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: 02/13/2019

    Can Whole Foods’ business afford higher prices?

    I believe Whole Foods may keep the shopper for specialty items (like the incredible fresh salmon) but will be at bigger risk to lose the cart full of CPG staples to bigger grocers with more pricing flexibility.
  • Posted on: 02/12/2019

    Barneys to become first major retailer to open legal weed shop

    Barney's and weed? Not sure I get dispensing buds, but I'd visit to check out the cannabis infused cosmetics and skincare offerings, which I believe have potential to be extraordinary!
  • Posted on: 02/12/2019

    Is Allswell with Walmart’s tiny house tour?

    This tiny house on the road is fun, kitschy, different and likely to be very effective. Walmart seems to have a more light-hearted, human touch lately. Love it!
  • Posted on: 02/11/2019

    Are apps and voice assistants the keys to e-grocery adoption?

    Could there be an opportunity for an app developer to actually work side-by-side with shoppers to co-develop a useful app? Where is IDEO when they're needed?
  • Posted on: 02/01/2019

    Shopper technology opportunities are the focus of FMI Midwinter

    I'm not sure technology trumps experience, product and service in the grocery retail space! Visit a Lowes Foods in the eastern Carolinas for a great example of a creative and carefully curated shopping experience. Technology can enhance, but not dictate a satisfying grocery shopping experience.
  • Posted on: 01/30/2019

    Will Fanatics and Walmart deal be a grand slam for both retailers?

    Fanatics is making a smart distribution move to offer consumer the authentic merchandise they crave. Sports apparel is not a cheap and cheerful knock off business for the millions of true fans! This match is certainly a win-win for Walmart and Fanatics. I'm going shopping for my Gordie Howe #9 Jersey!
  • Posted on: 01/28/2019

    What do shoppers really want? Do retailers have a clue?

    Perhaps it's time for mass retailers to get rid of the long row of checkout registers and put retail associates out in the aisles with a mobile scanner and a station to bag purchases. And of course, a helpful attitude and the ability to walk the shopper around to what they're looking for.
  • Posted on: 01/25/2019

    Beauty retailer gives new products a store-within-a-store of their own

    There's literally nothing more fun for many women than to experiment with beauty products, so yes, this as a great idea. The big upside I see is the ability to create events around the experience areas and encourage women to bring a few friends.
  • Posted on: 01/24/2019

    Amazon takes multi-pronged approach to owning the last mile

    In my experience as a Prime member for many years, delivery of Amazon orders from UPS is the most reliable. The Amazon Prime vans consistently drop at the wrong address and fail to tuck a package out of view. Visible boxes left in front of closed garage doors is a major contributing factor to theft, especially when a walk to the porch is shorter. To me, it signals a real lack of interest in solving the critical last-mile issue. there's no way to track down who owns the Prime van franchise!
  • Posted on: 01/23/2019

    Will a different kind of ‘innovation hub’ open the future to food growth opportunities?

    I'm very happy to see well-being and health as pillars of this program instead of just extensions of current foods. There's a growing nutritional conscious in America that most CPG companies have failed to address. Kudos to Mondelēz!
  • Posted on: 01/23/2019

    Lowe’s kicks off NFL deal in the biggest game of all

    Lowe's needs to pull out all the stops and deliver a full-on immersive integrated experiential campaign, not signs, billboards and TV ads. It's going to need a huge in-store component to be relevant. This feels like a big stretch for them. Given that I live two miles from HQ, I'd like to see them succeed!
  • Posted on: 01/17/2019

    NRF: Is the time right for retailers and brands to take political stands?

    Taking a stand on social issues is the ultimate brand bravery, and should be applauded. It helps build cohesive culture in many companies as well. REI is a great example, even as they take a giant shopping day off the calendar! Sure, brands may lose a few fans, but the zealots will always defend for brands they care about, and that influence is authentic and free!
  • Posted on: 01/15/2019

    NRF: Consumers prefer self-service, but associates still have a role to play

    Importance and credibility of associates to shoppers has everything to do with category and past experiences. So many shoppers have the "three strikes, you're out" mentality, legitimately based on fails. But in complex tech categories, many shoppers resort to "feeling out" the associate options before truly trusting an associate's ability.The downside risk is too high to just assume the level of help will be good enough. And then there's always the online component of seek, search and learn. For many, that's the most rewarding self-serve option!
  • Posted on: 01/14/2019

    Whole Foods halts 365 concept’s growth

    I never thought Millennials were looking for a cheaper, more streamlined new store like 365 wanted to be. For that, we have Aldi. I'm glad to see a full-service high-quality Whole Foods with a great assortment across wider range of price points. One building can serve shoppers across many varied income levels. Amazon should now concentrate on expansion in geographic areas where there is less competition and a diverse range of shoppers!
  • Posted on: 01/11/2019

    Are department stores seeing the Ghost of Christmas Future in bleak holiday results?

    Part of the shopping journey, especially over the holidays, is the wandering with eyes open to discover something that will surely delight the recipient. If shoppers do that at retailers and come out empty-handed, year after year, they just scratch that retailer off the "relevant" list for gifts. A visit for work-out clothes, shoes or a tablecloth may stay in the rotation, but frankly, the off-price retailer provides that as well as fun experiences for gift discovery. In a nutshell, many large retailers in general have not figured out how to overcome the lack of emotional satisfaction shoppers really feel. Applying the art and science of true human influence is just one key place to start!

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