Cathy Hotka

Principal, Cathy Hotka & Associates

Cathy Hotka has personal relationships with most of North America’s most influential retail technology leaders. Cathy Hotka & Associates is a different kind of retail IT marketing firm, leveraging close relationships with CIOs to assist technology companies, and working with retail CIOs to create thought leadership materials. The company was founded in 2002 and enjoys working relationships with many Tier 1 retailers and vendors.

Prior to creating the firm, Hotka created the CIO Council for the National Retail Federation, and staffed the American Petroleum Institute’s IT Council. She has worked on Capitol Hill and the White House, and has been recognized by Computerworld, CIO, Executive Technology, and the Wharton School of Business.

  • Posted on: 02/15/2018

    Can Circuit City come back from the dead?

    This hugely difficult category is driven by price ... but could be disrupted by service. Without compelling evidence, consumers aren't going to think that Circuit City is the right company to provide that service.
  • Posted on: 02/12/2018

    Amazon moves closer to FedEx and UPS’s turf

    If Amazon takes over the easier shipping to dense areas, it leaves the more expensive shipping to less dense areas to traditional carriers. This can only weaken them over time and cause them to raise rates. The move makes complete sense for Amazon, but we'll have to watch UPS and FedEx and see what happens to them.
  • Posted on: 02/08/2018

    Will Office Depot’s BizBox become the go-to place for SMBs?

    Retail is moving in the direction of services and experience, and BizBox hits that target. FedEx made a huge mistake in rebranding Kinkos (which everyone knew) as FedEx Office ... BizBox may be able to capitalize on that.
  • Posted on: 02/07/2018

    Will a CEO without department store experience transform Hudson’s Bay business?

    I'm with you. The whole segment needs some fresh thinking and original ideas. Let's hope that Ms. Foulkes can revitalize not just HBC, but the department store ecosystem.
  • Posted on: 02/05/2018

    Which commercial won the Super Bowl?

    I'll offer the T-Mobile ad using babies to argue for pay equality ... and kudos to Tide for snagging Stranger Things' David Harbour.
  • Posted on: 02/02/2018

    Is a Super Bowl ad worth $5 million?

    Some of us tune in to the Super Bowl FOR the advertisements, and some of them are outstanding. On the flip side, a lame and expensive ad can really hurt a brand. Step it up!
  • Posted on: 01/31/2018

    How should IT buyers be pitched?

    The gold standard for marketing to IT professionals in the retail industry is having a personal relationship with them. The smartest technology companies hire outstanding sales professionals, and let them serve as trusted advisors. If your strategy involves cold-calling, you should re-think it.
  • Posted on: 01/25/2018

    Starbucks and Amazon go cashless in Seattle

    You learn something new every day!
  • Posted on: 01/25/2018

    Starbucks and Amazon go cashless in Seattle

    Every dollar bill says that "this note is legal tender for all debts, public and private." While accepting cash is expensive (IHL Group just did a study outlining the costs of cash handling) there's no question that not accepting it is outside the law. Watch for lawsuits defending the rights of the poor to use cash to purchase that cheese danish.
  • Posted on: 01/24/2018

    New store concept is next step in Dunkin’ rebranding

    I agree completely. Customers have a host of new ways to interact with brands, and the smartest stores will give them options beyond waiting at the counter.
  • Posted on: 01/23/2018

    Would Iceland’s equal pay law work in the U.S.?

    I frankly don't think the United States is sophisticated enough to adopt this concept. If the last presidential election showed us anything, it showed that the irresponsible alpha male still rules in America. It's a shame.
  • Posted on: 01/22/2018

    Does Whole Foods have a backroom problem?

    Whole Foods backroom issues are emblematic of the industry as a whole. Physical retail has to figure out inventory and assortments, or risk losing out to endless aisles online, where an ever-growing number of competitors vie for consumers' business. The retailers who can figure this out will be well-poised for the future.
  • Posted on: 01/19/2018

    Is personalization the new loyalty?

    Personalization can be a game-changer, but most retailers haven't sufficiently integrated systems to be able to do it. Those who are further ahead (DSW comes to mind) will be able to deliver experiences that others can't touch, further widening the gap between the leaders and laggards.
  • Posted on: 01/17/2018

    At NRF Show, CVS calls for transparency in beauty

    I love this. It was one thing when advertisements were aspirational, but image-altering software changed everything. This effort complements the Dove Real Beauty campaign, highlighting real women's good looks. Radical transparency on CVS's party is very interesting ... what will they do next?
  • Posted on: 01/11/2018

    ICE raids 7-Eleven stores to arrest illegal immigrants

    I spent six years in politics. These raids have nothing to do with immigrants, and everything to do with playing to a base of support. The hardworking targets of these raids, and their communities, won't soon forget this administration's priorities.

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