PROFILE

Kenneth Leung

Retail and Customer Experience Expert

Kenneth Leung was the enterprise industry director at Avaya, responsible for vertical industry strategies.

Kenneth previously was with Cisco Systems, with the last position as senior marketing strategy manager for Internet of Everything campaign. His roles at Cisco included development of private sector industries strategy and messaging at Cisco as well as retail industry marketing.

Prior to Cisco, he worked at IBM software group in WebSphere Commerce and Information Management groups with responsibility in marketing management for retail and e-commerce. Before joining IBM, Kenneth was retail industry director for Informix Software where he was responsible for market management and programs.

Kenneth Leung is currently working on his first marketing book and pursuing future opportunities. Learn more at:about.me/kennethleung

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  • Posted on: 01/16/2018

    Should showrooms replace closed stores?

    The cost per square foot for a retail space is much higher than what you would pay for fulfillment centers. If the store location doesn't support the sales goals per square foot (which is why you close stores in the first place), it isn't going to pay for itself as a distribution center for online pickup, delivery and a showroom. Unless the mall is willing to negotiate on the rent (which it probably won't), and the store is closed for traffic and revenue reasons versus rent, converting it to an oversized showroom isn't going to be profitable. Remember, even though CX is important, it has to be delivered profitably.
  • Posted on: 01/11/2018

    Kohl’s to share space with grocery store partner(s)

    I guess it is the details I am curious about. Are the stores still going to have Kohl's as the banner up front or are these going to be co-branded stores? Grocery stores have done well leasing space to banks ... The grocery/discount store combo would put it in the same value proposition as Target stores. A lot depends on the branding, merchandising and proximity to other grocery stores.
  • Posted on: 01/05/2018

    Will retail be woven into the fabric of the new, walkable suburb?

    Convenience does not mean in-home delivery, it also means walking down the street if you are in a walkable neighborhood. I live in a high rise in downtown and I see a lot of deliveries, but I also see people walking down the street to Walgreens and coffee shops if only to get their step counts up on their health monitors (it is either that or go to gym). I think the digital health lifestyle actually drives more walking to brick-and-mortar shopping when it is available.
  • Posted on: 01/05/2018

    Consumers want their digital promos and print circulars, too

    Agreed. Consumers are not single channel any more. They look at their mobile, they look at their e-mail, they look at the web and occasionally they check their U.S. Postal Service mail and buy a magazine. The Millennials are definitely heavy on digital but there is still a significant shopper population with disposable income that you need to reach and nurture. It comes down to what you are selling and who is buying, not just who the retailer wishes to reach.
  • Posted on: 01/03/2018

    Should Amazon have Target in its acquisition sights?

    I think Amazon needs to learn more from the Whole Foods acquisition before tackling something as big as Target. Granted Amazon has the financial means to do it, but it would take one heck of a management team to pull together the disparate cultures and logistics.
  • Posted on: 01/03/2018

    Amazon and Google engage in a smart speaker price war

    Smart speakers are loss leaders for Amazon and Google. The value these companies get from them is increasing stickiness to their brand, a link to shopping and, more importantly, data collection about consumers. I am not sure how many smart speakers a home can have, though I have heard amusing stories of Google Home and Amazon Alexa talking to each other. :-)
  • Posted on: 12/18/2017

    Did Netflix cross the data-disclosure line?

    I think the different responses to the facts are generational. Digital natives would know they are being tracked and find the results amusing, even those who are part of the targeted group would probably find it slightly shocking but not creeped out. The data is anonymous and trend based, and the fact is even those who watched the video probably don't remember doing so.
  • Posted on: 12/09/2017

    Amazon is (quietly) upending private branding. Will others follow?

    Amazon is building private label items because of its reach. It doesn't need Amazon branded products in categories like clothing or food product (especially since it now has Whole Foods), just a good enough brand to stand on its own. Other retailers have a tough time emulating this because Amazon, at its core, is not a retailer, it is a service provider that delivers computing, entertainment, physical goods and retail endpoints. Short of a major retailer going full vertical integration with Alibaba, I don't see emulation being a valid strategy.
  • Posted on: 12/07/2017

    Will shoppers pay services to do returns for them?

    I think only a small niche of customers with expensive items would use the service. If you are returning a big screen TV and you don't have a vehicle to carry, I can see paying $10 for it, otherwise I don't see it having mass appeal.
  • Posted on: 12/04/2017

    Does Everlane need to open stores?

    Stores are part of the retailing experience. Whether they fit a retailer's strategy depends on the strengths and attributes of the products. The days of opening as many stores as you can to increase sales is over; today it is about opening the right stores at the right location reachable by the right customers and use it to supplement other channels, and vice versa.
  • Posted on: 11/29/2017

    Tech tries to end the annoying search for mall parking spots

    The red yellow green is good and easy to see while driving without having to refer to mobile tech. I have seen multi-level parking lots with empty space counters on each floor which is also useful in airport long-term parking lots. Fact is, during holidays parking is a stressful activity just because of the crowds. A bit of tech and information goes a long way.
  • Posted on: 11/27/2017

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

    The holiday shopping season is a long one and I can't see one day derailing the season. Yes it will hurt and if the retailer doesn't do well it will be used as part of the reason. I wonder if something else is going on and where the failure is: POS? Link to processor, etc.? If the link to the processor goes down usually store point of sale can go in "offline" mode and just approve under a certain limit to clear the lines. The fact that both online and in-store went down is probably a worst case scenario.
  • Posted on: 11/15/2017

    Will data breach concerns tank Forever 21’s holiday?

    I think the news of breaches has to an extent immunized consumers to the news. Yes in the short term the company will be put in bad light, but the reality is that shopping will go on if the merchandising and shopping experience is compelling. Their shopping base is very digital savvy and monitors personal data pretty closely. As long as they are up front and offer support to customers who have been breached, they will be fine.
  • Posted on: 11/13/2017

    Are data sharing concerns still holding back true personalization?

    It is a matter of perception driving reality, and most likely the people who talked to friends on the phone about the products also did searches about the product online or interacted with an article or an ad which triggered the conversation in the first place. The challenge is that as consumers are more aware they are leaving a digital trail, they are creating a causation relationship between activities, whether it is correct or not.
  • Posted on: 11/11/2017

    Has Google solved the problem of long lines at grocery checkouts?

    Interesting. It sounds like they are trying to incorporate Waze traffic reporting type technology into retail. I am wondering if it is less of a wait time response technology for retailers, but more of a trip planning aid to improve the travel experience. Maybe the point isn't about improving the wait time, but to improve the usability of Google Map users to determine whether they want to stop to shop on the way home or to work based on the wait time.

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