Rachelle King

Retail Industry Thought Leader

NOTE: Comments and opinions are Rachelle’s own, not her employer’s.

Rachelle has 15 years of sales and marketing experience spanning the retail, agency and CPG industries. Her retail experience includes working on the legendary Beauty Team at CVS. On the agency side, she served as Retail Strategy Director at Geometry where she led retail strategy in the commerce and shopper marketing space for CPG, retail and finance clients including Coca Cola, Kroger and American Express. Her CPG experience includes sales planning, trade marketing and creating go-to-market strategies for industry leaders including Unilever, Pfizer and L’Oreal. In addition to traditional CPG, her experience includes consumer products licensing with sports and entertainment partners including Disney, DreamWorks, Major League Baseball and NFL.

As Director, North America Trade Marketing for The Topps Company, she established the first trade marketing department in the trading card industry and forged ground breaking partnerships with top retailers including Walmart and Target. She spent two years in Bentonville leading retail sales and marketing for a direct to retail (DTR) partnership between DreamWorks and Walmart. Her retail work spans food, drug, mass, specialty/beauty, hobby, convenience, dollar and ecommerce channels.

Rachelle holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing and Advertising from Purdue University and a Master’s Degree in Management Strategy (with distinction) from NYU. Originally from the Chicago area, she’s a long-time New Yorker.

  • Posted on: 11/18/2022

    Simon says digital native brands can find a home in its malls

    At the end of the day, brick and mortar is still king. However, digitally native brands may experience retail differently and they have an opportunity for their consumers to experience retail differently. That's the upside. Does this mean digitally native brands should dive head-first into their own brick/mortar space? Or, would it be optimal to start with a store within a store concept? My vote is the latter, at least to start.
  • Posted on: 11/18/2022

    Do retailers need to add chief trust officers?

    All companies should monitor trust levels, from both consumers and employees--even from ley partners. This is a necessary and foundational act of responsible business. It's not a new or novel idea. However, throwing the entire corporate responsibility of trust onto a trust officer is as effective as throwing the entire corporate responsibility of diversity, equity and inclusion onto a DEI officer. Very few of these "hero" roles have teams reporting into them to take or lead any meaningful action. Further if the C-suite needs policing then you probably need a new C-suite. Officers of companies are bound by ethics and integrity in their actions on behalf of the company. If building trust requires supervision, then something is wrong. Companies should agree on what matters most on the spectrum of trust, create a corporate plan to hit those goals and hold their C-suite accountable. Companies should stop creating roles because something needs to be done but nobody really intends to do it. If the C-suite is not delivering results, that's why Boards exist; not a trust officer.
  • Posted on: 11/17/2022

    What price will Target and other retailers pay for their holiday sales promotions?

    Consumers know the deals are coming. In this economic climate, they are going to hold out for every penny-off they can get. This is going to squeeze all of retail. Target is just an early indicator of what is coming; not just for this holiday season but in Q1'23. Retailers will need to reassess their strategies in the new year and that's when things will get interesting.
  • Posted on: 11/17/2022

    Aldi Australia vs. Kroger: The RetailWire Christmas Commercial Challenge

    Aldi is very much on brand. It is also borderline frightful vs delightful. Maybe it's best to watch 2-3 times to get past the cringing shock-factor and appreciate the humor. Kroger went right for the heartstrings. It's hard to miss Christmas with nostalgic animation. Excellent nod to diversity and inclusion. The music ties it all together. Is it a bit syrupy? Sure. But so is Christmas when you get to the heart of it.
  • Posted on: 11/15/2022

    What does it take to build a positive corporate culture?

    Positive corporate culture is built on authenticity and accountable practice. Unfortunately, most corporate cultures, missions and values are cooked up in a well-meaning ad agency. Executives then chant the party line, people managers ignore it and the employee population suffers. In reality it's the day-to-day people managers that impact how employees experience culture. The hard truth is that most people managers are not held accountable for getting it right.
  • Posted on: 10/31/2022

    What are the biggest emerging threats facing online delivery?

