PROFILE

Robert DiPietro

SVP Energy Services and New Ventures, HomeServe

Rob has held various leadership roles at a Fortune 500 retailer where he was tasked with a wide array of responsibilities, including visual merchandising, category management and developing new lines of business. He specializes in formulating and executing strategic revenue and profit plans for high growth areas in both a corporate and retail field environment.

He is currently responsible for Energy Services and New Ventures at Homeserve.

At HomeServe USA, our mission is simple: To free our customers from the worry and inconvenience of home emergency repairs. And since 2003 we’ve been doing just that. We provide homeowners across the country with affordable home emergency repair plans that offer protection from the high cost of repair bills and provide help for home emergency repairs, all with just one phone call.

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  • Posted on: 07/20/2016

    Will consumers buy subscriptions for Tide from P&G?

    Many interesting dynamics going on with this -- the first is channel conflict. Is the CPG company going to undercut its retail distribution partners on price or will they hold the line? I do believe the subscription economy is a growing one and will lead to higher profit margins for CPG. The Dollar Shave Club wasn't built on quality but on price (in my user experience) but just sold for $1 billion. They had about 2 million customers so that is a steep price to to pay per customer, isn't it?
  • Posted on: 07/19/2016

    Are wearables just for the kids?

    Wearable use will be driven by function. Fashion changes quickly but function is everlasting. Age isn't a factor in function for wearables but education is a factor. No difference than using portable GPS a while back or setting up a personal email. As the useful function can be explained and demonstrated age adoption will follow.
  • Posted on: 07/19/2016

    Do wine and beer make for a better shopping experience?

    Sipping while you shop is definitely a way to make the experience more relaxing! The biggest point of this is to differentiate on something other than price. It becomes an EXPERIENCE for the consumer vs. a chore. If customers are having fun you can only believe it will lead to more sales.
  • Posted on: 07/18/2016

    What’s holding back scan & checkout?

    I've been using Scan Bag Go at Stop and Shop without a hitch for years. It is a little clunky once you get to checkout and the syncing of your purchases to POS seems slow but I've never had it freeze up. I think using your app on a phone is a no-brainer for consumers but I'm not sure for grocers. I think shrink would be an issue. In self-checkout you have a controlled environment with the scanning. With app-based pay and go I'm not sure what is preventing fraud.
  • Posted on: 07/18/2016

    Pokémon Go showcases potential of augmented reality in retail

    This is clearly a popular application, but can retailers make money off it? Yes! they can use AR to show consumers how they look in certain clothes or makeup combinations. Retailers could also use it for a certain generation of loyalty program customers and let them unlock certain rewards.Gamification is here -- there are many applications for the retailer from training to customer engagements. We already see retailers training on YouTube, why not bring in gamification?
  • Posted on: 06/22/2016

    Marks and Spencer pulls the plug on store music

    I think the store associates will be happier than the customers. Maybe they should pipe in background noise to at least give customers the sense that the store is alive with shoppers. If people listen to music to perk themselves up maybe it was the playlist that was the issue, not the volume.
  • Posted on: 06/22/2016

    Will luxury shoppers buy electric cars at Nordstrom?

    I think this is a good match. Tesla stores are already in some malls, and why not be where the affluent and probably eco-conscience consumer is? I imagine they will be staffed with typical Tesla sales people and will probably have the test-drive cars in the parking lot ready to go. I predict this will be a winner!
  • Posted on: 05/24/2016

    Is the paper receipt dying?

    I can hear the tree NOT falling. The longness factor of the receipt is not a way to demonstrate value. Printed receipts will go away in the future and that will be described as a win-win. Faster checkout and less waste for the consumer, and customer email acquisition and cost reduction for the retailer.
  • Posted on: 05/23/2016

    Finding the right balance between automation and people

    I was able to witness self checkout in the grocery industry early in my career circa 1995 -- when it was a one to six ratio and was all about improving efficacy and reducing cost at checkout. It didn't work great back then for that as the equipment cost was high, customer efficiency was worse and one worker couldn't watch six self checkouts.I do think it can help in the case of fast food! I've heard that Domnino's drove online ordering and app ordering to improve order accuracy not to cut costs. And it also seems that it will drive average order size when you have a chance to customize your food order while looking at the options versus thinking of what you want to eat.
  • Posted on: 05/23/2016

    Are the new overtime rules a ‘career killer’ for retail workers?

    I don't think this will help the average worker but rather limit overtime and shift extra hours to part time workers. Labor is the number one controllable factor in retail and every retailer will decide how this new rule will impact them and adjust themselves accordingly. With some retailers having a tough go of it as of lately, this will only be another hurdle.
  • Posted on: 05/13/2016

    FTC and judge make mistake in ending Office Depot/Staples merger

    Totally disagree with the FTC decision and it is going to cost thousands of jobs as the companies now must cut costs. Amazon has been and will continue to be a significant player in this space. The last time this merger tried to happen Walmart sold more office supplies than all of the office supply superstores combined. The FTC just put ODP out of business.

    Full disclosure: I worked for Staples for a number of years.

  • Posted on: 04/27/2016

    Sephora succeeds inside J.C. Penney

    This store-within-a-store model works for J.C. Penney and Sephora because it is 1.) relevant for the consumer 2.) the right brand to use in the "parent" store and 3.) a key category for the retailer.

    For J.C. Penney another concept to work may be a key category — shoes. Maybe partner with a digital provider to expand in-store assortment like a Zappos.

  • Posted on: 04/27/2016

    Do customers find attractive store associates intimidating?

    What? Retailers can't or shouldn't do anything with this information. I hope no one is hiring on looks but on ability to do the job.

  • Posted on: 04/27/2016

    Do more full-timers give Sheetz a competitive edge?

    It's not just cost control but the ability to have a better associate to service your customers. It may also bring productivity gains with full-time vs. part-time as they are more adept at doing the job and may care more.

  • Posted on: 03/31/2016

    Is Macy’s in trouble?

    First thing — warm weather as an excuse for the quarter means those sales never coming back and now discounting the heck out of inventory to make room for next season.

    Adding technology departments in not the answer. A low-margin highly-competitive market with no service sales to offset is doomed to fail. Adding spice for younger shopper with One Below may help but it is usually hard for remodels like that to pay back. Time will tell.

    I think the best advice for the CEO is drop the off-price concept store and focus on tightening merchandise strategy and appealing to the core customer. You can't be all things to all people.

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