    Were record Cyber Monday/Week sales enough to help retailers salvage 2020?

    Salvage the year? For retailers selling apparel that is not leisure-related you cannot salvage the year. Three to four months were lost. You can’t fix that, and people are still home. Those who have done well, will continue to. Those who have not, sadly, will not, and the independents who closed will never return.
  • Posted on: 12/01/2020

    Dick’s Sporting Goods to test new ‘Public Lands’ outdoor concept

    Now if only they weren't out of stock on so many things. Hopefully they tidy that part up soon.
  • Posted on: 12/01/2020

    Dick’s Sporting Goods to test new ‘Public Lands’ outdoor concept

    Well, as someone who paid double for an inflatable kayak and uses it and is waiting for a new bicycle wheel after not using my bike for years, I'd have to say oh, yeah. It's fun, healthy, and all of it is socially distanced. Go for it!
  • Posted on: 11/30/2020

    Was Black Friday a bust?

    Was Black Friday a bust? It depends on your definition and understanding of Black Friday. If you're referring to the massive doorbuster sales and accompanying extra payroll, and HVAC costs, sure, it was a bust. But I'm old enough to remember when Black Friday was just the kickoff to the holiday season, when families would go out shopping or looking at store windows (unless there had been a light snow the day before -- then boom!). The real question is not "Was Black Friday a bust?" or even "What percent was sold online?" The real question is "What is the holiday season going to look like for retailers?" I think it's going to be a story of heaven and hell, depending on the retail segment. But one way or another, without those store-based I-dont-know-whats it will likely be more profitable than it would have been if Black Friday was a "boom." If it was a bust, I say good riddance.
  • Posted on: 11/24/2020

    Target CEO points to one-stop shopping as key to chain’s success

    Yes, the world has changed. While before the pandemic there was a trend toward targeted (sorry -- no pun intended) shopping trips, getting in and out, and doing it quickly in one place is now a happening thing again. I expect it to continue for some time. Also the fragile state of personal economic conditions will keep customers trading down for some time.
  • Posted on: 11/20/2020

    Should landlords get a cut of online sales?
  • Posted on: 11/19/2020

    Do masks and social distancing matter in 2020 Christmas spots?

    Well, what are the things I liked about the Target commercial? 1.) It had a menorah in the commercial, paying service to at least one other religious holiday (no "war on Christmas," please.), 2.) It shows the family alone together, which acknowledges the reality of the day. What do I like about the Macy's commercial? Not much. The mask thing really does matter. Whoever the company thinks it's connecting to, it should be reinforcing the use of masks, not ignoring the reality of the day. It's out of touch. Sure they'll be able to use it again next year, but so what? Winner (in every way): Target.
  • Posted on: 11/18/2020

    Target and Walmart’s 3Q results are just – Wow!

    Stunning results. I attribute profitability and the ability to satisfy customers to technology investments made well in advance of the pandemic. And regional distribution centers and stores that help fuel the revenue flames. It's not an accident, and it's not just because of size. It's a.) technology investments made in advance of the pandemic, b.) agility and c.) power with suppliers. Both these companies have CEOs that "get it" and are willing to invest. Even Target's willingness to deliver via Instacart along with its self-owned Shipt shows cleverness in using all tools to meet demand. And hey! They didn't even have to buy their own airplanes!
  • Posted on: 11/17/2020

    Will Amazon’s new online pharmacy disrupt the U.S. drugstore business?

    I don't think Amazon poses a credible threat. I mean, the chain drug industry is in trouble because every store from groceries to Costco are now selling prescriptions. This is just another player. Of course I miss the independent pharmacy, but they are all gone. I suppose I could be wrong, but I really prefer the instant gratification of a drive-thru pharmacy, and the convenience of having preferred pricing from my medical insurance plan at one of the big two.
  • Posted on: 11/16/2020

    Will pop-up e-commerce fulfillment centers help Walmart manage demand?

    I think this is a fabulous idea. It's actually kind of brilliant. Walmart has learned how to leverage its assets, and make for a more efficient (and profit-making) enterprise. I have written a blog on this that will come out tomorrow, but I just think it's great.
  • Posted on: 11/13/2020

    Should C-suite execs keep their opinions to themselves on store visits?

    I do agree. I know how hard store employees work when they know “the boss” is coming. It’s too deflating to criticize their efforts.
  • Posted on: 11/12/2020

    Is it the right time to open an experiential, socially-distanced toy store?

    I think everything about this is an oxymoron, to be honest. "Socially-distanced, experiential?" Seriously? Play together, but not too close. Let's wipe everything down in between guests? Bad timing. And people might want to go to it, but it's not going to be healthy.
  • Posted on: 11/09/2020

    What will President Joe Biden mean for retail?

    Well, it all depends. Certainly a real response to the pandemic will help a lot. Retailers may not like potential tax cut roll-backs, but you know, so it goes. I think the entire world, retail and otherwise, is looking for stability and sanity. That will help everyone but the 70 million in the U.S. who actually voted for the loser.
  • Posted on: 11/06/2020

    Will store certifications make customers feel safer?

    *sigh*. All of this because there is no actual national policy. Retailers have taken matters into their own hands, and that is fabulous. BUT -- they put themselves at risk because somehow mask wearing and social distancing has become politicized. This has to change. I think it would be nice if retailers continued the practice of cleaning bathrooms after the pandemic passes. Beyond that, again -- retailers are subject to the whims of their customers.
  • Posted on: 11/05/2020

    Is it time for mainstream retail to get into the legal weed business?

    Let's take things a step at a time, shall we? First let's get federal legalization so that these purchases can be made with credit cards, and so that operators can actually put the proceeds in a bank. We lose track of the fact that retailers like Trulieve are already in multiple states. So think of it as a specialty store. Should you be able to buy pot at a grocery store? I suppose if you're willing to buy a cigar there, or a bottle of wine there, it's fine enough. Look, I fully believe that marijuana is far, far, far less harmful than alcohol. But there's a process that has to happen and, until it does, this is a moot conversation.

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