Anne Howe

Principal, Anne Howe Associates
Anne Howe has recently returned to independent consulting work through Anne Howe Associates, which she formed in 2010. Her focus will be on applying the principles of human influence in the retail and shopper marketplace.

Howe has many years of marketing and management experience ranging across diverse business sectors, including Retail, CPG, Home, Apparel, Appliances and service industries across north America. She has been a bold, industry-involved leader in retail and shopper marketing, serving on groups, panels and commissions to further the discipline with a keen eye on enhancing the shopper experience. She is a member of the Path to Purchase Institute and has been a co-chair of its annual Expo event.

Anne's overall business experience includes two years of consulting for and two subsequent  years as SVP for Acosta Mosaic Group, the marketing services division of Acosta Sales & Marketing, and 18 years as an executive at The MARS Agency. She also served as Regional VP of Sales for Hanes Hosiery, directed a retail-focused public relations firm and spent time in sales/marketing management with Hilton Hotels Corporation.
Among her many career highlights:

Introduction of storied brands such as Wonderbra, Barely There Intimates, Champion Underwear, Levi Signature, Whirlpool Duet and Clorox Green Works into the US retail marketplace.

<b>See Anne's blog: <a href=""></a></b>
  • Posted on: 09/27/2016

    Facebook customizes ads to local inventories

    Three quick thoughts:How will consumers know that this benefit is directed to them?It's very odd that the Facebook-provided visual for this story is for a handbag on eBay, where it matters not where the inventory resides.I hope Nordstrom participates soon since they rarely have what they advertise online in my local store!
  • Posted on: 09/26/2016

    Toys ‘R’ Us mulls small, urban stores as part of turnaround

    Urban small-footprint stores are long overdue for Millennial parents. I hope Toys "R" Us hasn't waited too long, since Amazon is well-positioned with these shoppers. For urban stores to succeed, Toys "R" Us will have to provide same-day delivery to on-foot urban dwellers who don't have room in strollers for large items. Toys "R" Us has to figure out how to offset the cost of urban leases with big-ticket sales.Just thinking out loud but could Toys "R" Us use an out-posting strategy at Gap Kids, Gymboree or Old Navy?
  • Posted on: 09/19/2016

    Is digital defining the shopping experience?

    After reading the three posts before me, I want to say "what they said." And that's because I too realize that the consumer is doing many parts of the journey via digital because the human-to-human part of retail (especially in chain stores) has been drastically diminished over time. Do we all want to resort to our phones for most of our shopping journey? Perhaps not, but we're out of great options for on-point human assistance.That said, I'm a firm believer in the power of a physical store opportunity. I so wish retailers would wake up and smell the coffee when it comes to the "experience economy" and how easy it is to apply the art of behavioral science to their stores.
  • Posted on: 09/19/2016

    Are you ready for Generation Z?

    Are there any parents involved with these kids? The relentless demands of "want it all, want it now" among young kids and teens is frankly a bit scary. Maybe they don't all need to be weaned from the breast/bottle to the smartphone or the iPad. If delayed satisfaction is still one of the core concepts to teach kids as they mature to successful teens and adults, we are in for some crazy times in the near future.
  • Posted on: 09/12/2016

    Amazon to roll out pop-ups nationwide

    Bezos is right on the money to be more interested in learning than revenue from pop-up stores. These stores are a way to deliver user experience for somewhat complex products that most consumers don't have any experience with. Amazon will figure this out and find ways to turn the learning into better shopping experiences both online and in real life.It's refreshing to see this leading retailer turning around to serve the customer in physical settings.
  • Posted on: 09/09/2016

    These social media behaviors are turning off your followers

    First off, the survey answers seem contradictory because consumers really can't say what caused them to buy if the decision was centered around an emotional trigger. Emotions are in the subconscious, which has no voice box, so most people will make up an answer to that type of question. Secondly, most of us have a highly developed B.S. filter, so we reject any conversation or messaging that is not authentic in our specific view. Lastly, overdoing promotions is the kiss of death for brands and retailers. It tends to reduce the conversation to price, which matters much less to many people than marketers think it does.In my personal social media I stick with fun and family. In my business social media, it's all about shopper behavior and retail, based on a desire to add value for those that read it.
  • Posted on: 09/07/2016

    Can pop-ups wake up mall traffic?

