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: 10/18/2018

    LabCorp deal brings blood testing to Walgreens’ pharmacies

    I like that Walgreens and CVS are offering more health-related products and services.The best part is that the locations are much more convenient to shoppers. Healthcare visits, lab work and testing are all necessary evils, especially so when they require a drive to a big hospital setting that's hard to navigate,, especially for caregivers transporting older patients in wheelchairs. Getting back to more neighborhood-based care will ease the friction and enable patients to quickly get the services they need.
  • Posted on: 10/16/2018

    ‘Frictionless’ is the annoying word of the year

    Most retailers likely don't have much research on what friction means to shoppers. To me, it means pain points on the journey. It's important to limit/resolve the major pain points, then make an effort to surprise and delight the shopper. That might look like an interruption of some sort, but has the reverse effect of solving something in an emotionally pleasing way. For example, asking a customer "can we help you find what you're looking for" before they're trapped in the checkout line!
  • Posted on: 10/12/2018

    Cannabis-infused drink and food makers are high on grocery opportunities

    The FDA has already approved a cannabis-based drug for the treatment of childhood epilepsy, and rescheduled the drug down from Class 1 to Class 5. Pharma, food and beverage companies have unmarked buildings that are testing all sorts of hemp/cannabis products in an effort too meet rising demand. The "cannabis demand train" has left the station and smart retailers will be buying tickets to ride.
  • Posted on: 10/10/2018

    Amazon pop-up gets the Good Housekeeping seal of approval

    Narrow, curated assortments are great for many shoppers, but I wish there were two choices or a clear good/better/best option. I believe the sales could potentially be way better on a per square foot basis.
  • Posted on: 10/10/2018

    Will Best Buy’s golden years strategy deliver long-term success?

    The aging Boomer and senior segments have a real need for tech support and relationships in addition to a new set of products. Best Buy is making a strategic investment in a market that knows, trusts and will become grateful brand ambassadors!
  • Posted on: 10/05/2018

    Are retailers getting too political with voter registration campaigns?

    I'm with Neil Saunders on this one! Amen.
  • Posted on: 10/05/2018

    There may be benefits to adding uncertainty to rewards programs

    Discovery, chance, mystery, surprise and delight are all essentially emotion-based concepts, and that's why they appeal to shoppers/consumers in the loyalty space. Many promotional campaigns use these tactics as well because they work! There's definitely room for more of this within retail!
  • Posted on: 10/01/2018

    Omnichannel retailing lands at the airport

    I like the disruptive nature of the app but really, the food choices at many airports are largely poor and not nutrition-friendly. So adding a $6.99 delivery fee doesn't really fix the core problem! Not to mention, expert travelers want shorter possible connection times, so a 30-minute delivery window seems risky -- like forever -- to those wanting to board the connection!
  • Posted on: 09/28/2018

    Is BOPIS best when it’s done outside the store?

    This entire issue ties back to the question "why don't retailers have a Chief Customer Officer whose purpose is to give the shopper what he/she desires?" The lack of true customer focus mystifies me.
  • Posted on: 09/27/2018

    Will Amazon disrupt retail again with its new 4-star store concept?

    I like the idea of a physical and emotionally tangible connection to a shopper-curated collection of products that Amazon sells. Even better, I love the possibility of surprise discovery and new product offerings. I hope they staff the store with people trained in making experiences come to life in fun and engaging ways.
  • Posted on: 09/25/2018

    Hershey delivers category insights directly to retailers via tractor trailer

    I like the mobile, experiential idea, but why not take it to a trade show or conference where most of the retailers attend?
  • Posted on: 09/25/2018

    Is Eddie Lampert looking to save Sears or suck it dry?

    The transformation runway has already shut down, IMHO. I also believe today's business models include more of a role for purpose, people and culture, not just profit within rules of the game. Eddie Lampert is a sad example of retail leadership in this era.
  • Posted on: 09/20/2018

    What would 3,000 AmazonGo stores do to the U.S. retail landscape?

    Bezos is like a bloodhound when it comes to sniffing out "broken retail" issues that the industry ignores. Then, he finds a fix and becomes the "hated disruptor." Except to the shoppers, who love that he simplified something that needed it! If the dinner "logjam" fix is 3,000 Amazon Go outlets, kudos too Bezos for being big and bold enough to go after it!
  • Posted on: 09/17/2018

    Walmart expands test of giant automated grocery kiosk

    This is exactly what I love about Walmart...test, test, test and try, try, try to innovate for the shopper. Never count Walmart out!
  • Posted on: 09/17/2018

    Are grocers shortchanging flexitarians?

    It's so difficult to understand the plant--based options most stores have on hand. Why don't grocers publish a list of items with package shots and aisle locations so shoppers can feel good about the learning process and save time too?

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