PROFILE

Lee Kent

Principal, Your Retail Authority, LLC
Ms. Kent is Owner/Principal of Your Retail Authority, LLC. and creator of Retail’s former Social Network, TheRetailTradecenter.com. She is recognized by retail industry insiders as an authority on retailing and is a seasoned user of new media strategies. Lee likes to talk and exchange ideas about retail particularly on the in-store path to purchase and customer experience design. Look for invitations from Lee to exclusive Retail executive events. You can find her opinions most days on the Retail Wire where she is happy to share her 2 cents.

Lee's current practice focuses on uncovering a brands point of view, customer promises and ability to deliver on them through the creation and/or co-creation of thought leadership initiatives.

In addition to talking endlessly about her passion, Retail, she has directed numerous consulting and strategic initiative engagements. Her clients have included world-renowned companies as well as software providers and start-ups. Lee has served as the NA Retail Industry Practice Leader for a major global managed services provider, Retail Technology Consulting Principal for a Big 4 consulting firm, Director Supplier Management and Integration for an e-commerce start-up venture, Director of Managed Services for a major retail company and has brought her subject matter expertise to smaller organizations in order to help them build strong retail practices.

To learn more, visit <b><a href="https://www.linkedin.com/in/leekent">Lee's LinkedIn profile...</a></b>
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  • Posted on: 08/18/2017

    What do consumers want when using AR or VR to shop?

    Creating great customer experiences doesn't mean you have to have a flashy tech experience. A great customer experience is one that enhances the customer's shopping journey. Like Starbucks and Chick-fil-A who have apps that send the customer to the front of the line. If you are a DIY store, then augmented reality might be a good way to show the customer what the room will look like when finished, but is AR good for every retailer? No. Retail doesn't need to jump on every shiny new toy. They need to figure out what their customers want and need from them and find a way to delight and simplify their lives. For my 2 cents.
  • Posted on: 08/17/2017

    Is Walmart on an unstoppable run?

    I have been very impressed with Walmart's moves as of late. Especially their investments in innovation. Even without an AWS in their pocket to pay for it, they keep on trying new things and they seem to be winning. I call that smart retailing in today's economy. For my 2 cents.
  • Posted on: 08/16/2017

    What bad habits do retail solution providers need to break?

    Many solutions providers these days try too hard to be all things. Instead of having a strong point of view, they say that they can do whatever the retailer wants. Retailers want a partner who is focused and can get them from point A to point B. They want to know that their partner sees a future and can ready them for it. A loosey goosey provider does not come across that way. And that's my 2 cents.
  • Posted on: 08/15/2017

    How should vendors respond to Walmart’s reluctance to raise prices?

    This is really nothing new to Walmart. They have always been notorious about price and if a supplier wanted to raise their price, there had to be some kind of change to the product that justified it. Be it new packaging, new ingredient, whatever.Let me just add that some 15 years ago, as a consultant for another big box retailer, the offices we were given to work in were among the vendor meeting rooms. You have never heard such language, loud voices and arguments. Before that, I had only heard stories about vendor negotiations. And they come out laughing and shaking hands, sometimes. Is it right? It seems pretty harsh and hard on the players but seems like it has been a way of business for a long time.When the game is all about price, something's gotta give. For my 2 cents.
  • Posted on: 08/15/2017

    Will Timberland climb to greater heights behind new experiential concept?

    At first glance, this is a move that has enough intrigue that it might just keep customers coming back to see what's up. At second glance, it is not based on what's new, just what's up. Consider the Zara concept and other fast retailers. They turn their mix so frequently, it does keep the customer coming back and buying. Will Timberland keep them buying? The experience sounds fun and interesting as long as it is what the customer wants from them. Let's wait and see. For my 2 cents.
  • Posted on: 08/14/2017

    Why is Adidas partnering with a knockoff brand?

    Sneakers that sell for $1,000 and up are NOT knockoffs. They are art based on life, so to speak. Should they partner vs. sue? That would be a no-brainer to me. Smart move on the part of Adidas. For my 2 cents.
  • Posted on: 08/14/2017

    Does the internet know us better than we know ourselves?

