Features, Radicals Awards

Get to Know Two More of The Robin Report Radicals

Here are two more of our 10 finalists, all of whom will be celebrated at the Radicals Awards breakfast, to be held on March 5, during Shoptalk, including an inspirational message from Steve Sadove, former CEO of Saks Fifth Avenue. Join us to congratulate the finalists and find out who will be named the 2019 Radical of the Year Award.

The purpose of our awards is to focus solely on radical innovators in the legacy retail and brand sectors where the hurdles to transformation are much higher than the so-called tech-driven start-ups. The program was launched last year in collaboration with SAP.

Read more about what these two finalists have accomplished as change agents. We have highlighted the innovative accomplishments of our Radicals Awards finalists over the past two weeks. The final two will be featured next week.

The 10 finalists were selected through a process that involved submitting a nomination form and a first-round screening by an objective third-party panel of retail and brand experts. A distinguished jury of industry veterans will select the final winner. All 10 of our finalists, whatever their titles and roles, get it. Whether leading a team or the entire company, they are enlightened. And they have mentally jumped out of their legacy “boxes” and are creating new words and concepts, and therefore, new realities. They have been inducted into our inaugural Radicals Hall of Fame link.

DAVID OLSEN, CEO, Cos Bar,

A veteran in the beauty and grooming business, David brought his 19 years of experience to Cos Bar, a 40-year old primarily brick-and-mortar beauty retailer. Having launched the beauty and grooming business at Net-A-Porter in 2012, and starting his own e-commerce business DermStore, he brings his digital and ecommerce expertise to transition a traditionally brick-and-mortar retailer into the 21st century, while remaining true to its DNA.

David’s hyper-focus on being the best in omnichannel retail, and continuing to offer the best-in-class customer service that Cos Bar is famous for, led to initiatives such as buy online, pick-up instore; auto-replenishment; loyalty perks like free shipping for members; traffic counters (RetailNext) to optimize floor support; ShipWorks for ship-from-store improvements; innovation in clienteling, including SMS; bringing the in-store experience to a broader audience via short Store Manager tutorials in a video series titled Cos & Effect; maintaining the company’s commitment to personalization, with handwritten notes in all orders (even as the e-comm business has skyrocketed); same-day delivery in select locations; updating the store design and introducing new tech enhancements including mobile POS and digital displays; and digital customer service surveys (Stella Connect) for in-store transactions. And that’s just a few of David’s innovations!

MARC ROSEN, EVP and President, Direct-to-Consumer, Levi Strauss & Co.

Marc is responsible for leading the company’s global ecommerce and brick-and-mortar retail businesses, which includes 2,800 retail stores (franchised, company-operated mainline, outlet stores, and shop-in-shops) and ecommerce sites dedicated to the Levi’s® and Dockers® brands.

Marc thinks holistically about the marketplace ecosystem and designs and delivers seamless consumer experiences. He believes consumer-led innovation is needed to truly drive ahead and “leapfrog” competition. With this mindset, Marc has a history of driving growth through consumer-focused technology innovation, creating and implementing end-to-end merchandising and inventory management systems and driving product advancements such as “pick up today,” “pay with cash” and “same-day delivery.”

Recognizing jeans aren’t the easiest product to buy without first trying on, Marc knew there was a need to translate the in-store service experience seamlessly to LS&Co.’s digital storefront. This led to the creation of Indigo, a chatbot on Levi.com that takes a conversational approach in using artificial intelligence to determine a shopper’s style and fit need. Marc and team launched Indigo within four months to leapfrog competition and prevent the technology from becoming stale and outdated. The team continues to refine Indigo based on customer interaction and feedback and is working to integrate it into the Levi’s® physical store experience.

Additionally, Marc is laying the foundation for LS&Co. to build relationships between Levi’s® and leading consumer tech brands like Snapchat and Pinterest. These unprecedented partnerships with leading players in visual search and social shopping have helped LS&Co. enhance its channels to create meaningful engagement with consumers.

The bold initiatives Marc has implemented have contributed to 11 consecutive quarters of double-digit growth for the direct-to-consumer (DTC) business and four consecutive quarters of double-digit revenue growth for the company overall – earning LS&Co. a spot among the top performers in the retail industry.
That growth is a testament to the DTC investments through the 65+ store openings within the past year, such as the recent New York Times Square, Madero and Toronto flagship launches. Marc’s strategies and the investments he’s made over the past 18 months are paying off with DTC now representing more than 30 percent of LS&Co.’s business.

Please join me at Shoptalk on March 5th to congratulate these finalists and find out who the winner of the 2019 Radical of the Year Award will be.

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