David Spear

Senior Partner, Industry Consulting, Retail, CPG and Hospitality, Teradata

Dave brings 25+ years of experience working across the Retail/CPG industry and Consulting space, driving strategic innovation, value and ROI. Dave continually finds himself at the intersection of brand, consumer and digital, which typically necessitates some level of digital transformation work. Currently, Dave is a Senior Industry Consulting Leader for Retail, CPG and Hospitality industries at Teradata, where he consults with a portfolio of 50+ clients across the Americas. A big believer in Client Centricity, Dave is a student of building trust and long-term relationships with key stakeholders.

Prior to joining Teradata, Dave has held numerous roles at large enterprises such as IBM, Capgemini, Coca-Cola and UPS, while also leading a small entrepreneurial mobile company for nearly 5 years. Dave graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point and earned his MBA from the Goizueta Business School at Emory University. He lives in Atlanta with his wife and has 4 boys.

  • Posted on: 01/14/2022

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

    I agree with you Neil. Gap has to focus on fundamentals -- it feels like they are trying way too hard to be "cool" while ignoring the blocking and tacking that drive P&L success.
  • Posted on: 01/14/2022

    Can the metaverse solve retail’s returns challenges?

    Both AR- and AI-driven solutions have come a long way over the years, and I do think these technologies are providing measurable progress with sizing concerns. But they're not pervasive enough today to deliver material impact to the number of returns that retailers will face in 2022, which I predict to be unusually high. But progress is being made with innovative technologies for both the front-end ordering and back-end returns process. I'm especially excited about retailers embracing AI-infused analytics for merchandise returns. Attacking both sides of the equation should result in significant improvement.
  • Posted on: 01/13/2022

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

    Mr. Rosen and the new execs are talented, no doubt, but I'm bearish on the J.C. Penney brand and its ability to garner consumer interest. I wish them well and hope they turn this around, but I wouldn't hold your breath.
  • Posted on: 01/13/2022

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

    My prediction is that nearly all companies will return to previous just-in-time practices with tight inventories and lean assortments, hoping the 100 year pandemic lives up to its historical track record and never sees the light of day until 2121. The simple, hard truth is that companies neither want to tie up precious capital with increased inventory on their books nor fear making a fashion mistake that could end up being the final dagger in the financial heart of the company. Yet, all companies can make progress with this issue, and Jason Kra is spot-on when he was talking about data where he said, "when things go sideways, having access to raw data at different levels is really critical to be able to manage and make good decisions." This does require companies to invest in enterprise class data and analytic platforms that are highly performant when crunching billions of algorithmic models every single day. Returning insights about your business is how companies can uncover new patterns, new ideas, new ways to work, new models that address customer experience, churn, margin erosion, product affinities, and so on. Running at petabyte scale and one to two second speed are foundational for finding new ways to overcome today's supply chain issues.
  • Posted on: 01/12/2022

    More Americans are making Target runs

    Target has spent years perfecting their store formula for success. It's grounded in spectacular store look/feel (regardless of what state, city, county you're in), exciting new and differentiated brand partnerships that have morphed into their "store-within-a-store" strategy, happy store associates who want to help you, and timely checkout. Assortment of new and exciting products gets a huge gold star and no one has done a better job than Target, which is why their numbers are incredible.
  • Posted on: 01/12/2022

    What tech must restaurants put on their menu of services?

    Pay-at-table has been in Europe for many years -- way ahead of the U.S. so the trend in the U.S. will grow quite nicely in the coming years. I actually like the ability to pay right at the table. My guests can continue to enjoy drinks or dessert while I'm taking care of the bill. Generational comments aside, QR code menu browsing really removes an important piece of the restaurant experience from the customer and replaces it with a sterile, generic, mobile screen that has nothing to do with style, panache, art, feel, emotion -- all the things one can get from an outstanding PRINTED menu. I've recently experience both with many different groups of people (of all ages) and there is definitely more fun, more engagement with each other when everyone is looking at a PRINTED menu. One area where I see huge potential with digital is engagement pre- and post-dining experience. I would recommend a much more proactive approach with loyal customers using text, voice, online, and chat. Restaurants depend on this feedback (positive and negative) so they can quickly pivot and refine a great experience or dig into the reasons why a patron had a negative reaction.
  • Posted on: 01/11/2022

    What is America eating in 2022?

