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

  • Posted on: 09/28/2016

    Toys ‘R’ Us mulls small, urban stores as part of turnaround

    Agreed, if you want to buy toys today you can go to Target or Amazon or Walmart. Disney has succeeded in creating a store experience (and so does Apple as toys for adults) that makes people want to visit even when they aren't specifically on a shopping trip. FAO Schwarz knew how to create the wonderful toy experience, Toys "R" Us was the "we have everything toys, come pick what you want" place. That doesn't work as well given Amazon's endless aisle and other retail stores picking the popular lines up. Going small is important, but more important is the assortment and presentation of the toys and game playing experience that will ultimately drive the success of small stores.
  • Posted on: 09/25/2016

    Are smartphones changing how Americans shop from home?

    I use my smartphone for shopping for smaller dollar items (<$20), and repeat items, especially on the amazon app. I think it is definitely taking impulse purchasing to a new level on the cell phone for convenience.
  • Posted on: 09/25/2016

    Coming soon – a members-only store for the ultra rich

    Don't see that working for the ultra rich ... They already access to services by all major luxury brands based on their spending patterns. The country club may work but that's a whole different business model, and brands are already reaching out to private country clubs to present their offerings.
  • Posted on: 09/21/2016

    Is consumer demand really that unpredictable?

    Exactly. Retailers have more channels for serving customers for input of data (browsing, buying) and delivering the experience (store, ship to customer, cross ship between stores) than airlines, hotels or restaurants. The data points are more complex and demand a lot more investment than many retailers are used to. Some retailers are better at doing it than others....
  • Posted on: 09/15/2016

    Why did mall landlords step in to save Aeropostale?

    Mall operators investing in retailers is more common in Asia, where malls operate stores to "seed" or fill the gaps in the property. In the US it is definitely not a common occurrence, and I think this is an exception to buy the chain and the mall operator some time to improve the chain or do a more orderly closedown.
  • Posted on: 09/13/2016

    Amazon and Fanatics play ‘anytime, anywhere, anyhow’ commerce on game day

    Traditionally the only game day delivery business around football is pizza. That model is proven in the mechanism and profitability. The trick is going to be availability, scalability and profitability.
  • Posted on: 09/12/2016

    Amazon to roll out pop-ups nationwide

    Makes sense for the upcoming holiday season where electronics are still common gifts for one's self and family. Pop-ups are an easy way to get consumers to experience devices in person and gain direct feedback as well as to showroom the brand overall and to talk about the Prime service in a face-to-face situation. Amazon is basically doing "see in person then buy online" model at a low investment to see how that compares to the "see online buy in-store" strategy pursued by the brick-and-mortar competition.
  • Posted on: 09/09/2016

    Is altruism the secret ingredient in Starbucks’ success?

    By definition every retailer is a storyteller. Whether the story is compelling to the consumer is the question. I don't think altruism is the secret ingredient. The ability to give customers what they want is the secret sauce, charity is simply good corporate citizenship. There is always a small part of branding for any business to be in charity, but Apple under Steve Jobs proved you can have a successful company with very little charity in its DNA.
  • Posted on: 09/06/2016

    Will new retail associate roles drive Apple’s sales even higher?

    I think there are two type of Apple shoppers. People like me, who buy Apple products for their function and features and almost never visit the Apple store, and those who go to the store for the experience of purchase and support. For those who aren't necessarily using the latest feature, buying an Apple product and knowing they can go to the store and get decent human support is a big differentiator to help with conversion and upsell.
  • Posted on: 09/02/2016

    Why do consumers like retail apps?

    I am surprised Amazon didn't make the list. What this tells us is that consumers will buy from an app if there is timely discount/deals, basically apps drive immediate action from discount shoppers. The question here is whether an app helps a brick-and-click retailer. I believe the answer is yes, but the volume of traffic for the app is going to be lower than pure-play apps, that's just how it is. It needs to be good enough to not hurt the brand, but comparing apps from brick-and-clicks to pure-plays is comparing apples and oranges.
  • Posted on: 09/01/2016

    Schnucks bans solicitors from outside its stores

    At the risk of being a labeled a scrooge, I actually don't see the retail store having an obligation to allow groups to solicit in front of stores. Yes, there is an element of community involvement and charity, but when I am going shopping, I sometimes see a gauntlet of solicitation and it doesn't improve my shopping experience. Maybe because I grew up and live among high rises which solicitations don't happen as much, I don't have a nostalgia about it and it is a cultural thing. I do donate to charity, but I never donate direct to the solicitors.
  • Posted on: 08/30/2016

    Retail executives have no clue about digital

    I think there is a big part of retail that stays the same regardless of channel, digital doesn't "reinvent" as much as change the channels which information and products are exchanged. Availability, assortment, promotion, pricing, supply chain, and profit — those things still matter. I think we need the digital natives to get to leadership positions in retail to truly deploy omnichannel retailing, and it will still be hard because the e-commerce-first retailers would have a learning curve on brick and mortar.
  • Posted on: 08/23/2016

    Will Target get wrapped up in fake sheet controversy?

    Yes, coming clean and removing the manufacturer and offering refund is the right thing to do and appropriate. It would have hurt a lot more if it is a private label item, but given it is a third party, I think consumers will just move on.
  • Posted on: 08/22/2016

    Will Amazon drive-up grocery stores disrupt food retailing?

    Is there an audience for drive up pickup service for grocery? Yes, the question is whether Amazon can do it profitably with that segment. When target offered the drive up pickup, every time I was by, it was never busy. Other grocers also offer online order pick up in store; the question is whether there is enough volume to do a store dedicated as a fulfillment center for drive up pickup.I guess time will tell and it is good that Amazon is investing in trials of different retail formats. The reason why brick and mortar grocers exist is that is serves the largest common denominator of shopping modes including convenience, browsing, entertainment, dining etc. Building a dedicated space as a fulfillment center for drive up only (plus I am sure it will be a hub for delivery) is going to be an interesting model.
  • Posted on: 08/21/2016

    Happy Meal fitness trackers are now an exercise in crisis management

    Given the experience of McDonald's with toys in happy meals, I am surprised their quality control would miss the mark on product testing. Part of the problem may be that small toys is a more mature category, therefore more testing and standards have been done, while the fitness tracker category is still very new in comparison. I am not sure this is a PR crisis at the same level as like what Chipotle is facing. An embarrassment for sure, but I think McDonald's will recover in the long run.

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