Paula Rosenblum

Managing Partner, RSR Research

Paula Rosenblum is co-founder and Managing Partner at RSR Research and is widely recognized as one of the industry’s top retail technology analysts. She was selected as one of the “Top 50 Retail Influencers” in 2013 and writes a weekly blog for Forbes. Previous to her 12 years as an analyst, she spent over 20 years as a retail technology executive and CIO at companies including Hit or Miss, Morse Shoe, Domain Home Fashions and others.

Paula received her MBA in 1991 from Northeastern University, with a major in management of High Technology firms and was nominated to the Beta Gamma Sigma honor society. She’s active in a variety of organizations supporting human growth and development, and has been involved with the RetailROI charity since its earliest days.

Other Links from Paula Rosenblum:

RSR Research blog

  • Posted on: 09/18/2017

    Can v-commerce give brands the edge they need online?

    Gosh, I think I must really be missing something. We're talking about a combination of dying grey goods (maybe) and then flocking on the fly, right? Flocking has been a thing for over 50 years, and dying grey goods for 30. I looked for other articles on the topic and couldn't find anything to indicate otherwise. Even the grey goods part seems like a stretch.Is it disruptive? No more than my Camp Colang tee shirts were. Again ... I could be totally missing some very high tech something-or-other, but it feels very "back to the future" to me.
  • Posted on: 09/15/2017

    Will Postmates’ on-demand delivery work better as a subscription model?

    I very rarely say this, but Postmates' problem isn't its pricing structure, it is its software. I use restaurant delivery services frequently. Uber Eats is easy as pie. Whether using its iOS app or its website, it works great.Postmates has one of my favorite restaurants on it. They ran away from Uber Eats, so I suspect the pricing structures are different. So I am quite literally forced to use it from time to time. But Postmates' app is truly and really AWFUL. The search does not work. Restaurants are intermingled with drug stores. It's a mess.So what I do is order the food through a webpage (since I can find the restaurant that way ... they don't have the concept of "your favorites," which is bizarre all by itself), and then track the delivery through the app.So if I were them, I'd really focus on the UX. And I rarely if ever start with technology as the base problem. In Postmates' case, it clearly is.
  • Posted on: 09/05/2017

    Five pain points grocers must address to survive in an Amazon/Whole Foods world

    This is not rocket science. Amazon is no longer the über low price provider. I don't expect Whole Foods to become that way, either. But what Amazon is really, really good at is being in stock. Grocers are going to have to step it up all the way around. So are pet food companies.
  • Posted on: 08/31/2017

    Is outsourcing a better option for in-home tech help?

    Amazon has outsourced its "enhanced" delivery services. Home Depot has outsourced its installation services. Both were, in my opinion, utterly awful. Quality control is imperative, and I just don't see it with outsourced services. Maybe it's a Miami thing, but (wait for it) I have found Sears delivery and installation services to be far superior.
  • Posted on: 08/30/2017

    Will smart homes be sold in living rooms?

    Funny about that. I just installed a camera system in my home and I did require a consultation before it was done. In retrospect, I should have done more of my own research, as there are some features missing from the system the consultant picked, but I definitely needed something!So yes, depending in the item, a consultation will be useful: Where should it go? Will the signal reach the router? Etc.
  • Posted on: 08/29/2017

    Are Whole Foods’ price cuts game-changing for food retailing?

    Someone pointed out on Facebook that Amazon/Whole Foods got what amounted to a free ad on the front page of the Wall Street Journal because of this price cut. What's ironic is that if you look at the list, the items in question were crazily overpriced before.For example, I learned when I moved to Miami that bananas grow like weeds (literally! They are almost impossible to get rid of) ... none of the price cuts made me say anything beyond "well, it's about time" and yet so many column inches were dedicated to them.I expect Amazon to lower prices and then slowly raise them. Plus, I think the company is about to find out you just don't have the kind of pricing flexibility in stores that you do online. People have to actually DO something when you change those prices. There are laws in place. I suppose they can get around it by creating Prime-only prices, but they will also have to be careful to keep prices consistent across channels -- just like everyone else.This will be fascinating to watch. If I was a grocery retailer I'd likely stay the course and do what I am good at. I would not get involved in a race to the bottom.
  • Posted on: 08/28/2017

    Does Best Buy now have its own summer Black Friday?