    Big Data can get us a lot further into actual insights about the consumer however we still have to be careful. Not just because of the creepy factor but also in remembering that much of what consumers do is buy for others. How does Big Data sort that out? As for surveys, I do believe that Big Data will replace many surveys, but short surveys that ask the consumer how their shopping experience went or how well the customer service person helped can't really be done without asking a few question. And that's my 2 cents.
  • Posted on: 08/11/2017

    Is the future of fashion gender-free?

    As our society becomes more casual, the casualness of gender-free styles is making strides. How far will it go? I'm not sure, as styles come and go all the time. Parents may be trying to be less gender specific. However, when given the choice most, not all, little girls will lean towards cute animals and pretty things on their t-shirts and most boys will go for trains and trucks. Smart retailers will always try to stay ahead of the fashion trends and this one is no different. Though it has a chance to last a little longer because there is always a space for neutrality. For my 2 cents.
  • Posted on: 08/10/2017

    Should Walmart buy Birchbox?

    Although Walmart has been reaching beyond their core customers with some of their latest acquisitions, Birchbox seems far too upscale for a fit. I simply do not see the typical Walmart customer, with less discriminatory spend, spending it on prestige grooming products. The sample concept -- maybe, but would that sustain Birchbox? I don't think so. And that's my 2 cents.
  • Posted on: 08/08/2017

    Does Dunkin’ need donuts?

    It seems like the advertising I recall only says Dunkin' anyway so I would think it would make little difference. The interesting thing is that they state in the article, "While we remain the number one retailer of donuts in the country, as part of our efforts to reinforce that Dunkin’ Donuts is a beverage-led brand and coffee leader, we will be testing signage in a few locations that refer to the brand simply as Dunkin’."It almost seems like they are moving away from their ace in the hole, saying that they want to be known as a beverage-led brand. Oh, well, the name change is likely not going to make any difference. For my 2 cents.
  • Posted on: 08/07/2017

    What made GameStop decide to open on Thanksgiving this year?

    It all comes down to who and what your competition is doing, right? GameStop has been on a bumpy ride as of late, or so I've read, and if their competition is open then I can see why they would reverse course. I don't like it. I don't think any of them need to be open on Thanksgiving but business is just business sometimes. I am guessing they feel the need to be there if others in their space like say, Walmart, are. But that's just my 2 cents.
  • Posted on: 08/04/2017

    Can customer journey methodology level the playing field for brick and mortar retail?

    I'm going to jump in here and take a slightly different path. Customer journey is more about mapping out the potential journeys of your brick-and-mortar shoppers and then meeting them at critical touchpoints along the journey to give them what they want. Be it the right interaction or something to ease the process and make the experience more delightful. Although we do have data to personalize, a ME level of personalization is not always needed to move the customer journey along. It is about choosing the data that fits the touchpoint. But that's just my 2 cents.
  • Posted on: 08/03/2017

    Are retailers squandering store traffic?

    Thanks Mark, for bringing this to mind. I think about customer experience all the time and often forget myself to align CX with CRO. Retailers need to be looking at what makes a customer choose shopping in-store over shopping online, and give them that experience. And they need to measure the delivery in conversions. If they are simply looking at sales transactions, they have no way of knowing if they are giving the customer the right experience and enough of it. As for conversion rate killers? If you know the reasons your customers come into the store then map the customer journeys and make sure every potential exit point has been addressed with the right solution and/or interactions.For my 2 cents.
  • Posted on: 08/02/2017

    Should user-generated content move beyond product pages?

    Yes, Lee, you are so right. Encourage and use UGC, but throw in the merchant's voice also to give them great ideas and build even more loyalty to the brand. That's the winning combination that makes the consumer feel more a part of the brand.
  • Posted on: 08/01/2017

    Will Gen Z demand a new level of collaboration?

    Let's start with their ages. Who at 13 to 21 does not think they can do things better than everybody else? Of course they SAY they want to contribute, design and attend, for as long as their attention span let's them. I am not trying to put down a generation. I am really speaking to the nature of this age. On the other hand, the parts about being immune to marketing, not being one-size-fits-all and being less loyal, those things are true of them. Will retailers understand how they might reshape to appeal to them?Do Gen Zers want to have control of their own brand experience? You betcha! Many of us nowadays want that. And they will be more than happy to let you know, where it hurts. In the pocketbook.For my 2 cents.

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