Brent Biddulph

General Manager, Retail & Consumer Goods, Cloudera

Brent has extensive experience working closely with a variety of leading retail and consumer goods companies providing thought leadership to help align strategic objectives with technology and analytic solutions to drive top-line growth, reduce costs, improve profits and create a differentiated competitive advantage in the marketplace.

During his career at Cloudera, Teradata and Oracle he developed solution go to market positioning, sales plays, use cases and led big data analytics consulting engagements at a number of Fortune 50 companies. Working as a trusted advisor with client executives to identify, define and capture business improvement opportunities.

Brent is known as a customer-focused advocate and innovator, leveraging his extensive domain experience in store operations, replenishment, merchandising and marketing at senior management levels in retail, distribution and consumer goods.

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  • Posted on: 06/21/2021

    Retailers must centralize their data to thrive

    Previous definitions of "centralized data" used to mean a retailer had to make a significant investment (including armies of IT folks) into an Enterprise Data Warehouse (EDW). Not any more. Rather, that's not even good enough and cost prohibitive for retail leaders. Instead, leveraging new technologies (e.g. cloud infrastructure, IoT edge devices and real-time data movement) to capture new data sources, blend with legacy EDWs and operational data stores is now required to enable the data science (predictive analytics, AI, robotics) to compete effectively, cost efficiently and with agility. It's not good enough to "centralize data" in a single physical device like an EDW anymore, rather "centralized data access" with streaming capabilities in an "enterprise data ecosystem" supporting a myriad of legacy and emerging business use cases. That's the new Chasm.
  • Posted on: 06/16/2021

    Will Target hit the bullseye or miss with its store remodeling plan?

    Just a few years back (pre-COVID-19) Target announced a major investment in store remodels to improve their grocery presence and BOPIS capabilities - setting the stage for phenomenal results when COVID-19 hit. This is a natural progression for retail winners who are recognizing that 80 percent or more of sales still occur in-store, rethinking new store-within-a-store concepts like Disney, Ulta and Apple and capitalizing on fulfillment lessons learned.
  • Posted on: 06/03/2021

    Have flagships become obsolete?

    Think of flagship stores as ambassadors from a brand and marketing perspective - they have their place, especially in fashion, especially in big cities like NYC. However even more exciting (at least for me) are incubator/concept stores - often in demographically representative areas where retailers across all sectors are testing new technologies leveraging data analytics focused on the customer experience.
  • Posted on: 05/27/2021

    Will Walmart and Gap be good partners or strange bedfellows?

    Good fit in that Gap and Walmart share a similar core customer base - Boomers. If it succeeds, or has any chance of generating excitement, will all come down to Walmart execution - meaning a dedicated store-within-a-store approach.
  • Posted on: 05/20/2021

    Can Wayfair fend off the bigger guys?

    As a consumer, and having just gone through the exercise of furnishing an entire home/rental property 95% online myself just a month ago -- my personal experience is that Wayfair has a distinct edge. We did this across several retail platforms, doing research with a distinct 'look' in mind. Yes, we ended up purchasing a few items from AMZN, Costco and Home Depot to complete the entire home, but 95% of the revenue and items were sourced via Wayfair. Wayfair has a distinct advantage to them all. First, a focused, one stop shop with massive variety none of the others can match. Second, easy website navigation, better detail specifications, and of course recommendations (complete the look, or alternatives) close to or better than Amazon. Third, personal outreach as they instantly recognized my intent and immediately reached out to promote me (via email and a phone call no less) to "Professional" which provides much more benefits (longer return periods, discounts, exclusivity, customer service, etc.). My recent experience (with more than 30 distinct items in a period of 30 days) is that Wayfair matches or exceeds even Amazon in variety, website navigation, customer experience and logistics -- which is saying more about their mission than anyone out there. Impressive!
  • Posted on: 05/11/2021

    Are brands and retailers defining authenticity on their own terms or consumers’?

    Authenticity is becoming an increasingly critical component in terms of consumer decision making. Witnessing first hand my 22-year-old daughter and her circle of friends - it is evident that if done right, with a cohesive "story," this largest consumer cohort (Gen X, Y, Z) are willing to pay more for authenticity but, more importantly, socially aligned and ethically responsible companies. What is puzzling to me in this research is it does not address social or ethics concerns, which makes me skeptical of the framework.
  • Posted on: 03/05/2021

    Is Texas messing with retailers?

