Chris Petersen, PhD.

President, Integrated Marketing Solutions

President of Integrated Marketing Solutions

Chris Petersen is a founding partner of Integrated Marketing Solutions (IMS). He currently serves as President, and Senior Partner focused on building strategic relationships that produce measurable results. Dr. Petersen has over 30 years’ experience consulting in business analytics, retail metrics, scorecards and measurement. After measuring hundreds of retail pilots around the world, Dr. Petersen has a very simple and fundamental retail change management philosophy – Results Count … everything else is conversation.

Founder of IMS Retail University

Dr. Petersen is the founder of IMS Retail University. He drew upon his training in psychology and measurement to develop pragmatic processes, tools and analytics that can be applied to improve retail performance. The IMS Retail University curriculum has evolved from foundational courses, to strategic briefings on best practices attended by top Executives. Over 15,000 “graduates” from 43 countries have attended an IMS Retail University workshop.

Speaker, Writer and Photographer

Dr. Petersen has extensive international experience working with both retailers and manufacturers. He shares his experiences, knowledge, with and wisdom through his weekly retail blog, Results Count ( He is also a regular blog and feature article contributor to RCE ( Dr. Petersen is worldwide speaker on retail trends, best practices, and critical success factors.

As a function of his extensive worldwide travel, Chris has become an avid photographer. He shares retail photos on and posts his personal photo favorites on

Other Links from Chris Petersen, PhD.:

IMS Results Count Blog

IMS Results Count Pinterest

  • Posted on: 06/13/2019

    Will same-day delivery flexibility give Target an edge over Amazon and Walmart?

    Delivery is not "free." Never has been and will increasingly cost retailers more as they up the ante for speed. Not every customer needs same-day delivery for every order. Target's approach seems to be an emerging hybrid model where the customer pays some of the cost when they deem same-day to be important. The sane part of this model is that the cost charged to the customer can be adjusted based upon demand. The other critical aspect of this story is "one thing" or "same-day" will not win the war. The whole is greater than the sum of the parts. Target is going a good job of diversifying choices of delivery, click and collect, as well as curating third party products that help differentiate Target's brand and experience.
  • Posted on: 06/10/2019

    Walmart debuts store-to-fridge fresh food delivery service

    The race for the last mile has become one of feet and inches. The need for speed has become a race for offering the ultimate convenience. It almost seems like a game of innovation who can top who. While all delivery choices are nice, nothing beats reliability. Amazon Prime has missed my last 4 delivery dates -- one by well over a week! I will take on-time delivery as promised over someone stocking my fridge.
  • Posted on: 06/06/2019

    Will urgent care centers put a hurt on retail health clinics?

    There are three fundamental basics: convenience, coverage and competence of the staff. Beyond those, it's all about the customer experience and earning their trust through personalized care. The key to long term success is building customer relationships.
  • Posted on: 06/05/2019

    Walmart’s checkout pilot puts shoppers in the fast lane

    The customer experience is made up of hundreds of moments of contact. Something this simple can make a difference in the overall experience. The customer will decide if it makes a difference to them. Bravo for Walmart's initiative to try something different. Double kudos for testing what works where. Walmart continues to impress with innovation at all levels. They have now realized that they are not too big to fail. More importantly they have adopted the innovation mantra of needing to "fail faster."
  • Posted on: 06/04/2019

    Will delivering online orders seven days a week further transform retail ops?

    It was not a question of if, but when. Logistics is now sexy and the most essential part of retail.
  • Posted on: 05/31/2019

    Consumers are changing – or not – in ways that retailers may not understand

    Historically retailers relied on segmentation by demographics, and especially by age cohort. We have entered the consumer era with increasing requirements for individualized personalization. The biggest change for retailers is switching from mass merchandising to marketing to a unit of one. Success now requires building relationships with individuals on their terms.
  • Posted on: 05/30/2019

    How can retailers help employees improve? (Hint: Not by criticizing them)

