I’ve been an active Brain Trust panelist on RetailWire.com for over nine years. Here, you’ll find my contributions on a range of topics. Click any title below to read the full article with contributions from the other industry expert panelists. 


  • NRF: Is the time right for retailers and brands to take political stands?
    on January 17, 2019 at 2:32 pm

    Taking a stand on social issues is the ultimate brand bravery, and should be applauded. It helps build cohesive culture in many companies as well. REI is a great example, even as they take a giant shopping day off the calendar! Sure, brands may lose a few fans, but the zealots will always defend for brands they care about, and that influence is authentic and free! […]

  • NRF: Consumers prefer self-service, but associates still have a role to play
    on January 15, 2019 at 2:34 pm

    Importance and credibility of associates to shoppers has everything to do with category and past experiences. So many shoppers have the "three strikes, you're out" mentality, legitimately based on fails. But in complex tech categories, many shoppers resort to "feeling out" the associate options before truly trusting an associate's ability.The downside risk is too high to just assume the level of help will be good enough. And then there's always the online component of seek, search and learn. For many, that's the most rewarding self-serve option! […]

  • Whole Foods halts 365 concept’s growth
    on January 14, 2019 at 2:47 pm

    I never thought Millennials were looking for a cheaper, more streamlined new store like 365 wanted to be. For that, we have Aldi. I'm glad to see a full-service high-quality Whole Foods with a great assortment across wider range of price points. One building can serve shoppers across many varied income levels. Amazon should now concentrate on expansion in geographic areas where there is less competition and a diverse range of shoppers! […]

  • Are department stores seeing the Ghost of Christmas Future in bleak holiday results?
    on January 11, 2019 at 3:10 pm

    Part of the shopping journey, especially over the holidays, is the wandering with eyes open to discover something that will surely delight the recipient. If shoppers do that at retailers and come out empty-handed, year after year, they just scratch that retailer off the "relevant" list for gifts. A visit for work-out clothes, shoes or a tablecloth may stay in the rotation, but frankly, the off-price retailer provides that as well as fun experiences for gift discovery. In a nutshell, many large retailers in general have not figured out how to overcome the lack of emotional satisfaction shoppers really feel. Applying the art and science of true human influence is just one key place to start! […]

  • Can David’s Bridal appeal to ‘every type of bride’ with its new campaign?
    on January 4, 2019 at 3:25 pm

    Late is better than never. Focusing on meeting the needs of an ever-growing base of individual brides is a great step. I only hope the retailer has included diversity training for its associates. My experience leads me to believe that's a must. […]