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: 12/02/2021

    Does a four-day work week make more sense post-pandemic?

    It's hard to imagine corporate staff returning in lock step for five-days-a-week cubicle work. Remote workers not only kept their companies alive, but thriving. If employers insist on returning staff to the office, gifting them with a remote work day might be a good compromise.
  • Posted on: 11/30/2021

    Can retail move more quickly than Omicron?

    I'm with Neil. Consumers are used to amending their behavior because of the virus, but they won't stop shopping. Many retailers are a lot more agile than they used to be, and will revisit the protocols they've put in place.
  • Posted on: 11/29/2021

    What caused the thin Black Friday traffic?

    Physical traffic isn't as important as it used to be -- just look at the constant parade of delivery trucks in neighborhoods. In addition, I'm predicting a noticeable rise in experiential gifts -- movie tickets, Groupons, etc. Expect surprises!
  • Posted on: 11/22/2021

    Should Macy’s de-omnify?

    Have any of these "activist investors" (aka rich people) thought about what this would mean for customers? How idiotic. Will we ever be able to appease the ultra-wealthy?
  • Posted on: 11/19/2021

    What’s driving shoppers to Amazon?

    This should be a warning to other retailers. Until the industry comes together to improve product search, customers will continue to turn to Amazon, whether they want to or not. We need color codes, predictable sizing, and other tools to improve the customer experience.
  • Posted on: 11/16/2021

    Is physical retail entering a new age?

    We're already there. Digital and physical are now inextricably linked. This is a welcome opportunity for the industry and will result in a host of new services for consumers. To keep this going, we need to nurture store associates and investing in stores.
  • Posted on: 11/15/2021

    Can a Supreme collaboration give Tiffany street cred?

    This kind of partnership gave Target a boost over competitors in the early days. Whether temporary or permanent, pacts like these bring fresh energy and interest. Imagine a partnership with Adele, or Drake. The sky's the limit.
  • Posted on: 11/12/2021

    Frontline workers say management isn’t listening to them

    Hi Georganne! I was waiting in the lobby of the downtown Denver Marriott one day when chairman Bill Marriott came in with his roller luggage. He greeted each associate, then asked each customer what their experience had been. That kind of servant leadership makes all the difference!
  • Posted on: 11/12/2021

    Frontline workers say management isn’t listening to them

    There's no mystery here. I'm reminded of Steve Burd, former CEO of Safeway, who used to visit stores and talk with managers, staff, and customers. Leaders who stay cooped up in offices can't hope to compete against competitors who are always listening.
  • Posted on: 11/11/2021

    Will AMC deliver blockbuster results in the popcorn aisle?

    Movie theaters took a huge hit during the pandemic, but creative ideas and new business models have saved most of them. Let's hope that ideas like this can charm the public and ultimately bring everyone back to the movie house!
  • Posted on: 11/10/2021

    Will a trip to the doctor soon mean a trip to CVS?

    Since it figured out that it could be a health provider and not just a "drugstore," CVS has made a series of very smart moves that leverage its reputation and ubiquitous stores. After adding primary care to stores, look for CVS to add telemedicine to address more specialized conditions. The future looks very bright.
  • Posted on: 11/09/2021

    What do retailers owe customers when it comes to personalized pricing?

    Imagine a retailer advertising that different customers pay different prices -- what would the reaction be across the customer base? If a retailer has to keep its policies private, those processes are probably not going to be popular.
  • Posted on: 11/09/2021

    Does Facebook, er Meta, now need stores?

    Let's face it -- if the metaverse has to be explained, it has already lost. In addition, social platforms come and go, (remember MySpace?) and younger people have already moved on from Facebook to Instagram. I wouldn't put a big bet on this.
  • Posted on: 11/08/2021

    Should Apple join the crowd in lifting mask requirements?

    Masks are effective, so let's take them off? Our society seems to have decided that a half-ounce of fabric or paper is an onerous burden. This is an interesting juxtaposition with today's New York Times article about disproportional COVID-19 fatalities in counties with different political beliefs.
  • Posted on: 11/05/2021

    Can apps help reduce food waste?

    Giant Food has been addressing this for years in a different way -- by putting marked-down center store food items on a rack. It's an efficient way of selling these items and it feeds the curiosity of shoppers who enjoy a treasure hunt. Kudos to any effort that reduces food waste.

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