Bethany Allee

Executive Vice President Marketing, Cybera

First time retail business person, long time retail shopper. Coming at you as a results-driven problem solver with 20+ years of battle-tested experience in high tech marketing. Passionate about transforming and growing organizations through correctly identifying business objectives and aligning them with technology leadership.

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  • Posted on: 09/16/2019

    Will bringing the outdoors inside stores work for J.C. Penney?

    The outdoors is a good trend to capitalize on, because J.C. Penney is more accessible and affordable than other players in the category. J.C. Penney has generated foot traffic from their Sephora store-within-a-store; a men's outdoor store is a promising way to generate footfall from another audience.
  • Posted on: 09/13/2019

    Why did it take At Home so long to decide to sell online?

    I don't think At Home should sell furniture online -- for shipping. I do think At Home should sell furniture online for in-store pickup and local shipping. This is the IKEA model. It's a profitable distribution model that capitalizes on At Home's competitive advantage over Amazon, IKEA, Wayfair ... At Home has a massive footprint and click and collect or local delivery is the way they can capitalize. To successfully compete against Amazon and Wayfair in the digital furniture category, they need to focus on their strength and change the game in their favor.
  • Posted on: 09/13/2019

    Old Navy is ready to set sail on its own

    When I first heard this news, I was worried for the chain. The retail industry is volatile right now, and Old Navy is not immune to this volatility. Now that I've had time to learn more about the expansion and how it is primarily international-focused, I'm worried for different reasons. One of the countries where Old Navy is considering rapid expansion is China. US brands resonate in China, but there is so much uncertainty -- this is not the time for massive expansion in China.
  • Posted on: 09/13/2019

    Did Whole Foods just give conscious capitalism a swift kick to the curb?

    Conscious capitalism can definitely work. 1950 - 1970 were the most prosperous times in the US economy (in terms of median income increasing). This is also the time period people refer to as the "good ol' days, when a company took care of its employees." Conscious capitalism is as simple as that. Employees are looked after, so they're more engaged and the turnover is low. With employees invested in their job, you will likely see higher returns ... and then your stakeholders are happy. Mackey's definition isn't complete and it is more talk than practice. I think this cut will add to the growing skepticism consumers have around Whole Foods.
  • Posted on: 09/12/2019

    What keeps online shoppers from creating user accounts?

    The number one reason listed above is that folks don't want marketing emails - but I don't think that captures the entirety of what "marketing emails" means. I think that with Cathy's addition of just generally not wanting retailers to know who they are and not wanting to remember another password completes the thought. The three are tied together in my mind.
  • Posted on: 09/12/2019

    Is Amazon Go heading for a hard stop?

    While cost and complexity play a part, I think the factor that matters most is Amazon is disrupting a retail process that dates back to the beginning of documented human time. It took Uber a solid six years before they gained traction nationwide, and there are still areas where there is no Uber service -- and we've been using taxis for less than century. People have connected with other people to transact and trade for much longer. And while it's technically the same process, it looks and feels different. Walking into a store, taking items, and not having the feeling of paying for those items is an unnatural feeling. Disruptive change like Just Walk Out technology takes time.
  • Posted on: 09/11/2019

    Will Walmart have more success creating consumer direct brands than acquiring them?

    The focus on "digitally native brands" is a bright shiny object. Walmart isn't cool. Walmart is efficient and price conscious. They get to be efficient and price conscious because they haven't focused on trying to be cool. Consolidate and focus on building their singular strong brand.
  • Posted on: 09/09/2019

    Ace Hardware builds through acquisition in the do-it-for-me market

    Ace can now compete with Home Depot and Lowe's! They're adopting a similar tactic to what Radio Shack did in their heyday. Radio Shack may seem like an antiquated comparison, but at their peak they were the largest retailer in the United States and they had a broader reach and footprint than any other retailer - by a significant margin. Radio Shack saw significant growth then they started offering installation services, because they were easy to access. Ace is in a similar position. Almost every small town has an Ace. Now they can bring installation services to under-served areas where Home Depot and Lowe's don't have operations or where they charge large fees to transport installers out to. As someone who lives in between two very small towns, both with an Ace Hardware - and as someone who needs new windows - this is fantastic news.
  • Posted on: 08/30/2019

    Costco’s first day in China gets wild

    Costco received a strong reception because "the American Dream" is now everyone's dream and Costco represents high quality bulk goods at low prices. The trade war may slow down the Chinese appetite for U.S. stores and brands, but China is very good at waiting. Right now, China is doing what good leaders teach their people to do: keep your head down, focus on what's important to you, worry about you. China is investing in itself - but that doesn't mean U.S. brands will not continue to be of interest to them.
  • Posted on: 08/28/2019

    Caribou appears in Starbucks’ rearview with drive-thru concept

    Caribou has huge expansion potential with their small footprint, low-overhead model. Starbucks is focused on the experience and they're winning there. Caribou is capitalizing on the opportunity they see in the functional space. Not to mention, Caribou has significantly gained in the hospitality market (think in-room hotel coffee options) over the past 18 months.
  • Posted on: 08/19/2019

    Kroger’s trucks roll into food deserts

    We need more companies who embrace technology, social responsibility, and growth like Kroger. Kroger continues to innovate in a way that shows they listen to their consumers and do what's right for their community. Zero Hunger Mobile Market is a goodwill initiative that could potentially turn into a market opportunity for Kroger - and that's OK.
  • Posted on: 08/19/2019

    Will a rental subscription program lift Banana Republic’s results?

    Style Passport could be a great way to add new lift to the Banana Republic brand. My concern is that based on research I've read and witnessed around the brand, I would have focused on a young male audience. The idea has a lot of merit and I'm looking forward to seeing how it plays out.
  • Posted on: 08/05/2019

    The Container Store debuts new custom closet store concept

    The idea to focus on an area where they see growth and they retain a competitive advantage makes a lot of sense. They have the footprint to do this, but I'm not sure it is the best way to monetize the footprint. I have a custom Container Store closet - I didn't step foot in the store once. If the store footprint is leveraged to drive consumers to the digital experience, that's one thing. Ultimately though that makes the footprint unnecessary overhead. For this experience, consumers don't need to go into the store, because they need to have access to their closet for measurements and to visualize. I'm on the fence with whether or not I think this will be effective in driving more custom closet sales. I definitely don't think it's the best way to monetize the footprint.
  • Posted on: 08/02/2019

    Amazon kills its Dash button – what comes next?

    Amazon used Dash to quickly address a market need. They accurately tracked and anticipated the next need, which phases Dash out. The lesson to learn there is that it's OK to have an expiration date on a solution, and you should constantly evolve how you're addressing customer needs. Amazon is absolutely correct when they say that reordering tech will be added to individual products. Now I need them to supply a trusted contractor to show up to configure, install, and replace my smart light bulbs. I believe this is the rise of consumers who want (and expect) trusted service bundled into the price.
  • Posted on: 08/02/2019

    Gen Z gets creative online

    The opportunities for targeting Gen Z align to where we see retail marketing headed: experience and immersion. With more than 77 percent of Gen Z identifying as creators, they will seek out brands that give them an opportunity to create within their experience. Customization is an easy and natural fit. The move for retail spaces to be community hubs is also primed to embrace and facilitate this customer experience.

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