PROFILE

Rick Moss

President, Co-founder, RetailWire

Along with partners Al McClain and Santi Briglia, Rick Moss is responsible for conceiving and building RetailWire.com. Principally, he spearheads the functional design and content of the site, along with other administrative and creative duties.

  • Rick’s career in retail trade communications stretches back to 1981 with the start-up of Retail Insights, a ground-breaking video trade magazine. He headed the production and design team for that series of programs until 1993, when, along with partner Santi Briglia, he formed Further Media, a communications design company.
  • With Further Media, Moss and Briglia produced a diversity of b2b communications for the likes of IBM, CMP/InformationWeek, Dean Foods, Ralston Purina and GE. Although primarily concentrated on web design and management, Further Media also designed for video, print and interactive disk.
  • In 1998, out of a partnership between Further Media and Al McClain’s Media Connection, came IdeaBeat.com — the retail industry’s most innovative online community. Rick served as President, overseeing content and strategic partnerships.

Rick is also a contributor to blogs and news publications, typically writing on the impact of future technologies. His opinion pieces have appeared in USA Today and Forbes.com. He is the author of two novels: the speculative fiction thriller, Ebocloud, and Tellers, about a tragedy that befalls a Hudson Valley farming collective. He serves on the Human Trajectories Board, Media & Arts Board and the Robotics/AI Board of the Lifeboat Foundation, an organization dedicated to encouraging scientific advancements while helping humanity survive existential risks associated with the misuse of increasingly powerful technologies.

Rick resides in Brooklyn, New York with his wife Catherine of 30 plus years. They have two grown daughters, Alison and Genna, both involved in the creative arts.

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  • Posted on: 02/09/2018

    L.L.Bean wants to know what you’re doing in its duck boots

    No doubt they'll detect a lot of asphalt and concrete hitting boot soles, Ben. Work boot styles are very hot with urban Millennials. I would guess L.L.Bean wants to understand that better because they must be losing out to Redwing, Timberland, Wolverine, Thorogood, Caterpillar and the like.
  • Posted on: 02/02/2018

    Whole Foods planning more 365 stores

    I just visited the new Brooklyn location (one subway stop from my desk). It's positioned a block away from Atlantic Terminal, a major transit hub served by multiple subway lines and the Long Island Railroad. While technically in the Fort Green neighborhood of Brooklyn, it's at a crossroads of that highly-gentrified brownstone area and Brooklyn's booming downtown, drawing both the artsy hipster crowd and long-time locals. The store is set at the base of a new mixed use apartment building, on the opposite side of the block as the new Apple Store and adjacent to BAM (the Brooklyn Academy of Music — a big cultural center). The ground floor level is small. You're greeted in the foyer by an Amazon Locker, the only obvious sign of the e-tailer's involvement. The rest of the floor holds a collection of foodie vendors, eating tables and the "POURit Authority" station (cute) where customers can get beer, cider and wine on tap. The surprisingly spacious lower level is served by a set of escalators. To the left as you enter is a produce section, perhaps a third the size of a mainline Whole Foods store, but with most important items represented. To the right is the checkout area, which occupies about the same amount of space as produce. The rest of the main selling floor uses a circular layout, leading customers past hot take-out tables (heavily in use at 1:30 pm on a Friday), frozen, dry grocery, bulk foods, beverages, meat and fish. In most packaged food and GM categories, it appears that one-third to two-thirds are 365 products, the rest a select mix of mostly natural foods suppliers, recognizable to regular Whole Foods customers. Price is emphasized a good deal more than in regular Whole Foods stores, with space devoted to free-standing display fixtures and end caps. One display advertised "Flash Finds" — the current offering being discounted granola and coffee items. Another surprise was a display of Cheerios on sale at $2.99 per box. (I can't remember seeing General Mills products in Whole Foods before.) The store was quite busy, two days after its grand opening. All 20 some odd checkouts were manned and ringing. Although about 15 customers were present in the automated checkout queue, the wait was minimal. I'll leave it to experts to do a proper price comparison, but I personally liked the fact that, although the mix is edited, all the categories were represented well enough to make a full-shop trip possible. I snatched up a shopping bag full of groceries on my tour, including a 36-count box of tall kitchen bags, a 2 lb. frozen bag of blueberries, a bunch of broccoli rabe, a bag full of sweet potatoes, a large plain yogurt, a bag of chips, and about a pound of fresh ground almond butter. My total was about $42 (somewhat shy of a whole paycheck).
  • Posted on: 01/10/2018

    Should American Apparel bring its sexy image marketing back?

