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: 03/05/2021

    Will Tonal shops help Nordstrom strengthen its fitness cred?

    Whether Tonal shops in Nordstrom will enhance Nordstrom's brand in the athleisure space will have much more to do with Nordstrom than Tonal. In my opinion. how Nordstrom manages the adjacent assortments will ultimately determine their brand equity in these categories.
  • Posted on: 03/04/2021

    Are CTOs finally getting the respect they deserve?

    The last year has taught us that the ability to rapidly adapt to change is a mission-critical organizational capability, and technology is a critical element to creating enterprises built for change. I think that's why CEOs now - more than ever - recognize the CTO as the executive responsible for implementing a technical infrastructure capable of enabling their organizations to thrive amid constant disruption.
  • Posted on: 03/04/2021

    EQ is the special ingredient to feed entrepreneurial success

    In my experience, high-EQ leaders are typically much more effective, for many reasons, not the least of which being they have the humility and self-awareness to recognize where they need to hire high-IQ talent to help drive overall performance.
  • Posted on: 03/04/2021

    Is Texas messing with retailers?

    We've already seen how much more challenging it can be for store personnel to enforce mask "rules" versus enforcing mask "laws." Politicians in Texas are risking countless lives and making many lives more difficult with this decision.
  • Posted on: 03/03/2021

    Target CEO says record-setting 2020 was no ‘fluke’

    Target has made so many great decisions in the past several years, it's hard to predict anything but continued success. I am constantly impressed by their strategic investments. One area of the business that I believe Mr. Cornell should begin seriously upgrading, however, is order fulfillment. While it is certainly impressive that 95 percent of online orders are fulfilled from stores, there I have serious questions about the implementation of that strategy. Most orders from arrive in numerous boxes from wildly varying locations with wildly varying timelines. I just can't believe that their fulfillment model leads to optimal efficiency and margins, let alone optimal customer experiences.
  • Posted on: 03/03/2021

    Will seniors trust CVS to keep them safe with in-home IoT?

    The youngest Boomers have lived with and worked with technology for 25 years. Most young Boomers have smart speakers, smart phones, smart doorbells, smart TVs and smart washing machines. Smart health and safety devices are the next logical step. I only wonder if people will look to drug stores for in-home tech. I suspect CVS will need some serious marketing investments to create not only awareness of these services but also to build consumer trust in their ability to install, support and evolve the tech. Best Buy has a big head start here.
  • Posted on: 03/03/2021

    Will a third-party marketplace step up and give Amazon a run for its money?

    Displacing Amazon? Extremely difficult, if not impossible. Differentiating from Amazon? That's a much easier task, and should be the only reason to attempt it. Otherwise, it's a race to the bottom. And Amazon already owns the bottom.
  • Posted on: 03/02/2021

    Is off-mall where it’s at?

    I believe the "stores within stores" trend is just beginning to accelerate. The benefits of shared marketing, shared customers and shared expenses are just too compelling to ignore. I think the Sephora/Kohl's partnership will be an important bellwether of this trend. However I also believe that malls are poised for a rebound in the next three to five years. As more and more developers recognize the consumer appeal of mixed-use spaces, I suspect that retailers will be looking to get back into the next-generation mall before too many more years go by.
  • 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).

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