PROFILE

Meaghan Brophy

Retail Writer & Editor

Meaghan is a retail writer for Fit Small Business where she offers how-to advice and buyer’s guides for business owners.

Meaghan Brophy is also the editorial director Independent Retailer, the industry’s trusted source for indie retail news, where she covers retail trends, tech, ecommerce, marketing tips, and keeps her finger on the pulse of the industry by visiting with and interviewing retail store owners.

Before becoming a full-time retail writer, Meaghan has held retail and business management roles. Through these positions, she’s gained ample experience in sales, employee training, human resources, customer service, and leadership.

In her free time, Meaghan enjoys tap dancing and a quiet cup of coffee. She also holds an M.S. in Publishing from Pace University.

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  • Posted on: 07/17/2019

    Alexa – Are Americans ready to shop by voice?

    Couldn't agree more, Rich. I think Alexa is helpful for "buying" in terms of executing mundane, repeat purchases, but not for "shopping." I also want to see what I'm buying and what the options are. Plus, shopping can be fun :)
  • Posted on: 07/17/2019

    Alexa – Are Americans ready to shop by voice?

    Smart speakers will definitely play a role in the path to purchase, especially as more and more people incorporate them into their homes. I see smart speakers being used to purchase household supplies, especially by consumers that are already using Amazon Prime to make these purchases. However, when it comes to items like apparel, gifts, and decor, shoppers still want to be able to see what they are purchasing.
  • Posted on: 05/24/2019

    Do the benefits of using facial recognition in retail outweigh the risks?

    As a consumer, this technology is terrifying. If I'm unhappy in a Walmart, there's a good chance that my mood has nothing to do with the shopping experience, and the last thing I would want is a computer trying to read my emotions. However the creepiest part of this technology is the consent element. How will shoppers know that retailers are using facial recognition technology? Where's the option to opt out? I have no doubt that, if used responsibly, video technology could provide a better shopping experience. But I don't think consumers trust corporations to use technology responsibly, nor should they.
  • Posted on: 05/24/2019

    Questions abound about the value of net promoter scores

    As with any customer survey, NPS can be useful for identifying customers that have had a bad experience and trying to rectify the situation. But I would not recommend using NPS scores as a true indicator of growth. I have worked with businesses that had fantastic NPS scores, but overall sales were low and not improving. I would encourage retailers to have the NPS question as one element of their customer survey, but also include more specific questions and open-ended questions to get more direct and actionable feedback.
  • Posted on: 04/04/2019

    Will rebranding deliver the results that Staples needs?

    Staples' rebranding efforts could pay off, but only if they upgrade their store experience to match this new vision. If they want to be a "worklife" brand, the shopping experience needs to reflect that. The example that comes to mind is Target. They do a great job of creating smaller pop-ups within their stores that showcase different private label brands. Helping businesses "create the most dynamic and productive work environments" also requires high levels of customer service and expertise from store associates. So I hope training is an important part of Staples' rebranding strategy.
  • Posted on: 03/22/2019

    Are people investments paying off for retailers?

    Agreed. When there's high employee turnover, customers absolutely notice and it reflects negatively on the retailer's brand and their management.
  • Posted on: 03/22/2019

    Are people investments paying off for retailers?

    I'd say this is a no-brainer. Happy employees = happy customers. Just look at Costco. They've been investing in employees for years and it's clearly paid off. For companies who have neglected this for too long, it will take time to see a difference. Investing in front-line employees is not just a matter of pay, but a matter of your entire business culture, which won't change overnight.
  • Posted on: 02/08/2019

    Are ‘spiritual’ brands more marketable than ever?

    In my opinion, spirituality-based consumerism, at least how it's described here with incense and lavender falls under the broader category of self-care consumerism, which is a mainstream trend that retailers absolutely have to take seriously. Self-care is about prioritizing health in a holistic way that considers mental, physical, and yes, for some, spiritual health. It looks different for everyone. I don't think every retailer necessarily needs to bring on spiritual products, but I think it is important to understand the broader consumer mindset and where this trend is coming from so that retailers can incorporate the types of self-care products that resonate with their specific demographic.
  • Posted on: 12/17/2018

    Will porch pirates ruin Christmas?

    Honestly, I think porch pirates' days are numbered. More and more people are installing home security systems like Ring and Nest. As a result, these pirates are being captured on video and their pictures are spread across Facebook. There's not much more that retailers can do from a security standpoint - customers have made it abundantly clear that Amazon Ring is too intrusive. To protect packages customers should deliver to work when they can, request a signature, have them delivered to a friend or family's house or utilize a locker service. While certainly annoying, porch pirates won't stunt e-commerce growth.
  • Posted on: 11/16/2018

    Apple-inspired Glossier opens ‘adult Disneyland’ flagship store

    Yes, Glossier hit it out of the park with their flagship store. They've always been meticulous about crafting the perfect aesthetic. But now, having a physical storefront adds an emotional experience to the mix. Glossier isn't a store so much as it's a tourist destination. This carefully crafted experience gives Glossier an element of staying power that is way beyond what their product alone could achieve.
  • Posted on: 11/16/2018

    RetailWire Christmas Commercial Challenge: Amazon vs. Best Buy

    I feel like Amazon gets points for the actors in their commercials -- their expressions are what made the spot great. It's not surprising that they used the same singing box concept as last year. But given the recent HQ2 drama I don't think the average customer is as receptive to that imagery. Best Buy wins in my opinion because they highlight actual products and put an emphasis on the above-and-beyond customer service that Best Buy is known for. Shopping online can feel really impersonal, and this Best Buy commercial highlights what a difference great in-store service can make in the shopping experience.
  • Posted on: 11/12/2018

    Why do Millennials love private label groceries so much?

    Millennials realize that in terms of quality, there usually isn't much difference between brand-name and store brand. In many cases, private label is a better value. And some grocery retailers, like Aldi and Trader Joe's, do a great job of offering unique private label products instead of just providing a knockoff of a brand name. As long as private labels continue to step up their game more consumers, not just Millennials, will view them as a valuable alternative.
  • Posted on: 11/12/2018

    Is it time for U.S. retailers to embrace Singles Day?

    Singles Day fits in nicely with the "treat yo self" mindset that Millennials (and many other shoppers!) already have. I'm puzzled on why U.S. retailers haven't tried to capitalize on Singles Day. Many shoppers already plan to buy for themselves during Black Friday/Cyber Monday. Having a dedicated day for that earlier in the month would increase (and draw out) overall holiday season sales.
  • Posted on: 11/07/2018

    The RetailWire Christmas Commercial Challenge: Kohl’s vs. Macy’s

    Macy’s commercial definitely pulls at the heartstrings. But it doesn’t really have anything to do with Macy’s. It could be a commercial for anything. Or, more accurately, nothing. While I really enjoyed watching Macy’s commercial, it leaves no incentive or reason to shop at Macy’s. Kohl’s commercial spotlights specific products and offers viewers a direct value proposition with Kohl’s Cash. It’s not nearly as artistic or imaginative as Macy’s but in terms of bringing shoppers into stores, I think Kohl’s is more effective.
  • Posted on: 10/24/2018

    Should Old Navy and others offer better deals online than in stores?

    As a consumer, why would I get in my car, drive to the store, and potentially pay for parking, just to pay more for a product that I could have purchased online for a lower price and free shipping? Unless a brand's end goal is to eliminate their brick and mortar storefronts, pricing needs to be consistent across channels. At the very least, offer matching.

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