PROFILE

Trevor Sumner

CEO, Perch Interactive
Trevor Sumner is the CEO of PERCH (http://perchinteractive.com), the leader in interactive Physical + Digital retail displays that can detect when customers approach, touch or pick up products and then respond with digital experiences that consistently drive 30-80% sales lift. Leading retailers and brand's like Nieman Marcus, Kate Spade, Sephora, Estee Lauder, Fossil and Sunglass Hut rely on PERCH's combination of 3D sensing technology, campaign management tools and device management to create magical in-store experiences that surprise and delight their customers. Trevor has been an investor, advisor and operator for cutting-edge technology companies for 15+ years with multiple successful exits, and is a regular contributor to business and technology publications such as Inc, Forbes, TechCrunch and Mashable. Trevor was previously the President, CMO and Cofounder of LocalVox, a SaaS-based marketing technology platform that helps businesses with local presences drive online customers to in-store sales via social media, search engines, websites, email, directories and mobile -- all at the touch of a button. LocalVox has been named a top social media platform, top SEO tool, Best Manhattan Software Company and hottest NY Startup by organizations such as WIRED, Good Day New York, Business Insider, Social Media Today and Huffington Post. LocalVox has acquired several companies and had a successful exit in 2014, being acquired by a wholly owned subsidiary of the Blackstone Group. Trevor is a native New Yorker, an avid fisherman (he caught a 600 lb Black Marlin), an amateur chef and an adventure scuba diver who has dived on every continent including Antarctica.
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  • Posted on: 06/21/2020

    Can a box of pancake mix be racist?

    I remember Aunt Jemima fondly from my childhood with the association of my grandmother's apple pancakes. At the same time, even as a kid I knew something was wrong about it. We are at the beginning of examining the history and meaning of many brand symbols, and it is about time. It's time to look for new symbols that uplift us and unify us around our modern values. And in an age where brand loyalty is at all time lows and brand selection is more about differentiated identity than keeping up with the Jones's, newness is more valued than ever.
  • Posted on: 05/01/2020

    What will retail look like if half of department stores close?

    The collapse of the middle is widely documented, and accelerated in large part by debt financing that made the organizations much more fragile. It will be interesting to see the follow on effects of specific closings. For example, over half of Sephora stores are in JC Penney. What happens to them with such risk exposure? If many department stores close, will the remaining ones see boosts? Can they use that to help catalyze their transformation?
  • Posted on: 05/01/2020

    There go the profits. Amazon to spend $4B on coronavirus response.

    This is a bold and smart move, especially in an era where worker safety and community relations are a key part of marketing and Trump has Bezos in the cross hairs. Building goodwill now is an excellent move, especially in light of the gutting of the local store. Luckily, Amazon has the cash flow generators in AWS, marketplace and ad products to do this where other companies can not. At a time when people are considering whether Amazon has become a utility, it's best to be seen as a benevolent force.
  • Posted on: 05/01/2020

    There go the profits. Amazon to spend $4B on coronavirus response.

    That's absolutely a fair point, both in general and as exacerbated by this crisis. That said, it's completely separate from its efforts to take care of workers, which is a big PR win.
  • Posted on: 04/03/2019

    Can subscription retail solve its retention problem?

    The fundamental challenge is aligning with the need for replenishment. This is why Dollar Shave Club is successful. Razor blades go bad at a regular rate where it's easier to automate subscription than to manage replenishment cycles. Trying to force regularity in replenishment or in new products onto other categories has been difficult. There are very few successful examples, Bark being a notable one, where bringing regular joy to your pet has created the "need" for regularity. Outside of that, I can think of very few successful examples.
  • Posted on: 04/03/2019

    Can subscription retail solve its retention problem?

    Prime and Costco are membership more than subscription models. There are very few successful retail subscription models (Dollar Shave Club, Gwynnie Bee, etc.).
  • Posted on: 04/03/2019

    Okay Google, how can you help grow Walmart’s online grocery business?

    Voice ordering is still non-existent. The advantage Amazon has is direct insight into ordering and replenishment cycles. The integration right now is light and I think it will be quite some time before this becomes meaningful more than just a press release or an exploratory exercise.
  • Posted on: 04/02/2019

    Will IKEA become the world’s largest furniture rental outlet?

    I like the concept, but anyone that owns IKEA knows that you never disassemble and reassemble their furniture. It's much less portable than you might think.
  • Posted on: 11/30/2018

    What will it take for retailers to win the last-mile race for customers?

    While BOPIS is a nice advantage, it's one that Amazon can ultimately copy with the logistical, data and AI power that they uniquely bring to the table. Retailers can thrive by making their stores the ones you WANT to go to with great experiences. Additionally, they can do so in a way that is brand-friendly, creating marketing centers of excellence with brand-funded programs that deepen those partner relationships while Amazon continues to shun brands with predatory practices aimed at maximizing their profitability at the expense of brands while commoditizing their brand marketing. By strengthening relationships through delighting both customers and brands, retailers prove their value as a necessary part of the value chain.
  • Posted on: 10/12/2018

    Is disruption coming to the alcohol beverage business?

    e-commerce for the liquor industry is a mere 0.6 percent of the market but it is expected to grow to 17 percent by 2027, representing a multi-billion dollar disruption opportunity. The three-tier regulatory system isn't easily changed, which is a network opportunity that builds competitive moats. The challenge is being tackled by startups such as Thirstie who already is working with the large liquor brands such as LVMH, Beam Suntory, etc. (note: I am an investor).
  • Posted on: 10/12/2018

    Re:Store concept mixes co-work and co-retail

    The concept seems to be two-fold, one increasing productivity of D2C brands through better office space and services like logistics and delivery, where the currnet offering is light. The second is access to WeWork's traffic of co-workers, where opening retail storefronts are akin to walking through malls in Hong Kong in order to get to your office. Ultimately, what ties these together is a sense of reinforcing community: "these stores are people just like you." But to be successful, Re:Store will have to solve meaningful challenges to either problem, building on elastic retail storefronts with traffic and promotion throughout their network in each building or creating better logistic, procurement and marketing systems for their tenant companies. I actually believe they can accomplish both and we could even see a retail-focused WeWork building sometime soon as vertically-focused co-working becomes a more dominant model.
  • Posted on: 10/03/2018

    Are retailers deaf to radio advertising’s potential?

    Radio is an undervalued platform in terms of results, as long as you're willing to give up the benefits that digital channels provide, such as data, attribution, segmentation and message optimization, etc.
  • Posted on: 10/03/2018

    Will the Kroger/Walgreens pilot lead to something really big?

    While the category integration makes sense given the overlap and frequency of customer touchpoints, I don't understand this as the right partnership starting point given the complexity with limited scope. If this is a BOPIS opportunity for Kroger, how did customers become Kroger loyalists without being near one and needing a Walgreens to pick up? This seems mostly to make sense in a private label brand distribution, which could be profitable, but doesn't appear to be the sexy lede. The bigger question is whether this is a beginning discussions of a larger more integrated vision that is actually transformative.
  • Posted on: 10/03/2018

    Will the Kroger/Walgreens pilot lead to something really big?

    Which begs the questions on why people are Kroger private label customers if they aren't near one and need a Walgreens for pick-up....
  • Posted on: 10/03/2018

    Trader Joe’s success is a matter of values

    Trader Joe's shines because you can get products you trust at a reasonable price. That's a combination of being a product-driven company with a Kaizen culture of continuous improvement throughout the lifecycle.
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