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: 01/20/2020

    Is Bose doing the smart thing in closing its stores?

    They also make speakers. Good ones. I think we just found a reason why they need stores,
  • Posted on: 01/20/2020

    Is Bose doing the smart thing in closing its stores?

    I think it’s a good idea. Most electronics stores will demo Bose stuff for you, and with Bose’s marketing prowess (extreme), the company should maintain sales. What they are giving away is margin, by selling exclusively through third parties, but I’m sure they’ve done that calculus.
  • Posted on: 01/17/2020

    NRF 2020 Review: Human vs. Machine

    My own opinion is that robots will be great working with products and other inanimate objects. So picking, washing floors, checking shelves for holes. But in interacting with customers, I just's a bad idea. Why go to a store to talk to a robot? Just doesn't make sense to me. I'd rather stay home if I have to talk to a robot.
  • Posted on: 01/16/2020

    Did Trump’s phase one deal with China deliver the goods for retailers?

    "The trade war won't be over until the tariffs are gone." Yup. That says it all.
  • Posted on: 01/16/2020

    What does Target’s Christmas miss mean?

    It's not overwhelmingly alarming, but I suspect Walmart is gaining at Target's expense. As Walmart's reputation improves, there are shoppers that may switch based on a pure price play.
  • Posted on: 01/15/2020

    Will Walmart become a fashion destination in 2020?

    While Walmart has done a tremendous job in cleaning up its image, making it a fashion destination is still a stretch. It's not so dissimilar to asking if Amazon can make a luxury version of its site work. The answer there was the same. Not so much. I think Neil is riight...the company has made great strides in its digital presence. But its in-store shopper is its in-store shopper. And the last time Walmart tried this, it ended up with a lot of inventory to get rid of. I just don't think times have changed that much.
  • Posted on: 01/14/2020

    Is Walmart’s Alphabot what the future of e-grocery fulfillment will look like?

    I do think this is the future of grocery home delivery. It overcomes (over time) the giving away of margin to payroll on low margin goods and allows for some give-away on higher margin fresh produce. I also think it's not entirely new. I believe frozen food warehouses have been fully automated for some time. What IS new is the notion of picking individual orders. Great move.
  • Posted on: 01/13/2020

    Walmart U.S. CEO: Good retail jobs are much more than good pay

    Building a "bench" in the store of people who are candidates for managerial jobs has been around for years. But it's more important now than ever. The customer has tons of choices and no need to be loyal, and we are not the only research company to discover that empowered employees are a key part of retailing success today. Let's say that is STARTS with a good paycheck (sorry guys, no way around this) and moves on to training, career-pathing and retention activities. We can make fun of today's "Whole Paycheck" but its employee stock program helped a dear friend of mine put his daughters through college quite some time ago. That's no small thing. And he was a produce manager in a local Whole Foods. That's pretty good for a department manager. It's a big ask, because it's so disruptive to a 100 year old model, but a less transient workforce is now a retail imperative.
  • Posted on: 01/10/2020

    Should Ahold-Delhaize, Albertsons, Kroger or Walmart buy Grubhub?

    I don't know. I'd have to ask the question, "can they cook?"
  • Posted on: 01/09/2020

    Kroger goes beyond meat and looks for impossible growth with private brand

    That's the issue, Dave. Is the market mature enough to ensure similar quality in private label? I don't think so. And like you, meat is not my thing but plant based alternatives are.
  • Posted on: 01/07/2020

    Group says Amazon wants workers to keep quiet on its climate change strategy

    Welcome to the other side of the PR machine world, Amazon! I don’t think there’s anything Amazon can do about it, any more than Walmart was able to stop its workers from complaining about its policies. All they’ll do is drive anonymity, but they really can’t dictate what people do on their own time, and the worst blowback will come if they fire the workers. First of all, this level of job is just not so hard to get, and second of all, last I checked it was still a free country.
  • Posted on: 01/06/2020

    Did Domino’s gouge Time Square revelers?

    I really don't like dynamic pricing. Anywhere.
  • Posted on: 01/06/2020

    Did Domino’s gouge Time Square revelers?

    Then there was the year Olive Garden in Times Square was selling New Years Eve dinners for a mere $400 a head. Seems fair (hah!).
  • Posted on: 01/02/2020

    Are return rates out of control?

    You are so right. Back in the Stone Age, I did a returns system design for a catalog clothing retailer. Return rates were, if you were GOOD, 25 percent, which magically is at least 3X returns from store shopping. It's frankly part of the cost of doing business direct to consumers. I hear rumors (really...they are rumors) that Amazon's return rate for apparel is 35 percent. It's a rumor, but it doesn't surprise me. Sure, some of the returns come from people buying something for an occasion, only to return it when the occasion is over, but it's not hard to find varying ways to combat this (required label on the outside of the garment, etc). But it's just the way it works. As online sales continue to rise, and as returns replace the "fitting room" as a way to try on merchandise a customer may or may not want, this percentage will continue to rise even more. I know there are ways to mitigate the problem some, but I simply don't think ultimately it's going to nudge the return numbers much. It's endemic to DTC.
  • Posted on: 12/26/2019

    Is Super Saturday rivaling Black Friday in importance?

    I suppose this is all a matter of how long your memory is. As I recall, the last Saturday before Christmas was always a bigger deal than Black Friday ... until the industry got into door buster madness. This is the normal way of things. What’s truly new is the advent of gift cards turning January into a viable selling month.

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