    I'm a big proponent of Marcus Buckingham and Don Clifton's work. I've given away many copies of the book "Soar with your Strengths" to store managers. The store manager has the most critical day-to-day contact with the staff on the front line who make a difference with customers. As Mr. Buckingham suggests, focusing on strengths requires an individualize approach. The question for senior management is whether they will apply the same individual approach to front line managers and give them adequate time to work with their staff. Sounds great. Research supports the long term success of this approach. However it is very difficult in practice, especially in a tight labor market where it's hard to find anyone to fill a slot. Individualized strength building must start at the top and be a part of the culture to be successful.
  • Posted on: 05/29/2019

    Amazon to set small suppliers adrift

    The long tail works very well with digital products. It gets very expensive when the retailer has to hold inventory for large quantities of physical SKUs with low volume. Marketplace strategies of Amazon and other large retailers is all about assortment breadth with SKU rationalization and productivity. We have now entered an age where consumers are saying there is "too much choice." One quick way to cut costs is to cut back on the wholesale business where Amazon incurs more of the sell-through costs when it buys in bulk. Retail is always a balancing act. This is a pendulum swing where data will be essential in finding the right balance for Amazon and other e-tailers.
  • Posted on: 05/22/2019

    Should retail boards include seats for store associates?

    This discussion seems to have two separate tracks: representation on company boards and equitable pay for workers. Having store associates on a retailer board may add some perspectives on direction, but not necessarily address salary issues. Retail boards would most certainly benefit diversity. Age is often overlooked as a valued perspective. Given the rapid growth of Millennial presence and buying power, boards would certainly benefit from having Millennial input. If associates are not full-time members, boards need to be taking Millennials and store associates to lunch on a regular basis.
  • Posted on: 05/20/2019

    Just how big is Amazon’s ethics challenge?

    Trust is a very fragile thing. Once it's gone, it's gone. The litmus test of Amazon's ethics will be Echo. Big Brother is watching and her name is Alexa. Amazon has been less than forthright about what Echo is recording and how that data is being used. If consumers feel violated because their data is misused, they will no longer look the other way.
  • Posted on: 05/15/2019

    Why is Amazon paying employees to quit their jobs?

    Winning the last mile is the cornerstone to future success. DSP is something you would expect from Amazon's innovative mindset. What sounds good on paper may not work so great in practice. Employees do not necessarily make great entrepreneurs or efficient delivery partners.
  • Posted on: 05/08/2019

    Will Walmart’s new online pet pharmacy and vet clinics draw more pet parents?

    Many people love their pets almost as their "children." And there is nothing worse than a sick four legged member of the family, especially on weekends. The big winner to earn the right to be a credible pet supplier could be the veterinary clinics inside stores. The keys are reliable, credible service with an experience focused on both the pet and its owner. One great experience with the vet in-store and Walmart can earn subscription services for medicines, food and a host of accessories. The statistic that 90 percent Americans live within 10 miles of a Walmart is a huge indicator of the tremendous potential -- and something Amazon can't match.
  • Posted on: 05/07/2019

    What will Walmart gain from its ‘returnship’ program?

    You can teach new skills, but motivation is not one of them. Walmart and every other employer gains a great deal by hiring people who are self-motivated to return to the workforce. For years, Apple has had the philosophy of "hire for smiles." You can teach staff anything they need to know to operate the store, but you can't teach someone how to smile. The flip side is that the talent has to see more than a paycheck. In addition to investing in training, retailers must create a work environment that retains talent. The core foundation starts with the premise that staff are valued asset, not a labor expense.
  • Posted on: 05/02/2019

    Walgreens is training pharmacists to tackle mental health, opioid emergencies

    Bravo for Walgreens! Pharmacies are literally on the front line of health crises. Not nearly enough is being done, especially for mental health. While employees cannot be expected to intervene, training on how to recognize symptoms and refer is big step in the right direction. This another example of a retailer doing more than selling their goods in store -- it is a great example of engaging employees to help the community beyond the store. Let's hope that this program is a success and can be scaled nationally, across many pharmacies.
  • Posted on: 05/01/2019

    Are smartphones making sales associates obsolete?

    The question is not either or, but how to merge technology with associates. The real danger is assuming the associate service levels of the past when staff received little/no training. Associates can be much more than stocking clerks IF retailers invest in talent in training. Apple stores are a prime example of merging mobile tech with highly trained associates. Apple store members all carry mobile tech that enables them to engage customers, as well as complete check out in the aisles. The success factor is investing in associates as the focal point of customer experience.

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