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: 04/20/2018

    CVS gets real without retouching in new beauty campaign

    Thank you, CVS. The emphasis on "real" has been a boon for Dove, and it will for CVS as well. We can't all look like a model, but we can feel like one.
  • Posted on: 04/19/2018

    Starbucks to close shops for racial bias training

    This shocking incident called for a definitive response, and kudos to CEO Kevin Johnson for responding so forcefully. Retail companies would do well to emphasize the old saw that "the customer is always right," and emphasize respect and goodwill for all. Besides, who among us hasn't waited in a Starbucks for a colleague?
  • Posted on: 04/18/2018

    Honoring women

    Many thanks, Warren. I know of so many happy teams of women, particularly in store operations, who enjoy working with one another without having to endure put-downs by men. It would be great if we could recognize men's and women's different strengths and celebrate them.
  • Posted on: 04/17/2018

    Has Google found a formula for undercutting Amazon’s product search advantage?

    If you were put off by testimony about the information Facebook gathers on you, would you be willing to let Google know which consumer products you prefer?
  • Posted on: 04/16/2018

    Can food halls become retail’s new anchors?

    Food halls, fitness centers, grocery -- the anchor store of the future apparently isn't a department store. Mall companies like Simon and GGP are going to do everything in their power to keep their offerings fresh and customers coming in. One night last week, Pentagon City Mall was full of hungry teens, and that's good for business.
  • Posted on: 04/16/2018

    Dyson believes in showroom stores

    Look at the publicity this store has generated. The store itself will reach a limited number of customers, but the press reports will reach many more people. This, and the ads Dyson is running about its cordless future, have created sharper awareness. Great idea.
  • Posted on: 04/13/2018

    Backstage shops star inside Macy’s

    Execution, execution, execution. Off-price stores like TJX aren't slapdash; they're meticulously merchandised with ever-changing assortments. One TJX IT leader told me that the company will remove items from assortments if they get too popular, because the element of surprise is lost. Does Macy's have the right people to make this happen?
  • Posted on: 04/12/2018

    No site comes close to Amazon for Gen Z

    What's interesting to me is that the stores listed in the story are all mall brands. I wonder if teens will migrate to online-only sellers like StyleWe and Rose Wholesale ...
  • Posted on: 04/10/2018

    Retailers must unite to bring dying downtowns back to life

    This has already happened in my city. A new downtown arena was the spark that resulted in mixed-use developments, hot restaurants and a slew of new retail establishments, including a giant Bed, Bath & Beyond. Here, "walkable" is the new buzzword in real estate.
  • Posted on: 04/09/2018

    Retailers face criticism for failure to protect customer data

    There are two issues here. Retail is an industry that underinvests in IT, and therefore in data security, and retailers' name recognition makes breaches into juicy news stories. We're going to keep seeing these stories.
  • Posted on: 04/06/2018

    Can MoviePass help revive America’s malls?

    Not only can MoviePass drive mall traffic, it's driving the right kind of mall traffic -- younger people. They flocked to the theaters for loud, flashy hits like Black Panther, which are much more effective away than at home. Some savvy retailer is going to figure out that a "show your movie ticket and get a discount" offer will work as well.
  • Posted on: 04/04/2018

    Luxury fashion hunts ‘hype beasts’ with high-end streetwear

    There must be real money here. The Men's Store at Saks adopted this trend three or four years ago, with distinctive sneakers and leather jackets, even here in buttoned-up Washington, D.C. It's nice to see an alternative to traditional men's workwear.
  • Posted on: 04/02/2018

    What would an acquisition of Humana mean for Walmart and its rivals?

    On the plus side, one possible outcome could be healthcare clinics in underserved (rural) areas. We'd all like to think that a merger like this could be applied to the greater good ... time will tell.
  • Posted on: 03/30/2018

    Former Walmart U.S. CEO raises prospect of breaking up Amazon

    Wow, what a simplistic approach to a very complicated issue. Americans have embraced Amazon and I can't imagine they have an appetite for chopping it up. Mr. Simon's proposal is going nowhere.
  • Posted on: 03/29/2018

    KB Toys plans a Christmas comeback

    How can KB Toys provide the kind of experiential excitement that has been missing in the toy biz? Every format -- including pop-ups -- needs an experience hook.

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