Christine Russo

Principal, Retail Creative and Consulting Agency

Christine is an industry analyst 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.

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  • Posted on: 01/12/2022

    What tech must restaurants put on their menu of services?

    Pay-at-table is not as common as QR code menus and we will see this grow more as the technology simplifies - there are mobile solutions that do not require a full POS change.
  • Posted on: 01/10/2022

    Are AI-powered customer service agents already human enough?

    AI will replace humans for rotes task and if customer service tasks are rote then yes, chatbots will be preferred, and humans can be upskilled for such things as providing insights from the information AI gathers. This was nicely articulated by Ross Daniels: real-time feedback on customer and employee insights, stress predictors, and voice of the customer.
  • Posted on: 01/07/2022

    Will 15-minute cities truly bring back local retail?

    This looks like recreating a city like New York City (which is arguably the quintessential 15-minute city) in the suburbs. It's also interesting to hold this up against the mass exodus out of cities during the pandemic and the incredible rise of auto purchases to accommodate the lifestyle.
  • Posted on: 01/05/2022

    Walmart says it’s ready to deliver groceries inside 30 million American homes

    This may appear to be an incremental service upgrade to existing customers but, in actuality, this move absolutely expands Walmart's customer base - they will get new, more affluent customers who will migrate from Instacart, Whole Foods and other grocery delivery services.
  • Posted on: 12/23/2021

    Is the online marketplace model to blame for the shoplifting spike?

    RFID could be a solution. If product has RFID build into it, which has been done but not extensively, stolen items can be physically located. I think this measure could work to deter secondary market sales because it has been and will continue to be very difficult to monitor and maintain product authenticity on marketplaces.
  • Posted on: 12/22/2021

    Should Nordstrom spin off Nordstrom Rack?

    My perspective is that department stores are looking to break up their businesses like this or split out e-commerce for a few reasons:
    • To garner Wall Street analyst attention (no news is bad news on Wall Street);
    • To shed the industry view that department stores (and thus their stock price) are stagnant;
    • As a distraction from the dismal core business metrics.
  • Posted on: 12/21/2021

    Amazon and Etsy’s Christmas spots speak to the gift of giving of yourself

    They are both great - it's been a rough road and having a break from divisive images and instead seeing random acts of kindness is needed. Does it make people interact with the product/brand? Who knows, but the imagery serves the greater good.
  • Posted on: 12/20/2021

    What happens when D2C brands diversify product lines?

    Yes they should - once the brand loyalty and equity is established, they can definitely add their own product or do collabs (which tend to cost less to build and distribute). The bottom line is DTC does not just refer to a single product line. RH is now opening resorts. Consumers are willing to embrace expansion within the brand equity - Ralph Lauren started this and the blueprint remains.
  • Posted on: 12/15/2021

    Why did Nike buy a crypto collectables studio?

    Trend, Gen Z, Gary Vee - these are reasons they are getting into Web 3.0. Their clients are there and they are keeping up with them.
  • Posted on: 12/14/2021

    How should retailers prepare for holiday shortfalls?

    There IS a sliver lining here and that is that the consumer has made it loud and clear they want to receive accurate communication. That means they are inviting the retailer to communicate - which is a gateway to future personalized communications. Retailers should, by now, have SMS text opt-in options for communication about orders or delays and then carefully segue the communications to offers and engagement post-holiday.
  • Posted on: 12/13/2021

    Should gig workers choose flexibility or protections?

    Yes (to all). As a society, we seem to have difficulty processing more than two options - everything is binary and that is no longer applicable and will not be applicable for our future society. This thinking is so embedded in everything. It requires a much bigger and deeper change.
  • Posted on: 12/09/2021

    What will it take for brands to build digital communities?

    Operating a brand-owned platform is a stretch and is possible in reach for only the biggest. I do not forsee it on a short-term pipeline but perhaps it's something coming in the future.
  • Posted on: 12/08/2021

    Will DoorDash win the ultra-fast delivery race?

    The service has been commoditized and so I believe this is a game of CAC and those who market the most will win. Retailers really should take advantage of the opportunities to partners with so many options because deal terms will be favorable in this current environment. Consolidation will happen for sure. My prediction is that DoorDash will be one of the survivors.
  • Posted on: 12/07/2021

    Should grocers get comfortable with food inflation?

    Inflation and rising costs are terrible for the consumer and in prior inflationary times, companies always passed along the costs without regard. Now you have the consumer at the center and retailers like Giant and Walmart consciously absorbing costs - this is a fundamental win. Additionally, these challenges cited are pushing innovation.
  • Posted on: 11/24/2021

    Will fans visit Nike in the metaverse?

    Well, if the adage about going to where the customer is holds true, the metaverse and gaming are where a ton of younger clients are. So this has strong roots.

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