PROFILE
    • fa
    • tt
    • gg

Karen McNeely

Director of Retail, Milwaukee Art Museum
  • VIEW ARTICLES
  • VIEW COMMENTS
  • Posted on: 01/03/2018

    What will The Company Store do for Home Depot?

    I'm confused. There's no mention of Home Depot's Home Decorator's Collection division. I agree Home Depot has potential growth in this category. Why not just used the Home Decorator's Collection to achieve it?
  • Posted on: 11/27/2017

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

    I'm speechless. In a season where they could not afford any mistakes, this is a big one. I'm the director of a museum store which does under $2 million a year. We have a failsafe for if our credit card processing goes down, so it's transparent to our visitors. That Macy's does not is inexcusable and the timing couldn't be worse.
  • Posted on: 11/21/2017

    The RetailWire Christmas Commercial Challenge: Big Lots vs. Kohl’s

    I was seriously concerned with the Big Lots spot in the beginning, but it quickly won me over. It definitely put in in the holiday spirit. On the other hand the Kohl's ad started promising and ended up as a huge slap in the face to moms. Yep, you do all the work and what you get is the Kohl's cash? Making a key component of your target audience feel unappreciated is never a smart move. For me the Kohl's ad is a big loser.
  • Posted on: 11/15/2017

    The RetailWire Christmas Commercial Challenge: Macy’s vs. Nordstrom

    The Macy's spot seemed like it was trying too hard. I didn't get the story and frankly it wasn't that heartwarming. At first, I honestly thought his mom had passed away. I loved the Nordstrom's spot. As others have said it's a lot more upbeat and it put a smile on my face. Seeing the office staff and store employees created a connection with Nordstrom's instead of making it seem like just a big faceless corporation. Macy's created no such connection and definitely just seemed like an ad man's failed attempt to create something "that will read" heartfelt.
  • Posted on: 06/14/2017

    Can fitness centers save malls?

    Heck, some people even visit a fitness center multiple times a week! I don't go near the place, but my Millennial children go about five times a week.
  • Posted on: 06/14/2017

    Can fitness centers save malls?

    This is so smart. I really hope that they also add a grocery store, options for prepared meals and other places in the mall that would make this a one-stop shop. Convenience is the internet's largest competitive edge. Having multiple functions under one roof with a place you have to physically go to (you can't exercise on the internet) gives brick-and-mortar a way of competing with that convenience.
  • Posted on: 06/08/2017

    Can a failed department store find a second life as an off-price retail chain?

    I think the only chance for department store survival is to escape the downward spiraling of deep discounts and coupons (nothing new here, that's been said for over a decade) and find a new purpose for bringing customers back into their stores.Having worked in both department store and non-profit retail, I've learned that people will pay more for experiences. Whether that means bringing in trunk shows, live entertainment, adding wine or coffee bars, or finding other reasons other than a coupon that people will want to come into their stores.I have to disagree with Dick Seesel about the wisdom of a chain keeping a home town name. While the individual nameplates may not have national recognition, they are meaningful within their trading area. I think playing on these hometown traditions could be a point of differentiation.
  • Posted on: 05/02/2017

    Will consumers finally pay for service?

    I couldn't agree more. It's all about having standards and maintaining them. It may cost a little more to hire a strong manager than a weak one, but the payback of having a high performing staff is worth it. Often times putting one staff member on warning for "engaging with their cell phone" is all that is needed to get the rest of the staff to shape up. Even if management keeps it confidential, word inevitably gets around.
  • Posted on: 05/02/2017

    Can UPS get retailers to share in delivery costs?

    I didn't read it that the payments were for over or under their projection, only under. The article stated that when they fall short of the projected number it costs UPS money. If they do indeed only charge retailers for falling short of their projection, then the natural consequence is that retailers will project low to avoid charges.
  • Posted on: 05/02/2017

    Can UPS get retailers to share in delivery costs?

    If UPS penalizes retailers for not making their projections, you can count on getting low projections from retailers. Improving route optimization software (which hopefully has improved from the days when I'd see a UPS truck on my street at three different times on the same day) or partnering with USPS seem like better options to me.
  • Posted on: 05/02/2017

    Will consumers finally pay for service?

    I'd argue that it doesn't cost any extra to have a positive attitude and a little common sense. It's often not the amount of customer service (warm bodies) but whether the person there has a smile, looks you in the eye and makes an effort. It starts with hiring people who have a great attitude and management creating an atmosphere that helps maintain it. In my opinion, there is no excuse for poor customer service from an employee at any price.
  • Posted on: 04/03/2017

    Should retailers take a public stance on social issues?

    In general, retailers should remain neutral, but as with any rule there are exceptions. It makes sense to take a public stance when the issue closely aligns with the company's mission and the values of its core customers (e.g. a company like Whole Foods would take a stance against GMOs) or when it's regarding human rights closely related to their business (e.g. a retailer taking extra steps to make sure their products are not produced in sweatshops).
  • Posted on: 03/27/2017

    Will ‘ambitious store redesign’ lift Target to new heights?

    I've noticed that Target has very quietly been greatly improving their online service. A delivery that in the past would have taken 10 days or more to deliver -- inexcusable in this immediate gratification world -- was fulfilled by my local Target and was literally on my doorstep the next day. Despite the free shipping and my 5% discount I'd given up on Target online, but tried them again for something I wasn't in a hurry for. It would behoove them to reach out to the disenfranchised online shoppers and encourage them to try them again.
  • Posted on: 03/09/2017

    Can RadioShack come back from bankruptcy — again?

    In order to have a successful turnaround, RadioShack would have to completely re-energize and reinvent themselves to make them relevant in today's marketplace. Realistically, I don't see that happening.
  • Posted on: 03/07/2017

    Are chains cannibalizing their own in-store sales with e-commerce?

    Many consumers expect retailers to have the bulk if not all of their assortments online. I strongly suspect that the alternative for a store getting an online sale is NOT the customer coming to their brick and mortar, but most likely going to another online retailer.Some of us may remember the old phone company ads that encouraged consumers to "phone first" to verify if a retailer carried something or had it in stock. A store's website now fulfills this function. Whether the customer ultimately has it shipped, does pick up in store, or shops the brick and mortar, this is often the starting place. Last week my daughter needed a white button down shirt for a new job. J.C. Penney got her business (a place she never would have gone to on her own) because a Google search indicated that they had a few to choose from that might work, so she went to check them out.
  • Apply to be a BrainTrust Panelist

  • Please briefly describe your qualifications — specifically, your expertise and experience in the retail industry.