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: 01/26/2022

    Will private labels help rapid delivery firms reach profitability?

    Fair point, Gene! ;^)
  • Posted on: 01/26/2022

    Will private labels help rapid delivery firms reach profitability?

    Thanks, Liza! The entire ultrafast delivery model reminds me of the old adage, "Well, sure we lose a nickel on every order, but we make it up in volume!" I am frankly not surprised by all the deep-pocketed investors looking for the next unicorn, but all that investment is only leading to more competition -- which drives down prices. Warning: major shakeout (and shareholder losses) looming, IMO....
  • Posted on: 01/26/2022

    Will social shopping even the e-commerce playing field?

    I have long been fascinated by the Pinduoduo market in China, and believe that I the social commerce model that has the greatest long-term potential to scale. Content-driven social commerce, while extremely lucrative for the likes of Charlie D'Amelio, who leverages her 130 million TikTok followers to earn over $17M USD a year, will still be limited by an individual (or a company's) ability to wield influence and gain followers. Network-driven commerce like Pinduoduo matches products to consumers and delivers a much stronger two-way value proposition.
  • Posted on: 01/26/2022

    Will private labels help rapid delivery firms reach profitability?

    Even if we assume their private label products deliver quality and value that's comparable to name-brand items, profitability for ultrafast delivery companies will be almost entirely gated by their ability to raise their fees. Two-dollar deliveries with no service charges? It never was and never will be sustainable, regardless of the assortments.
  • Posted on: 01/25/2022

    Will 2022 be the year of trading down at retail?

    It certainly looks as though inflation will be with us for a while, and despite low unemployment and some wage growth, I expect many consumers will be forced to look for ways to stretch their grocery dollars. Carefully formed, science-driven pricing and promotions strategies can certainly help drive share and loyalty while preserving price perception. I would also like to see grocers expand their investments in private label products. While many pundits still label the switch to private label as "trading down," I am not sure most consumers perceive it that way any longer. And I believe, if presented with good quality and value, shoppers are more open than ever to making the switch to house brands. Hence why I am bullish on more aggressive marketing of house brands as a key part of any inflation strategy.
  • Posted on: 01/25/2022

    NRF 2022: Grocers stay prepared for tomorrow’s new and unexpected challenges

    I think we will see sustained growth in both the expensive (healthy, organic, sustainable) categories and in the value categories (thanks to continued inflation and economic bifurcation). As such, the more targeted offers with promotions that have strong "gravitational pull" on other items will be an important part of the future of grocery operations. As will last-mile execution (even if not cited in the McKinsey study). I suspect there is a major shakeup coming in the grocery delivery space, as grocers tire of the premiums paid to Instacart and their ilk, and those who execute the best will find both share and margin opportunities.
  • Posted on: 01/21/2022

    NRF 2022: Will Chinese shopping festivals migrate to the U.S.?

    I definitely think North America is "primed" for more shopping holidays. One look at the growth of Prime Day beyond just an Amazon event tells you all you need to know. The question, in my mind, is not if, but rather what (or who) will be the driver of the next shopping day?
  • Posted on: 01/21/2022

    Amazon says first clothing store will be a fashion and technological revelation

    As Mark Ryski also said, the tech is great -- but if the assortments don't resonate, the store will not thrive. Only time will tell if Amazon can effectively curate its assortments to align with the local clientele.
  • Posted on: 01/19/2022

    NRF 2022: Albertsons’ CEO sees frequency driving grocery loyalty

    Mr. Sankaran makes a very good point about grocers playing a role in so many special moments and events in people's lives, and I agree there is an opportunity to build loyalty through store experiences that support those moments. Engaged, empowered and personable store associates can go a very long way to delivering the types of experiences that bring people back, much as they have done in grocery stores for the better part of 150 years.
  • Posted on: 01/14/2022

    Will NFTs, Kanye West and high-fashion collabs help Gap get its groove back?

    I am far too old to predict whether the new assortments Gap has introduced will resonate with their target customers, but I have long felt a new approach to assortment planning was exactly what they needed to return to greater relevance. I am definitely bullish on NFTs and love the Brandon Sines collaboration, but might caution against putting too many eggs in the Yeezy basket. His line is hot right now, to be sure, but diversification will give them a buffer against the inevitable swings in consumer sentiment.
  • Posted on: 01/13/2022

    Can Penney’s new leadership (finally) transform the business?

    I wish the new team well and truly hope they are successful. I also have three words of (albeit unsolicited) advice: assortment, assortment, assortment.
  • Posted on: 01/13/2022

    Has ‘just-in-case’ replaced ‘just-in-time’ inventory management?

    The issue, in my opinion, is less about inventory quantities and more about supply chain diversity, which leads to agility. Single-threaded and long supply chains work reasonably well in "normal" times, but the past couple of years have exposed how vulnerable they are to abnormalities and crises. Diverse networks that are kept active, nurtured and optimized will lead to greater resiliency and can help minimize the need for just-in-case stockpiling.
  • Posted on: 01/12/2022

    Are brand and product messages in conflict?

    This is an age-old challenge, even in the digital era: Brand marketing investments are difficult to justify because it is so difficult to quantify consumer mindshare. Product marketing can be measured in very quantifiable metrics like lift, recency, frequency, etc., which makes it much easier to request, justify and receive funding for product marketing initiatives.
  • Posted on: 01/12/2022

    More Americans are making Target runs

    Wide assortments that include grocery and compelling private labels combined with highly reliable execution of each interaction make Target a compelling destination.
  • Posted on: 01/11/2022

    What is America eating in 2022?

    I suspect we will see a strong push toward simplified wellness. While some will still enjoy robust recipes requiring complex tasks, I think many more will look to improve their health by seeking out more whole foods that are prepared simply but with "twists" that bring tastes like umami and kokumi into their repertoire.

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