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Mark Heckman

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Mark Heckman Consulting

As time progress, the range and diversity of holiday music has expanded. So much so that John Lennon's "So This is Christmas" and Jose Feliciano "Feliz Navidad" have become just as much of holiday classics as "White Christmas" and "Jingle Bells."

While the commercialization of Christmas continues, I believe most...

For the seemingly growing percentage of the shopping population that loves to haggle and negotiate prices, this new Amazon option will provide a platform to attract a new niche of shoppers to Amazon and online shopping in general. Personally, this seems like a lot of work for just a...

Having an unconditional return policy can be very powerful, instilling consumer confidence in the quality and commitment a retailer has for their offerings. I would hope that REI has consumer research that codifies this practice as a real positive for their business.

While an unconditional policy may work nicely for...

Many shopping apps have created a nice list of basic questions for app users to answer. This information provides the shopper profile data needed to begin a relationship. From there it is all about being in a position to learn from how the shopper utilizes the app, what they...

Customer satisfaction and "shopper happiness" is vital for brick-and-mortar retailers to compete successfully with the ever-improving shopper-assisted experience most e-commerce sites now offer.

However a simple four-choice option (smiley faces) may create more questions about service environments than answers. If customer IDs could be used in tandem with a simple...

We were providing this service at Marsh Supermarkets 20 years ago with some success. As it was then and as it is now, the business model and the pathway to "stand alone" profitability is still very much the concern of the retailer.

While some retailers are willing to take the...

J.C. Penney is a brand on the mend, but making a comeback in a dynamic retail environment, where both physical stores and online options are changing and adapting to the shopper, makes Mr. Ellison's job that much more difficult.

With his operational expertise, he should be able to author improvements...

I would keep brick-and-mortar stores closed on Thanksgiving for all the reasons others have stated. I would exclusively use e-commerce as a means to engage shoppers on Thanksgiving Eve. Pre-ordering hot items, special deals and time-sensitive sales would be a nice distraction from overeating and watching the Detroit Lions...

Walmart has been focused on leveraging their unique scale with banking and medical services for some years now. In my mind, more competition keeps the banking industry competitive, whereas we know in the past they have not always been.

Further, along with Apple and Google, other retailers are forming coalitions...

Ask Apple's Ron Johnson, who tried to convert J.C. Penney to an EDLP environment from the traditional hi-lo promotions in the apparel industry, if transitioning abruptly away from an existing promotional position is advisable.

While not impossible to make such a transition, it must be done iteratively and with plenty...

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