    It's almost impossible to police porch piracy. Neighbors sometimes steal from neighbors, whether it's the Sunday paper or the Amazon Fresh delivery. By some code, if goods are left out "too long" it's fair game. One way to think about porch piracy is if you are not home for delivery, then someone else will be. The question is, where is the merchant at fault and how much responsibility, financially, do they have for porch bandits? As economic uncertainty continues and consumers keep pandemic-era shifts to more digital commerce, last mile providers will need to make extra efforts to secure deliveries and manage communications on delivery timings.
  • Posted on: 10/25/2022

    Why is Walmart killing off a $1 billion private label?

    Like most brands, consumer usage has changed with Covid and that's no different for Secret Treasures. Smart move by Walmart to update and expand the product line to be more reflective of what consumers want from underclothing today. But, changing the brand name -- that's always tricky and could be a big gamble for Walmart. But, they have changed PL brand names before with good success in Diapers. The odds are in their favor. They just need to bring consumers along.
  • Posted on: 10/21/2022

    Uber Eats puts weed delivery on the menu

    Are the cigarette people now trying to figure out how to get their products listed on Uber Eats? Is there a comms strategy for nicotine vs cannabis? There is an old saying ... "just because you can do something, doesn't mean you should."
  • Posted on: 10/21/2022

    Will Target own the Christmas season as it moves past its inventory glut?

    Why shouldn't Target be primed to have a strong holiday season? Target delivers on the one thing consumers look for during inflationary times: value for the money. Aa long as the inventory remains in check, Target is poised for a healthy holiday season. Still, Target should not rely entirely on price-value. They also need to deliver on experience. Long checkout lines during the holiday season are as good as a personal endorsement to go shop somewhere else.
  • Posted on: 10/20/2022

    Will adult pajamas prove a good fit for The Children’s Place?

    This is a good way to capitalize on a a growing trend. Consumers are spending more time at home and realizing their PJ game can use a makeover. The longevity of this solution is something to keep an eye on. At what point will PJ Palace need to branch out to indoor/outdoor lounge wear. Or, maybe they have already planned the comeback of the leisure suit. In the end, being able to explore this space without the overhead cost of brick and mortar is a benefit of living in a digital commerce world. This is something to use to their advantage and not lean forward too soon into opening stores around this proposition.
  • Posted on: 10/18/2022

    How can grocers prevail in inflationary times without winning on price?

    Private label is not what it used to be. The one advantage that traditional grocers have with private label is that their owned brands have narrowed the quality gap with national brands. During inflationary times consumers don't necessarily want cheaper products, they want lower priced products that deliver on value for the money. Traditional grocers private label can win here. In addition, leveraging a loyalty program to add incremental value and personalization can be very impactful. Traditional grocers don't have to compete on price alone during inflationary times.
  • Posted on: 10/18/2022

    HomeGoods is booking showroom weekend getaways for $29.99 a night

    There is good intent behind this, but it's hard to call it much more than fabulous stunt marketing. Consumers are getting an extraordinary getaway and yes, a good experience with HomeGoods merchandise. However, consumers are not going to see this as a shopping excursion vs a rare opportunity experience. And that may end up costing HomeGoods more than this effort is worth.
  • Posted on: 08/26/2022

    Are feedback requests worth it, even when they’re annoying?

    The research from INSEAD is indeed interesting and likely encouraging to merchants and brands who thrive on customer feedback. But I can see a fine line here. This finding has uncovered an implicit or derived behavior where no response may not actually be bad. That insight could cause some marketers to stray from the original intent of a survey (feedback) and seek an implicit benefit (brand favorability). The potential fallout from that, true feedback fatigue, could, in the end, do more harm than good. This is certainly something for merchants and brands to keep in their tool kits and leverage strategically. However their marketing practices should continue to be lead by honest intent and brand integrity. If the intent is for feedback, then act with integrity and truly seek feedback; not just perception.
  • Posted on: 08/25/2022

    Walmart+ members get a rewarding new perk

    Walmart is on the right track with building out this rewards program. The efforts should help with retention, especially for Walmart loyalist. There is also a fair likelihood of driving trial, but whether or not this program will pull in new customers for the long haul is a gamble.
  • Posted on: 08/24/2022

    What tradeoffs are consumers willing to make to stretch their food dollars?

    Consumers are used to the conserve/splurge cycle, they will roll through this downturn. However, the combined impact of inflation + ongoing lifestyle changes from the pandemic will make it that much more uncomfortable. For this reason, we will continue to see this behavior of conserve with care where consumers pull back where needed, but hold on to a few things that make life a little more palatable.

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