PROFILE

Meaghan Brophy

Editorial Director, Independent Retailer
Meaghan Brophy is 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.

Meaghan is also a retail writer for Fit Small Business where she offers how-to advice and buyer's guides for business 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: 09/21/2018

    Will the EU’s anticompetitive investigation follow Amazon back to the U.S.?

    Maybe I'm too cynical, but, my reaction is: Of course Amazon is using third-party data for their own personal gain. Whether or not that is illegal, I have no idea. Honestly, I'm not too sure it would make much difference. I'm not saying it shouldn't -- it should, But in the court of public opinion, Amazon is doing great in the U.S. Amazon can be a good source of revenue and exposure for independent sellers, but my personal opinion is that retailers on Amazon should diversify their revenue streams and use Amazon as a launch point or as an additional sales channel rather than their end game. Amazon is in it for Amazon, and third-party sellers need to keep that in mind.
  • Posted on: 09/21/2018

    Why don’t retailers concentrate more on selling the Christmas spirit?

    When I think of successful holiday retail, of course, NYC comes to mind. As Mark said, Macy's has always done a great job with their window display. I think part of the hesitation for many retailers in completely immersing in the holiday spirit is needing to see a definitive ROI. Yes, many people flock to Macy's windows to see their iconic display. But how many sales does that expensive display actually bring in? Pop-up and temporary markets are becoming an important part of holiday retailing and provide an immersive experience. I think that is a smart way for retailers to step their holiday spirit game up without overspending.
  • Posted on: 09/17/2018

    Are grocers shortchanging flexitarians?

    As the article suggests, a lot of grocers have incorporated vegan and vegetarian products into the frozen food section. And at this point, I think most flexitarians have accepted going to the dedicated vegetarian section of the frozen food aisle to pick up veggie burgers. However, grocery stores have a huge opportunity to incorporate more veg-friendly items in the prepared foods section. Many people are opting for vegetarian options when eating out, or when buying a frozen meal. But learning how to cook healthy veg meals from home takes effort, and I think there is a revenue opportunity for grocers that fill in that gap.
  • Posted on: 09/14/2018

    Is mobile the most disruptive force in retail since online selling began?

    In short -- yes. Mobile completely changes how people shop. Looking at how shoppers make their final purchase is just scratching the tip of the mobile iceberg. If the purchase is made on a desktop or even in-store, there's a good chance mobile was involved in the shopping journey somehow -- whether through email marketing, social media browsing or reading reviews. Mobile technology completely revolutionized how the average consumer interacts with brands on a day-to-day level.
  • Posted on: 08/17/2018

    Bark barks outside the box with BarkPark


    I’ve seen BarkPark get some criticism online – pay $19 a day to play with your dog in some grass? But honestly, I can see BarkPark being successful in city areas where people don’t have a yard or another (free) neighborhood park to play in. And the $78 season pass is definitely more affordable if you plan on bringing Fido each weekend. Overall, this is a great example of an online retailer incorporating their products into a physical destination while providing an experience and service that makes sense for their brand.
  • Posted on: 08/08/2018

    Amazon delivers latest Prime perk to Whole Foods’ curb

    I see price point as being the reason more Prime members don’t shop at Whole Foods. Amazon Prime members love a good deal, and Whole Foods still has the “Whole Paycheck” stigma. Conveniences like home delivery and curbside pickup will help attract a few more Prime customers, but it will take time and significantly lower prices to change people’s overall impression of Whole Foods.
  • Posted on: 08/08/2018

    Report says voice commerce is all talk

    I also agree. Being able to see a product, online or in-store is such an important part of purchasing. People will use voice as part of the shopping process, but probably not to actually complete the transaction.
  • Posted on: 08/06/2018

    Kroger takes on Visa

    My gut reaction is to say no -- it’s not worth the inconvenience. But Costco only accepts one brand of major credit cards and that hasn’t seemed to damage their sales. So the question really comes down to whether or not customers are loyal enough to Kroger brands to withstand the inconvenience.
  • Posted on: 08/02/2018

    Wayfair to open its first brick & mortar store

    I once purchased a couch online. It was great, except not at all the size I imagined (even though it had measurements listed). Wayfair has gone to great lengths with their augmented reality app to prevent the kind of mistake I made. For a lot of people, being able to visualize a piece of furniture in their house and compare customer reviews is enough. Personally, I will be visiting a physical store to buy furniture from now on. Like others have pointed out, there is a lot to be said about sitting on a sofa before buying it. I expect Wayfair will remain primarily a digital platform, but with a few outlets and maybe some physical showrooms.
  • Posted on: 07/26/2018

    Retailers throw ‘hiring parties’ to reach staffing goals

    Hiring parties can be more efficient than the traditional process. However, with today’s low unemployment rate retailers need to look beyond hiring strategies into their benefits and employee retention. It’s an employee’s market right now. With so many options to choose from, potential employees will be taking a harder look at the benefits and the company culture.
  • Posted on: 07/24/2018

    Chick-fil-A to pilot meal kit market test in ATL

    In general, I like the meal kit concept. But way too many companies are trying to get in on the hype and the marketplace is quickly becoming very oversaturated. When all is said and done I think only a few of the original meal kit companies will remain. Chick-fil-A has an extremely loyal following, so they might pull this off. But overall I’m having a hard time seeing this as a smart idea for the fast-food company. As others have pointed out -- couldn’t you just buy an already cooked Chick-fil-A meal for the same price?
  • Posted on: 07/23/2018

    How should specialty retail respond to Amazon’s apparel push?

    Lee, you’re absolutely right -- retailers need to get creative. Apparel shoppers are buying from Amazon because it’s convenient, especially if you’re buying a low-risk product like leggings or a t-shirt. But many shoppers, including younger generations, prefer buying in-person. Local retailers who carry unique items are in a great position to do really well right now as long as they market themselves effectively and keep innovating in-store.
  • 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.

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