    Prime Day is the world's biggest loss leader. There's a BIG difference in the timing of Best Buy's sale ... three words: Back to School. If the company can find a way to keep it profitable, I think mid-August is a great time for a sale.
  • Posted on: 08/25/2017

    What’s delaying BTS selling?

    I think the whole BTS season is now totally distorted because school opening times vary so much across the U.S. I think we simply have to wait until the final bell has rung (hah!) before declaring success or failure, and I would implore retailers to leave the prices alone. It's not about price. No one wants to go clothes shopping (or anything else for that matter) when it's 95 degrees outside. Sometimes, patience is a virtue.Retailers seem to have forgotten how to be patient.
  • Posted on: 08/23/2017

    Will the Walmart/Google voice deal give Amazon’s Alexa a run for its money?

    I think this is huge ... I really do. Doug McMillon is starting to ascend into Frank Blake territory with his creative ways of establishing new markets.Of course, brilliant on Google's part too. Everyone does what they're good at and the customer benefits. I am happy to see competition back on the rise.
  • Posted on: 08/22/2017

    Will a former eBay and Home Depot exec help Macy’s get turned around?

    I'm always happy to see IT report up to merchandising rather than to finance or operations. That's the first good sign!The question we have to ask ourselves is, does Macy's have the resources, time and talent to create really desirable brands that cover 40 percent of its business? That's a tough ask.I certainly think it's a good idea. World class. But very few retailers with such a large store footprint can create that many solid brands to fill it up (or 40 percent of it, anyway).
  • Posted on: 08/18/2017

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

    I believe VR is the next 3-D TV. It has almost no value in retail (or anywhere else, except gaming and maybe a deathbed).AR is interesting but also seems kind of niche. Gosh, I really wish retailers would focus on actual retailing, with actual employees who know what they're doing to create a better experience for customers. I really do.
  • Posted on: 08/16/2017

    Will military tech give Amazon an edge delivering packaged meals?

    Uhm, just a one word answer: No. Why should consumers solve a retailer problem?
  • Posted on: 08/11/2017

    Is a positive quarter a sign of results to come for Nordstrom?

    I kind of wish we could have seen the combined sales of and Nordstrom full-line stores. Did the huge increase in online sales offset the reduction in sales in stores?Nordstrom does a lot right. Its management tends to stay the course, rather than bounce around. I think the company over-expanded its full-line stores, but as long as they stop expanding now, the company will right itself and move forward.
  • Posted on: 08/07/2017

    What made GameStop decide to open on Thanksgiving this year?

    What an odd decision! But let's be clear ... staying closed on Thanksgiving is more than just "good PR." There is NO evidence that opening on Thanksgiving provides any increase in sales, and in fact, there is lots of evidence that it decreases profits. Retailers haven't changed their tune because of the consumer outcry (what consumer outcry?). They simply aren't getting anything out of it.To leverage Meaghan's observation, if you think that opening on Thanksgiving is going to save your business, you have some serious problems to address. There are years of data that tell us it will not save your business and it's probably not going to help it. It could hurt it, or at best be neutral. It also really messes up the demand curve.I thought GameStop was way more savvy than this.
  • Posted on: 08/04/2017

    Will Amazon’s new return policy help or hurt its marketplace sellers?

    I can appreciate the problem on both sides. Consistency is correct, but apparel returns (and jewelry) are helacious. Attempts to reduce returns have been around as long as direct-to-consumer has existed.Still, it's part of the table stakes and it's simply the only way to go.

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