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).

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  • 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 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, (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.
  • Posted on: 05/11/2018

    Consumers get the smart home experience at Amazon open houses

    Wow. This is a smart move of Amazon. The issue with smart home devices has always been how to deliver the CX to the end consumers. Smart home corners or shop in shop solutions here in Europe have failed so far to really excite the customer. These areas were often abandoned when I visited them and did not work. Either at John Lewis, Dixons Carphone in UK or Mediamarkt across Europe. If Amazon and Lennar can really create a strong CX, then it would be a strong consumer-oriented proposition. But they have to get it right.
  • Posted on: 04/26/2018

    McDonald’s newest restaurant has international flavor

    Retailers cannot rely on their original business model forever. Consumer habits change and retailers need to reflect these changes in their value proposition. Yes, I see it as a concept to be replicated elsewhere if the test restaurant turns out to be successful. However, it would be important for the core menu items such as Big Macs to always be available as well. That´s what McDonald´s stands for.
  • Posted on: 04/19/2018

    Starbucks to close shops for racial bias training

    Starbucks reacted quickly and responsibly. It sends out an important message to its customers that the top management has taken this unfortunate incident very seriously. To prevent these incidents in future, both levels are important -- constant training and taking care in the hiring process to select people that share the company's values. Other companies can certainly learn from Starbucks in this case.

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