Byron Kerr

Head of Amazon, Tuft & Needle
After graduating Bryant University with a degree in Marketing, Byron joined GE’s Commercial Leadership Program in their Retail Finance vertical working with clients such as TJX Company, Brooks Brothers, Men’s Warehouse and more. After a stint at Ernst and Young, Byron started his own Amazon business managing end to end operations from sourcing to marketing. Byron also provided consultancy for small to medium sized businesses looking to get started on Amazon’s Marketplace. He recently worked at GUESS Watches, growing their Amazon business from bottom 10 accounts to 3rd highest in wholesale shipments. Byron also recently lead Women’s Marketing’s Amazon and Marketplace go-to market strategy as Director of Marketplace Strategy helping clients in CPG, Beauty, Fashion and Retail navigate the Amazon landscape. Byron now leads Tuft & Needle's Amazon business as Head of Amazon focused on driving incremental revenue growth in the highly-competitive Mattress and Home Furnishings industry.
  • Posted on: 09/19/2018

    Are Aldi’s customers who you think they are?

    Before we know it, having groceries delivered to your home will be no different than ordering beauty products, fashion products or other staple goods online. Aldi and other retailers realize this and have made efforts to bring it in-house (Target purchasing Shipt) or partnered with a company that has the infrastructure built already (Aldi with Instacart). Despite the cost increases, Aldi could go the way of other online grocers by selling ad space similar to how brands can buy store placements in brick-and-mortar. Walmart, CVS, etc. (through Triad Media) and many other retailers have implemented this on their online platforms as a way to generate incremental revenue, which helps offset the massive investments they are making in the logistics space. This is a fast-growing transformation of the grocery logistics space and I believe Aldi is making the right push to build more brand loyalty through convenience. Name one consumer that ever said, "I want life to be less convenient."
  • Posted on: 07/23/2018

    McDonald’s offers free fries for mobile orders

    Starbucks was the pioneer here and, similar to Bezos's premise that it is fiscally irresponsible to not have Amazon Price, their app makes it so simple (and rewarding) to use their app. It's extremely important, as others have mentioned, to promote use BEFORE getting into the store. By getting consumers used to experiencing a QSR via mobile, it changes behaviors in a more impactful way.
  • Posted on: 07/23/2018

    How should specialty retail respond to Amazon’s apparel push?

    Agree with your points here, Art. Most traditional fashion retailers have not taken the necessary steps to innovate and redefine the customer experience. Surprisingly, a store like Macy's has started to push in the right direction, investing in retail startup b8ta to enhance "The Market" concept they are testing. More partnerships and enhancements to bring the experience to the 21st Century will allow retailers to compete in a data-driven opportunity that Amazon hasn't fully mastered yet.
  • Posted on: 07/23/2018

    Retailers use brand ads to help pay for free delivery

    I love the concept but I'm not sure how effective this will be in dramatically reducing shipping costs and being impactful for brands. Similar to box takeovers that I've seen during holiday time for Amazon, this is another way for retailers to squeeze more dollars out of brands. If this is an integrated marketing campaign that can allow a brand to take a consumer from an unboxing experience to taking some action (social amplification or purchase), this will perform well.
  • Posted on: 06/27/2018

    Former CEO wants to bring Toys ‘R’ Us back from the dead

    Though Larry has achieved success in the past, the landscape has dramatically changed. If they can execute a successful Bricks + Clicks model that drastically reduces the footprint of a store while building a more financially sound baseline, it could be worth exploring, but this is a challenging category.
  • Posted on: 06/26/2018

    Frito-Lay scores by personalizing consumer experiences

    Today, consumers expect frictionless shopping that meets their precise needs without the fluff and baggage. Brands that can laser-target their marketing efforts to micro-segments within broader segments win, consistently. Brands that blend laser-targeted messaging with experiences built on ease and simplicity continue to thrive in this transformative market.
  • Posted on: 06/26/2018

    Analyst: Prime perk could eventually double customers at Whole Foods

    I agree with many here that this won't significantly move the needle. The "Whole Paycheck" stigma remains and the discount remains tied to sale items & specially designated items. If Whole Foods went the Restoration Hardware route where all members of the program get a blanketed 10% off all products, this would be much more enticing.
  • Posted on: 05/30/2018

