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: 10/21/2016

    Macy’s to RFID tag everything

    I am very curious to see what those "numerous things" are. If they are able to read every item in the store without associates walking around with hand-held guns, that becomes a stunning opportunity to cut costs while improving inventory accuracy consistently. Goodbye physical inventory processing!
  • Posted on: 10/19/2016

    Will Aldi and Lidl replicate U.K. success in the U.S.?

    I just don't see it. As Ross points out, Dollar stores already serve a lot of the purpose Aldi and Lidl serve in the UK.Aldi opened a store near me, quite literally carving out a space in a Kmart parking lot, so it's hard to call that "appealing to the middle class." Technically speaking, they did open in a middle class area, but they found the lowest-end part of that town. I did shop there once and found the assortment chaotic and unappealing. I had no interest in returning and can't even bring myself to stop in.I know they will take credit cards now. At the time I went, they were still "debit cards" only and charged 6 cents per bag if you didn't bring your own. The cashiers sat in comfy chairs while the shoppers did all the work. It was really weird to me.I see no threat whatsoever in any market that is already well served.
  • Posted on: 10/14/2016

    Target to test vertical farms in stores

    This is an old article ... I believe there are more in Amsterdam now.
  • Posted on: 10/14/2016

    Target to test vertical farms in stores

    I like the idea. Even better, if they structurally could support it, would be growing this stuff on the roofs of the stores. I've seen this done in other countries and it helps lower HVAC costs while adding oxygen to the air.
  • Posted on: 10/11/2016

    Should retail prices in-store be the same as online?

    Our data has shown us that channel-specific promotions might be okay but, beyond that, the answer is a simple one -- yes.
  • Posted on: 10/10/2016

    Will doubling down on e-commerce pay dividends for Walmart?

    I think they don't have much of a choice. They have tapped out their store-based market and this is probably the best way to appeal to the next generation.It's not just necessary to compete with Amazon, but also to compete with smaller footprint store-based retailers.
  • Posted on: 10/07/2016

    Should Bed Bath & Beyond ditch its coupons?

    The coupons are no longer effective for me (and I used to use them all the time) because I prefer to shop online and the coupons are only good in stores. The drive to Bed Bath & Beyond is a torturous drive to Aventura. So I have found alternative sources for the products they sell.I might consider a membership instead. Maybe.Having said that, the horse may well be out of the barn since many, like me, have found other sources, like for the same stuff.Might be too little too late.
  • Posted on: 10/03/2016

    Costco sticking to store-first approach

    I have to disagree with most of my esteemed fellow panelists here.When you look at Amazon's Prime (vs. Prime Now) offerings, it's my opinion they are going after Costco way more than traditional supermarkets. The packaging is similar to Costco (multiple items in a pack) and the quantities are definitely geared towards pantry packing, just like Costco.Costco probably has little to fear in its B2B business, SO FAR, but Amazon is moving into the B2B space and I think Costco really does have to address its complete lack of consistency between online and offline offerings.
  • Posted on: 09/23/2016

    Will retailers be treated to a record-setting Halloween?

    I was in the party supply business when Halloween really started taking off.The thing about Halloween is it has no family "charge" around it like Thanksgiving and no gift giving to drain the wallet, so for about $100 you can have a fabulous time.I will say that Monday is not the very best day for Halloween to fall, but it's not the worst either. The best day is Friday or Saturday, but Monday will work for the previous weekend's adult costume parties.By the way, if you ever want to have your mind blown, go into a Party City on the day before Halloween. The chaos is beyond description.
  • Posted on: 09/22/2016

    What’s behind Zara’s crazy sales gains?

    Aren't they up against soft comp sales last year? They were opening a lot of stores and announced early this year that they were cutting back on store openings.
  • Posted on: 09/21/2016

    Is consumer demand really that unpredictable?

    Well, omnichannel makes things problematic if forecast and planning systems are driven off of where demand was fulfilled, rather than where it is generated. This seems hard for retailers to grasp for reasons I don't quite understand.Still, I wouldn't go so far as to say that retailers are bad at estimating demand. Yes, I know I am part of RSR, but I have a slightly different take. Our earlier studies showed that Retail Winners were actually rather good at it and it was only under-performers who had a hard time adjusting to shifts and changes.The world of omnichannel has most certainly changed that and the data reflects it. It is not easy to predict, at this point, where a sale will be consummated. Odds are that with digital sales still increasing by double digit percents, online sales are under-estimated and with continued falling traffic in stores, store-based sales are over-estimated.And let's not forget the additional chaotic influence of endless promotions.So there are both exogenous and endogenous factors driving bad forecasts. At least that's my view.
  • Posted on: 09/15/2016

    When will AR and VR become “realities” at retail?

    Ultimately VR and AR will change the shopping experience as PART OF the reinvention of both the store and overall retail experience. But it's going to take time.Retailers don't have buckets of money to spend on technologies that have "maybe" ROI ... they have been too busy trying to finish the "must have" ROI projects associated with omnichannel. But eventually, it's a possibility.
  • Posted on: 09/09/2016

    Will Apple bring Macy’s a merry Christmas?

    I'm not a fan of store-within-a-store as a solution to department store woes. Plus, in all likelihood there's an Apple (store) in the same vicinity as most Macy's.Not a great category, not the right product (For Bloomingdales, maybe, Macy's, not so much) and, in my own opinion, not the right direction.I'd so much rather see lifestyle affinities placed adjacent to each other in department stores. But that's an even more complicated solution.
  • Posted on: 09/08/2016

    Could Amazon’s physical stores fuel a backlash?

    Yeah, there's an issue here for sure. Amazon has to be careful not to become the next Walmart (and I don't think the country is ready for another one, to be honest).It is absolutely fair game for independents to promote negative repercussions.Couple this with Amazon's subtle price increases online and you will find an erosion of trust. Amazon has always been my go-to source for everything. But over the past six months, they have come in more than 25 percent higher than other sellers on everything from skin creams to sneakers.Hubris is always a bad thing.
  • Posted on: 09/06/2016

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

    Honestly, the last time I brought in a faulty iPad to an Apple store I had to persuade the "Genius" that it really was bad hardware, rather than software. The guy was so arrogant that we took an extra half hour re-loading the machine, letting it sit. I was just about to leave, dejected, when the machine started its weird behavior with a naked operating system. At this point, given the crowds and overall chaos of the Apple store, I'd just as soon buy from somewhere else.

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