PROFILE

Mohamed Amer

Independent Board Member, Investor and Startup Advisor

Living in Southern California, Mohamed is keen on applying his corporate and entrepreneurial executive leadership across strategy, technology, and communications in the service of progressive boards of directors, c-suites, and startup companies.

Building teams and driving results spanning multiple industry sectors and domains, Mohamed brings successful experience in public and private sectors across mission-critical operational, supply chain, strategy, communications, and technology roles.  He is a highly trusted coach and advisor for senior executives and entrepreneurs in the technology and consumer-facing industries.

During his tenure at SAP, Mohamed held several senior roles that included leading the solution footprint, M&A, and go-to-market strategy for the global grocery business, and developing the future supply chain product area for retail. While leading the Retail Business Unit in the Americas, he supported business development, key customer implementations, and strategic relationships as well as managing key user groups and executive customer councils. He also led internal and external communication roles across multiple sectors and most recently having responsibility for executive communications in SAP’s Office of the Co-Presidents.

Prior to SAP, Mohamed was co-founder and President of NEXstep, an Internet supply chain software startup which was acquired by Viewlocity.  He also held leadership positions in the retail management consultancy, Kurt Salmon Associates (acquired by Accenture) with extensive Retail and CPG client engagements as well as general management roles in the office products industry at Boise Cascade and Buhrmann-Tetterode.

Mohamed held a commission with the United States Navy (Lieutenant Commander – naval aviation and naval intelligence). Mohamed holds a Ph.D. in Human and Organizational Systems from Fielding Graduate University; in addition, he has earned an MBA at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, and an M.A. in National Security Affairs at the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School.

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  • Posted on: 01/27/2022

    Retailers need to prove their sustainability cred to grow sales

    The rise of online retailing has exasperated the E in ESG. The carbon emissions of the last mile delivery and packaging severely impact the environment. Online orders delivered to the home require more packaging and have fewer items per transaction, and multi-item charges can result in multiple deliveries. Physical stores offering BOPIS capture the convenience of online and store pickup efficiencies. Making consumers aware of more sustainable ordering and delivery patterns can make a sizable dent in the carbon footprint of online products. In addition to the Environmental factors, retailers can’t ignore the Social and Governance elements of ESG. Their customers have surely not!
  • Posted on: 01/24/2022

    Kohl’s receives an unsolicited buyout bid, others may follow

    It is beyond laughable to value Kohl’s online operations on a standalone basis of $12.4 billion, a 42 percent premium to today’s already high valuation. The flurry of financial engineering announcements cannot and will not resurrect the structural imbalances that Kohl’s represents. Standalone retailing is past its peak, the future is hybrid, and store footprints will be smaller. Kohl’s is stuck in a slowly dying retail format; no amount of Wall Street magic can change the inevitable, but it can generate short-term gains in a turbulent market.
  • Posted on: 01/21/2022

    Amazon says first clothing store will be a fashion and technological revelation

    Amazon’s core strength is technology and data. Looking at the video, Amazon is replacing traditional sales associates with an app and a powerful recommendation engine. Style choices, upsells, and cross-sells are enabled on your phone. The layout and flow are different from traditional department stores with more fitting rooms than usual. This model requires well-integrated and flawless backroom operations. Not surprisingly, Amazon redefines apparel retailing using technology as the starting point and betting on curating the desired styles, colors, and sizes through algorithms and massive collected data. Labor content in this model is in backroom operations and, for now, at the checkout counter.
  • Posted on: 01/14/2022

    Will NFTs, Kanye West and high-fashion collabs help Gap get its groove back?

    If The Gap cannot solve their core merchandising problem, no amount of effort, at the margin, will right the ship. NFTs and celebrities can generate grand narratives, but numbers tell their tales. Sure, creatively explore programs around the edges, but don’t overlook the heart of the matter.
  • Posted on: 01/14/2022

    SCOTUS strikes down OSHA’s COVID vaccine/testing mandate

    This widespread cavalier attitude is borne out of distrust of government, irrespective of one’s political stripe. The cohesive bonds that held American society together are torn asunder from within and without by political opportunists and long-time enemies of the U.S. in a bizarre and frightening death embrace.
  • Posted on: 01/13/2022

    Can Penney’s new leadership (finally) transform the business?

