Kenneth Leung

Retail and Customer Experience Expert

Kenneth Leung was the enterprise industry director at Avaya, responsible for vertical industry strategies.

Kenneth previously was with Cisco Systems, with the last position as senior marketing strategy manager for Internet of Everything campaign. His roles at Cisco included development of private sector industries strategy and messaging at Cisco as well as retail industry marketing.

Prior to Cisco, he worked at IBM software group in WebSphere Commerce and Information Management groups with responsibility in marketing management for retail and e-commerce. Before joining IBM, Kenneth was retail industry director for Informix Software where he was responsible for market management and programs.

Kenneth Leung is currently working on his first marketing book and pursuing future opportunities. Learn more

  • Posted on: 12/13/2018

    Retailing success doesn’t depend on silver bullets

    The challenge is store managers and associates seem to be treated as cost of goods sold more than revenue generators. The increase use of automation seems to be a drive to reduce in store staffing. I am sure a few retailers is looking closely at the Amazon store experiment to see how they can replicate. I always say you can't win by copying, you have to win by innovating, creating your own niche in product and services.
  • Posted on: 12/06/2018

    Will Instagrammers all scream for Baskin-Robbins’ new ice cream concept?

    Basically an extension of the popular Ice Cream Museum concept. The issue I see is maintaining a rotation of displays to keep things "instagram fresh." Things age quickly in Instagram time so time will tell whether BR can maintain the awareness and attractiveness.
  • Posted on: 12/03/2018

    Payless scores with mock-up luxury shop

    Nice start but it will take a lot more to change the perception of the brand. You can perceive it as the lack of experience of the invited fashion bloggers to what luxury construction is, or the fact that the shoes are luxury at a low price from a normal buyer perspective. For me, it actually points out that social media influencers may not be as much of an expert as they promote themselves to be.
  • Posted on: 11/30/2018

    What will it take for retailers to win the last-mile race for customers?

    Agreed. Amazon is a tech service and content provider (in essence a Customer Experience provider) that delivers goods. Most retailers have to figure out how to turn a profit with their customers with their brick and mortar AND web properties. You can't keep trying to replicate Amazon or Apple as a retailer.
  • Posted on: 11/13/2018

    Will right-sized stores drive bigger returns for Macy’s?

    Reducing the store size by 8% and reducing labor by 40% -- sounds like a savings move to see how much less service customers will tolerate while maintaining margins.
  • Posted on: 11/05/2018

    Did Amazon just crush Target and Walmart’s free holiday shipping moves?

    Free shipping is important, but so is merchandising availability and trust that the product will arrive on time. What I am curious about is the last mile logistics this Xmas and retailers making promises that shippers like UPS, USPS and FedEx need to keep. All the free shipping could turn into bad publicity if the presents don't make it for Xmas.
  • Posted on: 10/30/2018

    Why are Foot Locker and Nike sending ‘sneakerheads’ on AR scavenger hunts?

    All about stickiness, and also generating some experience for actual buyers to talk about rather than people who buy to resell. Using the AR serves as a gating factor so the store employees couldn't be bribed to hold back inventory for the grey market. Smart move.
  • Posted on: 10/22/2018

    Stores rarely ID customers before they check out

    Unless the retailer has a specific call to action and has the proper staffing to act on it, there is no value to the customer to be identified when they enter the store. For years, technology has been around to try to capture data when customers browse the store, but end up creating mountains of data that cannot be actioned. Unlike online, for which is much more natural, people are visiting stores hoping for a great experience, without the need for personalization. I am more appreciative when I get positive service the FIRST time I visit, rather than as a repeat customer.
  • Posted on: 10/15/2018

    Will J.C. Penney’s new private brand connect with Instagram-savvy moms?

    Instagram is the medium, ultimately it is the influencers they choose that will drive whether the lines they create are successful. I do wonder how many mothers buy clothes just for Instagram moments who are not aspiring Instagram influencers themselves. Having a group of influencers who don't necessarily agree with each other and driving a product decision that could be out of date by the time it hits the market is a risk J.C. Penney has to address.
  • Posted on: 10/11/2018

    Amazon pop-up gets the Good Housekeeping seal of approval

    The great thing about a pop-up is that it is a low-cost, low-risk testing ground. It is the closest thing to A/B testing on the web that you can do in the physical world. Amazon could choose to have the curation done in-house or partner with a respected third party. I don't see any downside for Amazon to try this.
  • Posted on: 10/08/2018

    Will a new private label keep Target’s customers out of Aldi and Dollar General?

    Private label offers differentiation for retailers like Target to create value from commodities. Sometimes it isn't just about lower price, it is about quality with the price. Kirkland being the prime example of a private store label that has created a strong following not just because of lower price. I know people who actually prefer the quality of Kirkland products.
  • Posted on: 10/07/2018

    Are retailers getting too political with voter registration campaigns?

    Encouraging voting and making sure employees have the time to vote is good corporate citizenship. Politics is part of daily life and participation should be encouraged regardless of party affiliation. The key is that the messaging has to be neutral. Both sides will find some way of spinning the messaging to their needs and there's nothing you can do about it.
  • Posted on: 10/01/2018

    Omnichannel retailing lands at the airport

    I think for certain large airports with multiple buildings, it makes sense especially for food delivery, which I think is the number one use case. Each terminal building has different food selections especially with local specialty selections. Since getting between the terminals often involves a train ride or a very long walk, the ability to do an order from a restaurant or food shopping from a different terminal in between flights, I think, is a great service. I am thinking for example the Rocky Mountain Chocolate company in Denver Airport or the restaurants in the United terminal in Chicago when I am flying another airline.
  • Posted on: 09/24/2018

    Are big box retailers going too small with new store concepts?

    The trick is how to translate the big box brand into a small footprint. Everyone knows what to expect in a 7-Eleven, but what is the expectation for a big box store opening a small footprint location? Obviously Walmart can't have the full assortment in a small store, so is it price? Private label? Also, can the supply chain optimized for big box handle small locations with limited local storage? Those are the questions retailers need to answer before just opening small stores for the sake of fitting in the area.
  • Posted on: 09/23/2018

    Why don’t retailers concentrate more on selling the Christmas spirit?

    I think some retailers confuse selling the Xmas spirit with putting out Xmas merchandise. When you put Xmas tree and ornaments out now next to the Halloween display, I don't think that's the right approach (unless the point is to encourage people to put out Xmas trees as a Halloween decor ala Nightmare before Christmas movie). People will start getting the Christmas spirit after Thanksgiving. :-)

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