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: 07/16/2018

    Need a nap? Casper opened a store for that

    It's a great PR move, designed to drum up some free publicity. Will that exhausted family of four take a nap during an afternoon of sightseeing? Doubtful.
  • Posted on: 07/13/2018

    Did Build-A-Bear destroy its brand with a successful promotion?

    "Pay your age" was a stunt, but lines at Build-A-Bear are nothing new. I was invited to the opening of the new experiential store a few years ago, and there was a line snaking through the mall, without pricing tricks. As retailers look for ways to create attention and excitement, expect more Black Friday-style events at a lot of different formats.
  • Posted on: 07/12/2018

    New CEO focused on keeping the Dunkin’ brand relevant

    I love the energy here. Dunkin' recently opened a phone booth-sized outlet in Washington National Airport and it's a huge hit. Mr. Hoffmann is wise to stay on top of changing customer preferences and keep a lesser focus on what works and what doesn't. Competitors will have to do the same to keep up.
  • Posted on: 07/11/2018

    Is your culture your brand?

    In the age of social media, brand authenticity is everything. Consumers are savvier than ever and want meaningful and predictable interactions with brands they trust. Companies that can deliver (The Container Store, Chik-fil-A, Dunkin' Donuts) win loyal followers for decades. Companies that slip -- a Starbucks employee throwing out two patrons who were waiting for a third -- suffer mightily.
  • Posted on: 07/10/2018

    Hershey figures out what drives impulse purchases in stores

    CPG companies are engaging directly with consumers, and need to understand the path to purchase. All of these findings are insightful, positive, and provide actionable insights for future outreach.
  • Posted on: 07/09/2018

    Amazon lowballs CVS and Walgreens on OTC med prices

    Max is right. Amazon can use revenues from AWS to subsidize OTC drug prices and make a splash with customers. Imagine what they could do with a similar program for prescription drugs!
  • Posted on: 07/06/2018

    Will America win the trade war?

    This president had the good fortune to enter office with a strong economy, and now has the opportunity to put his own spin on things. Our trading partners will have no choice but to match his tariffs, and retailers will have no choice but to raise prices. Winning!
  • Posted on: 07/05/2018

    Amazon to start new Christmas tradition with its own toy catalog

    Catalogs work (ask Restoration Hardware) and toy catalogs provoke a special kind of longing in children. This is an overt move from Amazon to assume the mantle from Toys "R" Us, and I'll predict that it brings great results.
  • Posted on: 07/03/2018

    Amazon announces Prime Day-and-a-half

    Amazon is a master of free publicity, and the extension of Prime Day hours is a key example. It isn't "news," but they'll make it news. Amazon's competition should study these tactics and steal them.
  • Posted on: 07/02/2018

    Will California’s new privacy law set the standard for data protection?

    We wouldn't be having this conversation if retail companies had been more adept at leveraging customer information for personal offers. As it stands, though, customers know they're being tracked, but they can't be sure why.
  • Posted on: 06/29/2018

    Is making burgers now a job for robots?

    What Nikki said. There's a place for robotics, but nobody thinks they're going to replace humans en masse in the foreseeable future. Consult the boardroom scene in RoboCop ...
  • Posted on: 06/28/2018

    Toy City pop-ups look to fill the gap left by Toys ‘R’ Us

    It's a great move, and why not? Party City will do best to carry a curated selection that works, rather than take on the giants by carrying everything.
  • Posted on: 06/27/2018

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

    Art Suriano is right -- Larry Storch would be more successful if he were to start from scratch. A new toy and baby brand, focused on experience rather than merchandise, would have a better chance of survival. Millennials are poised to enter parenthood, and a digitally-savvy brand would serve them well.
  • Posted on: 06/26/2018

    Ralph Lauren’s Club Monaco takes pop-up strategy beyond its flagship

    Neil, I'll add another reason -- free publicity. It's a winning strategy.
  • Posted on: 06/25/2018

    Why are there so few women in c-level positions?

    Pretty much every woman will know the answer to "Why are there so few women in senior-level positions?" It's unfortunate for business that we're still having this discussion in 2018. We can hope that the Millennial generation, which carries itself with a whiff of entitlement, can smash through the old barriers and move more women into positions of authority.

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