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: 06/16/2017

    What happens now that Amazon is acquiring Whole Foods?

    The ultimate disrupter has done it again! And just in time to set a new path for shoppers to get what they want, fresh foods, when they want and how they want!
  • Posted on: 06/09/2017

    Is IKEA really going to start selling on Amazon’s Marketplace?

    Data tells the story here. According to Prosper Insights & Analytics data from March 2017, there are two e-retailers taking share from the specialty channel of trade in furniture sales. One is Amazon and the other is Wayfair. IKEA still has a big share but it's slipping a bit. It makes sense that they'd at least want to test selling on a marketplace!
  • Posted on: 06/06/2017

    Is UNTUCKit the next big thing in apparel retailing?

    Do guys who would wear an untucked shirt really like shopping? I think UNTUCKit could encourage shoppers to sign up in stores or via pop-up retail for "the box at your door" -- follow the Stitch Fix model and eventually phase back out of the unproductive physical stores.
  • Posted on: 06/05/2017

    Will virtual reality become the ultimate retail training tool?

    This is what I admire about Walmart! They are not afraid to borrow a great insight from anywhere and apply it to their business! Kudos!
  • Posted on: 05/31/2017

    Will personalized pricing only lead to more discounting?

    If all shoppers ever get from personalization efforts is a discount, shame on all of us in the retail and marketing disciplines. Consumers, believe it or not, still not only want but respond to other messaging on topics besides price -- that can include the brand story, the value and/or the meaning and benefits of products. If we never serve them messaging like this, we'll continue the race to the bottom!
  • Posted on: 05/24/2017

    What does it take to thrive in an over-stored marketplace?

    Customer growth that can be tracked back to improved engagement, consistent purchases, referrals to others and true affinity for the brand will be the measures of sustained success for each and every retail store. Even those with a highly-curated selection of merchandise can succeed in the new "right-sized" retail landscape.
  • Posted on: 05/23/2017

    Can offline word-of-mouth be used to drive business results?

    Giving in-store employees some topics and conversation starters on a daily/weekly basis can work really well. For example, a locally-owned garden center I visited last week had the employees (even the watering guys) talking about what plants need feeding over the Memorial Day holiday. In the south it's time to feed double-blooming azaleas and camellias! And all the veggies we planted a month ago need food again.Can that scale to Lowe's? I say yes. On Facebook, on Pinterest and in the garden center. All it takes is a calendar, an easy script, a method of circulation and a culture of offering people something useful with a smile. It's really not that hard to give people something to talk about.
  • Posted on: 05/22/2017

    Will pop-up only malls catch on?

    Shoppers love the excitement and variety provided by pop-up retail. Giving local retail "newbies" a place to test their product mix and merchandising skills is a great opportunity as well. I hope the accelerator sponsors keep rents in check for mom-and-pops in order to let innovation flourish. Detroit has a great spirit these days to help young entrepreneurs win. I'm proud to say it's my hometown!
  • Posted on: 05/19/2017

    Is Walmart on track to offer customers a seamless shopping experience?

    I think Walmart is making great strides and I looked at data from Prosper Insights & Analytics(TM) to add some proof. Walmart shoppers are using the web to research purchases in many categories, but the categories where online research beats in-store research include both big and small electronics, appliances and even entertainment. Categories like apparel and furniture still gather more in-store researchers but home improvement is neck and neck.This tells me that Walmart is making progress, since many shoppers find it easier than ever on to just hit "Click and Collect."That said, the Prosper data shows Target shoppers to be even more likely to be researching purchases online, so Walmart has to keep moving on this!
  • Posted on: 05/18/2017

    Will Apple get customers to go back to school?

    As humans, we define ourselves more by what we experience, than by what we purchase. The root of shopping is community. Apple is applying these two principles in exactly the right way.
  • Posted on: 05/12/2017

    Will Unilever’s investment in an organic meal kit maker pay off?

    It seems to me that grocers could have the biggest and most sustainable opportunity in this space, primarily because customers can pick up and really reduce the shipping expense. Interest in the organic food options in meal kits should continue to grow, especially among Millennials and Boomers who are health obsessed!
  • Posted on: 05/11/2017

    What’s the ‘STORY’ with’s grocery store?

    This sounds to me like a great test to gain visibility and begin to shift consumer perception about what experiences in grocery retail might look like in the future. They will clearly create memorable stories that will have resonance and spread. And Rachel's concept site is brilliant.
  • Posted on: 05/10/2017

    Has Fabletics bridged the digital/physical divide with its omnicart tech?

    It is always smart to focus on enhancing the shopper experience, but the cost/sales conversion metrics have to move in the right direction to sustain that strategy across the enterprise. My sense is that if Fabletics uses the technology to attract new customers that can then understand the fit and move back to ordering subsequent products online with confidence, that might be a long-term win.
  • Posted on: 05/10/2017

    Is facial recognition a viable solution for reducing shoplifting?

    Transparency to the shopper of camera policies is the first "must-do" in my opinion. Then use of the images to prevent loss is fair. But re-using the images for marketing/research is pushing the limits.
  • Posted on: 05/08/2017

    Can Walmart dash past Amazon with its own product replenishment system?

    This is a bit too invasive for me. I prefer the opportunity to look for variety in products and brands that comes from the ability to do it myself. But then again, I'm no longer a time-starved, full-time working parent of three kids!

Contact Anne