Meaghan Brophy

Managing Editor, Independent Retailer
Meaghan Brophy is the managing editor for Sumner Communications, parent company of Independent Retailer and The Merchandiser Group. Both magazines are written for small retailers and cover topics including marketing, sales, management, products, trade shows, and everything else related to the digital and brick and mortar independent retail industry. She serves as the principal writer and editor for both monthly publications and helps guide the editorial direction of each issue.

Outside of her time at Sumner Communications, 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: 07/10/2018

    Hershey figures out what drives impulse purchases in stores

    I love this! It’s easy to put together an impulse display that’s visually appealing and has some trend items. But by addressing the underlying psychology of the impulse buy, retailers can make their displays much more effective. For impulse purchases, indulge, delight and score seem to be the most important. Price point is super significant when it comes to impulse buys, so the product has to be a good deal. I agree with Georganne that impulse buys and in-store displays are by nature two different things.
  • Posted on: 07/09/2018

    Are shoppers ready to pay to park at the mall?

    I can see this maybe working for Black Friday. But that’s about it. Shoppers don’t want to pay for parking; these “rock star” spaces will be empty most of the time. I'm not sure why malls would shoot themselves in the foot by charging for parking and creating even more friction with consumers.
  • Posted on: 07/03/2018

    Study claims positive plus-size clothing messages may have a downside

    Is this "study" suggesting that plus sizes… shouldn’t have clothes? As many pointed out, over half of the female population wears over a size 12. Obviously, the fashion community should cater to this half of the population, as much as they have previously catered to smaller sizes. Sure, retailers could promote healthy lifestyles. But that has nothing to do with what size clothes they offer. As Jasmine points out, size is not a direct indicator of health. If they want to set positive examples, start internally by prioritizing employee’s health, not passing judgment on customers.
  • Posted on: 06/14/2018

    Retailers stand out by vetoing the ‘pink tax’

    There is definitely an opportunity for retailers here. Charging more for a women’s product when it’s really the same as the men’s version just in pink doesn’t fly with today’s consumers. Personally, I’ve been buying men’s razors for years for this reason. Consumers want equality and transparency, so retailers should keep up. As Cynthia pointed out, these “excess costs” of producing women’s products is more of a smokescreen than a reality. And like Nikki said, consumers can tell if a business is doing the right thing because it’s the right thing, or if they are doing it for good PR. So if retailers really want to make a difference for their female consumers, yes you need equal pricing but you also need to look at how you’re treating employees.
  • Posted on: 06/07/2018

    How many e-mails are too much?

    I don’t open the vast majority of retail emails that I receive. And these are brands that I like. But if every day you’re having the “biggest sale ever” it’s exhausting and I just don’t believe you. The fewer emails I receive from a brand, the more likely I am to open them. It’s kind of like when your quiet friend speaks up and says something. Everyone listens because you assume it’s important. At least for me, the same idea applies to emails.
  • Posted on: 05/25/2018

    Millennials spend like crazy on their ‘fur-babies’

    I agree Lyle! Events, experiences, or stores that welcome pets are a great way for retailers to attract customers.
  • Posted on: 05/25/2018

    Millennials spend like crazy on their ‘fur-babies’

    It’s fun! As a Millennial pet owner, I absolutely dress my fur baby up for Halloween, and have him pose in Christmas sweaters and other cute outfits like tracksuits. He doesn’t necessarily love the outfits, but he definitely loves the attention. I would love to see more stores that are pet-friendly. Lowe’s, Home Depot, Petco and many garden centers allow furry friends, but it’s definitely a minority. Retailers that are serious about connecting with pet owners should welcome (well-behaved) fur babies too.
  • Posted on: 05/24/2018

    AriZona Iced Tea taps ’90s nostalgia with pop-up

    Agreed, Gabriela. The brands doing nostalgia the best are the ones that have strong roots in the decade they're throwing back to.
  • Posted on: 05/24/2018

    Is excess space behind retail’s shrink and customer experience problems?

    They are PWC numbers! Guess I can't believe everything I read on the internet. :)
  • Posted on: 05/24/2018

    Is excess space behind retail’s shrink and customer experience problems?

    Yes to all of this. America is way over-stored. In the U.S. there are about 23.6 square feet of retail per person. That’s nuts. Australia has 11.1 square feet and the U.K. 4.6. In my opinion, this amount of retail space is not sustainable, and we’re seeing the fallout now. Another issue is how retailers are utilizing their space. Taking on a modern showroom approach instead of cramming in as much merchandise as possible is a better experience for customers, and makes shoplifting more difficult. Smaller stores, curated product selections, and accessible and attentive staff are all so important. As Bob pointed out, retailers have to treat their online and offline spaces differently. If customers are making the effort to shop in person, they want a great experience with friendly staff. If they wanted to browse your entire product catalog without talking to anyone, they would go online.
  • Posted on: 05/24/2018

    AriZona Iced Tea taps ’90s nostalgia with pop-up

    AriZona did a great job with this. Millennials love ‘90s nostalgia, and streetwear is super in right now. The icing on the cake is how well these elements mesh with AriZona’s brand. As Joanna pointed out, this popup could have easily been “cringey.” Arizona's signature teal, white, and pink color scheme and mixed checkered/floral patterns lend themselves particularly well to this kind of ‘90s look. … anyone else have the urge to break out a ‘90s windbreaker right now?
  • Posted on: 05/21/2018

    Sexism is still alive and well

    “Face it. There are ‘cool women” and “those women.’” – For me, this quote hits the nail on the head. I’m embarrassed to say I’ve let comments and situations that I found horrifying slide just for the sake of remaining in the “inner circle.” The battle between standing up and saying something and risk being shut out of the “boys club” or brushing it off and letting it haunt you is a battle I think almost every woman goes through in their career. But it is important to talk about sexism in the workplace. Unfortunately, it’s not just men who think, “That doesn’t really happen anymore.” I’ve spoken with women who believe that the sexism battle was fought and won already. And it’s true a lot of progress has been made. But there’s still a long way to go, and that starts with having these hard conversations.
  • Posted on: 05/18/2018

    Will American consumers go for ‘When Harry Married Meghan’ promos?

    The royal wedding is such a fun opportunity for retailers to get creative! Everyone loves a wedding. There’s no reason not to celebrate a happy occasion, especially if you can do it in a way that makes sense for your brand and your customers. For example, Stew Leonard’s, an indie grocery chain near us, recreated the royal wedding cake and people are LOVING it.
  • Posted on: 05/10/2018

    Why is Amazon partnering with Sears again?

    I had the same exact thought.
  • Posted on: 05/10/2018

    Why is Amazon partnering with Sears again?

    I can’t help but see this as a wolf in sheep’s clothing situation. Amazon is playing nice with Sears before they gobble up what’s left.

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