PROFILE

Chris Buecker

Founder & Chairman, International TCG Retail Summit
Since 2014 to present: Founder & Chairman, TCG Summit, the leading international retail conference in electrical retail (CE, Appliances, IT, Telecommunications). Since 2012 to present: President & CEO of Retailplus, a retail consultancy and organization of innovation tours with a special focus on retail. 2012-2005: Managing Director of Expert International, one of Europe's leading electrical retail organizations (13bn USD turnover). To learn more, visit: www.tcgsummit.com
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  • Posted on: 10/17/2019

    Is e-grocery less convenient than shopping in stores?

    Grocery shopping for pure commodity products might work online. Online shopping for fresh products will not really work, not even in the long run. People want to enjoy and experience this part of the shopping. Proactive retailers have developed and implemented compelling grocery store formats with incredible merchandising especially in the fresh food area.
  • Posted on: 10/04/2019

    Should companies have to pay you to use your personal data?

    Absolutely, personal data should be owned by individuals and carefully protected. In Europe, GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) which was introduced in May last year tries to regulate exactly that. In my opinion, privacy should be tackled with more focus throughout the world.
  • Posted on: 09/30/2019

    “Alexa, help me get a job at McDonald’s”

    Voice will become the leading approach for people investigating in general on the internet. The use of voice assistance technology is currently increasing at an amazing rate. Voice assistants can indeed become another way of starting the job search. I doubt, however, that they will become a major recruiting tool.
  • Posted on: 09/24/2019

    What will Apple’s reinvented Fifth Avenue flagship mean for the brand?

    Iconic, experiential stores will be important going forward. Apple nowadays lacks innovation in products. The time when they were front-runners in terms of product innovation has gone. What still remains is the strong community Apple has. It will be vital to keep this crowd enthusiastic. E.g. with innovative flagship stores.
  • Posted on: 09/18/2019

    Retailers approach tech’s cutting edge with caution

    There is too much hype about new technologies. A retailer has only limited financial resources and needs to examine very carefully in which technologies to invest. Ninety percent of new retail technologies is simply gimmicks. The crucial challenge is to understand where the vital 10 percent lies.
  • Posted on: 09/17/2019

    Have U.S. malls lost their sense of community?

    Yes, more community events could be helpful. Experiential retail is fine but not bound to malls. Malls also will need to downsize. Big is not always the best option.
  • Posted on: 07/18/2019

    Amazon and rivals report record Prime Day results

    A definite yes! In future, these kind of big online sales day will become the new normal. It started with Black Friday, then was enlarged by Cyber Monday. Now Prime Day. Several other promotional days will follow. The question is: How will non truly-omnichannel retailers cope with it?
  • Posted on: 07/17/2019

    Alexa – Are Americans ready to shop by voice?

    Voice will be the next disruptor! No doubt about it. It will only be a question of time until voice commerce becomes normal in our daily life. The main argument is CONVENIENCE! But then questions about ownership will arise. The voice assistants are dominated by Google, Amazon and Apple. How will retailers cope with it? If retailers do not want to be bypassed by these tech giants, then an open voice network is desperately needed.
  • Posted on: 07/09/2019

    Will a worker walkout put a kink in Amazon’s Prime Day results?

    Being faced with an organized workforce will make an employer think. A giant like Amazon cannot - at least over the long run - allow itself to be confronted with a negative press campaign. It would be bad for its image. In Europe, we saw that an organized workforce brought advantages to the employees.
  • Posted on: 05/24/2019

    Questions abound about the value of net promoter scores

    While NPS is in theory a good KPI for management and customer satisfaction, I am questioning how vulernable the NPS can be to manipulation by a retailer.
  • Posted on: 05/07/2019

    H&M will cease printing its catalog after 39 years

    It is clear that catalogs will phase out over the year. However, I believe there is still a (larger) group of customers who just love to have a physical catalog in their hands. Of course, not to have a catalog anymore is environment friendly and it saves some costs. However, if I were H&M, I wouldn't do it. H&M will lose customers by not having a catalog in their marketing portfolio.
  • Posted on: 04/24/2019

    Kohl’s goes all-in on Amazon returns

    This expansion is certainly great for the consumers and Amazon. I am sure also for Kohl's, as they first tested it and now announced the rollout to all of their outlets. The question is, what will it bring to Kohl's in the long run? I am sure other retailers will follow the path of Kohl's and there will be no USP for Kohl's anymore. So the question will be, what will be in it for a physical retailer in the long run who enters into such partnership? We see similar developments/initiatives here in Europe.
  • Posted on: 03/22/2019

    Are people investments paying off for retailers?

    This all depends on the retailer's business model. A discounter will look at it differently than a full assortment retailer. In the age of continuous so-called digital disruption, I am sure that well-trained staff will make a big difference. As a retailer you need to differentiate. Otherwise it will all be on price and the price leader will get the biggest part of the pie. Associate training means a lot of investment but in the long run it will pay off. Look at the Apple associates -- how well trained, service-oriented and knowledgable they are. You just need to pass by an Apple store and you see how many customers line up to search for competent advice.
  • Posted on: 01/10/2019

    Some question if digital assistants will ever live up to the hype

    Voice-activated digital assistants will become normal in people's lives. One part of it, voice commerce, will become a game changer, as was the introduction of smartphones a couple of years ago. The danger is that if the voice commerce goes through a third party (in this case Google, Amazon, Microsoft, Apple etc), then it becomes a concern for retailers. Who decides which products will be offered to the consumer? Similar to the internet, we must have an independent system that does not conflict with the interests of a specific party.
  • Posted on: 12/06/2018

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

    No, scrubbing robots will be used to bring costs further down. Headcount per store will be reduced further. It will not be used to serve customers better.

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