How is Holiday 2023 going to end up? Even when customers are facing turbulent, unpredictable market trends and world events, they continue to spend. It could be just “Doom Spending” to cope with stress about the economy and external global factors. The bigger question is: Will consumer spending keep growing into 2024? Join special guest Nick Mangiapane, Chief Marketing Officer at Commerce Signals, Robin, and Shelley as they discuss retail consumer spending patterns and predictions for this holiday.
Black Friday Creep has moved over $5 billion out of November and December into October. Join Robin and Shelley with guest Angela Thompson, Principal of Thompson Marketing Consulting, as they look at the broader impact of Pre-Black Friday sales. Pressure on retailers to perform and comp year-over-year sales have a flip side. While daily deals might be exciting for some passionate shoppers, they may be overwhelming for others — especially if it becomes a race to the bottom. Angela will reveal what happened with pre-holiday sales this year, the results of Black Friday and what to expect in 2024.
The U.S. has one of the highest per capita consumption of plastics in the world, driven principally by packaging. Enter a Swedish inventor Åke Rosén with Biodolomer, an alternative that looks and acts like plastic, but is renewable, biodegradable, compostable, convertible to renewable energy, gives virtually no CO2 emissions, and does not generate microplastics. Too good to be true? Join Robin and Shelley with brand strategist Kristoffer Reiter, Principal of Cohesive Whole and Nils Andersson from Gaia Biomaterials (home for Biodolomer) as they reveal breakthrough advances in bioengineering and the potential end of plastics as we know them. This wide-ranging conversation is inspiring about how the ingenuity and imagination of applied science can change the world, for the better.
U.S. demographics will shift dramatically by 2050 with white non-Hispanics becoming the minority and a new general market as the majority including Hispanics, Blacks, and Asians. However, the cultural zeitgeist is moving at a much faster pace and retailers and brands need to start planning ahead now with product development and marketing strategies. Join Robin and Shelley and multicultural special guest Imani Laners, Vice President of Partnerships & Multicultural Strategy and Activations at Zeta Global as they deconstruct the shifting patterns of migration and an American population rebalance. Understanding cultural influences combined with strategic marketing data and analytics will drive deeper loyalty and profitability than outdated demographic market segmentation. Listen and learn.
Join Robin and Shelley and guest expert Dr. Read Hayes, leading criminologist and law enforcement pro, as they go behind the scenes of retail crime. Learn from Read how he has been using AI to help organizations worldwide, including Target, Home Depot, Bloomingdales, Coles Meyer, Disney, Proctor & Gamble and Walmart on loss prevention strategies. Artificial Intelligence combined with IoT-enabled science can take a bite out of retail crime. Retail shrink hit $94.5 billion in 2021 and is currently on an upward spiral. Not to mention, ORC was up 27% in 2021.
Here’s a conundrum: Should bad behavior be tolerated when profits are soaring? The Ye and Adidas relationship is a cautionary tale about the temptation to trade erratic behavior for crazy revenues. During a near decade-long partnership between Kanye West and Adidas, the Yeezy brand brought in Adidas a billion dollars a year and made Ye a billionaire. But at what cost? Join Robin and Shelley as they dissect the business risk of doing business with controversial celebrities. Why did Adidas put up with inappropriate, off-the-rails behavior? And why was Adidas hostage to Ye’s downward spiral of hate speech? Motivated by pure profit? And then there’s the anti-Ye, everyone’s role model: Michael Jordan and Nike. Listen to this fascinating conversation about complex business decision-making that pits profits against ethics.
Travel retail has been on the rise for the decade leading up to the pandemic, doubling its revenue, but like many things, the pandemic put a halt to travel and travel retailing. As the industry climbs back to where it was pre-pandemic, retailers need a new playbook. Join Robin, Shelley, and Roula Heleiwa from Columbus Consulting as they discuss how the travel retail sector braces for growth from $45 billion to $175 billion by 2030. Changes in consumer buying behavior, a new age of travel experience, and higher customer expectations will make regaining loyalty while growing margins a challenge for retailers.
