PROFILE

Rick Moss

President, Co-founder, RetailWire

Along with partners Al McClain and Santi Briglia, Rick Moss is responsible for conceiving and building RetailWire.com. Principally, he spearheads the content and functional design of the site, along with handling other administrative and creative duties.

  • Rick’s career in retail trade communications stretches back to 1981 with the start-up of Retail Insights, a ground-breaking video trade magazine. He headed the production and design team for that series of programs until 1993, when, along with partner Santi Briglia, he formed Further Media, a communications design company.
  • With Further Media, Moss and Briglia produced a diversity of b2b communications for the likes of IBM, CMP/InformationWeek, Dean Foods, Ralston Purina and GE. Although primarily concentrated on web design and management, Further Media also designed for video, print and interactive disk.
  • In 1998, out of a partnership between Further Media and Al McClain’s Media Connection, came IdeaBeat.com — the retail industry’s most innovative online community. Rick served as President, overseeing content and strategic partnerships.

Rick is also a contributor to blogs and news publications, typically writing on the impact of future technologies. His opinion pieces have appeared in USA Today and Forbes.com.

He is the author of three novels: the speculative fiction thriller, Ebocloud (2013). Tellers (2016), about a tragedy that befalls a Hudson Valley farming collective, and Impossible Figures (2020), a satirical exploration of the relationship between art and science.

Rick’s writing, artwork and musical pursuits are showcased on his website: rickmoss.art

Rick resides in Brooklyn, New York with his wife Catherine. They have two grown daughters, Alison and Genna.

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  • Posted on: 10/24/2022

    BOPIS substitution processes need work

    Agree, Bob. When store inventory is low — as it was during the height of the pandemic — the substitutions routine from Amazon/Whole Foods was out of control. We would get a flurry of text messages from the shopper hoping for instantaneous responses so he/she could get the order completed in timely fashion. As the inventory situation improved, it appears they also worked to optimize the substitution options that they offer the shopper before the order is placed. For example, they save your preferred substitutions along with each regularly-ordered item in your history, so it doesn't take the customer as long to work through the substitutions screen. And consequently, many fewer texts arrive from the store shopper during that part of the process.
  • Posted on: 10/14/2022

    What’s holding back creativity in marketing?

    My advice for creative teams is to consistently go bold and challenge your clients. The great majority of the time, after thanking you, they'll ask for a safer alternative, but some may surprise you and take a risk. The worse thing creatives can do is feel defeated and surrender to mediocrity. Challenging yourself and your clients keeps you edgy and, even if they don't go for your wild ideas, earns their respect (...usually).
  • Posted on: 10/10/2022

    ‘Special day’ promotions can give retailers the distinction they need

    FYI, a good resource is nationaltoday.com where you'll see that October 10th is National Metrics Day, National Angel Food Cake Day, National Cake Decorating Day, National Handbag Day, National Walk to a Park Day, World Mental Health Day, National Kick Butt Day (curious about that one), National Online Bank Day and, of course, Columbus Day and Native American Day. So much to choose from!
  • Posted on: 08/25/2022

    Is Barnes & Noble’s updated buying policy good or bad for book discovery?

    All bookstores are not alike. B&N uses a mass market formula that may keep it afloat. Meanwhile, many independent bookstores do a fabulous job (ref: Powell's in Portland; Strand in NYC) with discovery. And indies are on the rise again, probably fueled by newly resurgent reading habits brought on by the pandemic. Aspiring authors shouldn't even think in terms of B&N. It's a whole other league, and they don't need to play in it.
  • Posted on: 07/14/2022

    Are bike lanes good for retail?

    The rise in bike ridership is a good thing, so retailer groups should work with their municipalities to find the best solution for all involved. Blocking the adoption of bike lanes is a mistake, in my opinion. In NYC, from what I can see, it's rare that new bike lanes displace parking spots. But so much depends on the width of the street and sidewalk — the city needs enough space to work with. On wider avenues, the best solution I've seen is to sandwich the bike lane between the curb and a row of parked cars. It offers riders the best protection from traffic (although you have to keep an eye out for folks opening their car doors as you pass). This configuration is far from ideal, though. If the retailer has a parking lot, customers leaving via the driveway have to inch out through the bike lane and row of parked cars to see oncoming traffic. But you work with what you've got. Ideally, cities and suburbs will some day have fewer cars and a reduced need for parking spaces. That's the goal we should all work towards, in my view, and encouraging bike ridership moves us in that direction.
  • Posted on: 05/11/2022

    ‘Babe’ star makes dramatic gesture over Starbucks’ upcharge for non-dairy milk

    I mean, let's get real. The environmental impact of a massive coffee chain like Starbucks is almost too vast to comprehend: the water and energy consumption to grow the coffee, transport it, to run the operations, produce and dispose of the packaging, not to mention the millions of consumers idling in their cars at drive thrus. Where do you start? I guess with cows. If consumers are concerned about the environment, make your coffee at home and drink it in your own mug.
  • Posted on: 05/05/2022

    How should retail companies best navigate the abortion controversy?

