PROFILE

Christine Russo

Owner/Founder, Retail Creative and Consulting Agency

Christine is a consultant for retailers, brands and technology solution providers through her firm, the Retail Creative and Consulting Agency. She is a graduate of Cornell University, has made her way to retail by way of Deloitte and worked for global retail brands. Her expertise is in digital and physical retail.

RCCA works with brands and retailers from enterprise through independent and is a source for optimizing business through digitization, automation and technology.

RCCA specializes in authentic reports and interviews with leading technology platform service providers for real-talk about solutions — game-changing, affordable, manageable solutions — that have big impact on the bottom line.

She has served as a mentor and strategist for companies such as Chief Strategy Officer of The Robin Report, mentor for NY Fashion Tech Lab and Graduate School Professor of Global Retail for the Fashion Institute of Technology Graduate School.

Christine lives in New York City, has three grown daughters,  one American Eskimo and one English Bulldog.  If she wasn’t relentlessly researching retail tech and growth strategies, she’d be a very average stand-up comedian.

To learn more, visit:

rccagency.com

Instagram/@russochristine

Instagram/@connected.retail

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Christine is a consultant for retailers, brands and technology solution providers through her firm, the Retail Creative and Consulting Agency.S he is a graduate of Cornell University, has made her way to retail by way of Deloitte and worked for global retail brands. Her expertise is in digital and physical retail. RCCA works with brands and retailers from enterprise through independent and is a source for optimizing business through digitization, automation and technology. RCCA specializes in authentic reports and interviews with leading technology platform service providers for real-talk about solutions – game-changing, affordable, manageable solutions --that have big impact on the bottom line. She has served as a mentor and strategist for companies such as Chief Strategy Officer of The Robin Report, mentor for NY Fashion Tech Lab and Graduate School Professor of Global Retail for the Fashion Institute of Technology Graduate School. Christine lives in NY City, has three grown daughters, 1 American Eskimo and 1 English Bulldog. If she wasn’t relentlessly researching retail tech and growth strategies; she’d be a very average stand-up comedian.
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  • Posted on: 05/13/2021

    Has augmented reality tech reached an inflection point at retail?

    before COVID-19, AR, like the QR code, had a hard time going up against the chants of in-store experiential retail. It was so binary. Now the sky is the limit for so many forms of engagement. This "inflection point" has been inflicting for a while and easy, fast, affordable and accurate solutions will lead to adoption and, of course, a screaming need like a pandemic. Even if engagement wanes post COVID-19, AR must be a part of omnichannel and marketing engagement going forward. Innovative retailers run in tandem with the evolution of engagement.
  • Posted on: 05/12/2021

    Will going low lift up Bed Bath & Beyond’s sales and profits?

    This is definitely from the Target playbook BUT my opinion is that going straight to private label WITHOUT the same level of brand loyalty Target has is a bit of jumping the gun. This should come later. I would argue that bringing in partnerships with baked-in loyalty would be a stronger move. Like Target's partnerships with Joanna Gaines and Levi's with loyal brand enthusiasts, Bed Bath & Beyond could look at a similar playbook. Bed Bath & Beyond is simply still not a big enough draw for a private label launch. And if they think people will run in in droves because of price, there is way too much competition for price to be a big differentiator.
  • Posted on: 05/06/2021

    Labor Department makes it tougher to classify gig workers as contractors

    Regulatory shifts based on binary parties are never a good thing. Traditional retailers are saddled with huge payrolls and associated costs vs. categorizing labor as gig workers. The differential is based on a lot of factors, however Uber/Lyft drivers do not report to a place every day for work.
  • Posted on: 05/05/2021

    Remote work is rough on big retail districts

    It's fluid and, probably, temporary -- so creativity, innovation and evolution take over. Retailers can, and do, adapt to the ebb and flow of consumer sentiments. Certainly sitting and waiting is never a good business practice in any industry.
  • Posted on: 05/04/2021

    Will CVS make a breakthrough as it expands in-store mental health services?

