Meaghan Brophy

Managing Editor, Independent Retailer
Meaghan Brophy is the managing editor for Sumner Communications, parent company of Independent Retailer and The Merchandiser Group. Both magazines are written for small retailers and cover topics including marketing, sales, management, products, trade shows, and everything else related to the digital and brick and mortar independent retail industry. She serves as the principal writer and editor for both monthly publications and helps guide the editorial direction of each issue.

Outside of her time at Sumner Communications, Meaghan has held retail and business management roles. Through these positions, she’s gained ample experience in sales, employee training, human resources, customer service, and leadership.

In her free time, Meaghan enjoys tap dancing and a quiet cup of coffee. She also holds an M.S. in Publishing from Pace University.

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  • Posted on: 10/18/2017

    Should the holiday selling season be retired?

    Georganne, happy to see you here! I agree -- Black Friday (and let's not forget Small Business Saturday) are a unique opportunity for brick-and-mortar retailers to take the attention away from e-commerce and bring people together by celebrating a fun tradition.
  • Posted on: 10/18/2017

    Should the holiday selling season be retired?

    It’s definitely sensible for retailers to want to have strong sales year round. Relying on sales from a single month to make or break your year is risky no matter how you slice it. The holiday season is an important time for retail, and that will never change. But retailers should be diverse enough to handle a dip in holiday sales without going into the red. As we saw this year, Prime Day was a surprisingly large day for retail, and we won’t know to what extent it impacted holiday sales until the holiday season is over.
  • Posted on: 10/17/2017

    Rent the Runway sees new program leading to a ‘closetless’ future

    I absolutely see rentals as critical to the future of retail. Trends are shifting faster than ever, budgets are limited, and no one wants to repeat their #OOTD. People will always want to own apparel basics and wardrobe staples. But seasonal and trendier items are better off rented since their fashion lifespan is limited anyway.
  • Posted on: 10/12/2017

    Amazon gives teens their own Prime logins

    Thanks, Dave!
  • Posted on: 10/12/2017

    Is a standalone beauty concept the right plan for Forever 21?

    It would have been safer to pilot Riley Rose as a store-within-a-store model. But, that being said, Forever 21 has slowly increased their cosmetic offerings over the past few years, so they likely tested interest that way. Riley Rose has the potential to be very successful, especially if they follow Forever 21's fast-fashion pricing model. There are not many brick-and-mortar beauty retailers who exclusively target the tween/teen age group. A fast-fashion cosmetic retailer absolutely has the potential to succeed in today’s market. If anyone can pull it off, it’s Forever 21.
  • Posted on: 10/12/2017

    Amazon gives teens their own Prime logins

    Separating teen browsing and purchasing from the parent’s will give Amazon a ton of valuable data. Learning teen shopping patterns early on will help Amazon give personalized product recommendations and keep teens as loyal shoppers into adulthood. Very smart (and logical) move for Amazon.
  • Posted on: 10/12/2017

    Are store brands a ‘fundamental defining piece’ of the retail experience?

    If done well, private brands can really transform a shopping experience and be the deciding factor for shoppers choosing between one retailer and another. Trader Joe’s is an excellent example of private label done well. Shoppers trust their brand and they are known for having innovative products. Costco’s Kirkland brand is another differentiator. I personally have a Costco membership over BJ’s because of the Kirkland brand. As shoppers have more and more options to choose from, having value-priced, high-quality products that are exclusive to your store will help retailers keep the Millennial shopper’s interest.
  • Posted on: 09/26/2017

    Will Target’s wage hikes be a differentiator?

    I think it will vary greatly depending on location. In places like Pennsylvania where the minimum wage is $7.25/hour, Target’s $11 hourly wage will be extremely competitive and allow them to hire great workers. In places like Massachusetts where $11 is minimum wage, Target would have to pay a lot more to be as competitive.
  • Posted on: 09/26/2017

    Goodwill finds the need to spin off a down-market concept

    Back-to-basics concepts are a good idea. But do retailers really need a separate store to accomplish that? Having two different store concepts is expensive, and retailers run the risk of further fragmenting their brand identity. Why not utilize space in the existing store for a back-to-basics display or bargain section?
  • Posted on: 09/22/2017

    Walmart’s Christmas plans do not include seasonal hires

    Cutting out the time and resources it takes to train new hires and eliminating the customer service flubs that naturally result from an influx of new employees makes a lot of sense. My only hesitation is, what if employees can’t work more hours? Stressed out and overworked employees aren’t good for anyone, no matter how well trained they are. I feel like this is the type of decision that should be made on an individual store level.
  • Posted on: 09/21/2017

    Are retailers getting comfy with click & collect?

    I think the hardest part of click and collect for retailers is having the mobile capabilities to satisfy shoppers who only want to communicate on that channel, and having that seamlessly integrate with the pickup experience. If the communication isn’t clear, or if the technology doesn’t live up to shoppers' expectations, customers won’t even consider buying anything else once they get in-store.
  • Posted on: 09/21/2017

    Will a new lunch menu make Starbucks a food giant?

    One of the greatest things about Starbucks is they are not afraid to experiment. They also know when to call it quits on an idea that's not working out. For Starbucks, it’s not a matter of if they’ll be successful with food; it’s a matter of when. I think they are certainly on to something with their lunch menu. Whether it’s successful or not will likely come down to pricing and marketing.
  • Posted on: 09/20/2017

    Kohl’s to accept product returns for Amazon

    I’m having a hard time finding the upside of this for Kohl’s. Logistics of these returns will be a nightmare. I’m betting on a Kohl’s acquisition by Amazon in the works.
  • Posted on: 09/19/2017

    Toys ‘R’ Us files for bankruptcy, enters ‘new era’

    Toys “R” Us may need to take a cue from Nordstrom and create brick-and-mortar spaces that focus on experience. Toys “R” Us locations need to become a destination where kids want to go to play and discover instead of a space where parents go to pull a boxed toy off the shelf. If Toys “R” Us is successful with their Times Square location this holiday, I think there is hope for them yet.
  • Posted on: 09/18/2017

    Did this startup make a big mistake calling itself Bodega?

    Exactly. Under a different name, there wouldn't be much (if any) negative reaction to Bodega. It'll be interesting to see what happens next.

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