Harley Feldman

Co-Founder and CMO, Seeonic, Inc.
Harley Feldman is the Co-Founder and Chief Marketing Officer of Seeonic. He has more than 30 years of experience in information technology including database management, Internet applications, predictive analytics, process re-engineering and global solutions. Mr. Feldman spent more than 20 years at Ceridian Corporation; the last ten years in the defense group, in positions of increasing responsibility (including as Vice President of Sales and Marketing, and Vice President of two major operations providing technology and services to the intelligence community). In addition, he previously served as Chief Technology Officer and Chief Executive Officer of two healthcare software companies. Mr. Feldman holds a BS degree in chemistry and computer science from Illinois Institute of Technology and a MBA degree in finance from the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management.

Mr. Feldman co-founded Seeonic, one of the first companies to build a complete IoT solution in the item level RFID space. Seeonic was granted a patent for its solution including RFID tag collection, hands-free operation, real-time alerting and analytics and built the largest commercial RFID network in the US. Mr. Feldman was the executive overseeing this development with attention to RFID readers, tags, serialization, the cellular connections required to deliver the data, and software for data collection, data cleansing, data storage, and analytics. Seeonic was also one of the founding members of the RFID Research Center at the University of Arkansas. Mr. Feldman attended annual University of Arkansas RFID conferences each year, where much of the early RFID directions and recommendations were made. Mr. Feldman also served on the GS1 Tag Serialization Committee until its successful completion. He is currently the Seeonic representative on the GS1 US Apparel and General Merchandise Industry Sponsors Group and spends his time growing the use of RFID in the retail, healthcare and industrial industries especially the management of vendor-managed and consigned inventory for brands.

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  • Posted on: 08/13/2018

    Can AR help shoppers get where they need to go?

    Walking through stores with AR showing the way is a bit much for consumers who would have to use their phones and headphones while at the same time walking. A simple map would be a whole lot easier to use and communicate the path for the consumer. Even a 3-D picture of the destination department would work better than the real-time AR. AR works better in home furnishings or similar departments where AR can help the consumer see the layout and colors of their designed room furnished.
  • Posted on: 08/08/2018

    Can retail compete for computer science graduates?

    The strongest selling points to technology people are that opportunities exist across the U.S., tackling innovative technologies like AI, voice recognition, supply chain optimization, measuring consumer demand, connected dressing rooms, RFID and omnichannel support; and the chance to participate in a growing and competitive industry. To make up for the shortage of IT talent, retailers can provide more attractive work environments and create training programs by working with universities.
  • Posted on: 08/06/2018

    Walmart looks to automate grocery pick-up

    Alphabot, if it works properly, should automate the mundane tasks for the in-store grocery delivery business and free associates to do more personal tasks for the consumer. As with all automated systems, the consumer will benefit with better service. Alphabot will shine is supporting in-store grocery pick-up. Over the weekend, I picked up an item at a Walmart store that I purchased online. I used the app as I reached the store to notify I was there. When I went to the pick-up area, the associate was walking out from the back with my item -- tremendous service. If Walmart can provide the same service with groceries, it will be a winner.
  • Posted on: 08/01/2018

    Zara bets on faster deliveries from stores to boost online growth

    Using stores as DCs for shipping products to consumers is the new normal. As large retailers are offering the service, consumers will want that level of service from all of their retailers. The pros for this level of service are the that it is typically quicker to ship from store to the consumer due to closeness and the store personnel able to find the items quickly. One con is the store closest to the consumer may not have the item the shopper is looking for, and the backend retailer systems need to find the item in another store for shipment. Another con is knowing all of the stores' inventory 100% accurately to be able to know that the item is really there. Finally, the major con can be that cost of the shipping may make the item lose money for the retailer. So while this is a great service to the consumer, there are several challenges to make the service not lose profits for the retailer.
  • Posted on: 07/27/2018

    Having little luck with Millennials, J.C. Penney refocuses on middle-age women

    J.C. Penney clearly lost focus on its customer base and lost customers when Ron Johnson moved too quickly toward younger shoppers, my mother-in-law being one of them. Garfinkle’s in Washington made the same mistake when seeing Nordstrom come to town and went out of business quickly. Marvin Ellison made some of the same mistakes with new categories not interesting to the base. It is much harder to add new customers than retain current ones. Having said that, J.C. Penney needs to figure out how to attract new customers while at the same time holding onto its current customer base. This should be an evolutionary process not revolutionary like Ron Johnson tried.
  • Posted on: 07/26/2018

    Study: Online retailers losing billions in sales to out-of-stocks

    Out-of-stocks are a problem for any retailer including e-tailers. Disappointing a customer continually is not a good thing. It will lead to an eventual loss of trust and sales. Even though online shoppers might purchase another item more easily when their preferred item is out of stock, the disappointment factor will eventually cause consumers to shop somewhere else. The solution to this problem in stores or online is to have a complete and accurate inventory of all items being sold and building replenishment systems that are paired with the inventory systems. The advantage that e-tailers have is they can ship to anywhere from common storage locations whereas the retailer may be required to have the items in a physical store for BOPIS customers. On the other hand, the fact that retailers are having half of the out-of-stocks that e-tailers have, means they are currently better positioned with inventory than e-tailers.
  • Posted on: 07/24/2018

