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: 06/25/2018

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

    In many conservative companies men prefer to be among men. They see women as competition. This is old-fashioned. This is counts for a whole sector. Take CE in Europe for instance. 90 percent+ of the senior executives (director and C-level) are men. Companies need to walk the talk. And that doesn't just mean having women employed in top positions for corporate communication and marketing.
  • Posted on: 06/22/2018

    Supreme Court rules e-tailers must collect state sales taxes

    A significant injustice has been corrected. Finally. Not only from the consumer point of view but also from a tax point of view, it really does not matter whether the seller is a traditional retailer or an e-tailer. There should have never been a difference. Anyhow, better late than never, I would say. It is surprising that this has taken so many years to correct this. Incredible!
  • Posted on: 06/22/2018

    Apple’s Ahrendts sees a ‘bigger purpose than just selling’ for retail

    Absolutely. It depends what you sell but generally I agreed. Retailers needs to develop a unique seamless experience along the customer journey. We can see at many retailers that associates are not really motivated or knowledgable enough to offer a good service or advice. It is also a question of salary. You pay less, you get less quality. It is as simple as that. A very good example of motivated and customer-oriented associates are employees at IKEA. As customer, you can see and feel that the associates have not just a job at the furniture giant. Each associate is part of the IKEA community and team and share the company values. It is the same with the Apple sales associate. They becomes a strong advantage for the company, as they are the ultimate contact person to the customer.
  • Posted on: 06/20/2018

    IKEA says no to plastic

    To take the lead in bold new environmental initiatives is a great opportunity for retailers. Our planet suffers from waste and pollution caused by mankind. This issue will only increase. Young and more conscious consumers will be more affected by it. By showing leadership, a retailer can position itself as a caring and responsible distributor which could ultimately increase the brand value and loyalty.
  • Posted on: 06/19/2018

    Best Buy makes health and wellness tech a strategic priority

    This is certainly a logical move if pursued in the right way. Health and technology are merging in many fields and consumers often need advice prior to their purchase. However, advising the consumer also means having the educated staff in sufficient quantity at store level available when needed. From a margin and service point of view this is undoubtedly interesting. The thing is that the other big boxes will also dive into this new category. It needs to be seen who will develop the best proposition to the consumers.
  • Posted on: 06/18/2018

    Microsoft exploring checkout-less technologies

    This is good news. Amazon Go's current technology will not be the standard model, as it is too complicated and very cost-intensive. We will see different models and technologies being applied in the coming years. I believe the driver will not be Amazon but more the Chinese giants such as Alibaba or JD.com. And it is a playing field for disruptors. Maybe the standard will come from a startup of which we have heard very little so far.
  • Posted on: 06/12/2018

    Are chronic online returners only a few bad apples?

    Online returns are cost killers. In the future, we will see that e-tailers will ban shoppers with a certain return rate or above. Free shipping will remain a weapon for e-tailers.
  • Posted on: 06/11/2018

    Are retailers short-changing national grocery brands?

    Definitely yes, it can. It is important for a retailer to understand that private label needs to have a consistent and clear strategy. The best example in Europe is Aldi. For decades, Aldi has pursued the strategy that their private label products (and most of their assortment is made of private label) have the same quality as the brand leader in the same category. This consistent qualitative approach has led to an exceptionally high trust that Aldi has built with their customers. Customers nowadays know that when they buy a private brand of Aldi, it is usually of high quality. In recent years, Aldi has started to integrated some strong national brands into their assortment as well. So private brands should stand for more than just price.
  • Posted on: 06/06/2018

    Costco workers get a raise and the retailer gets more good press

    Certainly, and I would even go further. Not only in light of the job market but also in order to deliver a great customer experience. It is very simple: you do not get the best if you pay too little. Employees are the most valuable component in a company. Show them that they are of value for you and they will pay it back to you over the long run by being more loyal, by working harder and by providing a better customer experience.
  • Posted on: 05/25/2018

    Millennials spend like crazy on their ‘fur-babies’

    In the age of the internet, social media and smartphones especially, young people have gotten ultimately more lonely. Conversations and relationship have often shifted to the virtual world. Yet human being need physical company around them. Pets are a sort of substitution for that. As for a child, people like to treat their "friend/child" in the best possible way and spoil them which includes buying specific products for them. Pet retail is a big business. In the future, we will see pet stores convert into more experience-focused stores. I also found it amazing what a considerable big assortment the German discounters such as Aldi and Lidl have always had in their offerings. This is due to the promising margin this category offers.
  • Posted on: 05/23/2018

    Best Buy’s Geek Squad is now available by subscription

    Very smart move! Implemented in the right away, I am confident it will be successful. By paying a flat rate, consumers will feel confident and relieved that somebody will take care of their tech problems. Great that it includes not only products purchased at Best Buy. In the future we will see more of these services. From retailers or specialized service companies such as enjoy.com, mila.com (Switzerland) or Deutsche Technikberaturng (Germany).
  • Posted on: 05/22/2018

    Amazon bans chronic returners

    Amazon's liberal return policy has definitely been a strong accelerator of its sales growth over the past years. I strongly support a potential ban on customers who try to abuse it. The retailer can quite easily detect shoppers making suspicious returns. And any public reporting about misusing the liberal return policy will absolutely make "smart" people think twice.
  • Posted on: 05/21/2018

    eBay asks consumers what they want

    The best ideas are often the simplest ones. Yes, I definitely believe it is a smart and easy way to get a better personalized offer. I think some retailers are still stuck in their traditional ways of doing business and how to handle the customer. Make it easy and more engaging for the customer. This approach has proven to be very successful in the past and should also work in this case.
  • Posted on: 05/16/2018

    Amazon plans to become the fresh food safety leader

    Amazon has shown in the past that they can be extremely successful with innovative approaches. With the technology and big data they possess, they are definitely able to set a new standard in food safety, if they do it right.
  • Posted on: 05/14/2018

    Is an on-demand workforce heading to retail’s selling floors?

    An on-demand workforce is very tricky. Yes, it is cheaper and it represents a cheaper model, but what about the customer experience we are always talking about? This is true in particular for products that need to be explained; electronics or DIY, for instance. No, a retailer who wants to excite the customer with excellent service should not follow this route.

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