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: 06/01/2018

    Walmart’s newest service brings texting and personal shopping together

    Wow -- this is Walmart at a whole new level! I think that many hypermarkets rested on their legacy of marketing to the masses. Yesterday's "masses" are, today, composites of segments who respond very differently to offers, environments and services. To pull it off, Jetblack requires incredible sophistication in data, infrastructure and systems. Like Amazon, Walmart might not get the first iteration completely right, but they will gain iterative experience at personal marketing to "units of one." In order to attract and retain upscale customers, Walmart needs to push the envelope ... and this one looks like the right stretch at the right time.
  • Posted on: 05/31/2018

    New Whole Foods’ store-within-a-store concept is ‘rooted in nature’

    Centralized buying is not incompatible with localized options. Centralization can achieve economies of scale for the majority of SKUs that drive the core business, and home delivery. But there are always pockets of opportunity available to localize and test within a large plan-o-gram. Amazon is a master of using data to customize and personalize. Amazon is also a master of testing concepts, and you can bet Plant & Plate will be measured from every angle. Plant & Plate seems like a perfect fit for Whole Foods, but we will soon know if works by how rapidly it scales.
  • Posted on: 05/30/2018

    Best Buy finds more inventory on hand drives sales

    Demand planning and inventory management are mission critical for EVERY retailer. It is not just raising inventory levels, but fine tuning inventory by market, by store and even at the shelf level in some cases. To be successful in inventory optimization today requires extensive data, analytics and rapid replenishment. Supply chain investments and systems are expensive, but they can be offset by optimizing inventory for sell through and increasing inventory turns. Inventory has always been a major factor in retailer profitability. However, with all of today's dynamics of omnichannel and click and collect, it has become even more strategic and critical to the bottom line. A major reason customers go to stores is for immediate gratification. Retailers must find the ways to balance required inventory and generate a profitable return. Profitable inventory management of the future will be at more of a micro level and more "real-time."
  • Posted on: 05/29/2018

    Target’s new Instagrammable collaboration is a sweet deal

    Innovation comes in all forms and dimensions. Kudos to Target for trying something entirely different with The Pint Shop. It ties in with Target's brand, is very customer-centric and it involves collaboration with others who bring something to the table. This is exactly the kind of stuff that online can't do. Moreover, it should also be highly measurable in terms of traffic, conversion and sales.
  • Posted on: 05/24/2018

    AriZona Iced Tea taps ’90s nostalgia with pop-up

    This is a pop-up store that is extremely well done, grabbing nostalgia and themes that works for all ages. Very bright and visual which stands out from all the rest. The perfect kind of experience to be captured on Instagram and then promoted by customers. That is an awful lot of prep and resources for such a short run and a lot of brands couldn't afford it, or execute it My question for AriZona would be whether there is enough ROI beyond the marketing play to keep such this kind of format open longer, at least through the course of summer.
  • Posted on: 05/23/2018

    Best Buy’s Geek Squad is now available by subscription

    I agree with Chris Buecker -- subscriptions for services are becoming a trend worldwide. Dixons in the U.K. is moving toward a variety of similar offerings. Everyone, no matter where you live, now needs a "digital plumber." Customers will increasingly need more assistance as they move to smart homes. So it is essential that the subscription includes products that have not been purchased at the retailer. Very smart move by Best Buy at the right time. Perfect opportunity to both attract and retain customers.
  • Posted on: 05/21/2018

    eBay asks consumers what they want

    One of the biggest challenges of eBay is overwhelming choice. If a customer knows exactly the items or product areas they want, eBay had an efficient engine for finding those items on auction, which was its original platform design. The algorithm is pretty basic, but efficiently finds items for sale or auction IF you manage to put in the right key words for search. Today's customers want MORE. They want exploratory search online. They want alerts for new items in categories. If eBay is going to compete with the likes of Amazon and Walmart, it needs to differentiate. The ability to search on interests could be a very important twist that captures customers who will then come back on a regular basis. It will all depend upon how good the AI is behind the interest search and whether eBay will continue to invest in fine tuning it. If executed properly, eBay could have a gold mine of customer data.
  • Posted on: 05/18/2018

    Will store-within-a-store concepts make Hy-Vee’s more attractive destinations?

