Peter Charness

Retail Strategy - UST Global

Peter Charness is a software/retail executive with significant experience (domestic and international) in innovating solutions for the retail and CPG industries.

As a CEO, Chief Marketing Officer and Chief Product Officer, Peter excels at revenue generation through areas such as, product management, product marketing and development, positioning, lead generation, Marcom and business/sales development. He is also experienced in mergers and acquisitions and partnerships

As a VP of Logisitics and Technology (CIO) Successful history of providing the right leadership and experience for inventory management and optimization for the Retail supply chain.

Specialties include:

Industry leading experience and capabilities in all manners of solutions for retailers and CPG Companies.

Particular emphasis on inventory optimization, retail ERP, merchandise planning and inventory management, POS and store operations, CRM and category management.

Significant depth in business intelligence, product management, product marketing, industry marketing, and inventory management.

  • Posted on: 11/25/2020

    Can category management catch up to the omnichannel shift?

    2.0? Try 10.0. There is nothing in current category management processes that can effectively deal with the need to localize say 30-40% of the product selection by store. Not much thought for how to stock product in local fulfillment centers (or stores as a fulfillment center) to support online. Velocity SKU management on planograms; how about a planogram and stock forecasts for a picking/shipment/curbside preparation area in the back of a store that now has less selling space, and more stock room/shipping area? I think the needed changes in thinking and processes are so dramatic, even the term category management is not descriptive enough. What's needed is a blend of category management, space planning, assortment planning, supply chain management, demand planning, price management all squeezed together as a Unified Product Management, capability ... UPM 1.0. Which way is the trademark office?
  • Posted on: 11/23/2020

    Big chains are raising pay and more retailers are likely to follow

    The fundamental change that retail is going through has been accelerated by COVID-19. The larger retailers, particularly those who have some portion of their business with essential products, are cleaning up. Smaller retailers are being driven out of business, which accelerates the sales increases for the bigger guys due to a concentration effect. These bigger retailers can now pay more. Secondly the acceleration of online business and the associated "free" shipping costs puts pressure on margins. In the end both of these factors are going to create an environment that will impact pricing, which will have to go up to allow for both higher wages and free shipping. In the end there may be a more rational model where the shopper pays more, commensurate with the increase in service quality and shopping convenience. Reality in pricing/profit needs is a good thing all around and creates a sustainable business model. That said, anyone care to bet on where inflation will be in 18 months?
  • Posted on: 11/20/2020

    How can retailers avert a holiday returns catastrophe?

    For apparel, where people order multiple sizes to find the one that fits, and multiple products to find the one they like ... there's not much to be done this holiday season. The best a retailer can do is engineer for speed of return, in particular speed of putting salable returned products back on the shelf as soon as possible. Having inventory unavailable for sale for a long time period is a problem that can be somewhat fixed this season. As to the economics of online selling and return management -- it's eventually going to have to be buried in the cost of goods sold/margin. Shoppers don't want to explicitly pay for shipping or returns, so they are going to have to pay for it elsewhere. There is no such business capability called "long-term free."
  • Posted on: 11/20/2020

    Should landlords get a cut of online sales?

    Shades of grey. Technically (accounting wise) the sale occurs when (maybe not where) the product is fulfilled. So if it's curbsided ... probably ... if it's buy online and ship from store ... less clear. From a practical standpoint, the landlord probably has the right to anything that goes through that store's POS device, and a right to audit and balance to that. If the product is reserved online, and picked up in store, the landlord probably gets a cut, yes. If the retailer's systems are set up so that a ship from store goes through the store POS (like Instacart), also likely yes. Beyond these not completely clear delineators, it quickly goes to really muddy. In principle, the retailer owes the mall for the traffic the mall generates. The claim to the physical mall generating online sales gets rather but not completely tenuous.
  • Posted on: 11/06/2020

    Under Armour does a Nike me-too and expects success

    The world has changed. Traditional retailers who used to be the main point of control between the manufacturer and the consumer have lost their significant power to decide what products will be available to the shopper. Online companies and marketplaces give brands plenty of alternative opportunities to get their products in front of and to the consumer bypassing the bricks. If you own a brand that shoppers want then you are in the driver's seat. This isn't just a me-too, it's an inevitable trend.
  • Posted on: 11/05/2020

    Did Gap just learn that no good tweet goes unpunished?