The iconic Vans brand is seeing its profits racing down fast as competition heats up in the sneaker category. What’s going on here? Vans innovation has stalled, and consumer demand is veering to more traditional sneakers. Join Robin and Shelley as they debate whether new VF Corp leadership can turn the business around for Vans and the rest of the VF brands. Or will it be another tough year for the company? If Q1 results are any predictor, it’s going to be a rough ride with Vans revenue dropping 22% and wholesale down a whopping 40%. Who can save the iconic Vans brand? And how?
Last week’s podcast with Robin, Shelley, and AI expert Lindsey Scheftic, Founder of The CMO Sidekick, took a deep dive in the future of the CMO, leaving us on the edge. In part two of this conversation, we discuss the who’s who of companies that re doing AI marketing well and cover authentic messaging and balancing acquisition and retention. All you marketers, strap yourselves in, it’s going to be a wild ride.
Join Robin and Shelley with AI expert Lindsey Scheftic, Founder of The CMO Sidekick, for a candid conversation about AI in Part 1 on this topic. With in-depth marketing expertise at Amazon/Ring, Red Bull and Vans, Lindsey gets real about the future of the CMO and how marketing will be transformed by AI. Our dynamic discussion hits on the velocity of change in the marketing world, what executives should be thinking about, and a cautionary tale of getting too much content out to the market too fast.
Traditional succession planning may be a thing of the past for retailers. The new trend is identifying the next CEO by looking outside the four walls and mining executives from different industries. And technology IQ is becoming a key skill required in the C-suite. Join Robin and Shelley as they debate what it takes to stay at the top. How did major brands Starbucks, Ulta, Gap, and Under Armour break the CEO mold? Find out if bringing in outside leaders is brilliant …or crazy.
Spoiler alert: Costco has become dinner table conversation. It’s the hottest-selling wholesale haute couture brand in the U.S. market catering to its 120 million members, representing $227 billion in revenues. With a location strategy that hits higher-income markets and its social media frenzy #costcofinds trending on TikTok, it’s no wonder that it’s an American beloved brand. Join Shelley and Robin as they unpack Costco’s phenomenal success as the brand levels up its appeal to affluent shoppers. What’s more, their highly engaged and well-paid workforce helps drive Costcoholics’ loyalty, the backbone of this world-class business.
Has the retail world gone mad? Acquisitions, partnerships, collaborations, buy-outs, and buy-ins. Some make perfect sense and others make us say,”What were you thinking?” Just to get started: Gap and Macy’s; Tapestry and Capri; Shein and SPARC. These don’t make sense. But there’s Target and Ulta; Nike and Footlocker; LVMH and Tiffany; Macy’s and ToysRUs. They all make perfect sense. Robin and Shelley take a no-holds-barred look at the collabs they think were good … maybe not so good … and potential disasters. Listen and learn.
The data-oriented power of direct-to-consumer (DTC) models has a leading edge over traditional retail. The collection of all user data and interactions, along with their preferences, wants and needs becomes critical for increasing engagement with existing customers and acquiring new ones. While the retail industry is learning how to use AI-based models to drive better experiences, DTC is leading the way. Join Robin, Shelley, and special guest Michael Challinger, CEO of DTC kitchen sinks and fixtures brand Houzer, as they dig into why CEOs who come from the tech side of the business have a decisive competitive edge. It’s the art + science of ecommerce.
Retailers are facing a potential economic event, and the wildcard is predicting what consumers will do. Most Americans are in credit card debt, prices are higher than last year, pandemic savings are dwindling; and student loan repayments hit in October, just in time for holidays. Join Robin, Shelley and TRR’s own reporter Pam Danziger who is an internationally recognized researcher, speaker, and author. Check out her article on TRR’s site, Get Ready for the Weather to Turn. They discuss why the current economic landscape is worrisome for retailers. Listen in and learn how to prepare for a rocky fall/winter selling season.
Tapestry is no LVMH or Kering in its acquisition of Capri. The aspiration to play in the luxe space is nearly impossible; for starters, Jimmy Choo and Versace are too niche and too small. Add to that Tapestry’s mainstream brands are outlet mall darlings, at one point, driving about 70% of revenues. Join Robin and Shelley as they deconstruct the deal as potential culture clash and overburdening debt load in Tapestry’s vision to become a luxury powerhouse.