    It's really too bad that department stores didn't use some of their floor space for fun and innovative pop-ups. They let the traffic eek out the doors to the mall space while operating with their heads in the sand. Is it too late for innovation within anchor stores? No.But if big department stores don't act on the shopper desire for experiences that inform, entertain and create feelings, they are focused on the wrong things. This is not rocket science.
  • Posted on: 09/02/2016

    Can edible packaging help solve retail’s eco problem?

    Edible packaging can make a big impact on feeding and even saving wildlife in the future. Replacing plastic six pack holders with edible materials for sea turtles is just one example that's capable of making a big impact. In addition, if packaging can be readily used in every day composting that's good too. I'm agreeing with Steve Montgomery in that I don't see a future in everyday human households for eating the food and then the packaging.
  • Posted on: 09/01/2016

    Has American Girl made a wise move into Toys ‘R’ Us?

    I would have guessed that American Girl could have gained more sales and kept the experience intact by using a VR platform on a website. The charm of American Girl dolls is in the premium experience, which will be very unlikely to translate into Toys "R" Us. Pressure from girls and parents to expand access is not really an insight. I see this as a shareholders move too!
  • Posted on: 08/30/2016

    J.Crew to sell inside Nordstrom

    Interesting that Pete Nordstrom says "if you were to" and "probably" when talking about the partnership. In this era of data everywhere, I would have assumed that they did their homework and the knew for a fact that their customers would respond to J. Crew. With the trends moving away from classic preppy, are they both wishing instead of making a well-researched bet?
  • Posted on: 08/29/2016

    Target holds first storewide sale

    I was in a SuperTarget up in Mooresville, NC Saturday morning around 11:30 a.m. One would expect the store to be jumping since school starts here today. The store was eerily quiet and only six or seven of the 24 registers were open. I too heard nothing about the one-day sale. If Target had a goal for the sale, let's say traffic, it may have not had enough of a runway to effectively create reach.One-day sales encourage people to wait for other offers. Target has tried to rebuild core categories. If it were me I'd invest in more fun, experiential interactions with shoppers in stores around the cores of fashion and home decor. They invested a lot in Cat & Jack, why not have some fun with that?
  • Posted on: 08/29/2016

    ConAgra, Unilever mull delivering meals to the home

    The boxed food giants are way behind in this area. It would be okay to find a branded box of pasta or sauce in a meal kit, but the nutritional label better be clean. The idea of fresh meal kits gets lost entirely with the addition of sugar- and sodium-laden canned goods on board. If big CPGs buy Blue Apron, Plated or others, they might be better served to be quiet about it and learn how to make the food consumers want to eat.
  • Posted on: 08/26/2016

    Can Dollar General afford to price it out with Walmart?

    Dollar General is big enough to put more pressure on suppliers, but we all know that's a race to the bottom of the barrel. What does Dollar General have that Walmart doesn't? Convenient, easy to shop, quick trips. If I were Dollar General I would start there. Fill-in trips at fair prices. This isn't rocket science, it should be authentic messaging.
  • Posted on: 08/25/2016

    Does your college freshman have Meijer mania?

    Meijer has done a great job "seeding" the brand in teens at a time when their emotions are running on full throttle. Their Midwestern values are in line with the college towns they service, and they are mindful of this as they expand.While I shy away from "mania" to describe the event, making it fun is a must-do with the college crowd. Sometimes the conversion to regular shopping takes a while, but I know that these shoppers return, especially after they settle back in the Midwest and have families.They are missing an opportunity to connect alumni to some fun in the stores. That could be done easily when focused on big game days and homecoming. RAH RAH! Adults like fun too!
  • Posted on: 08/23/2016

    Why is Apple dropping ‘Store’ from the name of its stores?

    Think about the origins of retail: community, experience, trade and gathering. These are the foundational elements of physical retail that the human mind has desire for. The idea of the word "store" is indeed becoming obsolete. The idea of an experience-based hub that serves as a community marketplace is exactly akin to the feeling one gets from being a part of the Apple franchise. A smart and timely move that is sure to be copied by other retailers as time goes on. Kudos to Apple for being brave and ahead of the pack.

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