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.

See Anne's blog:
  • Posted on: 12/13/2017

    Will late deliveries mess up Christmas?

    Retailers should put a stake in the ground on "last day to order" and not be afraid to shape shoppers' out-of-control expectations. Deliveries have been late to my house since the early fall, leading me to give myself rules that will work for my travel schedule. No fail, because planning matters. This is not rocket science, but since retailers take the blame, why not at least try to get some control?
  • Posted on: 12/01/2017

    Will click & collect finally compel retailers to remodel stores?

    What I don't get is why retailers continue to lag behind both technology and shoppers when it comes to crucial store experiences like BOPIS. The continued lack of investment makes Amazon the easy option for shoppers. Every time a shopper gets caught in a cluster of frustrating pick up, it's another reason to skip the store in the future. By next year it may be too late!
  • Posted on: 11/30/2017

    Will a combo of data and personal stylists drive online apparel sales?

    The differentiator here is human relationship and understanding. And it certainly doesn't hurt to have an essentially "free" element to the consulting service. A win-win for busy women!
  • Posted on: 11/29/2017

    Are staff shortages affecting retail sales?

    Even Nordstrom was having staff issues over the weekend. In the Charlotte store, the entire first floor accessories area had only three associates. All had lines of buyers getting frustrated with associates who were busy helping shoppers and didn't quite know what to do to get people rung up more quickly. Perhaps they could add one just to ring sales. It was clearly busy enough! The overall experience was not up to Nordstrom standards!
  • Posted on: 11/27/2017

    Did Macy’s Black Friday credit card fail cost it the holidays?

    Another nail in the coffin. Where is the back-up plan? Today, there is no excuse for this kind of hiding behind overcapacity. How many shoppers do you think called it quits for good? I would have.
  • Posted on: 11/16/2017

    Will breakfast at Tiffany’s attract Millennials in search of ‘Instagrammable’ experiences?

    The "instagrammable moment" feels a bit forced, but the idea of experimental and experiential as a peek into the future of the Tiffany retail space is on point. So is the idea of giving shoppers a space for community -- eating certainly is part and parcel of that. I vote to give it some time; they are just getting started on a remake.
  • Posted on: 11/15/2017

    Yes, retailers can also reward non-transactional behaviors

    The biggest impact on business results can be realized through peer to peer sharing and content development that provides value to other potential customers. People tend to trust each other more than brands and retailers that "talk at them." That said, I believe more than just Millennials see value in content produced within their own networks. The younger Gen Z group is even more focused on sharing value. Thus, retailers need to get in early on using platforms that enable and reward sharing value and information across both their current and future customers.
  • Posted on: 11/14/2017

    Lowe’s and Macy’s join rivals chasing smart home opportunity

    Lowe's has a significant opportunity to stay ahead of its rivals in the Smart Home space, which they can enhance with trained and enthusiastic service associates. Many shoppers have interest but need help to understand the real potential beyond turning on the lights!
  • Posted on: 11/09/2017

    Are retailers caught in a content trap?

    I feel that most retailers could (and should) get on board with the "complementary" view of content. It is as simple as being willing to be all-in on the conversations/relationships, regardless of where they happen in the hub-and-spoke model. Retailers today just keep resisting adding humans into the mix to converse and be helpful to both prospects and customers. It's a fatal error.
  • Posted on: 11/06/2017

    Can Kroger make a name for itself in fashion?

    This seems pretty far-fetched to me, except in Fred Meyer stores. Kroger likely doesn't have skilled staff to organize all the nuances of the apparel business, and that will quickly become obvious to shoppers. Why can't Kroger stick to grocery and make a concerted effort to be serious about improving that at all levels? Just asking ...
  • Posted on: 11/01/2017

    Would store associates benefit from acting lessons?

    I think acting and improv lessons will have an effect on sales, but the effect would be way more profound if the associates were taught some basic fundamentals of human influence and decision making.
  • Posted on: 11/01/2017

    Walmart plans to party hardy throughout the holidays

    All of the various events, parties and added customer interaction will certainly improve the experience for shoppers. I like the fact that they're all connected to expanded product offerings in specific product categories. Helping the shopper while adding some fun should add up to better results and more satisfied shoppers.
  • Posted on: 10/31/2017

    Corona owner is getting into the legal pot business

    This is a great investment, but certainly comes with image risks. Even if they just Market CBD oil with no THC, consumers will derive benefits.
  • Posted on: 10/27/2017

    Walmart puts robots to work with humans in more stores

    I’m always interested in how Walmart addresses the interaction between associates and shoppers. Even if associates have time to tell customers what the robots are doing to help keep shelves stocked, that’s a win-win!
  • Posted on: 10/25/2017

    How will AI transform the online experience?

    Yes, AI is certainly marching forward and I see it as an advantage to those retailers who can execute well. IMHO, great execution must include human judgement. We are still and always will be a human, and therefore emotional, society.

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