PROFILE

Meaghan Brophy

Senior Retail Writer

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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Meaghan is the Senior Retail Writer for Fit Small Business where she offers how-to advice and buyer’s guides for business owners. Previously, Meaghan Brophy was the editorial director Independent Retailer, where she covered retail trends, tech, ecommerce, marketing tips, and kept 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: 04/26/2021

    Will stock ownership work as a loyalty program perk?

    Fractional stock ownership is a creative approach to building brand loyalty and getting customers invested (literally) in the success of the business. For the right brands, this approach could really resonate with customers. 
However it’s hard to compete against straightforward cash-back rewards. I don’t think this type of loyalty program would be as popular as cash-back rewards, but for the right retailer it could help create a small group of brand loyalists.
  • Posted on: 04/20/2021

    Are pop-up shops the answer to getting reluctant shoppers back into stores?

    In the coming months, pop-ups could be a good method for retailers to test new products -- consumer behavior and preferences have changed a lot over the past year. 

 However, we’re not yet on the other side of the pandemic, and the bigger concern is safety. People want to feel safe while shopping, and historically, successful pop-ups meant crowds. For now, retailers should focus on ticketed, limited events, or outdoor functions. In general, people are itching to get back to normal, which means back to shopping in-stores and dining at restaurants. Pop-ups provide a good excuse to do that. There are two key elements for operating a successful pop-up:
    • Location/marketing: For a pop-up to have good ROI, it needs to gain a lot of buzz. A popup needs either plenty of customers that make a concerted effort to attend the event (which can be done through social, email, and local marketing). Or, retailers need a spot that gets significant foot traffic so customers will stumble upon the event.
    • Product & value proposition: For shoppers to make an effort to attend, they need to be enticed by a product or service that is not normally available.
  • Posted on: 04/06/2021

    Associates are starring in retailer ad campaigns

    There are many advantages to using employees in campaigns instead of influencers or celebrities. Any company can pay for an influencer. But, seeing an employee endorse the company they work for and its products speaks volumes for how the company values employees and the overall quality of its products or services. Campaigns featuring employees just ring more authentic.
  • Posted on: 04/06/2021

    Will consumers immerse themselves in Dick’s new experiential concept stores?

    Dick’s experiential store concepts could easily attract tourists, teens, and local families, especially as people will be eager to get out of their houses and shop in-store when we are on the other side of the pandemic. I hope that Dick’s will be able to learn from these store concepts, and incorporate the more popular and profitable elements into some of their other full-line locations. A few standalone experiential stores feels more like a branding play than a substantial operational change.
  • Posted on: 02/08/2021

    Who won this year’s Super Bowl ad contest?

    I absolutely loved the spot featuring Jessica Long. It pulled at the heartstrings and was a really touching moment. But I honestly did not catch that it was a Toyota commercial. My favorite commercial of the Super Bowl was DoorDash's "Neighborhood". However DoorDash and Uber Eats urging people to support local by using their apps feels a little off, as indie restaurants are often paying huge fees to use the delivery apps. Oatly's "Wow No Cow" was also memorable, if only for being different. I still can't decide if I liked it or hated it.
  • Posted on: 01/12/2021

    Do sampled freebies drive loyalty?

    If done well, free sampling can drive revenue. But what retailers often overlook is that free samples can be a great way to collect feedback on new products or lines. Target your most loyal and highest-spending customers to offer free samples and collect feedback before pushing a full launch.
  • Posted on: 01/08/2021

    Should your DNA data be used to sell products?

    The idea of being marketed to based on my DNA makes my skin crawl. As consumers, we've become more and more comfortable with personalized marketing over the years, but using DNA feels like a hard line. There are way too many risks. The examples listed in the discussion - Spotify playlists and airline discounts - seem innocuous enough, but there's a much darker side to this where instead of fun discounts, people's DNA is used against them.
  • Posted on: 12/16/2020

    Should c-stores go healthy for the sake of kids?

    C-stores should sell a variety of snack options - including lots of healthy foods. Stocking healthier snacks from local brands, innovative products, and prepared foods can help drive some appeal. But healthy food options also need to be sold at a price point that's similar to comfort foods. And that is something that c-stores have less control over unless they cut into their margins.
  • Posted on: 12/15/2020

    Starbucks sees even more stores in its future

    It's hard to imagine that there's a sustainable demand for 22,000 more Starbucks locations, but historically Starbucks has done a great job of knowing their customers and innovating to meet demand. Continued focus on drive-thru and pickup formats will absolutely help Starbucks continue to grow. Post-pandemic, I think people will seek to reconnect with friends and engage in social activities like dining out and meeting in coffee shops. However even if that spike in going out to restaurants and coffee shops is temporary, Starbucks will have steep competition with the beloved local businesses that are able to make it through the pandemic.
  • Posted on: 12/15/2020

    Lidl and Tesco keep their Christmas spots ‘merry and bright’ for 2020

    I really like how both spots keep the focus on their products. But Tesco takes the win. It has more energy, upbeat humor, and is just a little more relatable.
  • Posted on: 11/10/2020

    Will Ulta shops turn Target into a beauty destination?

    This partnership is such a smart move. Target has already done a great job with the beauty "pop-ins" in its stores, and the Ulta partnership is a natural evolution. For Ulta, this is a great way to expand reach without adding to its standalone store footprint. Target has also excelled as a user-friendly shopping destination with BOPIS, curbside pickup, and same-day delivery options, which will allow Ulta to compete with Sephora's Instacart same-day delivery options.
  • Posted on: 11/09/2020

    Should Trader Joe’s have gone public with COVID-19 rates?

    Transparency with the virus is absolutely critical. Disclosing store infections will no doubt scare some shoppers in the near-term. But, it’s also important to highlight the risk retail workers are taking and the importance of all shoppers and employees to wear masks and follow all safety precautions.
  • Posted on: 11/09/2020

    What will President Joe Biden mean for retail?

    The Biden administration could positively impact retailers with additional stimulus packages, fewer “trade wars” that impact supply chains and costs, and a general sense of stability from our government. A Biden administration could also lead to higher corporate taxes (though that would likely not impact small businesses, which make up the majority of retailers). 
However, I think retail businesses will be most dramatically impacted, at least in the near-term, by local city and state governments and how they choose to act to slow down the spread of the coronavirus. Though Biden has said this is his top priority, it really comes down to local regulations and enforcement.
  • Posted on: 10/22/2020

    How crucial is last mile fulfillment to 7-Eleven and the c-store channel?

    Last-mile fulfillment is incredibly important for convenience stores. As others have pointed out -- it's right in the name. In order for a convenience store to be successful, it has to be convenient for customers to shop from them. Location is a big part of that, but local delivery, order-ahead options, and curbside pickup are an increasingly important part. It will be challenging for convenience stores to be able to offer these services profitably. Grocery items have notoriously thin margins. Pick and pack operations involve additional labor expenses, which usually cannot be made up through higher prices for BOPIS services. In order for this to work, convenience stores will need to focus on prepared foods and other items that have higher profit margins.
  • Posted on: 10/08/2020

    Will downsizing (food packs) bring a merry Christmas to Sam’s Club?

    Sam's Club will absolutely have success selling smaller food packs this holiday season. In general, having smaller packs would help expand non-business membership. During the pandemic, I'm not so sure if membership would expand, but they will definitely be able to better meet the needs of current members. Combined with ship-from-store efforts and contactless shopping, Sam's Club is really setting itself up for success this holiday season.

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