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: 08/22/2019

    Will tech take the place of speaking with pharmacists face-to-face?

    Human assistance, when knwoledeable and respectful, can engender trust, a very important element of any pharmaceutical purchase. While technology can serve the industry in many positive ways, I hope and expect that human pharmacists are here to stay.
  • Posted on: 08/20/2019

    Can local artists help Target create community support?

    Integrating into the local culture is absolutely the right thing to do, and commissioning local artists to help create a store atmosphere that is consistent with the local ethos is a great start. However, the key part of the comments from Target is "local assortments." One-time art installations are easy; consistently relevant and localized assortments requires commitment and perseverance. Only time will tell if Target's local assortments hit the mark.
  • Posted on: 08/20/2019

    Is technology really making stores more like the web?

    I don't speak to many who are trying to make their store experiences more like their website experiences. Rather, most are looking for ways to differentiate their stores from their websites. The vast majority of retailers I work with are trying to create engaging, entertaining and educational experiences that enrich the entire journey by complementing the convenience and availability of the digital channels. Technology, for them, is a means to that end, not a destination (and rightly so, in my opinion).
  • Posted on: 08/05/2019

    Will outsourcing jobs help Lowe’s associates better serve customers in stores?

    On the surface this outsourcing move seems like it will allow associates to spend more time with shoppers, but if these jobs were already being performed by staff dedicated to these tasks I am not sure how the customer experience changes. I suspect this is 100 percent a cost-cutting measure.
  • Posted on: 08/05/2019

    The Container Store debuts new custom closet store concept

    The article does not discuss how The Container Store will facilitate cross-selling of Container Store products not related to custom closets, but if they make it easy to cross-sell and support the customer's whole-home storage needs from their custom closet stores, I think this idea has legs. At least in the short term. DIY custom closets that are brought to life with TCS are the full embodiment of their brand promise, and if the total addressable market is indeed $6 billion, then I think this is a good bet to make.
  • Posted on: 08/01/2019

    Has dynamic pricing hit a rut?

    One of the biggest challenges for dynamic pricing will be neither cost nor complexity; rather, consumer acceptance will be very difficult to attain. Pricing is a huge part of shoppers' trust equation, and if prices are changing before their eyes while they shop, trust will erode quickly - and dramatically. There are many solutions that impact conversions and also built trust that should come before we resort to dynamic pricing.
  • Posted on: 08/01/2019

    CPG companies spending more to use less packaging

    In my opinion, nothing matters more than sustainability. Consumers, manufacturers and retailers may all have to bear more costs in the short run, but the long term costs of all that packaging are far greater. In time, market forces will incentivize and reward more creative solutions like Loop. I just hope it happens soon...
  • Posted on: 08/01/2019

    Should Simon Property Group bail out (invest in) more retail tenants?

    My opinion differs from some of the other BrainTrust comments here in that I believe Simon Property Group should invest in their formats and brand position before taking on investments in the format and brand positioning of their tenants. If I were in Simon Group's position, I would invest some of that $6 billion dollars into creating mixed-use spaces that appeal to the modern shopper. We have seen existing stores thrive where modern malls thrive, and the malls that are thriving are those that have adapted to new lifestyles and expectations.
  • Posted on: 07/19/2019

    Is Toys ‘R’ Us just playing around or will Americans buy its new concept store?

    While I am uncertain about the business model, I am certain that the types of experiences planned for the new Toys "R" Us stores are exactly what they should have done five years ago. How many of us here on RetailWire pleaded with Toys "R" Us to engage shoppers with opportunities to play and experience the toys inside the store? I sincerely hope it works and, in the meantime, I will watch the new business model closely.
  • Posted on: 07/15/2019

    Can the Publix customer service experience be brought online?

    Warning! Warning! Instacart is not the long-term answer if Publix hopes to maintain their experience advantage! If Publix's deployment of Instacart is an indicator of how they will outsource other elements of the online experience, I see trouble ahead...
  • Posted on: 07/15/2019

    Lululemon takes experiential retailing to 20,000 square feet

    I see nothing but goodness in this flagship, with one caveat -- doing food service right is hard! As discussed extensively in a RetailWire post last week, running a restaurant is very different than running a store, and bad restaurant experiences tend to be far more lasting than bad retail purchases. If Lululemon can execute effectively, I see this as a fantastic strategy.
  • Posted on: 07/12/2019

    Will free, same-day pickup give Sam’s Club the edge it has been looking for over Costco?

    While adding BOPIS will appeal to many Sam's Club shoppers, I don't think this will impact Sam's Club's ability to compete with Costco. In fact (and I know some will disagree) I don't think that Sam's Club is all that competitive with Costco anyway. Their target customers are different, their assortments reflect those differences, and Costco is far more invested in the warehouse experience than Sam's Club. Digital commerce is still an afterthought at Costco as the warehouse experience, including the "treasure hunt" aspect of visiting a store, is what engenders loyalty and ever-increasing average order sizes.
  • Posted on: 07/11/2019

    Crate and Barrel takes the feed them and they will come approach

    The restaurant-in-retail concept has a long history of success (remember all the cafe's inside department stores?). I think for this "back to the future" strategy to work, the dining experience needs to be extremely well executed. Menus must be closely aligned to the store's brand ethos, and the food and service must be consistently exceptional. Retailers must quickly learn how to manage and measure dining experiences, and measurement/monitoring must be extremely vigilant. Bad food experiences will turn people away from the brand far more quickly (and lastingly) than a disappointing product purchase that can easily be returned. Integrating products into the dining experience is a great strategy, but only if the dining experiences are positive.
  • Posted on: 07/11/2019

    What’s the story behind Macy’s partnership with Dick’s Sporting Goods?

    I am a huge fan of cross-brand collaboration. Jointly-branded programs like the Macy's/Dick's/Miracle-Gro program take maximum advantage of each brand's reach to generate exposure and bring inspiration to consumers in ways that matter most to them: how to enhance my life rather than how to maximize my spend with one brand. Just yesterday, I was impressed by a radio spot that was a joint collaboration between Carl's Jr. (advertising their charbroiled burgers), Kingsford charcoal (putting the "char" in "charbroiled") and Lowe's (the place to get your Kingsford products). Clearly, brands are taking notice as Ms. Shechtman brings her cross-brand magic to a scale unattainable at STORY, and shoppers everywhere are better for it.
  • Posted on: 07/02/2019

    Fashion seekers hunt for treasure in Costco’s warehouses

    There are certainly the occasional "fashion treasures" to be found at Costco -- and the possibility of said treasures is definitely part of the appeal of a visit to their warehouses -- the foundation of this category for Costco is really "apparel" (not "high fashion"). They excel at developing assortments built on value-based apparel and footwear styles, which I am not embarrassed to admit have recently become a fairly sizable percentage of my closet! Given the empirical (and anecdotal results) I don't expect major changes to their strategy in the near future.

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