PROFILE

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 at:about.me/kennethleung

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  • Posted on: 01/26/2022

    Amazon Go is going big(ger) in suburban locations

    Given the current labor shortage and increased inventory of retail space, it makes sense for Amazon to experiment with expanding in new locations and new formats. The suburb locations can also be used for forward staging points for same day deliveries of popular items. The cooperation format with Starbucks Pickup makes sense. Stop for a coffee, grab a convenience item. Wonder if the Starbucks is integrated to the Amazon Go checkout app or it is a just a geo co-location.
  • Posted on: 01/19/2022

    Will Microsoft’s Activision deal open the metaverse up to enterprise tech?

    The Activision deal in the short term is about the gaming business and a smart acquisition by Microsoft of a company facing leadership problems. I am not sure metaverse and enterprise technology is any closer than the last time around when Second Life was introduced and Occulus and the drive to immersive content. I am thinking what really changed in terms of use cases for metaverse? Pandemic drove a lot of remote work, but replacing hours of zoom meetings on camera and screen with metaverse meetings isn't the answer....
  • Posted on: 01/13/2022

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

    Right now there are so many issues in the supply chain execution due to Omicron that you have do just-in-case planning and incur the additional costs and hope to pass it down. In the long run the cost savings of just-in-time will force businesses to go back to that model, unless the disruption continues over the next 10-15 years.
  • Posted on: 01/04/2022

    Omicron threatens to mess retail up

    I think they are responding the best they can. This fast spreading variant creates problems for shoppers and employees alike. At least it seems Omicron isn't hospitalizing the vaccinated as much and the symptoms are milder for the vaccinated. In person shopping is still predominate in grocery (other than Whole foods where it seems to me they are more delivery buyers than retail shoppers) and of course pharmacy is generally in person. In some cases, if too many employees test positive the store will have to reduce hours, and shoppers are making necessary adjustments to switch to online and delivery (assuming the delivery system holds up as drivers are at risk too).
  • Posted on: 12/29/2021

    Would grocers benefit from ghost kitchens?

    Most grocers already built with kitchens for prepared foods, ghost kitchen cobranding with local restaurants is a logical next step. Some supermarkets like Whole Foods in my area have built space to handle online ordering and delivery shopper service. I think it is a matter of finding the right fit for the local area market in terms of supporting meal solutions for delivery and pickup.
  • Posted on: 12/15/2021

    Will grocers turn to Amazon as an alternative to Instacart?

    I think most grocers will stay away because of the customer data issue. Do you really want Amazon to have access to your customer delivery data given they are also a retailer? At least with Amazon Cloud Service there are enough data regulations protecting the corporate and customer data, but this is literally using Amazon's retail infrastructure, so it offers much less protection.
  • Posted on: 12/07/2021

    Can Safeway slam the door shut on shoplifters?

    It depends on the location, and given the current situation in San Francisco there isn't a choice if they want to maintain coverage in the area. The alternative is to close the store which they are not willing to do. Right now physical barriers and increased hands on security is the only solution in the short term in the face of the organized shoplifting that is going on. Target in my area has most of the high theft items secured behind doors (toothpaste, laundry detergent, etc) and increased security personnel coverage. Until the police and prosecutor break up the organized crime rings it is going to be in the norm for a while.
  • Posted on: 12/02/2021

    Is Amazon gouging its marketplace sellers?

    I think it is up to the seller to decide whether Amazon market place is appropriate for their business model. If you build a business plan that relies on Amazon Marketplace as a sole distribution channel, you have to do your homework to see if you have a differentiated product and whether you get enough benefits from their built-in services to make it worth your while. It isn't gouging on Amazon's part if it fits your business strategy/budget.
  • Posted on: 11/30/2021

    Can retail move more quickly than Omicron?

    Psychologically it will cause some people to go back to isolation mode, but most I think will have enough experience to navigate the risk of in person shopping. I think the key will be availability of products more than anything ... people are learning to live with COVID long term and will make rational decisions.
  • Posted on: 11/29/2021

    What caused the thin Black Friday traffic?

    It's a combination of many factors. All the supply chain news drove everyone to shop earlier. No blockbuster deals or "must have" items for the holiday. The last-minute Omicron COVID-19 news took the psychological wind out of some people for shopping. I think it is just overall fatigue at this point.
  • Posted on: 11/22/2021

    Should Macy’s de-omnify?

    Makes no sense to split unless the end goal is just short term return on investment by selling off real estate. For any retailer to survive, they have to sell how customers buy, which is across multiple channels, and let customers choose. I understand store traffic declined under COVID, but I can't see the world going e-commerce only where we all just get everything delivered at home and never leave.
  • Posted on: 11/15/2021

    Can a Supreme collaboration give Tiffany street cred?

    In this case, Tiffany's succeeded with the Supreme collab on the power of the Supreme brand. Wonder how many of the buyers would convert to Tiffanys buyers in the long run? The key to Tiffany's is to find its spot in the youth buyers market to sell in between the string of collaborations. Status quo of traditional Tiffany's buyers is disappearing as their tastes change, you have to reinvent yourself before your customers go away. Lessons from Harley Davidson is definitely applicable here.
  • Posted on: 10/28/2021

    When should holiday marketing start?

    Early. I think the supply chain issues are well known enough that people are going to shop earlier to avoid disappointment. Also, some people are still not comfortable with in-store shopping or traveling, which means more gifts will be shipped to recipients rather than delivered in visits.
  • Posted on: 10/25/2021

    Target doubles down on Apple shop-in-shop ‘experiences’

    Good for Target and Apple, but I would say Target gains more than Apple. Apple has managed to go from Apple stores to driving a lot of business online, hence the overnight long lines for new releases at the Apple Stores are much less prevalent. The Target store footprint is good for Apple on the accessories front where you want to try and/or touch the merchandise or pick up a missing headphone or charger. Target gains foot traffic that they can cross sell other items and gain awareness to the Apple customer demographics.
  • Posted on: 10/21/2021

    Walmart is ready to deliver ‘Black Friday Deals for Days’

    Walmart is trying to get a head start and grab wallet share before the holidays. Given the news on supply chain issues, it is trying to pull in customers who have the disposable income to shop early to avoid disappointments, and Walmart has the inventory and supply chain expertise to do it now. Not sure other retailers can copy this one without careful consideration to not make matters worse for them.

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