    As a Texan, here on the ground - it goes further than this. It is clear that politicians (Greg Abbott) are not just messing with retailers and consumers, but more importantly citizens, and lives. This was clearly a political device, not based in any data nor facts - Texas ranks #49 in vaccination delivery, and has all four variants of COVID-19 rampaging in major cities like Houston today. Shouting and shaming comments (both ways) inside all retail sectors (including restaurants) are already breaking out. However admittedly, and proudly, most citizens here are ignoring Abbott and his shameful political tactics. #gregabbbotfailedtexas
  • Posted on: 01/29/2021

    Are small brands eating big food’s lunch?

    We are witnessing a generational shift with "active" voting via consumer dollars across all industries as Gen X, Y, Z is now making up the largest generational consumer segment worldwide. Witness the "Boomer Backlash" just this week in the Financial sector with GameStop trading. This of course, has been building for much longer in Food & Beverage with "active" trends embracing small, socially conscious brands expected to accelerate, not slow down.
  • Posted on: 11/30/2020

    Was Black Friday a bust?

    Given how responsible retailers faced with COVID-19 realities responded this year with extended holiday sales days and enhanced e-commerce capabilities - Black Friday (and Cyber Monday) as a single-day event is over. And this is a good thing for consumers and retailers alike. Good riddance to "doorbusters" with scarce limited quantities, frenzied lines, rampant out-of-stocks and ultimately unhappy (and in some cases bruised) customers.
  • Posted on: 11/03/2020

    Will Walmart’s decision to scrap robots have far-ranging effects?

    The impact of COVID has perhaps wakened retailers to better understand that years of squeezing in-store human resources were overdone. What a wonderful thought -- we as consumers may actually be able to find store associates in the aisles again! Hopefully, the of viewing these front-line heroes as simply "labor" are over.
  • Posted on: 10/29/2020

    Do retailers need to make price optimization a priority right now?

    With Amazon reportedly driving 25% of profits based on dynamic pricing leadership, combined with the reality of price transparency in today's digital world and open source technologies to enable this capability for "the masses" -- there's simply no excuse for dynamic pricing not to be a core strategy and competency for all retailers.
  • Posted on: 10/23/2020

    Can Gap prosper without mall stores?

    Unlike most Retail CEOs, Ms. Syngal has serious "chops" in the supply chain side of retail. And, with the acceleration of consumer fulfillment (aka omnichannel) expectations -- all retailers are re-evaluating brick and mortar. Smart move for Gap IMHO, and not surprising for me having had the opportunity to chat with Ms. Syngal a few years back.
  • Posted on: 10/14/2020

    Is a new store concept the start of something big(ger) for Aldi?

    Yes they will be successful. Expanded fresh food offerings is what consumers want, in fact demand, from grocers. Where Aldi is expanding, other grocers with larger footprints are simply carving space away from center store categories. In their typical fashion, Aldi is moving slowly and cautiously but this is simply a no-brainer for any grocer to expand fresh (plus healthy grab and go and hot prepared meal) offerings.
  • Posted on: 10/01/2020

    Walmart reimagines its supercenters

    By simplifying the customer journey using technology, the more insights (customer data) will be gathered, and thus, providing Walmart (perhaps for the first time) richer and legit personalized engagement opportunities as a result. Would also like to see a major change in terms of space allocation in food / grocery to what still seems elusive to Walmart -- high quality grab and go, meal solution "carve outs" versus carrying endless varieties of low margin, commodity canned foods, cereals, juices, sauces, etc., moving that variety to their endless aisle (digital) platform and optimizing the in-store food space as well.
  • Posted on: 09/29/2020

    Store IoT platforms are set to go mainstream

    IoT (or Edge) has already gone mainstream with retail leaders (winners) - even and especially with grocers and mass merchants. The value proposition (ROI) to leverage IoT to improve in-stocks, enable in-store/micro fulfillment, ensure merchandising compliance, even cost offset via data monetization with trading partners (network effect) is no longer an experiment - it is happening today.

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