PROFILE

David Katz

EVP & CMO, Randa Accessories
David J. Katz is a "LinkedIn Top Voice in Retail," a best-selling author, a frequent public speaker, an alchemist, and the chief marketing officer at Randa Accesories, a leading multi-national consumer products company, and the world's largest men's accessories business. His specialty is applying insights, data, story-telling, technology and analytics to influence consumer behavior. He helps retailers, brands and suppliers create successful outcomes in evolving markets. David has "hands on" experience with P&L, M&A, Leadership Development and Digital Transformation. He has ongoing collaborations with global brands including Levi's, Polo Ralph Lauren, Dickies, Tommy Hilfiger, and Columbia Sportswear. And he works closely with leading retailers including Macy's, Kohl's, JCPenney, Amazon, Nordstrom, Walmart, Target, Costco, Hudson's Bay, Liverpool, Debenhams, David Jones, Printemps, & El Cortes Ingles. Named a fashion industry "Change Agent" by Women's Wear Daily and a "Menswear Mover" by MR Magazine, he has been featured in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, New York Magazine, Business Insider, The Huffington Post, and other publications. A frequent public speaker, he is co-author of the best-selling book "Design for Response: Creative Direct Marketing That Works," and has written many articles on marketing and consumer behavior. David is a graduate of Tufts University and the Harvard Business School in neuroscience and marketing. To learn more, visit: www.randa.net
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  • Posted on: 09/07/2018

    J.Crew makes the jump to Amazon’s marketplace

    Previously Mickey Drexler, J.Crew’s former CEO, had said the company would not sell on Amazon because, “Amazon takes every bestseller and puts it into their private label collection.” Whether this new strategy will acquire new customers for J.Crew, or cannibalize their existing base, is yet to be determined. Notably, Nike recently made some of their products available on Amazon, Kohl's has Amazon shops inside some of their stores and Sears, Roebuck and Co. will install tires purchased from Amazon. In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, Mr. Brett shared plans to make the brand more accessible. He said the company will sell clothes at retailers such as U.K. department store John Lewis & Partners and Canadian Hudson's Bay Company.
  • Posted on: 08/29/2018

    What questions should guide a digital transformation?

    Beware of S.O.S.: Shiny Object Syndrome. Just because something can be done, does not mean it should be done. Digital is a tool, not a destination. Tools must serve "jobs to be done." Transformation should lead to better information, yielding faster and more accurate decision-making. Digital's goal is to increase the satisfaction and loyalty of customers, partners and associates. Decrease friction and increase productivity. These factors must be included in any "digital" strategy.
  • Posted on: 08/29/2018

    Amazon’s warehouse workers become social cheerleaders

    "All is fair in love and war ... " and online reviews -- PROVIDED that the reviews are authentic, honest, not paid for and not curated. Motivation is one thing, incentives, rewards and punishment are another.
  • Posted on: 08/06/2018

    Are outsiders required to tackle disruption?

    It’s a common misconception that legacy leadership fails to identify non-linear innovations, that they’re myopic, stuck in the “old” way of doing things.  In my experience, this is plain wrong. The real problem is that most non-linear innovation does not serve current customers, it disrupts the legacy process -- which drives the bulk of the sales and cash flow -- and it is often a big distraction for little immediate gain. Conversely, start-up leadership is inspired by disruption. And startups are usually free from the encumbrance of comp sales and increased profits that the legacy models face. Legacy and start-up business models fiercely compete for limited resources -- A-level talent, capital and technology. Legacy innovation is usually “deliberate,” and top-down. Whereas startup innovation tends to be “emergent,” and bottom up. They don’t play nicely in the sandbox together. Tomorrow’s leaders must engage a start-up mentality without throwing the legacy model out with the bathwater. It’s a rare, and important, management skill.
  • Posted on: 07/23/2018

    How should specialty retail respond to Amazon’s apparel push?

    Amazon did not create today’s “over-supply” of apparel and resultant price compression. They did not invent the internet or e-commerce. Amazon was not the first to sell books online, nor did they introduce the world to digital book downloads. The shift in the legacy retail apparel model is not Amazon’s fault. The previous model was not the “fittest to survive” in the new world order. Amazon is part of apparel’s evolution. The company is satisfying and delighting customers, the goal of all successful retailers. Amazon owns hundreds of physical retail stores and it has created retail selling tools, destination shops and lockers, a powerful third-party apparel marketplace and a loud call-to-action. You can be part of this evolution, too. Amazon is a platform. You can use it. You can differentiate your product, brand and service. What you cannot do is stand still. As a “for profit” corporation, Amazon’s goal is to increase their market share and to make money. They have not created this robust retail value chain to purely benefit third parties. They are a fierce competitor. Whether you are a legacy apparel retailer, a global brand, an emerging supplier, an entrepreneurial start-up or you work in retail you must adapt to the changing landscape of commerce. Keep one eye focused on your customer and the other on Amazon: neither will stay still, nor can you.
  • Posted on: 07/20/2018

    Retailers and brands collide

    Let's be careful not to confuse private "labels" with private "brands." Private label merchandise is generic goods, sold as a commodity (and commodities have price as their value proposition). Private brands, when properly executed, are truly brands, exclusive to a retailer or channel of distribution, with distinct brand attributes, supported by significant marketing. Overall, private label continues the "race to the bottom," favoring low cost producers. The problem with the race to the bottom is that you might just win -- or worse, come in second. Amazon's current approach is that of private label. Costco's approach with Kirkland Signature is that of private brand. Brands make a difference, they separate your products from the herd (as in the origin of the word "branding" for cattle ... ).
  • Posted on: 06/15/2018

    Marshalls brings Father’s Day gifting to Manhattan’s streets

    Creative, attention-grabbing promotion by Marshalls. Renowned for their "treasure hunt" scarcity model, this campaign reinforces the breath of products available -- "Kayaks?" -- terrific. It also plays well to the athleisure trend and getting dad to be more active. Good job all around ...
  • Posted on: 06/14/2018

    Do retailers need RFID to do BOPIS right?