    My initial thought was no, it won't be effective. However in the game of pulling foot traffic from others like Walgreens and Walmart it's a differential that could be effective. I feel like the CVS in-store environment could be improved (lighting, etc.) and that could be a big priority as well.
  • Posted on: 04/27/2021

    Vaccinated Americans like getting retail thank you freebies

    There are tech solutions to take the guesswork out of connecting generic data to in-store hard data received in real-time. The data from Morning Consult, and it's the same for any other data intelligence, are generic. And so through some hoops and assumptions a retailer can surmise how it relates to their own in-store activity. However an in-store immediate feedback survey, such as TruRating, takes the guesswork out. Stores can create their own questions and the customer answers just one while they are waiting for the product to be bagged. So get the vax, get the donut, answer the question, repeat.
  • Posted on: 04/21/2021

    Can West Elm tap influencer buzz?

    Authenticity is key in influencer marketing. Honestly, as described, this initiative sounds dated. Here's why. First, the place for authenticity is TikTok. They should be building the strategy there and then repurposing the content back to Instagram and also to Pinterest (which is often overlooked). The general feeling among social media shoppers is that Instagram is polished and inauthentic. TikTok has a slew of DIYers, decorators, artists, first-time home buyers, furniture flippers, etc. reaching huge followers.
  • Posted on: 04/15/2021

    Kroger says it will transform grocery e-commerce with ‘first of its kind’ fulfillment tech

    3-D fulfillment takes up less space because of the use the third dimension (Z-axis) and is a game changer. Space is used more efficiently and can be more and more local to the end-consumer. When fulfillment is close to the consumer, there are usually sustainability improvements too. This partnership is likely to transform grocery and other industries as well.
  • Posted on: 04/14/2021

    Is e-grocery killing or inspiring impulse buys?

    Until search, discovery, frequently paired suggestions, and even merchandising (yes, merchandising for grocery!) is improved with robust AI technology then impulse purchases online will lag because the customer is not being shown the right merchandise. I just published an article on this!
  • Posted on: 04/08/2021

    Will climate action become less of a priority for retail post-pandemic?

    ESG is now a major factor for businesses. And this time it doesn't feel like a buzz word. This time feels like a real pendulum swing toward compliance. Will it accelerate or slow initiatives? I think the answer is that we will see a prioritization of these initiatives. The end-consumer is demanding it.
  • Posted on: 04/07/2021

    Amazon goes shopping at the mall

    Fulfillment is the new oil. (I'm not sure that analogy works!) My point is that if you can fulfill online orders as close as possible to the end-customer - that is a major component to a winning digital strategy. We may not be far from mall owners consolidating space and leasing it back out to retailers, who have switched to a stronger digital format during the pandemic. The reuse of mall space for fulfillment could be upon us as opposed to (or in addition to) actual brick-and-mortar shopping.
  • Posted on: 04/07/2021

    Will shelf scanning robots put an end to out-of-stocks?

    The shelves in my local Target are ALWAYS empty!
  • Posted on: 04/07/2021

    Will shelf scanning robots put an end to out-of-stocks?

    Empty shelves can be restocked by either human or robot only if the product is actually in the store. Often, the product is not in the store because of ineffective inventory forecasts. This is a function of poor forecasting. Use of AI in forecasting is critical and is being adapted and adopted at spotty rates.
  • Posted on: 04/06/2021

    Associates are starring in retailer ad campaigns

    This is an example of brands combining aspirational marketing with use of models and approachable marketing. The most effective strategy combines both and the "right" mix can be based on the brand DNA, the cultural zeitgeist and more. With the rise of authenticity on TikTok and the effect of the polish of Instagram diminishing -- plus, of course, the lack of shoots due to COVID-19 -- it isn't surprising to see the pendulum swing toward authenticity in marketing.
  • Posted on: 04/05/2021

    Should Amazon open clearance stores?

    Time In stock is the most overlooked KPI trounced by focus on margin. Big mistake. Holding on to goods at a higher margin thinking they will move ties up cash and space. Amazon is a game changer but retail is retail and sometimes things don't move the way they were planned. Don't hold the merch. Mark it down and let it go. Adding an outlet option is one of the many ways to do so.

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