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: 04/23/2018

    Apocalypse? No. Retail faces a reset

    Retail is facing a transformation that has been building up in pressure for the last 20 years. It has been accelerated to the breaking point for some, due to impact of personal technology to consumers and the implementation of technology by businesses. Data visibility on pricing, tastes and brands is forcing traditional store centric retailers into a corner, due to how the stores are planned, measured, operated and financed. For many retailers, they are over stored, but the model doesn't allow them to downsize and make up revenue online, and they have to exit.
  • Posted on: 04/18/2018

    Who will fill the retailing void left by Toys ‘R’ Us?

    I am thinking it will be a combination of online like Amazon and Mass merchants like Target/Walmart and Independents. Amazon and other toy brands-specific sites will take over a part of the business. I can see Best Buy perhaps getting into some of the electronic based toy items. Target/Walmart mass merchants will take over the toys licensed to movies and entertainment properties that rely on short term volumes. Independents with high service offering and specialized areas such as educational will absorb some of the category's volume.
  • Posted on: 04/16/2018

    Can food halls become retail’s new anchors?

    Well executed food halls help drive traffic to the rest of the mall. The trick is to keep it from turning into a food court when you start saturating the market. Eating is one of the activities that people still go out for if the offering is unique, especially with the Instagram-driven food culture.
  • Posted on: 04/09/2018

    Retailers face criticism for failure to protect customer data

    Retailers will continue to be the targets of breaches. What is interesting is that despite the breaches, I can't think of a retailer who suffered long-term damage directly attributed to the data breach. Executives were let go, but the brand continues as the population en mass still shops from their favorite retailer. The responsibility for cleanup after notification falls to the financial institutions processing the payments and the customers's credit card company.
  • Posted on: 04/02/2018

    What would an acquisition of Humana mean for Walmart and its rivals?

    At the end of the day, health care is one of the places you have to be in person in a majority of instances (distance health care aside). Integrating retailing and phama/healthcare is the next step for any enterprises with vested physical presence. It is going to be outside Walmart's core competence, but one could say the same thing for Amazon and Whole Foods.
  • Posted on: 03/28/2018

    Are Amazon lockers turning Whole Foods into a quick shop destination?

    With Amazon also dabbling into shipping, maybe Whole Foods/Shipping Service is the next logical step and in that case they can handle pickup items bigger than what a locker would hold.
  • Posted on: 03/26/2018

    Should retailers emulate or differentiate from Amazon?

    Amazon has reset the expectations of consumers in online commerce, just like Walmart did for in-store prices and assortment years ago. I don't think any existing retailer should try to outplay Amazon at its own game given it has deep pockets from its IT service provider business. Learn and take the best practices that you can affordably implement and look for differentiation in product and service offerings, that's the only way to win in retail these days.
  • Posted on: 03/15/2018

    No more playing around – Toys ‘R’ Us is out of the retail game

    Combination of the the inability to pivot to consumer needs and the need to service the high debt load killed the company. In this case, the brand still had some cachet so perhaps parts of it can be saved, but at this point liquidation and sale is the only way to reset the business and cut the debt load.
  • Posted on: 03/07/2018

    Target looks to out-people competition

    Investment in people isn't just higher wages but knowledge, path to promotion etc. Customer experience will improve in the stores when the employees feel empowered, educated and feel they are part of a career path.
  • Posted on: 03/05/2018

    H-E-B’s reusable bag causes fashion frenzy

    Nice PR and frankly I don't think H-E-B is expecting it. I think the key is to do the "limited edition" in a limited manner. Over saturation will just weaken its appeal. I am sure there are a list of charities reaching out to H-E-B and other brands hoping to do copycat programs now.
  • Posted on: 03/02/2018

    Will automation make retail teams less efficient?

    Automation is already heavily used behind the scene in online retailing. The question is if automation will help in brick and mortar interactions where the primary value proposition is that you get to interact with the product and a human being to answer questions. Using a food service example, if I buy a bowl of ramen from a vending machine, I am not looking for human interaction (yes, they have one now near where I live; need to try it...), but if I go to a Japanese restaurant, part of the experience is to interact with the staff. Blindly adding automation to brick and mortar interactions to work with humans without being under the entire CX would be very negative for the employees and the customer.
  • Posted on: 02/27/2018

    Barnes & Noble, once an indie killer, is losing out to mom-and-pops

    Agreed, if you want a category book killer you go online now first, and then open a few strategic showrooms. If someone is looking for niche books and to support the local community, they go to independents. Unless B&N can reinvent itself into a network of independent book stores catering to local needs, I don't see a book big box category working any more.
  • Posted on: 02/23/2018

    Target CEO: Success built on ‘great physical assets’ and ‘digital interaction’

    Success in retail today is to have multiple initiatives going on addressing various parts of the consumer buying journey. The combination of refreshing the stores, online and mobile initiatives and improved fulfillment is what it takes in combination to compete in the future.
  • Posted on: 02/16/2018

    Rule #1 of location analytics in retail – don’t be creepy

    I think there are two types of location based offers -- those designed to spur purchases when the customer is already inside the store area or just outside (within view of signage) or those that are trying to influence customers to stop when they are in transit to stop where they are going to shop. The former makes sense without it being creepy, the latter perceptually is creepy unless it is offered within a customer's navigation application. Personally however I have never acted on a retail promotion on my Waze driving application.
  • Posted on: 02/15/2018

    Can Circuit City come back from the dead?

    I don't see the value of the Circuit City brand in an online world. Best Buy managed to recover with some sharp management moves. I am not sure putting up a web site and a store with the Circuit City brand adds anything without some significant differentiation to sell consumer electronics.

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