Cathy Hotka

Principal, Cathy Hotka & Associates

Cathy Hotka has personal relationships with most of North America’s most influential retail technology leaders. Cathy Hotka & Associates is a different kind of retail IT marketing firm, leveraging close relationships with CIOs to assist technology companies, and working with retail CIOs to create thought leadership materials. The company was founded in 2002 and enjoys working relationships with many Tier 1 retailers and vendors.

Prior to creating the firm, Hotka created the CIO Council for the National Retail Federation, and staffed the American Petroleum Institute’s IT Council. She has worked on Capitol Hill and the White House, and has been recognized by Computerworld, CIO, Executive Technology, and the Wharton School of Business.

  • Posted on: 01/22/2019

    Can grocers sell produce without plastic bags and boxes?

    We buy, then throw away, an astonishing amount of plastic packaging. My grocery store bags very little produce ... loose is the future.
  • Posted on: 01/21/2019

    Did Gillette’s rant against toxic masculinity go too far?

    Thank you, Gillette.
  • Posted on: 01/18/2019

    NRF: Attendees show performance anxiety for 2019

    Elections have consequences, and NRF itself may be feeling some regret after supporting the current resident of the White House. Beyond the obvious tariff and shutdown issues, retailers may want to consider what happens when the administration creates further stunts to deflect attention from the coming Mueller report. We haven't seen the bottom yet.
  • Posted on: 01/08/2019

    Sears likely headed for liquidation

    Sears didn't die. It was murdered. While there are a lot of smart people in Hoffman Estates and in stores, they were no match for dumb and self-serving business moves on the part of the chairman. There will undoubtedly be a Harvard Business Review discussion about this, and how not to run a business.
  • Posted on: 01/04/2019

    Can David’s Bridal appeal to ‘every type of bride’ with its new campaign?

    Brides come in all sizes, shapes, ages, and more, way beyond the "Disney princess" image we used to have. Kudos to David's Bridal. (I must add that my daughter and I had a delightful experience with the talented and dedicated store associates at our David's Bridal a few years ago. I'm a fan.)
  • Posted on: 01/03/2019

    Pier 1 seeks yet another turnaround strategy

    Unfortunately for Pier 1, the TJX juggernaut, including Home Goods, continues to make waves in the industry. The sheer size of the company can make it difficult for competitors. This is a happy thing for consumers, but it makes it hard for our friends in Fort Worth.
  • Posted on: 01/02/2019

    Why are retailers publishing paid-subscription magazines?

    In a world of unlimited choices, curation is all-important. This is an area where brands and retailers can really stand out and create genuine, lasting relationships. From grocery stores publishing recipe magazines to lifestyle suggestions on Pinterest, customers value this information and will want to engage further.
  • Posted on: 12/28/2018

    Camp brings a playground to retail

    What a tantalizing idea. Parents will see a promising venue for birthday parties and kids will see a mini theme park. Everyone wins.
  • Posted on: 12/26/2018

    Will showrooms work for fast fashion?

    What Paula said. I'd add that there are a bunch of fast casual customers who are buying for special occasions; look at the abundance of sequins in any H&M today. Having to wait for delivery, with a price hike either implicit or explicit, just doesn't fit. I'm not in on this one.
  • Posted on: 12/21/2018

    Is Amazon Prime not what it’s cracked up to be?

    One of Amazon's great strengths is its talent for free publicity, and here we are again. Lost in the discussion here are families like mine which get free shipping without paying for Amazon Prime -- but then again, we never shelled out for cable, either.
  • Posted on: 12/19/2018

    Will 7-Eleven’s cashier-less store take hold?

    Sorry, but this sounds like a bonanza for porch pirates, car thieves, grifters and other low-lifes, who would like nothing better than an unmanned store from which to steal. "Oh Thank Heavens" indeed.
  • Posted on: 12/17/2018

    RH’s new location is a ‘luxury compound’

    Here's another prime example of moving beyond product into experience. Well-heeled residential and corporate customers can enjoy an immersive and aspirational day here. The opportunities for cross-branding are endless ... catering by French Laundry? RH has come a long way from selling drawer pulls.
  • Posted on: 12/10/2018

    Will Dollar General’s DGX concept be a hit with urban Millennials?

    I'm not sure what a "Millennial-focused concept" means (please, not avocado toast) but there are thousands of underserved communities that would welcome this new brand, including urban food deserts where there's a liquor store on every other corner. Question: will there be parking?
  • Posted on: 12/06/2018

    Walmart: Floor cleaning robots will give associates more time to serve customers

    Come on, now. Every retailer that deploys robots is going to say that they're there to enhance customer service. If you fall for that, I have some outstanding beachfront property in Nebraska that might interest you. Can shelf-stocking robots be far behind?
  • Posted on: 12/04/2018

    Are subscriptions an untapped gifting opportunity for retailers?

    There are so many possible scenarios for subscriptions -- new athletic shoes every three months for running enthusiasts, Christmas decorations every November, and many more limited only by the imagination of the retailer. This is only the beginning.

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