    Chick-fil-A to pilot meal kit market test in ATL

    The meal kit business can be viable, but the market is teaching the meal kit providers the lessons to be successful and those that will not work. Chick-fil-A has the resource reputation, restaurants for pick up and food reputation that other fast food restaurants may not have. If it does not work, they can shut it down without damaging their reputation. If it works in Atlanta, they will likely roll it out nationally.
  • Posted on: 07/23/2018

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

    Amazon can become the value provider in apparel -- offering "non-fashionable" apparel at a competitive or lower price. These items will appeal to the mass market. The only issue with apparel is it not fitting or the customer not liking what they purchased and then the retailer having to deal with returns. Amazon is already dealing with returns, but they may be a bit higher in the apparel category decreasing margins. Walmart and other Amazon competitors can offer try-on in-store options which Amazon cannot do. Also, brick-and-mortar stores can try to grab the attention of their shoppers for apparel offerings when they are in the store to buy other items. Amazon has moved into another category that brick-and-mortar retailers once owned. Like other categories, the retailers became complacent and Amazon is stealing market share. The retailers can strike back with new and innovative fashions, great customer service and an in-store shopping experience that Amazon cannot deliver.
  • Posted on: 07/18/2018

    Walmart and Microsoft team up to slow Amazon’s roll

    Walmart taking the lead with Microsoft means it will have access to the latest cloud and AI technologies, two areas where Microsoft is applying massive resources to stay ahead in the race in both areas. For other retailers, it means that they will have another offering for cloud computing and AI rather than using the Amazon cloud. The deal will give an edge to Walmart and Microsoft as Walmart is the largest store-based and online retailer while Microsoft is a leader in cloud computing and certainly an innovator in AI. Pooling their resources will provide a juggernaut in the retail space. The timing of the announcement probably has more to do with the legal arrangements than due to Amazon's Prime Day.
  • Posted on: 07/09/2018

    Is real-time order tracking becoming table stakes for e-tailers?

    As with everything available with smartphones today, real-time order tracking is becoming table stakes for retailers. While Amazon has set the pace, consumers getting used to the Amazon service will expect it from all. Real-time tracking not only gives the consumer comfort on when the package will be delivered but insight as to any problems along the way. My wife just ordered some products from Australia. She was notified when the products shipped, when they arrived at U.S. customs, when they passed customs and when they will arrive -- a very comforting set of real-time tracking data points. Best practices would be to notify the consumer by email or text at each transition step of the shipping process.
  • Posted on: 06/29/2018

    Will Amazon’s PillPack acquisition disrupt the retail pharmacy business?

    PillPack seems to have software addressing the needs of its customers. If its customers like the service, it bodes well for the Amazon acquisition. Of course the Amazon brand will bring people to the service and Amazon will likely put pharmacies in Whole Foods stores for local convenience. The challenge Amazon will have is the sheer number of Walgreens, CVS and Walmart stores that are close to customers and customers are loyal to. If PillPack can deliver prescriptions with ease and low cost, then customers might give up on their local pharmacy. The PBMs and pill manufacturers now have another retailer that will demand lower prices squeezing their margins.
  • Posted on: 06/27/2018

    Former CEO wants to bring Toys ‘R’ Us back from the dead

    Bringing back Toys "R" Us in a marketplace that has many online competitors, shrinking store real estate and numbers of stores and increased competition from Barnes & Noble and others is a tall order. Toys "R" Us would need to position itself as either a low-cost provider (not likely) or position itself as somewhat unique in the market. The combination of toys and baby brands might work, and Storch has a relatively successful background there. The best strategy would be to find unique toy and baby brands that Toys "R" Us would have exclusive rights to placed alongside more everyday products. He might even try a store-within-a store approach with well-known toy and baby brands.
  • Posted on: 06/20/2018

    CVS looks to one-up Walgreens, other rivals with nationwide Rx deliveries

    Same-day or next-day delivery by CVS will make it easier for current and potential CVS customers to purchase their pharmaceuticals from CVS. Since people tend to buy their medication from the same pharmacy since they can keep their prescriptions there, this move could have a major impact on the pharmacy market. I expect Walgreens and other pharmaceutical suppliers will respond quickly as they need to offer a similar service in order to not lose their customers who fill the prescriptions at Walgreens, etc. Amazon will try the retail pharmacy market, but they will be challenged with the fact that there are so many Walgreens and CVS stores close to the consumer that can provide products and services instantly rather than delayed shipments, and the retail store has their prescriptions already recorded. Amazon might be slowly successful, but they will be facing strong head winds from the local retail pharmacies.
  • Posted on: 06/18/2018

    Microsoft exploring checkout-less technologies

    Microsoft investing in automated checkout is a good thing. Maybe the technology being developed today will be successful or not, but the research and testing will move the needle toward a solution that will be effective and liked by consumers. The technology is more imminent now due to smaller more powerful processors, better web software and faster networks. One unknown is how consumers will embrace the technologies and providing an interesting way to use automated checkout in a method that is consistent across retailers.
  • Posted on: 06/14/2018

    Do retailers need RFID to do BOPIS right?

    Promising the customer that the item will be in the store using BOPIS, and then not delivering is the best way to lose a customer. RFID is the only technology that can scan items with enough accuracy and at a reliable frequency to deliver the accurate picture of items in the store to not disappoint the customer. I would also argue that handheld scanning cannot be done frequently enough to provide the accuracy for online display. RFID is the best answer to inventory accuracy, but the use of the technology must be done through automated reads to provide the 100% accurate inventory to guarantee the item will be in the store when the customer arrives.

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