PROFILE

Dave Bruno

Director, Retail Market Insights
With over 25 years of experience in retail technology, Dave supports Aptos with brand development, corporate messaging, and product marketing. His deep resume includes widely varying experiences helping bring retail technology to market at GERS, Escalate Retail, RedPrairie, JDA and Epicor. Dave is a frequent speaker at industry events and is highly regarded for his ability to identify emerging technology trends that will impact the retail model. He has worked with many of the world’s leading retailers, and he is an accomplished marketer, having won numerous awards for his content marketing programs and campaigns. He is a member of the advisory board for DemandGen Report, and the executive producer of the CommerceofCaring podcast series. Dave is also a regular contributor to EngagingCustomersDifferently.com
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  • Posted on: 10/10/2019

    Can Target’s chief merchandising officer turn Bed Bath & Beyond around?

    I have great faith in Mr. Tritton's judgment, but if it were me I would focus first on developing assortments that draw people to the brand and experiences that draw people to the stores. Most stores have so much square footage, I would think they could easily refine their assortments to allow for event space that could be used for cooking classes, decorating classes, etc. I think they could invest in unique product lines also, and then attach them to HGTV or the Food Network shows through sponsorships and product placement. The coupons are not the problem, in my opinion. It's differentiation, and I hope Mr. Tritton finds it.
  • Posted on: 10/10/2019

    Will becoming a UPS pickup/drop off point drive craft sales at Michaels?

    Giving people a reason to come to your stores is never a bad thing, in my opinion. And while I don't think UPS Access Points will drive significant impulse sales (crafting is not typically an impulse business) when people stop in for the UPS services, if Michaels is smart they will employ very savvy visual merchandising and promotional strategies designed not only to make the most of that store visit but to entice people back when they have time to shop and explore all that Michaels has to offer.
  • Posted on: 10/09/2019

    REI opens outdoor adventure gateway concept

    Once again, REI has found a new way to connect with their customers. They have truly mastered the art of combining shopping, experiences, and community-building activities to create a brand that remains relevant to their target shoppers.
  • Posted on: 10/08/2019

    Will Erewhon become the next Whole Foods?

    Beware the burdens of unbridled debt! Scale achieved through debt places such a burden on the backs of the operations that brands often lose the ability to express themselves in ways that consistently connect with shoppers. Pressure to grow, preserving margins and quarterly reports can easily take precedence over customer priorities, and too often brands lose resonance. I love Erewhon, and hope they continue to thrive, but fear they may have sold their soul in the name of growth.
  • Posted on: 10/08/2019

    Are legacy CPG brands just naturally digitally-challenged?

    Overcoming the inertia inherent in most behemoth brands is a monumental challenge. So many factors are stacked against creating the agility required to adapt to the new consumer paradigm: organizational structures (and hierarchies!) must be changed; attitudes toward risk - and failure - must change; heck, even KPIs must change. Congratulations to Kellogg's for their recent successes - I wish them well!
  • Posted on: 10/08/2019

    Walmart sells ModCloth, seeks Jetblack spinoff and cuts Bonobos jobs

    Walmart's struggles with these DNVBs are a cautionary tale for all acquisitions: To Thine Own Brand Be True. From a brand marketing perspective, these acquisitions never made sense to the Walmart value proposition (or to the Walmart customer), and I am honestly surprised it took this long for the sell-off to begin.
  • Posted on: 10/07/2019

    Should Amazon rent out its Just Walk Out tech?

    Retailers, beware the latest Trojan Horse from Amazon! In exchange for their (cumbersome, expensive and high-maintenance) cashierless technology, you will be giving Amazon revenue for AWS, and access to all your shopper data!
  • Posted on: 10/07/2019

    Best Buy makes a big bet on health tech

    Health tech at home has the potential to be a great strategic investment for Best Buy. One of the keys to success will be their ability to engender trust from shoppers/patients. If Best Buy executes in-home health tech as well as they have in-home A/V tech (with Geek Squad), I suspect trust will be quickly (and well) earned.
  • Posted on: 10/04/2019

    Kroger makes unusual donation to prevent a food desert

    This is an incredibly important and generous gesture by Kroger. Their awareness of and sensitivity to the needs of the community that supported them for many years is both admirable and inspiring. While they may never see monetary returns in the Orange Mound community from the goodwill engendered by this act, their national brand image is enhanced, colleague morale is enriched, and the company will prosper in many indirect ways.
  • Posted on: 10/03/2019

    What is Amazon’s ultimate Alexa strategy?

    I continue to be amazed by Amazon's ongoing investments in hardware while the platform desperately needs major investments in software. The concept of skills is a fatal flaw in the Echo ecosystem. The need to memorize skills is an insurmountable roadblock to adoption (let alone actually shopping anything but replenishment orders from Amazon), and until Amazon finds a way to make voice interaction as easy as "Googling" they are merely capitalizing on cheap device sales. I am mystified why they continue to expand the hardware ecosystem without addressing the skills challenge.
  • Posted on: 10/01/2019

    Will new ‘stores of the future’ produce results for retailers in the here and now?

    Real-world testing produces real-world results, and the Living Retail Lab is an excellent model for experimenting and - most importantly - documenting how shoppers respond. Combining a real-world test with speed to results is critical, and I admire the Living Retail Lab's sprint methodology. It represents an excellent benchmark for how retailers will need to adapt and evolve!
  • Posted on: 10/01/2019

    Can Forever 21 come back from bankruptcy?

    While certainly disappointing and very challenging for all those that will be impacted by this restructuring, the challenges at Forever 21 are far less a result of the mythical "retail apocalypse" and much more a result of overexpansion coupled with an inability to adapt to changing shopper expectations. I am already seeing numerous irresponsible news articles lumping the Forever 21 store closures into the "apocalypse" narrative. This was clearly a failure to adapt assortments and evolve experiences, not a failure to keep up with Amazon -- despite what the media may tell us.
  • Posted on: 09/23/2019

    Will free same-day delivery boost Macy’s online sales?

    When will we learn that promises of free fast delivery made in hopes of gaining market share are a devil's bargain? We keep training consumers to expect more and pay less, and they have responded by pledging their undying loyalty to ... anyone - anyone - offering free and fast. I understand that Macy's is facing extreme competitive pressure, but I really don't think throwing logistics margins at the problem is the answer. If it were me, I would invest much more in developing highly curated assortments and store experiences that differentiate and drive traffic, rather than a me-too delivery program that adds very little meaningful value to the shopping journey.
  • Posted on: 09/23/2019

    Amazon steps up on climate change, sort of

    Something has to be done, and every single one of us - not just Amazon - needs to do more to respect our dwindling natural resources and the overheating planet we call home. Pledges like those reported from Amazon are a good first step, and I hope they inspire others to follow suit. However, pledges are nowhere near enough. Pledges are merely promises, and promises without enforcement aren't worth much more than the newsprint they are printed on in Bezos' newspaper. Our government needs to act, and act swiftly. Sadly, I have no faith that the remarkably dysfunctional politics of climate change will allow meaningful action to occur in time to avoid dire consequences.
  • Posted on: 09/19/2019

    What is retail’s role in building a better society?

    We all have a responsibility to have a positive impact on our world and to address gaps in society's well being, and retail organizations are no exception. However, beyond being a responsibility, doing good also represents an opportunity for retail. This is really a no-brainer: helping the community helps build community. And we know very well that stores that thrive are stores that are active members of their community. The potential positive impact on stores that support their community is tremendous, and I would love to see more C-level attention on how to expand the role of the stores in their communities. It would be good for society, it would be good for the local employees, and it would be good for the bottom line.

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