    In the case of Hy-Vee, the Basin and Beauty boutiques seem to be very compatible with core shoppers. And the extension of in-depth beauty products definitely compliments products already found on Hy-Vee shelves. In this scenario, the store-within-a-store should add value by offering customers more, while keeping Hy-Vee's risks in expanded inventory at a minimum. This article mentions a number of successful store-within-a-store concepts. Store-within-a-store concepts works with "compatibles." There are also many examples where store-within-a-stores have not worked because the offering simply did not fit the core customers shopping in the stores. Forever 21 shops within Sears stores is a case where the offering was not compatible with core customers, nor did it draw a younger customer segment to stores.
  • Posted on: 05/17/2018

    Ocado to automate Kroger warehouses in exclusive U.S. deal

    The last mile starts in the warehouse. To be nimble and offer personalized service requires automation at the source. This is especially true in home delivery of groceries. But as the article points out, click and collect at stores is requiring increasing precision and speed. Retailers, even ones the size of Kroger, do not have the resources, talent and systems to be able to do it all internally. We have entered the age of strategic collaboration as a cornerstone for survival. Kudos to Kroger for seeking collaborative solutions today that will be required for survival in the future.
  • Posted on: 05/16/2018

    Amazon plans to become the fresh food safety leader

    Amazon has the processes, data and analytics to make a huge difference in food safety, as well as freshness. As in so many areas, if Amazon can execute on new standards of food safety it raises the bar for the rest of retail. If there is one thing that trumps low price, it is quality food that has a reputation for safety. In that sense, Amazon's food safety procedures are the right thing to do, and a competitive advantage. However, no one is immune from food contamination issues. One massive outbreak and Amazon will scramble for reputation and loyalty like anyone else. The recovery advantage for Amazon is that with their data and systems they may be able to react faster.
  • Posted on: 05/15/2018

    Target sees stores as key to meeting its distribution challenges

    The last mile is getting much faster and more expensive. The fastest and cheapest route is most often being able to ship from stores. In many ways Target's flow center is a "natural" solution that will make it and other big box retailers more competitive on both cost and speed. While Target's approach seems to be a natural way to leverage stores as hubs, the details and nuances required for execution should not be underestimated. It literally requires real-time inventory tracking by SKU all the way to the shelf. The worst thing that can happen is to ship items from stores and create out-of-stocks on shelves for customers already there. Picking and shipping will require new staff or at least more staff than previously on the store floor. At the end of the day, retail has become "phygital." Every retailer must figure out how to blend digital and physical to meet customer needs at a profit. Kudos to Target for working on solutions now before it's too late.
  • Posted on: 05/11/2018

    Consumers get the smart home experience at Amazon open houses

    The single most critical thing to smart home and IoT adoption is customer experience using the product. The Amazon/Lennar collaboration is exactly what is needed -- hands on experience in real homes. This announcement should strike fear in the rest of smart home manufacturers and raises the stakes considerably for Google Home. One clear retail winner in all of this might be Best Buy, or small electrical shops specializing in installation. Scaling to the masses requires retrofitting to existing homes. Self install has not proven easy for home consumers. The Amazon/Lennar partnership signals that the age of the digital plumber has clearly arrived.
  • Posted on: 05/10/2018

    Best Buy campaign highlights its ‘insurmountable advantage’ – its people

    Best Buy is trying to capitalize on the now classic line that "stores must differentiate with their people." Great to see the campaign, and support from the very top management. But in the words of Yoda, "There is no try, only do." Best Buy can't afford to not deliver. In terms of "insurmountable advantage," everyone in Blue needs to remember that what was extraordinary service yesterday, is today's customer standard expectation.
  • Posted on: 05/09/2018

    Dormify pops up well before back-to-school season

    Dormify is a great example of specializing around curated assortments. As a parent of 3 daughters who attended college, moving into dorms is hectic! Dormify could relieve a lot of stress (at least for dad) by enabling pre shopping and delivery to the dorms. However, the back to school season is extremely short ... what about the rest of the year? And there is no lack of competition from the retail giants who will be courting back-to-school purchases across social media with omnichannel options for delivery.
  • Posted on: 05/08/2018

    Walmart associates check out customers on the floor in pilot program

    Who would have thought just 2 years ago that Walmart would be joining the like of Apple with associate enabled checkout? Kudos to Walmart for now leading bricks and mortar transformation. From a customer point of view, what's not to like about checkout in the aisle, especially in the home and garden area? It is not a question of which method is better. Customers want choice and convenience. And above all else, they want to avoid wasting time in checkout lines. With Walmart implementing options of both associate-enabled and self-checkout, it is a clear signal to the rest of retail that stores will now need to meet new levels of customer service expectations.

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