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: 12/13/2018

    Will the maker movement inspire a new creative direction for malls?

    Hand-crafted/maker good are especially appealing to consumers as sort of a backlash to over-abundant technology. I'm not sure why Etsy missed the opportunity for a few well-placed mall stores.
  • Posted on: 12/12/2018

    Kraft Heinz ‘embraced failure’ in digital transformation

    I worked for many big CPG companies as an client-focused agency leader, and I will say, frankly, that the climate for experimentation with a fail fast approach, and even a test and learn approach, is barely breathing. Among the brave individuals, there are brilliant stars that continue to face giant hurdles. It's no wonder many talented folks have bailed out to the start-ups. One day the young folks will be senior leaders in CPG and expansive innovation practices will thrive again.
  • Posted on: 12/11/2018

    Will ‘Practice’ make for perfectly loyal customers at Lululemon?

    This feels like the RH membership. Benefits for the select few who can actually afford the premium price points on a regular basis. This does little to incentivize the occasional shopper to shop and spend more often.
  • Posted on: 12/10/2018

    Will Dollar General’s DGX concept be a hit with urban Millennials?

    DGX will need to study what the urban shopper wants and buys. My guess is they'll need strong data and insights on a market level to produce a product and experience that will resonate and inspire buying behavior amongst a shopper target that's quite different from the shoppers they currently serve.
  • Posted on: 12/04/2018

    Are subscriptions an untapped gifting opportunity for retailers?

    Retailers that have plenty of stores are behind the times in setting up subscription offerings. As I was thinking about Nikki Baird's insightful comment, retailers like Talbots, Banana Republic, Lowe's, Sephora, Ulta and Kohl's come to mind, as it would be so easy for them to allow the gift recipient to visit a nearby store and trade out an in-box selection for something of equal value. Even better if the recipient could transfer value to a gift card and save for bigger purchases. There is no doubt the recipient would increase time at the store and make more purchases.
  • Posted on: 12/03/2018

    Payless scores with mock-up luxury shop

    I loved reading about this event! Generating hype and excitement is great marketing, but post-event ... I'm glad Payless refunded everyone who paid exorbitant prices for $36 shoes!
  • Posted on: 11/30/2018

    Is J.Crew’s new Amazon relationship already over?

    J.Crew might have been wiser about the Mercantile brand from the get-go, it could have been a great value brand to be sold strictly on Amazon without diluting the J.Crew cachet. Instead, we recently found Mercantile dominating the shelves at J.Crew outlets. Mixing strategies and assortments without a clear differentiation is a mistake even legends can make.
  • Posted on: 11/28/2018

    Are Millennials taking advantage of retailers’ goodwill?

    This research disturbs me. Yet sometimes I feel that the empowerment gained by complaining is a right of a free society. Ultimately, I've experienced that things turn out better through human-to-human interaction, so that's both my default and advice. Being nice to people and not being greedy is what we need to strive for, regardless of age!
  • Posted on: 11/16/2018

    Can Bernie Sanders force Walmart to raise its minimum wage?

    Retailers need to understand clearly that a wage of less than $15 per hour is absurd. Rising tides raise all ships and retail is an industry that needs to evolve in this way. If stock buybacks is the issue that makes it happen, so be it. Retail needs to be a reputable career choice again.
  • Posted on: 11/13/2018

    Do grocery stores have a customer engagement problem?

    Many grocers believe "engagement" means having cashiers stand ready in front of registers to help people check out faster. That's yesterday's problem. Today's problem is that cashiers, managers, and any employee with time is rolling a bin through the aisle packing bags for delivery and/or pickup. There are even fewer employees that will offer to help shoppers plan, find an item or even know the codes to ring up fresh produce. In my market Earth Fare wins, Publix scores second, Harris Teeter third. Whole Foods and The Fresh Market, two that should win, have dropped to "don't bother" in my book. I'm very close to switching to Aldi based on the selection of organics at much lower prices.
  • Posted on: 11/05/2018

    Is Toys ‘R’ Us starting its comeback in Kroger’s aisles?

    Toys at Kroger is a good shopper move because it lets parents see what kids react favorably to without the inconvenience of another trip. My guess is that Kroger will find enough sales lift to justify the experiment.
  • Posted on: 11/01/2018

    Shoppable ads need to tone down the sales pitch

    I'm glad to see the call to action shift from "sale" or "coupon" to learn more. Relationships give brands a fighting chance to move beyond price (aka race to the bottom) and focus on benefits and attributes of the products!
  • Posted on: 10/26/2018

    Has wine in a can moved from fad to trend?

    All signs point to yes, except for the great fun to be had at wineries out in the Napa region! Hard for us Boomers to imagine the Caymus experience ending with a can of Cabernet!
  • Posted on: 10/25/2018

    Can an Instagram-born luggage brand have staying power?

    If a luggage brand is born via Instagram, it's likely born of the "people who travel" which is the most credible source ever! All the company needs to do in its evolution to a lifestyle travel brand is to keep the travel tribe at the center of the brand! Brilliance will certainly emerge.
  • Posted on: 10/23/2018

    Why haven’t CPG giants figured out what makes small brands so popular?

    Your retail environment comment is right on the mark!

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