PROFILE

Lee Kent

Principal, Your Retail Authority, LLC
Ms. Kent is Owner/Principal of Your Retail Authority, LLC. and creator of Retail’s former Social Network, TheRetailTradecenter.com. She is recognized by retail industry insiders as an authority on retailing and is a seasoned user of new media strategies. Lee likes to talk and exchange ideas about retail particularly on the in-store path to purchase and customer experience design. Look for invitations from Lee to exclusive Retail executive events. You can find her opinions most days on the Retail Wire where she is happy to share her 2 cents. Lee's current practice focuses on uncovering a brands point of view, customer promises and ability to deliver on them through the creation and/or co-creation of thought leadership initiatives. In addition to talking endlessly about her passion, Retail, she has directed numerous consulting and strategic initiative engagements. Her clients have included world-renowned companies as well as software providers and start-ups. Lee has served as the NA Retail Industry Practice Leader for a major global managed services provider, Retail Technology Consulting Principal for a Big 4 consulting firm, Director Supplier Management and Integration for an e-commerce start-up venture, Director of Managed Services for a major retail company and has brought her subject matter expertise to smaller organizations in order to help them build strong retail practices. To learn more, visit Lee's LinkedIn profile...
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  • Posted on: 05/23/2019

    Can a startup undercut Rent the Runway in the clothing rental space?

    Now that we have finally gotten through to retail that it should not be all about price, we see a concept in the pricing race to the bottom. Never a good thing. It almost tells me that the concept may be reaching its end also. Or at least it's time to think about the value of the brand and not consider every one in the space as a competitor. If the concept is solid then the brand should be able to price according to the value of the service and the content or rather the value of the clothing in the box. Certainly a box from Urban Outfitters would have a different value then a box full of designer clothing. Step up and differentiate! And that's my 2 cents.
  • Posted on: 05/22/2019

    Should retail boards include seats for store associates?

    Yes, Anne, I agree. A jump this big to board members is a huge leap. I suggest that they form a group of store associates to represent them and then have a leader who represents them on the board. For my 2 cents.
  • Posted on: 05/21/2019

    When the going gets tough, the tough get transparent

    Absolutely! Successful retailers must be honest and transparent to win today’s consumer. Damage control after the fact still works too but it’s best to yank the product before the damage sets in. Mistakes do happen. For my 2 cents.
  • Posted on: 05/15/2019

    Why is Amazon paying employees to quit their jobs?

    Yes, Charles, I too think this is a great concept for Amazon — people who already have some training in logistics and inventory movement rather than out-of-the-box entrepreneurs. Good head start. Not to mention they come with some loyalty for Amazon and want them to succeed. Can they make it work? Will others follow? I do think there is a win in there however they need to get some learning behind them first. I'll stay tuned in to see, for my 2 cents.
  • Posted on: 05/13/2019

    Petco opens in-store kitchen for pets

    We do love our pets, me included, and we do spend a lot on them. My dog has always had stomach issues and I could certainly see myself venturing into the store to check this out however, the price point is just too high even for my beloved Nicklaus. While I believe they are on a right track for services offerings, I also think this one may need some tweaking. For my 2 cents.
  • Posted on: 05/10/2019

    Is anyone going to buy Sears’ rebranding?

    Pardon me but it still says Sears and it still *is* Sears on the inside and that does not bring to mind great products and services at the moment. In all honesty, they have tried too long and with too many iterations to make much of anything work now. The public wants to like them but that is just about all. For my 2 cents.
  • Posted on: 05/09/2019

    Are machine learning and AI the path to enhanced personalization?

    Yes, Mark, and I would like to add this bit. My thoughts regarding AI and ML lean toward the personalization of the experience more so than a personalization of product offerings. Knowing ahead of time what the consumer may be looking for requires much from the data and habits of the customer while directing the customer through the process based on their answers to questions might better propel them through the shopping process all the way to buy! For my 2 cents.
  • Posted on: 05/03/2019

    Will Walmart’s ‘Great Workplace’ test work for its customers and associates?

    Yes, Laura, it sounds like a good concept but let's get the basics right first. And how about those out-of-stocks? For my 2 cents.
  • Posted on: 05/01/2019

    Will Americans eat a direct-to-consumer cereal brand for breakfast?

    Totally agree! It has to taste good first and foremost and the price point gets me too. If they meet the needs of the consumers, sure, they can sell direct. For my 2 cents.
  • Posted on: 04/25/2019

    What’s really driving disruption? (Hint: it’s not technology)

    Somewhere along the way, consumers lost their loyalty. Maybe it all started when they no longer had to go into a store to shop. They lost the personal and started focusing on other things. Identifying those other things and doing them right is what is turning the tables. Retailers now need to begin by looking at the customer journey(s) and finding ways to deliver along the path. Perhaps even offer a different path that moves the customer toward the purchase with ease, no frustration all while having a great experience. For my 2 cents.
  • Posted on: 04/24/2019

    Should retailers promote brand backstories?

    Bottom line, it's all about the experience. If a backstory or tidbits about the brand are interesting, sharing them with the consumer can create an experience that just might make the difference between a purchase or not. Retail winners are exploring every avenue toward differentiation these days and it isn't all about price. And that's my 2 cents.
  • Posted on: 04/22/2019

    Why is Petco doubling down on same-day delivery with Shipt and Instacart?

    Same-day delivery is certainly a nice to have and in some categories, likely a must. If you are working on a home project, you just might find you need a special tool ASAP. When thinking pet supplies, not so much. You feed your animals every day so you kind of know when you're getting to the bottom of the bag. Is same-day delivery going to be a deal breaker for Petco? I'm not so sure but it would be nice to have just in case. Should every retailer make this a must? No, they should think about what makes the most sense to their customer. For my 2 cents.
  • Posted on: 04/19/2019

    Sears Holdings sues Eddie Lampert for illegally stripping retailer of its assets

    I agree with you Neil however I will give Eddie some credit in the early days. Remember he tried a few funky things like the data center concept, or something like that. The problem is, his ideas didn't even come close to working and that is when he set the autopilot on the iceberg. The fact that he is making moolah off of this demise is obscene. And that's my 2 cents.
  • Posted on: 04/18/2019

    Will former exec’s Godiva café plans spell trouble for Starbucks?

    I'm very late to this party, however, I think Godiva has a much better chance if they aim upscale with luscious offerings of Godiva chocolate and maybe unique drink pairings. A fun place to go for a little something special but within reason. Going head-on with Starbucks and all the others in this space seems like a non-starter to me. For my 2 cents.
  • Posted on: 04/17/2019

    Will livestream shopping take off in the U.S.?

    Yes, I am sure live streaming will find its niche but I'm not seeing it as a big mainstream thing in this country. Fun for a while until it becomes too sales-y, which it is sure to become, and you know how much we hate having stuff pushed on us. And that's my 2 cents.

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