PROFILE

Paula Rosenblum

Co-founder, RSR Research

Paula Rosenblum is widely recognized as one of the industry’s top retail technology analysts. She has consistently been selected as one of the world’s “Top Retail Technology Influencers” by various magazines and other publications from 2014 to the present day. She is frequently quoted by many major print and digital media outlets and is also a retail contributor to Forbes. She serves on the advisory boards of two early-stage retail start-ups and has recently started a new blog on substack.com.

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 knows retail.

Paula remains a Managing Partner of RSR Research.

She 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.

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  • Posted on: 08/16/2022

    Nike takes the week off

    I like it. Employees have clearly demonstrated that they will simply walk if they're not well taken care of. In a business like Nike's it's good to treat them well.
  • Posted on: 08/10/2022

    Does Walmart+ need a video streaming deal to compete with Amazon Prime?

    Well, it’d be fine if they offered an existing service, but to build their own? I think that ship has sailed. A deal with -- maybe Disney -- would be the best idea.
  • Posted on: 08/09/2022

    Should marketing have more control over pricing?

    Maybe it's a nomenclature problem, but everywhere I ever worked, merchandising was responsible for margin, and that's what they got paid for. Marketing provides input into the calendar, of course, but they don't get paid based on margin. Marketing does ads and imaging. Merchandising does products and pricing. It is always so.
  • Posted on: 08/08/2022

    Is Amazon’s deal for iRobot all about mapping Americans’ homes?

    And you think that was worth $1.7 billion, when Google only paid a billion for Ring? Seriously?
  • Posted on: 08/08/2022

    Is Amazon’s deal for iRobot all about mapping Americans’ homes?

    I guess we’ve gotten over the “privacy is dead” conversation. It’s very much alive and this is a bridge too far.
  • Posted on: 08/05/2022

    CVS plans to buy its way into the primary care business

    CVS seems to have a quality control problem in its stores. I switched to another chain because I found the help rude at the store I went to, but another one, just 20 blocks down is supposed to be excellent. Believe it or not, online reviews really do tell the tale in this case. So it's all about operational excellence. After that, I think this is a great idea.
  • Posted on: 08/04/2022

    Is Walmart’s HQ reorg a good thing or cause for concern?

    From my perspective the timing is awful, coming on the heels of the forecast slashing but, as Neil said, it's a trim -- not a "slash." I can think of a multitude of reasons why a trimming is a good idea, but I guess Walmart was trying to toss out all its bad news at once. That's one thing companies do when they've had a rough go -- toss out all the issues and appear to clean the slate.
  • Posted on: 08/03/2022

    The Nordstrom tire return story is true

    Products are ubiquitous (usually). Service is the scarce commodity. And kindness. I don't know how to explain to a retailer or other provider that outsourcing customer service to a foreign land, and providing CSRs with scripts is not service. How do we tell them that a five hour wait for a callback is unacceptable? How do we tell a chain drug store that just because you have robots filling prescriptions it doesn't mean you shouldn't have respectful employees at the store? Can it be replicated today? No one would call Costco a "service-centric" business model, yet it is. So yes, in your realm, if you meet or exceed a customer's best expectations you will do well.
  • Posted on: 08/02/2022

    Will Amazon deliver same-day results for GNC, PacSun and other retailers?

    When is some regulator, stockholder or someone going to declare that it's time to break Amazon up? It's a logistics company, a retailer, a marketplace, an electronics maker, a cloud computing provider and a production company. Of these, I think one business is profitable. It just doesn't seem right to me, and no -- if I were a retailer I would not participate.
  • Posted on: 08/01/2022

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

    Well, there's an implied choice here, I think: a less expensive version of Saks (traditional high-end), or less expensive versions of modern brands. It's an interesting choice for the Off-Fifth shopper. The risk, of course, is that the resale buyers find new designers that Saks doesn't carry. It changes the shape of their aspirations.
  • Posted on: 07/29/2022

    Kohl’s throws back with Levi’s

    They don’t need traffic. They keep doing things to increase traffic. They need to convert that traffic to sales.
  • Posted on: 07/29/2022

    Should ‘best before’ and ‘use by’ dates be reimagined to reduce waste?

    This is insane. Better we should avoid the topic of spoilage? It strikes me as potentially bad for everyone concerned -- a consumer who buys and eats out of date cole slaw, the customer service reps who have to take calls about “off tasting” food. I think it’s a terrible idea.
  • Posted on: 07/28/2022

    Best Buy cuts forecast in glass half full announcement

    Well, they do have a space problem -- as in too much. No more CDs, speakers are now small ... so the smaller store is definitely their future. All the rest, I heartily agree with (except the CEO saying it's about ORC -- that's called "storytelling time" and is a very popular pastime in earnings season.
  • Posted on: 07/28/2022

    Are mobile devices creating connected store associates yet?

    Well, I thought BYOD was going to be the next big thing five years ago. Why HD is "handing out devices" is lost on me. Everyone owns one and there is good technology to wipe them as needed. So yes for the concept, no for the implementation. It's actually a head scratcher.
  • Posted on: 07/27/2022

    Grocers and food brands take older consumers for granted

    I see no evidence of older Americans being ignored. In fact, given the muzak that plays in the background of grocery stores, it feels more like they’re being targeted (totally mortifying moment -- when you find yourself singing along).... I don’t even think the plant-based phenomenon bypasses older people. I wonder more if Gen Z is being ignored.

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