PROFILE

Jon Polin

Cofounder and President, StorePower
Jon Polin is Cofounder and President of StorePower, Inc., the leading supplier of digital tools to the grocery industry. Prior to StorePower, Jon started AbesMarket.com, the go-to online market for natural and organic products, which was sold in 2016. Prior to his entrepreneurial pursuits, Jon cut his teeth in consumer marketing roles at Fortune 500 companies: The Clorox Company and Capital One. He started his career selling Frosty Malts and sodas as a vendor at Wrigley Field and shed a few tears after the Cubs lifted their 108 year World Series curse. For more information, visit: www.storepower.com
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  • Posted on: 10/18/2018

    Will rising costs throw a wrench in e-commerce operations?

    Margins in most e-commerce businesses are painfully low. This new double whammy can't help. Given the already low margins, retailers will not be able to absorb the rise in costs, so one constituency will have to pay up -- consumers. One company that may not be hurt by this is the company who's spent 20 years convincing Wall Street that profitability does not matter ...
  • Posted on: 10/17/2018

    New c-store concept is high-tech inside and out

    Like any good concept, this is not intended for everyone. It's intended for a younger, health conscious, environmentally concerned consumer. For that audience, this sounds great. It could probably only work in a small number of cities for now, and Denver is one. I am excited to keep any eye on this.
  • Posted on: 10/16/2018

    ‘Frictionless’ is the annoying word of the year

    Not only is "frictionless" not clear to retailers, I'm not sure old school retailers are clear on who their own customers are and what those customers really want. Two years ago I sat across from a CMO of a grocery chain who said to me, "My customers like me just the way we are. They're not looking for me to change." That chain declared bankruptcy six months later. I fear they are not the only chain greatly misreading their customers' wants and needs.
  • Posted on: 10/15/2018

    Shopify opens a storefront to support its online merchants

    The exposure that Shopify merchants get if they are featured in the physical store is great, but the main benefit is the feeling of companionship that Shopify is creating. Being an entrepreneur is lonely. Everything Shopify does to build a sense of community among their entrepreneurial merchants is good for the merchants and solidifies the merchants' loyalty to Shopify.
  • Posted on: 10/03/2018

    Will the Kroger/Walgreens pilot lead to something really big?

    The convenience and cost of getting groceries to the consumer are critical to the ultimate success of multichannel grocery. Leveraging ubiquitous retail pickup points, a la Walgreens, is smart of Kroger and a way to drive incremental foot traffic to Walgreens. No surprise to see that the grocer making this initiative happen is Kroger, further demonstrating how much faster and bolder Kroger is than their competitors.
  • Posted on: 09/17/2018

    Are grocers shortchanging flexitarians?

    The only reason I see for grocers to resist the plant-based movement is that it is easier to always do (or sell) what you have always done (or sold) than to adapt. When Tom Hayes, CEO of Tyson Foods recently said, “If we can grow meat without the animal, why wouldn't we?” that should have further signaled to the grocery world that attitudes toward traditional meat consumption are certainly changing. While some conventional carnivores will only eat real animal meat, flexitarians are open to plant-based alternatives.
  • Posted on: 09/13/2018

    Analyst: Whole Foods’ lower price claims are mostly ‘noise’

    Whole Foods has always been premium priced, and that never seemed to hurt its customer loyalty. Amazon, while amazing in many areas, is also rarely the cheapest buying option. What surprises me here is not that Whole Foods prices haven't dropped since the merger but that 49 percent of consumers have the perception that they have.
  • Posted on: 09/05/2018

    Can Kroger turn Cincinnati into an alt-Silicon Valley?

    Today if I'm a smart, innovative software engineer I'm not likely to say to myself, "I want to go work for a giant supermarket." So kudos to Kroger taking steps to build its reputation as an innovator. Smart move. But to suggest that Kroger and University of Cincinnati are approaching alt-Silicon Valley status? Not quite.
  • Posted on: 08/21/2018

    Do CPGs need their own voice for Alexa?

    Creating a brand voice is a cute idea, but it is only one small piece of the necessary brand strategy when it comes to voice assistants. Until brands have a clear reason for consumers to buy their brand via voice AND make it economically and logistically feasible for consumers to do so, brand voice is nothing more than a cute marketing gimmick.
  • Posted on: 08/06/2018

    Walmart looks to automate grocery pick-up

    Systems like Alphabot are the (very near) future of online grocery. Retailers who have been growing their online grocery have been smart to focus more on growth than profitability to date but, now that online grocery demand is proven and growing, it is time to improve the unit economics. Systems like Alphabot are the way to do so. That being said, there is still much to be done to improve the front-end customer experience and a few cool technologies emerging to make the customer ordering process faster and easier.
  • Posted on: 07/25/2018

    Kroger’s 90-day terms have CPG suppliers seeing red

    This is another poke in the eye from big grocers to CPGs. Unless and until CPGs take off the gloves and fight back against aggressive retailer tactics (private label, aggressive discounting, etc.), retailers will continue to have their way with CPGs.
  • Posted on: 07/24/2018

    Kellogg urges retailers to cater to ‘brick & order’ shoppers

    Thinking about a bifurcated offline-online world is a roadmap to poor customer experience. The opportunity for retailers is to think holistically about simplifying their customers' lives. Why not let customers simultaneously order their packaged groceries and their fresh, prepared dinner -- all in one order? Why not enable customers to simultaneously order their packaged groceries and a smart, complementary selection of "endless aisle" products that get fulfilled from a logistics facility? Retailers need to broaden their thinking about the role they can play in simplifying and improving customers' lives.
  • Posted on: 07/18/2018

    Will Kroger’s new app make customers healthier than those who shop at rivals?

    Kudos to Kroger for giving their customers a tool to live healthier lives. Kroger will certainly get smart from watching whether and how their customers use this app. I've been a fan of a similar app -- Fooducate -- for a long time, so this app itself is not breakthrough, but I do like how this app ties to and rates actual purchases, even retroactively for eight weeks. Kroger continues to separate themselves from the competitive pack with their frequent releases of new technology offerings.
  • Posted on: 07/17/2018

    Walmart and Microsoft team up to slow Amazon’s roll

    Walmart and Amazon are competing to win consumer loyalty and consumer dollars. This Microsoft-Walmart announcement may demonstrate that there are alternatives to Amazon Web Services for cloud storage, but I don't see this announcement changing the Walmart-Amazon competition for the consumer.
  • Posted on: 06/21/2018

    Are Stitch Fix and Trunk Club toast?

    As a Prime member, can't I always order items and then return the ones I don't want? Is the only difference now that I pay after the fact instead of upon purchase and then getting refunds upon return? This seems like mostly a marketing/cosmetic wrapping around the way many Prime members already shopping. This doesn't mean that the presence of Amazon in the space won't harm Stitch Fix and Trunk Club, though the personal shopper components of those businesses, driven by data, are differentiators vs. this Amazon offering.

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