Is Amazon on a downward retail slide? It’s backing off physical stores (except grocery) and its Amazon Go technology hasn’t gained traction. And then there’s Walmart down every American’s street that continues to up its game. So, Andrew Jassy is focusing on Amazon’s emerging technologies including Amazon ONE biometric payment tech and heavy investments in generative AI. Amazon also has big plans to increase its B2B business from $35 billion to over $100 billion and process improvements to reduce costs. Join Robin and Shelley as they dig into Amazon’s continuing success (Q2 overall revenue up 11%) and possible downfall. Listen and learn.
Join Robin Lewis and Shelley Kohan as we analyze Supreme’s brand evolution, armed with Robin’s invaluable insights. We’ll dissect the crucial role of company culture and its direct impact on brand acquisitions like Supreme and Vans. Get ready to comprehend the inner dynamics of traditional banking culture and how it influences a modern corporation’s image and performance. What impact does company culture play in the fit between a brand and its target market? Brace yourselves to delve into the challenges large public companies face under Wall Street’s scrutiny.
Imagine a world where legacy retailers, once terrified by the concept of e-commerce, are now leading the charge, leveraging multiple distribution channels to connect with their customers. Join us, Robin Lewis and Shelley E. Kohan, as we dissect this seismic shift from the wholesale to the retail model. We’ll delve into the hard truth of skyrocketing customer acquisition costs and why the data collected from selling directly to consumers has become an invaluable resource.
Ever wondered how to tackle the billion-dollar problem of organized retail crime? Join us for an engaging chat with George Shaw, founder, and CEO of Pathr.ai, as he sheds light on the magnitude of this issue, with the prediction of $100 billion in losses looming over the retail industry in 2023. In the face of these challenges, we dive into the transformative power of AI and open-source technology. We also explore data privacy and the potential bias in asset protection, highlighting Pathr.ai’s data collection strategy as a beacon of consumer data protection. As George elaborates, the future lies in the innovative collaboration between tech and retail experts. So, don’t miss out as we navigate the complex landscape of AI and its groundbreaking impact on the retail industry.
Tom McGee believes there is a bright side for retail in the suburbs; it has benefited from shifting consumer behaviors. Join us as Robin, Shelley, and Tom discuss suburban retail, Gen Z, and the return to physical spaces including outdoor malls. They also discuss how higher interest rates and remote work have put a damper on the urban retail landscape, leaving a plethora of office spaces empty with no expectation of commercial real estate values to recover until 2040.
Brian Field, Global Leader of Retail Consulting for Sensormatic Solutions, joins us to provide a breakdown of their 2023 Annual Consumer Survey. Join us as Robin, Shelley, and Brian talk through some of this year’s key findings and what they mean across the industry segment. Brian also offers his insights on the impact of Amazon Prime Day on brick-and-mortar and his thoughts on why consumers are returning to these locations with increasing regularity.
This week’s podcast addresses the impact of AI in retail, delving into how AI is currently reshaping and will continue to shape the retail industry, from personalized shopping experiences to supply chain and inventory management, real-time pricing optimization, and beyond. What are companies like Levi’s, American Eagle, and Puma doing with AI today? Whether you’re a seasoned retailer, a tech enthusiast, or just a curious listener, join us as we journey into the future of retail transformed by AI.
In October, an estimated $10 billion a month is being taken away from 2023 holiday purchasing when the student loan forgiveness program ends.
Combine that with ongoing rumors of the “R” word, along with Amazon Prime Days, and you see why we believe retailers may be up for a wild second half with millennials and Gen Zs having less money to spend on fashion goods. Join Robin Lewis and Shelley E. Kohan as they debate how retailers anticipate ending 2023 with some workarounds to overcome a Black Friday in October and shrinking wallets for next gens. Are we really looking at holiday selling starting in September this year?
For mid-tier fashion specialty retail, it’s gone baby gone. This sector is really struggling. With the proliferation of the internet and so many fashion startup companies, the democratization of fashion has become ubiquitous. Join Robin Lewis and Shelley E. Kohan, TRR’s chief strategist, as they dig into the potential demise of mid-tier fashion specialty stores.
