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Cathy Hotka

Principal
Cathy Hotka & Associates

I'm not sure I see the distinction between returned merchandise and products that just didn't sell well. Loads of stores, including Sur La Table, World Market and grocery stores have small aisles where customers can find marked-down merchandise any day of the week.

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Oh, come on now.

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Welcome to the 21st century! Nordstrom's well-deserved reputation for clienteling now expands into the technology of choice for Millennials (and a lot of geezers too). Other retailers will adopt a wait-and-see stance while watching how this works, and if text shows results for Nordstrom, everyone else will have to...

The Pizza Hut app revolutionized the way customers order dinner. I'm talking with an increasing number of retail executives who are augmenting their mobile strategies with apps, sensors in the store, suggested selling and some other really innovative ways to interact with customers. To Deloitte's point, companies that don't...

Max has it right. Target needs to move away from cereal and Oreos and offer a boutique selection of only-here products as Trader Joe's has done. With the right blend of aspirational food products, Target can bring new life to its grocery aisles and attract young foodies who are...

Is Macy's trying to compete with its sister, Bloomingdale's?

The key to selling upscale merchandise is creating upscale atmosphere, and this could be a challenge at Macy's. It will be interesting to see what they do with displays, dressing rooms, music and other atmospherics.

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IHL's reports on this issue are a collective wake-up call for the industry. Imagine the impact if retailers could reduce even 5 percent of this.

I manage dinners all over the country, and everywhere I go retailers are talking about process issues. Let's figure out a way to share some...

This question is all the more important in light of retailers' omnichannel efforts. It's one thing to stock a store, and another thing entirely to stock a store that ships orders from the web. The smartest retailers are examining processes and numbers very carefully, and will make adjustments to...

Implications are significant for grocery retailers around the country. If the drought continues, prices on products like almonds will skyrocket, likely forcing some reformulations of granola bars and other categories. Let's hope these problems attract attention from members of Congress who want to write off the science of climate...

Trader Joe's has succeeded with a curated selection and reasonable prices, and a distinctive store experience. What can the new Whole Foods brand do to beat it?

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