Anne Howe

Principal, Anne Howe Associates
Anne Howe has recently returned to independent consulting work through Anne Howe Associates, which she formed in 2010. Her focus will be on applying the principles of human influence in the retail and shopper marketplace. Howe has many years of marketing and management experience ranging across diverse business sectors, including Retail, CPG, Home, Apparel, Appliances and service industries across north America. She has been a bold, industry-involved leader in retail and shopper marketing, serving on groups, panels and commissions to further the discipline with a keen eye on enhancing the shopper experience. She is a member of the Path to Purchase Institute and has been a co-chair of its annual Expo event. Anne's overall business experience includes two years of consulting for and two subsequent  years as SVP for Acosta Mosaic Group, the marketing services division of Acosta Sales & Marketing, and 18 years as an executive at The MARS Agency. She also served as Regional VP of Sales for Hanes Hosiery, directed a retail-focused public relations firm and spent time in sales/marketing management with Hilton Hotels Corporation. Among her many career highlights: Introduction of storied brands such as Wonderbra, Barely There Intimates, Champion Underwear, Levi Signature, Whirlpool Duet and Clorox Green Works into the US retail marketplace. See Anne's blog:
  • Posted on: 04/22/2019

    The North Face starts petition to make Earth Day a national holiday

    Glad to see more brands standing up for core values in actionable ways. Earth Day should be about volunteering on trails, beaches and roadsides. The North Face has an opportunity to do more to mobilize its huge tribe to get something big accomplished.
  • Posted on: 04/15/2019

    Is Bed Bath & Beyond smart to draw the line on coupons?

    Hmm -- traffic already down, now weaning shoppers off long-standing coupons, what's the compelling reason to go there? I think the problem that needs solving is merchandise selection and shopping experience. the stores are "jammed and junky" to quote a designer friend! The curation consultants, inspired by shopper insights, need to get busy!
  • Posted on: 04/12/2019

    Why consumers are breaking bonds with their favorite brands

    For the past 10 years, the shopper mindset has been "what I want, how I want it, when I want it" - but many legacy brands turned a deaf ear. It's always wiser to meet the shopper head on and work harder to deliver to where they're headed, even if that change is uncomfortable.
  • Posted on: 04/10/2019

    Will Walmart clean up with its robotic workforce?

    Walmart employees and shoppers should be thrilled by this forward thinking move. Now Walmart should train its customer-facing associates in the art and science of human influence. Shoppers want and need human interaction. Don't leave this important piece of the service puzzle to chance!
  • Posted on: 04/09/2019

    Will Rent the Runway become all the fashion for kids?

    What a great idea. My daughter has been a customer for years. She has 30 first cousins, only six are married. Her five- and two-year-old grand daughters are the perfect target audience for fabulous and fun dresses for the next 24 weddings! Party shoes should be the next category added.
  • Posted on: 04/08/2019

    Should uniform pricing be the norm for large chains?

    Local market pricing strategies are almost a must in the grocery business, and make sense to shoppers. What does NOT make sense to shoppers is online pricing that's way off base versus in-store pricing, especially in non-foods and especially at national retailers. Retail today cannot live profitably when shoppers are confused and develop a level of distrust. More effort toward customized "by shopper behavior" pricing strategies need to be implemented with the help of technology. Personalization is a path to more profitable sales.
  • Posted on: 04/02/2019

    Will IKEA become the world’s largest furniture rental outlet?

    What I question is the second rental potential of IKEA furniture. I've always heard that taking it apart for a move is difficult and it's never the same again.
  • Posted on: 03/27/2019

    Wayfair takes a bigger step into brick and mortar retailing

    Wayfair is losing the battle. The furniture industry has enough stores already for shoppers to sit-test their purchases. What Wayfair did wrong from the get-go was to train shoppers to expect free shipping both ways. Now it has to reap what it sowed.
  • Posted on: 03/26/2019

    Who will win the Sephora vs. Ulta beauty competition?

    Brandon, you are right on the money with your Glossier comment!
  • Posted on: 03/26/2019

    Who will win the Sephora vs. Ulta beauty competition?

    I'd like to see Ulta play in the mall and Sephora team up with a cooler retail brand like Anthropologie. Both brands are settling into rather mundane retail patterns. Lines are blurring because there is plenty of consumer appetite for mixing it up.
  • Posted on: 03/22/2019

    Target plans to speed grab-and-go purchases with ‘Snack Bar’

    Reduced dwell time is a risky option for a retailer that spends so much time and effort on competing in grocery. I don't see the shopper getting excited about the process of getting parked and into a Target store to buy a few snacks and leave. If Target wants to offer a fast checkout, it can easily staff a six items or less lane at all times.
  • Posted on: 03/21/2019

    Do furniture retailers need a new approach in the digital age?

    Online furniture sales can grow if manufacturers could think outside the box. Find an empty storefront or an area in the walkways at the mall and turn it into a pop-up event space/showroom. Work with the mall promotion group to plan events that are designed to get people to sit for a while. That's just the tip of the iceberg. I go the the High Point furniture market in NC twice a year. Only retail buyers and designers are allowed, never do they invite the shopper to walk the showrooms and fall in love. No wonder the old school retail model stays locked in place.
  • Posted on: 03/19/2019

    Anthropologie hopes to earn an A+ with new plus-size clothing options

    I like the idea of serving the plus-size market, but 10 stores is too few for a chain with 225 stores. Make a commitment or expect to get tagged as news-making instead of retailing.
  • Posted on: 03/18/2019

    Will Dollar General harvest big returns by taking perishables in-house?

    Risky business move for DG IMHO. The critical task of managing expired perishables does not seem to match the capabilities of the retailer's very limited staffing. Plus, I wonder if DG has the ability to stay close to shopper "fresh" needs/wants in rural areas? Can the retailer expand this concept fast enough to accumulate accretive sales benefits or will the roll-out just add expenses and operational risk?
  • Posted on: 03/01/2019

    What will going separate ways mean for Gap and Old Navy?

    This plan to let Old Navy thrive is a good one. Especially since H&M is closing stores. Gap will have to re-think what it stands for, which to many shoppers is not much of anything. A tough place to be in today's market.

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