    RFID (and other inventory management tools) is a key component to improving the efficiency of BOPIS and customer satisfaction. Another key element is labor. Distribution centers are considerably more effective at shipping direct-to-consumer than any brick-and-mortar store can be. Labor cost, training, inventory picking stations, conveyors, robotics and other factors are in play. Having centralized vs. widely-distributed inventory is a double-edged sword with considerable operating margin effects.
  • Posted on: 04/23/2018

    Apocalypse? No. Retail faces a reset

    Retail apocalypse = clickbait. It even has its own Wikipedia entry. It's not an apocalypse, the "end of days ... " It's natural selection, a transformation, a renaissance. Change to the retail landscape is not new, it's been happening from the very beginning, thousands of years ago. The only change is the accelerated pace of change. In the article, Schwarztrauber refers to an "80,000" store closure statistic. This comes from a new USB study which predicts that "for every 1 percent increase in eCommerce penetration to total retail sales (excluding food & gas), 9,000 retail stores would need to close in order to maintain current levels of sales per physical store."
 This would be the equivalent to shutting down seven Toys "R" Us chains. 
 Should online penetration of retail sales rise to 25 percent by 2025, USB estimates it could lead to 80,000 store closures (assuming 2 percent sales growth and 2 percent store growth). 
 Sure, many traditional retail stores are closing. And many other stores are opening. Many retail jobs have been lost. Many new retail jobs (drone operators, coders, AI, distribution center, last mile delivery, CSR) have been created. Change is essential, inevitable and often painful.
  • Posted on: 04/20/2018

    What are retailers missing about building a workplace culture?

    Peter Drucker famously said, "Culture eats strategy for breakfast." Culture isn't a top down strategy. It must bubble up over time. What gets rewarded? What is discussed around the water cooler? What is deemed a success, useful, leading to career advancement? It's not what management says at Town Hall or in "mission statements..." It's what they recognize, repeat and reward. A powerful tool for collaboration, speed and efficiency, culture is company's greatest asset, until the day it isn't. When the business environment changes, culture can anchor a company in historical positions when dramatic pivots are required. For example, legacy cultures are paralyzed by disruption, whereas start-up cultures thrive on disruption.
  • Posted on: 04/05/2018

    Will Amazon or Walmart win the clash of the retail titans?

    To consumers, it's not a battle of brick-and-mortar vs. online shopping, it's about a seamless, frictionless shopping experience. Amazon and Walmart each have distinct legacy advantages, each have scale, cash and talent. Amazon is approaching market saturation in mid- to higher-income market penetration with their Prime membership. Added classifications (grocery, pharmaceuticals, etc.) and a push for lower-income households (lower membership costs for Medicare families) is essential for growth. Walmart is approaching market saturation in lower-income market penetration. Growth for the company requires penetration into mid and higher markets and added classifications (Jet.com, Modcloth, Bonobos, ShoeBuy, etc.). Both companies are looking to create meaningful proprietary brands, available exclusively ... From media content to captive brands, battle lines are being drawn. Competition is healthy.
  • Posted on: 04/03/2018

    Walmart is focused on expanding its digital brand portfolio

    At ShopTalk 2018 Andy Dunn described the Jet.com/Walmart.com strategy as similar to Netflix -- a play from widely-distributed content to proprietary content. A move designed to draw customers away from other major e-commerce players (aka Amazon). The challenge is that Amazon has the online first-mover advantage and they expected to spend over $5 billion this year alone on digital content ... plus nearly $1 billion for private branded products. It will take much more than Bonobos, Modcloth, Shoebuy and Moosejaw to pry loose some of the loyal 100 million Amazon Prime members. Regardless, credit is due to Doug McMillon, Marc Lore, Andy Dunn and their teams for stepping into the ring and bringing more than $1 billion per day in revenue in support of their initiatives. Ultimately consumers should win, choice will broaden, friction will be reduced and prices will compress ...
  • Posted on: 03/29/2018

    Do men and women still shop differently?

    Greg's predictive insights are powerful and valuable tools. As with all power tools, be careful how you use them. In broad terms, behavioral economics studies indicate that women tend to be more "loss averse" than men. Women are more willing to make changes in purchase decisions, and men tend to be more "locked" into their intuitive decisions. Beware of CDNIC: Correlation Does Not Infer Causation. The proliferation of two-income households, along with other demographic and gender-centric shifts, may neutralize gender differences in purchase behaviors. We have more data and better analytical tools than ever before. It will be interesting to see how this data leads to informed decisions. (Disclaimer: We are clients of Greg Petro's First Insights company.)
  • Posted on: 03/26/2018

    Customers want to be left alone while shopping

    Shopping in a retail store is a social experience. There is tremendous value in leveraging a skilled, knowledgeable team of retail associates. Great in-store experience is differentiated, in part, by this talent and social connection. Today's "virtual" friends cannot replace true H2H (human-to-human) contact.
  • Posted on: 03/26/2018

    Has Facebook become toxic for advertisers?

    The Cambridge Analytica issue dates back to 2014, when Facebook considered themselves a "platform" rather than an "advertising" company. As a platform, Facebook openly shared customer data with developers in exchange for collecting even more data. Under their advertising model, they no longer share their trove of data. This was not a "breach" or "hack," it was a business decision and a leak. Today's advertisers have reason for concern, however they have few scalable, viable, effective alternatives. Facebook will apply greater security, and this security is a double-edged sword -- it will protect user information and build barriers to competition.

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