Diana McHenry

Retail & CPG, LLamasoft, Inc.

Diana has three decades experience in the retail and consumer goods ecosystem in companies ranging from LLamasoft today to Procter & Gamble.  Diana’s been fortunate to work with innovative business leaders worldwide across retail sectors, including fashion, hardlines, grocery and e-commerce.

In her current role, Diana meets with executives and practitioners to drive innovation and enhanced omnichannel experience through supply chain design, optimization, simulation and innovation.

  • Posted on: 04/18/2016

    Kmart wants to bring the ‘fun’ back to shopping

    Companies need to attract customers' business with unique value. What does the brand stand for currently? What should I expect in merchandise, price and service? Why would I spend my limited time and budget somewhere? The t-shirts and programs aren't relevant if people aren't shopping there.

  • Posted on: 11/02/2015

    Will new store concepts work for Kohl’s?

    I like the Off-Aisle concept for smaller stores. I also think there could be all apparel smaller stores that appeal to people who might buy the exclusive brands for apparel, but are not the typical discount shopper and don't have the energy to wade into a 90,000 square-foot store with everything. How about "Kohl's Clubs" in nice outdoor malls?

  • Posted on: 09/17/2015

    Will 25¢ coffee help Whole Foods shed its ‘Whole Paycheck’ tag?

    Promotions aren't enough to change a brand image yet, but I applaud the efforts and am sure they'll report out and learn from each initiative. I'm glad to see companies adapt and change. Those that don't tack the ship end up in the business boneyard.

  • Posted on: 07/23/2015 beats Amazon and Walmart on price

    For me, I need to trust a retailer to do business. Consistency and fairness matter and build my trust. I'm glad there's competition in this space. I'm glad Jet has a mobile app already. I logged into it and looked for my household's favorite flavor of Clif Bar. Not available. OK. What else is available? There are 12-packs of bars online, and the price varies from below the competition's price to above, depending on the flavor. Jet's price range was $7 between high and low cost for the 12-pack of bars. Hmm. Why is one box $9 and change and one $16 and change? I'll keep checking Jet out. This is one small data point.

  • Posted on: 07/10/2015

    How should retail prepare for the Internet of Things?

    Good points Brian and I agree with Paula. Retailers need the infrastructure, else it's moot.

  • Posted on: 04/20/2015

    Competing in the age of wicked fast delivery

    For retailers to compete against Amazon on delivery speeds, in addition to leveraging transportation partners and picking prowess, retailers will need to invest in supply chain design and optimization.

  • Posted on: 04/13/2015

    Value of farmers’ markets questioned

    Farmers' markets serve communities as a gathering place, an activity, a place to form community. They give smaller farmers, bakers, etc. an opportunity to showcase their goods, techniques and for people on each side of the table to get to know each other. I might stroll through a market in a sunny weekend afternoon like someone would stroll through an outdoor art show. You get to know the farmers, bakers, orchard-owners, form relationships and provide an outlet for their passion and product.

    In addition to some lovely farmers' markets, we have multiple community gardens in my Midwestern metro area, one in a neighborhood underserved by grocers with a non-profit who teaches people how to cook vegetables that maybe our grandparents knew how to cook. Park + Vine, a Cincinnati-based green general store and cafe, does a fantastic job of merging positives of farmers' markets into its programs and community via educational offerings, discovering and highlighting some great foods, farmers, bakers, etc. Some national grocers have captured the lessons from a farmers' market with the positive interactions and education in-store also.

  • Posted on: 04/13/2015

    Starbucks to workers: College is on us

    This is a wonderful investment in people to make a difference in the world. This is an outstanding benefit that I believe will attract employees that have desirable attributes. These employees will also have an increased loyalty to the company and this is a brand-enhancer in the marketplace.

  • Posted on: 02/24/2015

    Mobile payments may overtake cards in five years

    As a consumer, mobile payments have been easier already in 2015. I've been delighted in my work travels this year to have more options. Merchants are making it easier to use alternative payments. Education, ease of use and reducing fear of fraud/theft are keys to adoption. People in their twenties and people comfortable with technology will tip the scale on adoption.

  • Posted on: 02/23/2015

    How managers should resolve conflicts with associates

    I think it is helpful to build relationships and build on people's strengths and also solicit operational suggestions from associates in stores. There can be a tendency to be very rules-based and hierarchical. It's important to run good operations, and to have room for education and empowering associates so folks grow, want to do the right thing and are retained. I'm working with a retailer now who is doing these things, and they are attracting and retaining much better talent and seeing people grow.

  • Posted on: 12/01/2014

    Does it matter that Black Friday sales were down?

    Black Friday is becoming less relevant and retailers will still make sales. I am delighted. shopping is more sane, customer experience can be appreciated versus people stampeded, retailers can hold onto their brand identity and experience and still have sales and promotions—without the nasty experience and drain on resources—human, financial, supply chain—to support one big day. Oh—off to do some online shopping now...Diana

  • Posted on: 10/07/2014

    Is grocery shopping becoming more enjoyable?

    Groceries and retailers overall are spending more time understanding customer preferences. Customer activity analysis and high-performance retail platforms allow grocers to more rapidly adapt to Millennials' preferences, offer more ethnic options (which also appeal to traditional center store folks) and communicate these options in a personal manner.

  • Posted on: 03/26/2014

    Is a price war about to break out in the cloud?

    Retail business solutions and predictive customer analytics in the cloud have tremendous potential. IT can partner with business to drive new innovations and results enabled by technology and not have to struggle with keeping the lights on with operational systems.

    Retailers can also take on an innovation project to gain high performance to do things like drive next best offers and relevant personalized communications and inventory insight. A cloud strategy can power innovation, reduce costs and build a roadmap to the future for retailers.

  • Posted on: 03/25/2014

    Happy birthday to me, yeah right

    George, happy birthday! You're a great colleague and a good egg too. If I was nearby, we could grab a few retail friends and test a few retailer spots or restaurants and check out a birthday sundae or dessert.

    I'm not very receptive to retailers birthday greetings as I usually forget to carry coupons around and still get physical mail on my bday. I guess if more places I am loyal to tried harder to connect with me, I'd download their mobile app. I'd enjoy a birthday latte there. What I get feels like spam and not too sincere.

    It's not a birthday story, but my favorite retailer service example lately was Nordstrom writing and signing a personalized letter. Yes, please take care of me!

  • Posted on: 03/21/2014

    Starbucks to expand alcohol sales, partner with Oprah

    I like both ideas! As a very frequent traveler, there are Starbucks in convenient locations throughout airports. At the end of a long business day, a traveler being able to buy a cold, tasty Cerveza from the chilled cases Starbucks already has in place instead of a juice would be great. Beats the loud, crowded sports bars at the airports. In free-standing or strip center locations, a wine and coffee bar is a concept popping up with local merchants - so why not re-purpose Starbucks as a evening hang out, with a flight of wine for those who imbibe?

    The tea and giving back is cool too - and competes with all the local tea houses that have popped up. And Oprah's brand equity is positive. I am strong on both ideas to leverage Starbucks' great locations, real estate and brand loyalty people have for Starbucks and as gathering places.

Contact Diana