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Ben Ball

Senior Vice President
Dechert-Hampe

My colleague Ray Jones (a career researcher/consultant) and I (a career brand management exec/consultant) used to have very lively discussions about this.

Ray could point out the "flaws" in survey designs instantly. I would retort that it is only a "flaw" if it is unintended or accidental.

Ray would say "you...

First, keep in mind that Navy Pier is a very unique location for any retail outlet. The traffic is 75 percent tourist and 25 percent service people working there. And there are PLENTY of places to get a drink at Navy Pier. So this may just be Target's way...

Depends on when you measure. Two weeks from now Walmart may well be "ahead." How they rank in January will be little influenced by the extra two weeks of layaway time.

...

Two things strike me about this report. First is that the markets are reduced to rewarding a retailer with 0.8 percent overall sales growth with a 17 percent bump (that should not be construed as my thinking markets are always rational in the short term). Granted, this was a...

Additional acquisition, banner consolidation, push for efficiencies—all are almost inevitable.

Whether or not Mr. Belk remains CEO for long depends on whether he shares Sycamore's vision for acquisition and expansion. He probably does—as long as it is under the Belk brand—and it may well be. But then the questions of...

C-stores were originally called "convenience" because that is exactly what they tried to do — satisfy grocery fill-in trips. But the basic setup of a c-store demands higher margins (i.e., prices) than most consumers would pay for the "convenience" benefit. Things quickly degraded to gas, beer and tobacco because that's...

Which technology options (texts, scheduled callbacks, web chat, e-mail, etc.) offer the most promise to improve the call center experience for consumers?

Ummmm ... How about an EMP event that knocks them all out?

...

The association is simply that these retailers have top-notch real estate siting groups with beau coup software to back them up. They know where a new Pulte development is going up in the Chicago suburbs before Pulte does!

...

Help!?

Isn't a "hearable" also a "wearable?" Doesn't that make it a wearable that can hear?

Amusement at our tendency to create jargon aside, I do think the real breakthrough here is still voice recognition. That is the technology that makes interaction with digital devices easier. Now we are installing that...

Initial acceptance of facial recognition will not come in retail. Other "mandatory" uses will precede it such as banking, secure building entrances and, finally, payment security (perhaps).

All forms of mandatory I.D. creep people out. It feels like we are being watched in some way. When that technology actually does...

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