    Great people, talented team, inspiring vision, but time and the operational environment are not on their side. I sincerely do wish them luck. However when this latest and valiant attempt fails, it won’t be for lack of trying or skill; the deck is stacked against them.
  • Posted on: 01/13/2022

    Has ‘just-in-case’ replaced ‘just-in-time’ inventory management?

    Robust supply chains remain flexible and don’t break under stress. Strategically, the trade-offs are efficiency and lowest cost versus flexibility and speed. The former builds entrenched flows with hardened supply nodes; the latter expands the supply network for greater redundancy. Efficiency proponents use cost per unit to measure success. Flexibility advocates look at availability and overall impact on the store shelf. Both approaches can learn from identifying and addressing the bottlenecks that limit the general flow of goods irrespective of the design.
  • Posted on: 01/11/2022

    Will JD.com’s robotic shops shake up retailing in the West?

    This model is a pure efficiency play and will see limited but successful adoption in the West as part of a store portfolio. It’s ideal for a no-hassle order and pickup experience without a checkout queue. J.D.com is changing the P&L and store financial model with ochama. Conducting proper research on demographics and shopper density is crucial to identifying the right markets and store locations.
  • Posted on: 01/11/2022

    Reality hits omnichannel retail with a hard truth

    If it were true that customers didn't care about whom they spend their time and money interacting with, then the entire branding tower would have been an expensive mirage. The reality is that customers do care with whom they engage but are not as motivated to peek under the hood into how things get done. Take the post’s suggested argument that the cloud is changing everything and positioning an either/or choice of cloud and technology versus connected commerce under one entity. It does not serve customers, employees, or brands, however it does serve Wall Street interests of moving money around with promises of future realized values that never materialize.
  • Posted on: 01/10/2022

    Wellness has become fashionable at Saks

    Wellness predates the pandemic, but the resultant WFH shift brought increased spending to in-home and personal wellness categories. Luxury retailers have an opportunity to tap into this growing demand, and I expect Saks’ online Wellness Shop to succeed with the right assortment and creative execution.
  • Posted on: 01/10/2022

    Has BOPIS lost its pandemic boost?

    No, BOPIS remains relevant and popular. Looking at the findings by Hanover Research, BOPIS is an essential consideration for online shopping much higher than shipping speed or delivery day selection. BOPIS offers consumer convenience and decision flexibility. Unlike home deliveries, there are no additional fees for BOPIS, including the popular curbside pickup. Bottom line, BOPIS is not going away.
  • Posted on: 12/28/2021

    The winner of the 2021 RetailWire Christmas Commercial Challenge is …

    Etsy is the winner! Etsy’s ad was emotionally direct and built a warm relationship between the two generations in 30 seconds. It highlighted two segments that have endured much through the pandemic: front-line workers and the elderly. Etsy creates mutual respect and genuine caring between two diverse characters as we, the audience, look in. Etsy’s personalized gifting drives home the company’s differentiated offering while celebrating our individual uniqueness.
  • Posted on: 12/21/2021

    Amazon and Etsy’s Christmas spots speak to the gift of giving of yourself

    A terrific pair of advertisements. Amazon delivery was nuanced as it navigated arriving in a new city, being away from family, and the invisible privacy bubbles we carry. To have the older person respect the younger’s space was effective in focusing the story on the young woman and giving youth control. This was a long spot but necessary for compelling story-telling. Etsy’s spot was more direct and built a warm relationship between the two generations in 30 seconds. It requires less thought and directly taps the emotional strings. There’s mutual respect and genuine caring between the two characters. Etsy’s personalized gifting brings home the company’s differentiated offering well. Kudos to both!
  • Posted on: 12/17/2021

    Do retailers have a recommendation bias problem?

    If C-suite executives and, even more importantly, their boards are hyper-focused on growth and profitability regardless of the means, then the AI bias problem is guaranteed to exist in their algorithms. Ensuring diversity in the AI team is a start. Reviewing key assumptions and a variety of training data is another step. But paramount is putting in place directives that guide the building of algorithms and actively eliminate embedded bias.
  • Posted on: 12/17/2021

    What’s driving the merch opportunity at restaurants?

    It’s all about a sense of identity and belonging. To identify with a tribe, a lifestyle, and make a statement about who you are or want to be. Sometimes it’s as simple as having a souvenir marking a special event at a particular restaurant. Post COVID-19 lockdowns, people are celebrating life and pursuing some normality. Buying retail merchandise at a restaurant fills an emotional need. Have we reached peak merch opportunity at restaurants? Maybe, but I wouldn’t bet on it yet.

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