    We are of course stating the obvious when we say that, for companies, nothing is easy about this issue. In a NY Times piece today entitled "Corporate America Doesn’t Want to Talk Abortion, but It May Have To," the paper wrote: "For some major companies that have been known to weigh in on political and social issues, this week has been unusually quiet. Walmart, Disney, Meta, PwC, Salesforce, JPMorgan Chase, ThirdLove, Patagonia, Kroger and Business Roundtable were among the companies and organizations that declined to comment or take a position, or did not respond to requests for comment about whether they plan to make public statements about their stance on abortion."
  • Posted on: 04/11/2022

    Should retail fear or embrace organized labor’s comeback?

    Great points, Doug. With reference to the Great Resignation, according to NY Times reporting, the turnover rate at the type of Amazon facility that voted for union representation is 150% — in the reporter's words, that's the equivalent of complete turnover every 8 months. So, yeah, something's way out of balance, and that's when unionization grabs hold.
  • Posted on: 04/11/2022

    Should retail fear or embrace organized labor’s comeback?

    Agree, Mohamed, that most workers are concerned that unions will be an additional complication and expense, but they reach a point where they need the leverage and the organizational advice. It's sort of like using lawyers in a dispute — often the two parties would prefer not to get lawyers involved and pay them for their services, but they get the job done, even though the results typically are not ideal for either party. Short of calling unions a "necessary evil," let's call them, in some cases, a "less-than-desired necessity."
  • Posted on: 02/08/2022

    Are ultra-fast delivery services bad for neighborhoods?

    I look at the problem from a somewhat different angle. Yes, I do think firms that fulfill orders from their own dark stores threaten the restaurants, shops and bodegas that are important to the character and livability of city neighborhoods. To compete, small businesses must hire third-party delivery services that take a big chunk out of their profits and ability to survive. And yet, regulation is tough and often winds up hurting the wrong businesses. So, in my opinion, if city folks really care about their neighborhoods, they need to get off their butts and walk the few blocks to their favorite take-out places. Stop whining about the incursion of fast-delivery when you're enabling them with your orders.
  • Posted on: 02/04/2022

    Are business buzzwords more annoying than useful?

    These types of buzzwords and phrases fall into different categories. Some — like "digital transformation" — are used as a convenient umbrella term for trends that are far too complex and broad to describe succinctly in any other way, so in these cases, I agree with Carol — use 'em if they work. In other cases, though, people rattle off words and phrases involuntarily because their brains are idling in the middle of a thought — "like" ... "literally" ... "at the end of the day." My only advice for these situations is to slow down, think before you speak and spend more time with your thesaurus.
  • Posted on: 01/28/2022

    Did M&M’s characters need a makeover?

    And I'm with you, up to a point, Ryan ; ) Let's be real: a consumer is indulging in a bag of M&Ms and feeling good about themselves because they've chosen a brand that celebrates inclusiveness and respect. Is this not a perfect way to deflect their thinking away from their health issues? Brands pick their causes and are never (I would argue) able to cover all their bases. Sneaker brands celebrate the power of women and diversity while employing child labor overseas. And it seems like they're getting away with it, for the most part.
  • Posted on: 01/28/2022

    Did M&M’s characters need a makeover?

    The brand managers at M&M clearly want people to think beyond candy — they're looking to position the brand as a progressive social leader. The question here isn't how offensive or not Green was, but whether it profits a brand to pose as an institution that promotes "a World Where Everyone Feels They Belong." That's so far from selling fun candy, it's hard to fathom, but that kind of lofty aspirational thinking worked pretty well for Apple, so maybe we shouldn't knock it.
  • Posted on: 11/30/2021

    Is Small Business Saturday losing steam?

    IDK, Bob, your survey only includes retailers who had the benefit of your advice. If that was the story for all small businesses, they wouldn't need you ; )
  • Posted on: 11/17/2021

    Will new curbside-recyclable insulated packaging give Amazon a sustainable grocery edge?

    Doug, in our town, Amazon/Whole Foods used silver, bubble wrap-insulated bags to pack frozen and refrigerated items for home delivery. On some orders, we would be left with a half dozen. They are not acceptable for recycling in NYC. I asked Amazon (a few years ago) if they had a program for re-using or recycling them and they said no, apologetically. Great to see they came up with a solution.

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