    Given the severe supply chain disruptions with all types of food categories, 2022 might be the year of food experimentation like no other. I did the shopping for holiday meals a few weeks ago and I was alarmed at how high prices have risen for things like salmon, tenderloin, ham, vegetables and just about everything else. It's real and not going away any time soon. Consumers will turn to simpler meal plans, cheaper ingredients, and alternatives that are within their budgets. Keep your eye on in-house brands. I think you'll see a dramatic rise in these kinds of products that are just as good but cheaper.
  • Posted on: 01/10/2022

    Are AI-powered customer service agents already human enough?

    I always prefer a live human being for customer service, however in a 24/7 world, the area where chatbots can be highly effective is off-hours where a consumer can give/get information about an order or a situation such that it moves the needle. The key to this is PROGRESS. If a consumer doesn't see progress in moving the issue towards resolution, then who cares about the improvement of "stuffy, stilted language?" AI chatbots won't replace highly important customer service professionals.
  • Posted on: 01/10/2022

    Wellness has become fashionable at Saks

    I think most people would agree that the pandemic has accelerated thinking on a whole range of topics, with personal well being at the forefront. There is no doubt consumers are looking for products/services that can deliver unique value and utility to their disrupted lives and schedules. The biggest areas of opportunity are fitness and health/nutrition. The pandemic has caused consumers to be much more conscious with their bodies and staying ahead of the sickness curve. Retailers that focus on innovative products/services that can serve these need-states will see tremendous uptick in the next 12 to 18 months.
  • Posted on: 01/10/2022

    Has BOPIS lost its pandemic boost?

    BOPIS will definitely trend downward as restrictions ease across the country. That said, the lessons taken from BOPIS will serve retailers well for a long time and these insights can be leveraged in many other parts of their business, such as home delivery and in-store shopping experience. IT departments had to pivot quickly with BOPIS and most did an incredible job of piecing together services that otherwise weren't ready for prime time. This was a representation of MVPs, of proofs of concept on steroids and, for the most part, it worked well. These implementation skills will be incredibly important in defining the next set of differentiated experiences and offerings that will keep retail on the disruptive edge.
  • Posted on: 01/07/2022

    Will 2022 be the year of text-to-shop?

    Text-to-shop has been around for a long time. Many years ago (2007-2011), I was leading sales, marketing and strategy for a mobile startup, and I had inked several deals with retailers on text-to-shop programs. These worked extremely well, posting significant sales increases for their products and services. In fact, two of the retailers still have these programs running today! As long as these offers are opt-in and provide utility, value and a unique experience for the shopper, they will flourish and be successful. Text is ubiquitous, simple, fast and powerful. I think you'll see a strong resurgence of these programs.
  • Posted on: 01/07/2022

    Will 15-minute cities truly bring back local retail?

    The concept is becoming reality in many parts of the country already. As I drive around the large city of Atlanta, where I live, there are microcosms of this all over the city/suburban landscape. Instead of 15 minute, maybe it's 20 minute, but I can reference many cities within the larger metroplex where all three functions are readily apparent and vibrantly working. These smaller communities offer rich shopping, dining, living and commuting options. In fact, we've made a habit of experiencing these new communities every month. This is a tremendous concept that will only grow in popularity over next several years.
  • Posted on: 01/07/2022

    Supply chain woes just cost Bed Bath & Beyond $100M in sales

    Let's first start with the positives. The 22 percent increase in Beyond+ subscribers is fantastic news for the brand, and they can leverage these loyalists with unique offers in the future. The price point of $29/year is exceptional considering consumers can get a 20 percent discount on purchases and free shipping. Obviously, the big negative is poor product availability. They'll have to remedy this in a speedy fashion or it won't matter what Beyond+ accomplishes because it won't make up for the significant losses they're accumulating on the supply side.
  • Posted on: 01/06/2022

    The Container Store’s new acquisition is upscale and ‘Made in the USA’

    Outstanding, brilliant acquisition by The Container Store! Small- to medium-sized "organizing" projects will be hot in 2022 and TCS will clearly benefit from Closet Works' "made in the USA" authenticity and local supply chain access. I don't see any downside to this move.
  • Posted on: 01/06/2022

    Will Americans turn to Walmart and Target to organize their lives?

    This strategy will work. During the pandemic, we saw huge spikes in DIY Lowe's and Home Depot's businesses, and there were incredible amounts of large- to small-scale home renovation projects as well. Naturally, there will be a strong follow-on play for organizing products. Personally, I'll be purchasing a few of these items for my home, as I have several projects that fall into this category.

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