Paula Rosenblum

Managing Partner, RSR Research

Paula Rosenblum is co-founder and Managing Partner at RSR Research and is widely recognized as one of the industry’s top retail technology analysts. She was selected as one of the “Top 50 Retail Influencers” in 2013 and writes a weekly blog for Forbes. Previous to her 12 years as an analyst, she spent over 20 years as a retail technology executive and CIO at companies including Hit or Miss, Morse Shoe, Domain Home Fashions and others.

Paula received her MBA in 1991 from Northeastern University, with a major in management of High Technology firms and was nominated to the Beta Gamma Sigma honor society. She’s active in a variety of organizations supporting human growth and development, and has been involved with the RetailROI charity since its earliest days.

Other Links from Paula Rosenblum:

RSR Research blog

  • Posted on: 12/14/2018

    Does fear motivate workers or make things worse?

    I worked in one. The guy was nuts, plain and simple. How he got to be CEO of a company is beyond me, and he actually contacted one of my former coworkers a few weeks ago asking if he wanted to go work for him again at a new venture. To his credit, my friend told him that he had provided the worst work experience of his life. And there are posts all over the web echoing same about this person. It always catches up with them.
  • Posted on: 12/14/2018

    Does fear motivate workers or make things worse?

    It’s hard to believe we’re having this conversation in 2018, but I think the Great Recession revived this disgusting “motivator.” Do you know how many times I heard the phrase, “well, they’re lucky to have any job at all?” during that era? It’s really a bad idea at this point. Retail jobs are totally fungible for most in store employees. They’ll just go get another one. Ditto with just about any other job these days too. It’s time to consign that one to the dustbin of history.
  • Posted on: 12/12/2018

    Is Kroger following the Sears playbook for self-destruction?

    I have said (somewhat unpopularly) for quite a while that I felt Kroger was thrashing. If it were just digital, that would be one story -- but one day it’s private label clothes, then it’s meal kits, then it’s something else. So for me the bottom line is that Kroger needs to stop thrashing and focus on what it’s good at. There isn’t much merit to comparing Kroger with Sears -- that’s a singularity I hope to never again see in my lifetime. There is merit to asking “what do you want to be when you grow up? How do you plan to compete? If I were an investor, that’s what I’d want to hear.
  • Posted on: 12/03/2018

    Can Gap cut its way to profitability?

    I don’t think I agree. I used to use Gap as an example of a chain that basically ignored its own internal radius restrictions. Malls dictate them sometimes, but Gap was in a position to open in strip centers if it had to. Its signature style is its signature style. And just like PacSun and others, the market for that style shrank. You gotta be who you are. I still remember Gap's “floral phase.” It was terrifying.
  • Posted on: 12/03/2018

    Can Gap cut its way to profitability?

    I think closing stores will help, though merchandising and marketing definitely matter a lot. Gap got crazy overbuilt. I don't know what the right size is for them, but it's smart to do this proactively rather than wait for bankruptcy court. People don't want to wear big logos anymore. Well, fewer people. Whoever Gap is now, it doesn't merit the size it is, for sure.
  • Posted on: 11/30/2018

    What will it take for retailers to win the last-mile race for customers?

    Well, the problem is that success is relative. Retailers have to do what consumers want, which is to get faster and deliver free. So getting it done is table stakes and certainly requires technology. But here's the thing. Amazon doesn't make much money on its retail operations (I'm being charitable, here). Most other retailers can't get away with that. So they've got to ultimately be BETTER than Amazon. The narrower their assortments, the easier that will be. On their fronts, Target and Walmart will take advantage of their brick-and-mortar presences to do Instacart-like deliveries for relatively short money. So I see specialty stores and giants doing well. Others will struggle, and profits will be hurt. There's just no choice.
  • Posted on: 11/27/2018

    Does Amazon’s record performance point to the growing importance of Cyber Monday?