    The hoodie needed one more color. It should have been red, white and blue. Though even that might have been considered a problem in some quarters. Messed up is the order of the day.
  • Posted on: 11/03/2020

    Will Walmart’s decision to scrap robots have far-ranging effects?

    Online grocery shopping continues to suffer from inaccurate inventory positions, with non real-time updates. This leads to highly unacceptable rates of substitution and poor online order fulfillment. In-store order pickers are racing against a clock, and I really wonder how well they will be reporting stockouts or mis-located products under those conditions. I suspect as costs come down, permanently-placed (shelf edge) video cameras will be doing some of this work. Robots and browsing shoppers didn't mix well.
  • Posted on: 11/02/2020

    Do online grocers have a transparency problem?

    Online content seems to be "there," as others have noted, maybe a click or two deeper. Where grocers could pull ahead though would be to enable meal planning that allows an individual to enter their nutritional needs (like calorie counts for us couch potatoes), allergies/gluten etc. and allow shoppers to create shopping lists that meet those needs. That would be a more useful way of creating better customer experiences.
  • Posted on: 10/30/2020

    Are Chewy and PetSmart better off apart?

    I'm a bit puzzled actually (it's Friday). Given the logic of unified commerce and the importance of providing customers what they want in whatever mode they choose to acquire product, splitting a successful online capability from an in-store one rather than creating a unified brand/experience seems counter-intuitive. But this seems to be purely a financial transaction and that is seldom based on what's good for the customer or the store associates.
  • Posted on: 10/30/2020

    Will Walmart’s new lab stores cook up something big?

    If you don't try new things, then you will surely be left behind. All retailers need to be experimenting all the time. But not in a random manner of just trying new things. They need proper methods and measurements. Doing one without the other is a waste. Experimentation requires proper rigor.
  • Posted on: 10/29/2020

    Do retailers need to make price optimization a priority right now?

    It depends. If you are selling commodity product that can be purchased from any number of retailers/sources, then the price is the prevailing online lookup, probably first at Amazon, and then increasingly with Google Shopping. The concept of zone pricing, store/part day pricing becomes more difficult, as you can't afford to be higher than the "market makers" (and being lower gets pretty margin challenging). That takes a certain amount of the functional needs out of the game, and reduces the requirement for some of what optimization technology has traditionally supplied. Hyper-personalized price offers on the other hand on a one-to-one basis to a known consumer starts to make a lot more sense. That's a different branch of the optimization game.
  • Posted on: 10/26/2020

    Google Shopping makes price comparisons easier

    It does call into question retailers who go to extraordinary lengths to set zone-based pricing, pricing differences within a radius of competitor stores and a myriad of techniques that frankly no longer matter when an in-store shopper can scan/check and all pricing is compared to the best online values. I don't agree that this will create a race to the bottom, but I think it will start to create a normality for everyday consistent pricing -- particularly when scarcer supply means promotions aren't needed to maximize sales.
  • Posted on: 10/22/2020

    Amazon will pay you to know what you bought somewhere else

    You think Amazon could do something useful with the data, like stopping retargeting for products already purchased? That would be useful ... just not very likely. In these days of pending anti trust investigations, I'm surprised Amazon is trying this at all now.
  • Posted on: 10/20/2020

    Albertsons offers a new refrigerated take on store pickup

    Great idea. BOPIC not only keeps the safety factor satisfied during this pandemic, but it also offers a "get out of the house" factor, even if you don't really end up doing the shopping.
  • Posted on: 10/15/2020

    Macy’s is turning stores dark for the holidays

    Technically the sale occurs at the time of fulfillment, so you could somewhat argue that all the revenue goes to that store. While shipping from a dark store or a customer fulfillment center isn't exactly ringing through a POS, it's also not right to categorize a BOPIS or curbside as having no implied revenue attached to it.

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