    MealPal brings subscription savings to lunch

    While the discount model is nice, it's hard to compete with the UberEats, Doordashes and GrubHubs of the world. If this discounted, pre-order model gained national traction, it would be interesting to see UE/DD/GH offering up group discounts to incentivize larger orders, which can already be tied into their scheduling feature.
  • Posted on: 05/30/2018

    Best Buy finds more inventory on hand drives sales

    Demand planning and inventory management are huge competitive advantages for Best Buy. Striking a balance between being lean and carrying an ample amount of inventory is every retailer's struggle. Best Buy's approach to inventory has allowed a seamless store vs. online experience that lets customers get what they want when they want it (immediately or conveniently). It's important for retailers to understand the "why" of product that's turning over well. Is it demographic driven? Market driven? Promotion driven? Understanding the why allows retailers to make more fact-based, and less gut-based, decisions that can parallel the results Best Buy is currently experiencing.
  • Posted on: 05/29/2018

    Kohl’s emphasizes cash in merging of rewards program

    I agree with your sentiments, Max. Reducing complexity by driving increased loyalty and simplicity is the recipe for success. This also further cements their private label credit card push which incentivizes customers to utilize their credit card to garner additional benefits. Depending on how their contract is laid out, this could be lucrative from an interchange fee savings perspective. Everyone wins when you put the customer first.
  • Posted on: 05/01/2018

    Chico’s decides to join Amazon, since it can’t beat it

    Happy to see a brand leverage Amazon in a brand-accreditive way. Chico's can play a differentiated SKU/experience where Amazon may hold certain staples but their own site or brick-and-mortar stores carry exclusives only available there. Leveraging Amazon as a sales/branding channel while maintaining strategic, engaging relationships in-store can allow brands like Chico's to still maintain that intimate relationship with customers who desire that. Nike is doing the same thing on another level selling staples on Amazon while leveraging AR experiential shopping for new products, building communities and tribes to enhance digital adoption.
  • Posted on: 04/16/2018

    Dyson believes in showroom stores

    Dyson is tapping into a model that has (and continues to grow) legs. b8ta is a great example of this. Experienced their shopping experience in Seattle last year and it was high-touch, highly interactive, for new, innovative products. This model is suited better for higher priced items as lower priced items are more transactional and less experiential. I believe we'll start to see more retailers try this model as brands realize bricks + clicks can be successful. Many DTC-first companies are starting to open retail locations. Many brands that traditionally leveraged distributor/wholesale relationships are starting to open locations as well.
  • Posted on: 04/11/2018

    Walmart slows push to add third-party sellers to its online marketplace

    Customers are starting to look for curated products that suit their needs. If people wanted confusion, they'd go to malls. Amazon's marketplace has been overrun with low-quality products as of late as the floodgates opened to Chinese sellers with direct access to the marketplace, driving low margins and poor customer service for many. I believe Walmart wants to ensure they are not selling every and anything and a more pragmatic approach to growth that will allow the platform to still remain viable, three, five or 10 years down the road. That mixed with the growth of their own high growth brands requires striking a fine balance for longer-term growth. If Walmart wants to bring in more brands like Lord & Taylor, they have to go against the grain and ensure a clean, viable platform -- the version Amazon "hopes" to become but hasn't, causing many luxury brands and mass retailers to ignore. Quality over quantity -- who would've thought!
  • Posted on: 04/09/2018

    Retailers face criticism for failure to protect customer data

    Data in security breaches is ripe for the taking as known vulnerabilities continue to be exploited. Just as the industry moved to chip and signature/chip and pin, the industry should be making investments to protect their consumers' data. Now is as good of a time as ever to incorporate security policies and processes that limit these exposures. It's not a matter of if consumers will care or not; these breaches will only continue to get worse until these retailers put a stake in the ground and do what's right for their consumers.
  • Posted on: 04/09/2018

    Is Walmart building a tower of power with its expanding in-store pickup network?

    This concept will definitely resonate with customers and it strengthens Walmart's turnaround efforts to be more customer-centric and friendly. Convenient placement is key and for Walmart to benefit from additional foot traffic, they can leverage their e-commerce site and/or app to strategically offer additional discounts, potentially time-limited to incentivize immediate activation.

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