    The industry created it, and now it has to live with it. Personally, I think I'd prefer to see it wind down a little, but that will take time. Customers expect it, and now everyone has to participate. Note that consumers are becoming aware that most Black Friday weekend prices are not all that.
  • Posted on: 11/26/2018

    Are Black Friday results a sign of Christmas 2018 things to come?

    Small point, but ShopperTrak had traffic down 1 percent. I tend to believe them more, since I generally use their numbers and it's like for like. I think lower traffic makes for bigger baskets.
  • Posted on: 11/21/2018

    Will loyalty programs drive market share gains for Lyft or Uber?

    At the moment it seems that Uber is still re-honing its reputation. There are people who simply will not use them because of past transgressions. I would focus there, frankly, on good deeds all around, not just loyalty points. This is still a very immature industry, with many drivers driving for both. I think the loyalty programs will come in handy later. For now, Uber has a job to do, and Lyft actually needs to get its name out there more.
  • Posted on: 11/20/2018

    Is Hasbro trolling Millennials with its new Monopoly game sold by Walmart?

    I’m weary of treating Millennials as a separate species. I think if I were one, I’d be irritated too. Rocket mortgage is certainly not for baby boomers. So the “experience vs thing” thing has grown tiresome. It’s not real. It’s a function of age.
  • Posted on: 11/19/2018

    Can Walmart turn its haters into lovers?

    Well, Walmart has a history of going places with stores where people quite loudly request they please NOT come. As such, the unique qualities of many small towns have been ruined and, over the past decade or so, they've been working on cities too. Let's take Miami. They worked on getting a location in Midtown for eight years. The city didn't want them there, the neighborhood was just wrong, but they wanted what they wanted and went around every law in the books to finally force the city to approve it. Right down to hiring people ($100 a pop) to wear "I heart Walmart" t-shirts to the planning board. This was all pre-McMillon. Now, do I think the company is changing? Yes, I do. They have yet to start building that store in Midtown (I really hope it never gets built -- I would have welcomed it in another location closer to where I live, so it's not a NIMBY issue), and Doug McMillon seems to be working hard to make its workers' lives better ... but its history post-Sam Walton was to be a backwoods bully. I am happy to see that changing.
  • Posted on: 11/16/2018

    Can Bernie Sanders force Walmart to raise its minimum wage?

    Well, I seem to disagree with the majority here, but if a corporation gets a windfall in the form of a tax break, yes I do think the government has a say in what they do with that windfall. Frankly, the U.S. taxpayer has been subsidizing Walmart through paying for things like SNAP for underpaid workers. I say enough is enough. You can’t have it both ways. And no, I am not generally a Sanders fan.
  • Posted on: 11/15/2018

    I don’t like Amazon as much as I did last week

    No, that's not it. The issue is that in the end, it picked the most predictable suspects. And so the whole thing was a sham.
  • Posted on: 11/15/2018

    I don’t like Amazon as much as I did last week

    I don't like anything about the way Amazon conducted this "search." It did not remain true to the tenets it started with, and when push came to shove, picked areas where its CEO has homes. In the meanwhile, it gathered a wealth of knowledge about major cities around the country. And let's not forget, this is now our conversation as we head into Thanksgiving and the holiday season. I can think of several other cities that would have had equal talent and be more "livable" that Long Island City (seriously????). Will the host cities be happy? Sure. But like you, I grow more disenchanted with Amazon by the day. I am starting to look elsewhere for products unless I am in a big hurry, but others are also catching up on shipping times. There is something about this process that makes me want to take a shower. It just felt dirty.
  • Posted on: 11/08/2018

    Will Walmart’s bring your own device policy work for it and its associates?

    I have never understood why this didn’t take off years ago. It’s the right way to do it!

Contact Paula

  • Apply to be a BrainTrust Panelist

  • Please briefly describe your qualifications — specifically, your expertise and experience in the retail industry.
  • By submitting this form, I give you permission to forward my contact information to designated members of the RetailWire staff.

    See RetailWire's privacy policy for more information about what data we collect and how it is used.