February 3, 2023 Inventory overload is clogging retail systems and straining profits. A new paradigm requires retailers to react quickly in real-time to constantly changing shifts in customer demands. It’s becoming a game of beat the clock when product requests need to be matched with ready to purchase product in near real time. Join Robin Lewis and Shelley E. Kohan, TRR’s chief strategist, as they explore solutions including concession, pop-up store and online marketplace models, which require a more complex system for distribution, fulfillment, marketing, and assortment planning.
January 27, 2023 What lies ahead? Post-pandemic, current economic disruption, an ongoing war, and a pervasive sense of global anxiety: what will be the new normal for retail? Three key factors will shape the future – the economy, shifting consumer behavior, and a renewed focus on the customer. Above all, it will require agility to thrive and prosper. Join Robin Lewis and Shelley E. Kohan, TRR’s chief strategist as they discuss 2023 mandates to better manage inventory, improve the shopping journey, and level up store design. And the good news: Physical retail is alive and well!
January 13, 2023 OpenAI started the cascade of generative AI innovations with ChatGPT and DALL-E2 and the public’s overnight fascination with these technologies. Now everyone wants in on the action. Yes, these AI technologies can benefit society as a whole. But there are also big questions about how they can be used in nefarious ways. They are programmed by humans and humans can work for good as well as evil. Join Robin Lewis and Shelley E. Kohan, TRR’s chief strategist as they explore the many use cases of generative AI for retail, including the good, the bad, and the ugly.
January 6, 2023 Returns. And it’s not just during the holidays. Recent reports estimate returns at about 16-20% of total retail sales with online returns climbing as high as 30%! What’s going on here? We know most of these returns account for five to six billion pounds of waste annually, dumped into landfills and causing environmental damage. Why aren’t more retailers using AI and enabling technologies to reduce returns at the point of purchase? Join Robin Lewis and Shelley E. Kohan, TRR’s chief strategist, as they discuss the messy state of returns, and how retailers should view returns as an opportunity to improve processes, products, and the customer service experience.
December 30. 2022 The Robin Report celebrates 100 podcasts! Listen in as Robin Lewis and Shelley E. Kohan, TRR’s chief strategist, review the best (and a few misfires) of their predictions, opinions, and conversations about the state of retail. Hot topics include leadership, retail strategies, and the darker side of the business. Audience favorites? Icon and iconoclast Mike Gould; the future of malls with Bill Taubman; Amazon’s wild ride; Kohl’s under attack; and a dive into shareholders versus stakeholders.
December 23, 2022 It’s that time of year again: predictions and prognostications about what’s on the horizon. What are the key trends that will shape up retailers’ new year? From consumer behaviors and physical retail innovations to tech-enhanced data and analytics and emerging digital transformations, 2023 is bound to be a year of surprises. Join Robin Lewis and Shelley E. Kohan, TRR’s chief strategist, as they open a Pandora’s Box of what retailers can expect over the next 12 months.
December 16, 2022 When you consider holiday spending and economic forecasts (in general), we would argue they are both a fool’s game. At the heart of the problem is partly the survey process; consumers don’t always tell the truth. And then there’s computer modeling. But just look at all the holiday forecasts; they are widely divergent. Sales flat to an 8% lift this year; what’s going on? Join Robin Lewis and Shelley E. Kohan, TRR’s chief strategist as they sort through the numbers and provide a better understanding of what’s really going on, including actual sales numbers from the start of holiday and what to expect with the future of ecommerce.
December 9, 2022 It may be the single most important strategic and structural shift in retail’s recent history: the return of the small neighborhood store. Whether a traditional department store, big box behemoth or digital native going physical, the small store format delivers on consumer demand for better experience, personalization, and convenience. Join Robin Lewis and Shelley E. Kohan as they discuss this emerging trend, aided and abetted by technology and data analytics that make the small store relevant to local customers on a personal basis.
December 2, 2022 There is a major transformation underway in retail advertising. Maybe it’s not an echo of Mad Men, but instead, really Smart People changing up the ad models. Advertisers are on track to spend more than $41 billion on retail media networks this year. That’s a hefty increase of 31 percent and the outlook is rosy: $52 billion by 2023. Join Robin Lewis and Shelley E. Kohan as they investigate the demise of third-party data collection, the ineffectiveness of network TV advertising, and why Amazon is losing market share – all of which opens the floodgates for retail media networks. Listen and learn!