    "they don’t have to look their age" — wow. There may be a legal difference, but in my view not an ethical difference between using an under-18 model and one who looks underage. In either case, the brand is sexualizing youth in pursuit of profits. I personally am nonplussed by the notion that AA's leadership approved this brand position "from an empowered female perspective," but I'm neither female nor particularly empowered so I'll have to defer to others on that.
  • Posted on: 09/29/2017

    Personalization works. Why don’t more marketers use it?

    I think we should find a better term than "personalization" which to most marketers renders an image of the customer's (often misspelled) name in the subject line. The emails that are most likely to be opened are those that have a customer-specific purpose beyond just name acknowledgement, like letting them know their package will be a day late due to weather complications or that the vitamins they buy every two months are a lot cheaper at a higher quantity. "Customer-purposeful" — it doesn't exactly roll of the tongue, though. Suggestions welcome.
  • Posted on: 04/28/2017

    Will Amazon’s Echo Look be a clothes selling machine?

    My wife: "Does this look OK?" Me: "Um, sure. Yes. You look nice." Wife: "You don't like it. Why don't you like it." Me: "I thought I said I liked it. It's really nice. Wear it." Wife: "I'll put on something else." Alexa, if you can replace me in this role, you're hired.
  • Posted on: 04/27/2017

    Is Trump’s tax plan right for retailers and their customers?

    No doubt.
  • Posted on: 04/27/2017

    Is Trump’s tax plan right for retailers and their customers?

    Mark, on the point about our "highest tax rates," I'll just refer to the opposing argument as voiced in a blog post yesterday by Robert Reich: "The White House says the United States has one of the highest corporate tax rates in the world. Baloney. After corporate deductions and tax credits, the typical corporation pays an effective tax rate of 27.9 percent, only a tad higher than the average of 27.7 percent among advanced nations."
  • Posted on: 03/17/2017

    Should retailers obsess about e-mail blast timing?

    Email marketing providers are getting quite sophisticated with what they term "Send Time Optimization." The more advanced platforms now have the ability to calculate the optimal time of day for each email recipient — assuming that recipient has a history logged by the service — and parse out the bulk mailing to get the message to each individual when each is most likely to open it. You can analyze your list broadly and come up with the best average time to send your messages, but each consumer of course has different habits. The best average time may only be best for only 15% of your customers. If you can cater to individual habits, you should do much better.
  • Posted on: 02/10/2017

    Will a universal cart change online shopping?

    I think your Uber analogy is apt, Lyle, and I agree this concept holds great potential because Shop.co (and whatever competitors emerge) will focus their energies on creating the best possible checkout experience and "universalizing" expectations among consumers. My only concern is how Shop.co will handle issues when they arise. Will they need to intermediate if the customer is unable to get a refund authorized? Will consumers need to deal with an added level of bureaucracy in resolving payment disputes?
  • Posted on: 10/14/2016

    Target to test vertical farms in stores

    FYI, Whole Foods incorporated a rooftop greenhouse into the design of its store in Brooklyn, opened a few years ago. They partnered with an agribusiness named Gotham Greens to make it happen. When announced, they claimed it would be "the nation’s first commercial scale greenhouse farm integrated within a retail grocery space." Details here...
  • Posted on: 06/23/2016

    What’s the next step for content marketing?

    Just a brief interruption to say welcome, Kim, to the BrainTrust panel. Great to have you officially on board!
  • Posted on: 06/10/2016

    How do you best engage online shoppers, post-purchase?

    Bill - I agree, in theory, that asking, "How are you enjoying your XXX so far?" could build loyalty and inspired follow-up purchases. The problem is that such an inquiry can be automatically sent to the thousands of consumers of a product and yet most companies do not have the skilled customer service people to handle whatever comes back from the user, whether it be, "Since you asked, I can't find the button that does XXX" or "I love it! Can you recommend a model that my husband would like? He's into fishing." Maybe A.I. will be the ultimate answer for this.
  • Posted on: 05/31/2016

    Should Gap sell on Amazon?

    Ken — just wanted to say welcome to the BrainTrust! We're fortunate to have you on board. Thanks for joining.
  • Posted on: 05/27/2016

    Should Sears sell its Craftsman, DieHard and Kenmore brands?

    Excuse the interruption... Just wanted to say welcome, Doug, to the RetailWire BrainTrust. You've been a terrific contributor for some time now. Great to have you on board the panel!
  • Posted on: 05/20/2016

    Foot Locker specializes in vendor stores

    Ian, I agree that the athletic shoe realm is already crowded with these type of efforts. But could you imagine a grocer creating a store-within-a-store for, say, Gillette shaving products? Or a fashion retailer joining forces with Ray Ban to open a sunglasses store? Personally, I think this bandwagon still has plenty of room for riders.

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