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Anne Howe

Principal
Anne Howe Associates

There is a tremendous amount of value in visiting shoppers in their homes. Asking survey questions is not anywhere near as insightful as watching people functioning in their day-to-day environment. That's the kind of truthful interaction that can reveal unmet needs.

I'm certain Mr. Cornell has a qualified team of...

I love the idea of local foods/products going into mainstream supermarkets and Williams-Sonoma. Williams-Sonoma is doing well with a program that calls attention to the products. Without any support, local products can easily get lost in the shuffle on the shelf.

I have also heard from an organic personal care...

I like a bigger screen on a tablet, but the most practical advice is the smartphone. It doesn't even have to leave the associate's pocket during an interaction unless there's a reason for it to help the shopper.

But if it is used, the associate had better be trained. Time...

I agree that online shopping causes retailers to hire fewer people in stores and more in shipping and back rooms to handle packing for in-store pick ups. But which came first, the chicken or egg?

So many people move online not only for convenience, but because store experiences have been...

Ian Percy talks about disengaged shoppers. I believe we are going to see the percentage of disengaged shoppers continue to rise, both online and in stores. Retail continues to become more functional and less emotionally satisfying. So we feel less. Feel nothing, do nothing.

We have to have supplies, so...

Denise Morrison is a bold, brave and smart CEO. She's defaulting to the consumer/shopper, by understanding that virtually all of her target market is concerned by the issue. When your target consumer is concerned, the right thing to do is act to alleviate the concerns.

And yet the labeling in...

Macy's management talks about an innovative approach to the marketplace. I say how about a tour of stores over the holidays for the executive team? My blog post from January 5 brings to light a big mess at one upscale Macy's that left me on an emotional roller...

I spent time in a large Macy's store on December 27th. (this store is in one of the most upscale malls in the Midwest) The store had dozens of large piles of returns just thrown on the selling floors in five or six different apparel departments I visited. The...

This level of control over the shipping pipeline will come at a huge cost, but Amazon has access to one of four American households via Prime, and is quite clearly making an effort to make sure they deliver on the brand promise without undue reliance on the other freight...

If Costco builds to match the more urban locations that Gen Y prefers to live in, their business model will survive just fine. Almost half of Millennials are now married and just over 40 percent have kids. While they love Uber and Lyft and shun owning cars compared to...

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