Even with the addition of Sephora and Amazon return centers, will it be enough to turn the struggling retailer around? Heavy inventory coming out of 2022 and a loss of $19 million to the bottom line make 2023 a challenging year. Meanwhile, CEO Kingsbury wants to pull back on couponing, which is a key driver for its loyal, high-frequency customer. Will this land them on the same road as Bed, Bath and Beyond? Join Robin Lewis and Shelley E. Kohan, TRR’s chief strategist, as they dissect what is happening at Kohl’s.
What drives loyalty, provides new revenue streams – and most importantly, responds to customer needs and wants? Ancillary services are more than meets the eye: they are a portal into building an ecosystem that supports customer well-being. Costco is the poster child, offering 25 different services delivering the practical (gas and hearing aids) and the aspirational (travel services). What’s next? Join Robin Lewis and Shelley E. Kohan, TRR’s strategist, as they discuss the next wave in services focused on healthcare.
Organized Retail Crime is growing and a $95 billion problem, not to mention its impact on putting employees and shoppers at risk. These crime syndicates resell stolen goods and use the money to fund other illegal activities. Join Robin Lewis and Shelley E. Kohan, TRR’s strategist, as they discuss how ORC is keeping retail CEOs up at night, is eating away at already-stressed margins, and is becoming a safety issue for the workforce and customers.
We’re living in strange times. None of the best and the brightest economists, finance experts, academics, futurists – no one has been able to predict the recessions we’ve had. And no one has been able to stop them. What’s a retailer to do? First and foremost, learn to manage and thrive in an era of uncertainty. Join Robin Lewis and Shelley E. Kohan, TRR’s strategist as they pull back the curtain to reveal how consumer spending and unprecedented debt are bellwethers for the health of the retail industry and an oxymoron in today’s recessionary environment.
Today there is a fine line between doing the right thing and breaking a law. The role of a retail CEO is playing in a public landmine as political policies may dictate private practices. Take recent moves to limit support of an inclusive workforce. Retailers face backlash from all sides when customers and employees are singled out for their beliefs and lifestyles. Join Robin Lewis and Shelley E. Kohan, TRR’s strategist as they dig into the risks retailers take if they don’t do the right thing for their workforce, customers, and community. The pressure to conform to local bureaucracies at the expense of their stakeholders has created a line in the sand. How do leaders navigate through this pressure cooker?
Catalogs are back! And that’s not all. Dynamic pricing is a red-hot topic today…is personalized pricing a real deal? A unified commerce business model opens new channels along with the renaissance of print catalogs. It’s a cost-effective model because it focuses on a customer-centric mindset in a consumer-driven marketplace. Join special guest Laura Barrett, Retail Consultant at Columbus Consulting, Robin Lewis, and Shelley E. Kohan, TRR’s strategist as they touch on how to build the infrastructure to support a multi-touch point unified model with the right KPIs. https://www.columbusconsulting.com/
How does a brand stay relevant after 53 years? What does it take to keep it vital and iconic? Cotton Incorporated is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Seal of Cotton this month, with the Seal recognized as a global icon by retailers and brands throughout the textile industry and beyond. To follow Cotton Incorporated’s history is to chart the mandate for sustainability. Join Robin Lewis, Shelley Kohan, TRR’s strategist and special guest Kim Kitchings, Senior Vice President of Consumer Marketing at Cotton Incorporated, as she reveals how to maintain trust and reliability for half a century, supported by science and data from deep research on consumer behavior and how to make cotton more sustainable by reducing environmental impacts during the growth, production, and processing of cotton and by minimizing the environmental impacts at the end of a cotton product’s life cycle. If you care about the planet and are curious about brand integrity, don’t miss this in-depth discussion.
Don’t count your customers out, even when they’re facing turbulent, unpredictable market trends. Last July the growth rate of consumer discretionary purchases was slowing down. This downward trend combined with inflation at near 40-year highs begs the question: How long can consumer spending growth continue? Join special guest Andy Mantis, President of Commerce Signals, Robin Lewis, and Shelley E. Kohan, TRR’s strategist, as they discuss the finer points of the spending economy. With consumer spending accounting for about 68 percent of U.S. GDP, a spending decline could push the U.S. into a recession. Will it happen? Listen in to find out.