Dave Bruno

Director, Retail Market Insights, Aptos
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
  • Posted on: 02/16/2021

    Walmart discovers a unique craft beer on Instagram. Will this become a thing?

    Pandemic or no, retailers must look for new ways to source new products, including social media. Product differentiation is so difficult, it has become imperative to find new ways to add uniqueness to product lineups. In addition to monitoring vendors' social feeds, monitoring key customers' social media feeds is also a great way to discover their interests - and possible new vendors as well.
  • Posted on: 02/15/2021

    Is the toy category’s pandemic sales boon coming to an end?

    Without question we will see a decline in toy sales growth this year, even if sales are still strong. If the category hopes to sustain the gains made with new habits like game night, it is incumbent upon them to get very creative very quickly and to begin rolling out new marketing programs aimed at incentivizing people to continue toy- and game-centric behaviors. It's time to roll out new or updated products, social media programs, advertising campaigns and promotions that encourage and reward the behaviors that will keep families playing together even after pandemic challenges subside.
  • Posted on: 02/12/2021

    Whole Foods gets a lot right and wrong

    I will speak from very personal experience and say that online shopping at Whole Foods has been a lifeline for many people I know during the pandemic. While the store has sometimes struggled to stay in stock on some popular items, the overall experience has been fantastic. Lots of delivery windows, plenty of organic options, communicative shoppers, great produce and always on-time delivery have enabled my family and others to shift 75 percent of our grocery purchases to Whole Foods. I suspect that the stores are indeed full of people picking online orders, and wonder if they might consider dark stores at some point if the online demand persists. However, in the meantime, I am extremely grateful for the great service they have provided.
  • Posted on: 02/11/2021

    Starbucks’ meatless store pilot ran in stealth mode

    As a 30-year pescatarian, I can confirm that Starbucks has long been offering stealth plant-based options. I prefer almond milk (vs soy milk) in my lattes, and over the years I learned to just ask for the alternative milk options. While they may not want them taking up space on their menu boards, they do often have multiple options. However the fact that they don't put the plant-based choices on the menu tells us about Starbucks' opinions as to the market appeal, as does the short-lived test store. It's likely that most cities are not yet ready to support a fully plant-based Starbucks.
  • Posted on: 02/10/2021

    Will big food brands turn to home-delivered meals to drive future growth?

    I do think there is a lot of untapped opportunity in fresh meal/meal kit delivery. However I think the greatest opportunity lies with retail rather than CPG. Local grocers already have ingredient assortments that are tailored to their market's tastes. They also have built-in customers with active loyalty programs replete with rich data about individual customers' tastes and preferences. They also have kitchens, and most now have robust last-mile infrastructure in place, including curbside delivery and pick-up, which can help maximize the freshness of hot meals. Seems like they have a great opportunity to capitalize on their inherent competitive advantages and seize the day.
  • Posted on: 02/09/2021

    No sweat. Target’s activewear brand’s sales move past $1B

    Once again, Target has listened to their customers and given them what they want - and more. Target has clearly figured out that aligning assortments and services (e.g. Target's amazing curbside pickup program) to target customers' needs, wants and values will drive short-term revenues and long-term loyalty. Kudos to Target for another successful, customer-centric program.
  • Posted on: 02/09/2021

    Will pandemic-fatigued couples love Lowe’s and Whole Foods’ Valentine’s promos?

    While I do think all three promotions will attract participants, I suspect that the Whole Foods "Gourmet Date for Good" activities are most closely aligned to their target customers' preferences, tastes and pandemic-influenced behaviors. The target Whole Foods shopper (for the most part) cares about giving back, likes to cook at home, and is sensitive to social distancing and lockdown restrictions. Closely aligning promotions and activities to your customers' behaviors and values feels like good marketing to me (oh, and I'll be tuning in).
  • Posted on: 02/08/2021

    Will same-day delivery pay off for dollar stores?

    At first, I was mostly surprised that 15,000 stores aren't enough to make Family Dollar convenient enough to the vast majority of the people they serve, but when I read the comments from the CEO about basket size and composition, I understood the business value to Family Dollar. It seems that convenience in this 33,000-store category is still a dominant driver - and still has room for growth.
  • Posted on: 02/08/2021

    Who won this year’s Super Bowl ad contest?

    I thought "No Way Norway" was really well done and hit lots of the right notes. "Jessica Long's Story" from Toyota was also very impactful to me. And of course, being a Boomer, I think I was pretty much obligated to like the "Wayne's World" update for Uber Eats with Cardi B. Beginning shortly after halftime, the commercials became the only thing worth watching.
  • Posted on: 02/01/2021

    Walmart sets its sights on becoming a top-10 ad platform

    This feels like a win-win for Walmart and the advertisers, and (if managed properly) for consumers. I do have some worry about the prospect of relentless retargeted ads following me around the store though....
  • Posted on: 02/01/2021

    Do retailers need to further commit to free delivery?

    Yet another argument for ensuring the store is a vital and highly promoted part of the fulfillment mix for store-based retailers. BOPIS is of course the ideal outcome, but not always possible or practical for the shopper. Endless aisle and ship from store can help offset the logistics costs as well, but do have labor cost implications to the stores. NO easy answers here, I'm afraid, but encouraging options that minimize costs and, in the case of BOPIS anyway, encourage add-on sales, are for sure a strong way to help offset the pain of "free" shipping.
  • Posted on: 01/26/2021

    Will retail and brand CMOs play it safe in 2021?

    I'm not sure that I agree with the premise that focusing more on existing customers is a "cautious" move. I would suggest rather it's a smart move to nurture existing relationships and exceed their expectations. Given the state of the world, I think it is likely the surest path to growth. "A bird in the hand..." as they say.
  • Posted on: 01/26/2021

    Bud is latest major brand player to punt on Super Bowl spots

    I'm not sure I've heard more poignant, meaningful words from a CEO than "we must prioritize humanity and purpose.” They are all the more meaningful when backed up by a $5 million investment in helping people. Cheers to you, Anheuser Bush.
  • Posted on: 01/21/2021

    Do boutique hotels and housing make sense for RH?

    As someone, somewhere likely said, "It's all about the brand, baby!" and RH clearly gets it. This investment will allow consumers from their key demographic to immerse themselves in their brand while simultaneously enjoying themselves on vacation. Consumers get to experience the RH brand brought to life, RH gets to curate highly refined experiences for a highly targeted audience, collect all that consumer data and build brand equity. Seem like a very sound marketing investment to me, regardless of the profitability of the resort.
  • Posted on: 01/15/2021

    Will paying associates to get COVID-19 vaccines work for Dollar General and Trader Joe’s?

    Huge props to Dollar General and Trader Joe's. Incentivizing vaccinations helps keep their associates healthy and their stores running more smoothly, and it also helps society. There's no question in my mind that more workers will get vaccinated thanks to these incentives, and I sincerely hope many more businesses follow their lead once the vaccine rollout gains momentum. We are all in this together, and these retailers are setting an excellent example for others to follow.

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