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:
  • 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.
  • Posted on: 11/30/2018

    Aldi gets creative for Christmas

    The U.S. commercial of Aldi looks awful. I am sure Aldi U.S. will learn quickly and make it much better next time, taking advantage of successful Aldi campaigns in other countries. The U.K. campaign looks great, for example.
  • Posted on: 11/29/2018

    How can retailers get customers to complete feedback surveys?

    In order to get good and valuable feedback, the process has to be quick and easy. This can be with any channel (email, social media, phone etc.) Consumers invest their (valuable) time to provide feedback. A good reward-driven feedback procedure would be necessary in my opinion. As a consumer, why should I provide feedback (and therefore valuable information for the company) if I do not get anything out of it? There needs to be the right balance between give and take.
  • Posted on: 11/28/2018

    Are Millennials taking advantage of retailers’ goodwill?

    Definitely, yes. It is the "shared economy" generation and they frequently try to figure out the way they do not need to pay.
  • Posted on: 11/19/2018

    FAO Schwarz makes an iconic comeback in the Big Apple

    FAO Schwarz with its former location and in-store experience has been iconic and an unforgettable adventure for kids. If the new owner keeps this USP, then I would give it a chance.
  • Posted on: 11/09/2018

    Why are Wall Street analysts so irked over Apple’s reporting changes?

    Apple's move is no surprise and due to lack of innovation. If Apple does not find a great new innovation, they will be a premium brand but will not be more than one anymore. To be fair, I believe Samsung does disclose their phone split-up.
  • Posted on: 11/08/2018

    What will Instacart’s new grocery pickup service mean for home delivery?

    I think it is a smart move. It is being thought of from the customer perspective. Some shoppers prefer home delivery, some prefer pickup at the store for example while on their way back home from work. I love the app functions provided they work properly. It gives the customer full flexibility.
  • Posted on: 10/30/2018

    Why are Foot Locker and Nike sending ‘sneakerheads’ on AR scavenger hunts?

    Certainly. To integrate a gaming element into marketing activities is a smart idea. It has also been used in associate training with great results. To combine gaming with new AR technology is a smart idea. In the future, as AR/VR is further developing, we will see much more of it in retail. And yes, these hunt experiences are independent from a particular product category.
  • Posted on: 10/26/2018

    Should retailers respond to every consumer review?

    There is no doubt about it! Yes, customer reviews have to be answered in cases where they indicate that feedback is being requested or appropriate. Here comes the Golden Rule: If a retailer gives a feedback, it has to clearly refer to the reviewer's comment and it needs to meaningful and solution-oriented (in terms of a negative review). If the feedback only contains automated statements, then it is not only of no value but it will damage the retail brand.
  • Posted on: 10/08/2018

    Will a new private label keep Target’s customers out of Aldi and Dollar General?

    Target needs to ensure that the customer understands the difference between both label strategies. Referring to Aldi's concept, I do not think that the new (cheaper) private label at Target's will keep budget-conscious shoppers from going to Aldi. Aldi's private label has always been focused on good to high quality. In numerous independent analyses of the quality of private label products from Aldi, the products sometimes turned out to be at minimum the same quality as the branded reference point in that category.
  • Posted on: 10/05/2018

    Are retailers getting too political with voter registration campaigns?

    I have a clear opinion on that. Retailers should stay out of voter registration campaigns and stay neutral. The question should rather be why the voting rate is one of the lowest in the Western world. And why do people have to register before they have the right to vote? It almost looks like an on-purpose obstacle to keep some people away from voting. In most European countries, every legitimized person is automatically on the voting list with no registering needed.
  • Posted on: 10/03/2018

    Are retailers deaf to radio advertising’s potential?

    Radio is still listened to by many across the different target groups. Especially for retailers with no big pockets this might be a promising strategy. I can provide you two examples from Europe where one of the leading buying groups in electronics has in two countries been extremely successful by mainly targeting on radio ads. In Italy and The Netherlands. Each of them chose the radio station which their target group was listening to. They then made sure that the spot was always played prior or after the news. By continuously repeating day after day, the retailer really got known and popular in both countries. Of course nowadays, digital ads are much more important. And the strategy will differ from retailer to retailer. However, a retailer has to carefully evaluate where to put its resources. This also counts for ad spending.
  • Posted on: 09/27/2018

    Will Amazon disrupt retail again with its new 4-star store concept?

    I give 5 stars for this new initiative. Whereas a lot of retailers are struggling to find the best way to be successful in a new retail world, Amazon introduces another new truly innovative, customer-centric concept. "Chapeau," like the French like to say.

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