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 has been selected as one of the “Top 50 Retail Technology Influencers” from 2014 -2018. She also writes a blog for Forbes and is frequently quoted in other major media outlets including the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, LA Times, NPR Marketplace and many others. She serves on the advisory board of three consumer goods import companies.

Previous to her years as an analyst, she spent over 20 years as a retail technology executive and CIO at companies including iParty, 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 in particular has been involved with the RetailROI charity since its earliest days.

Other Links from Paula Rosenblum:

RSR Research blog

  • Posted on: 06/19/2021

    Amazon scales its Just Walk Out tech for a full-size grocery store

    They just rolled out traditional SCO in Whole Foods (at least near me). Will they just burn more money on ripping and replacing it? Why...that's like sending money into...outer space....
  • Posted on: 06/18/2021

    Retailers must centralize their data to thrive

    I don’t understand how this is even a question in 2021. Of course data should be centralized. And where is it not, and why not?
  • Posted on: 06/16/2021

    Will Target hit the bullseye or miss with its store remodeling plan?

    Sooner or later, all retailers are going to have to figure out efficient and effective product pick-up areas. I think all the elements of store design are great. I welcome Target improving its planning and inventory management. That's probably going to have the biggest impact of all. The company has been trying forever, but it never seems to get the inventory balance quite right at an SKU level.
  • Posted on: 06/11/2021

    How do retailers and brands overcome consumers’ ‘green’ skepticism?

    The have to do what they say they're going to do. A Staples opened down here about a decade ago and it was supposed to be the first LEED certified store. I went. the building was very environmentally friendly. What they were selling (lots and lots of paper, plastic and you know, the stuff Staples sells) was not. Not recycled paper -- just a regular Staples store inside a nice box. So was I impressed by the "electric vehicle only" and "car pool only" parking spaces? Sure. But the innards of the store belied the outside of the store.
  • Posted on: 06/08/2021

    How fast can stores fill curbside pickup orders?

    Technology, technology, technology. Accurate inventory management, back room locator systems, wireless communication between employees, and finally, finding the exact right spot for the pickups. This is going to be a bigger challenge in malls than it is in strip centers, but the question of where is almost as big as how.
  • Posted on: 06/07/2021

    Will closing stores on Thanksgiving become the new retail tradition?

    Calling this “a common practice” is funny. It has existed for less than a decade and was always a bad idea. It doesn’t change total sales, but definitely changes the bottom line for the worse. Good riddance to it. The object of the game has to be to create more predictable demand curves. Opening on Thanksgiving and the Black Friday door busters really messed those curves up.
  • Posted on: 06/04/2021

    Does every online retailer need to have a third-party marketplace?

    It's useful to expand the assortment and potentially make the site more sticky, but I suspect it's more trouble than it's worth over the long haul. Shouldn't a retailer stand on its own merits?
  • Posted on: 06/03/2021

    Rent the Runway becoming Resell the Runway

    The resale market is going to be hot for quite some time. I think this is a great move for Rent the Runway and also codifies the fact that *something* has to happen to those clothes when their rental time is through.
  • Posted on: 06/02/2021

    Will marketplace sellers carry the Prime Day for Amazon?

    It’s probably crazy to bet against Amazon, but I think this year people will head for the stores -- we all just got out of jail.
  • Posted on: 06/01/2021

    Stores scramble as Nike cuts wholesale accounts

    The bigger question is, what happens to Nike? The company changes strategy very often -- too often, as far as I'm concerned, and while I think I can empathize with eliminating some of the bigger chains, eliminating independents really goes against the times. I don't think this strategy is going to stick for very long. Just my opinion.
  • Posted on: 05/27/2021

    Will Walmart and Gap be good partners or strange bedfellows?

    Like Suresh, I just don’t get it. Maybe Walmart hopes it will lure more upscale customers. Maybe. Maybe Gap figures it will get incremental revenue and profits in exchange for cost of goods. But I don’t see any of it happening. To me, Gap is a tarnished brand. Walmart is on a roll. Why do it?
  • Posted on: 05/26/2021

    Do micro distribution points (AKA stores) give Petco an edge over Chewy and Amazon?

    Unlike Georganne, I stopped buying at Petco because they were ALWAYS out of stock on the stuff I need. I had three cats with simple yet specific tastes (one passed last year, so now there are two). Petco was literally ALWAYS out of stock on those two varieties of Fancy Feast. I would beg them to order a case of each for me, and I'd get them the day they show up. They're not exotic flavors - classic Fancy Feast. I finally gave up, went with Amazon for a short while, but got tired of bashed in cans because they weren't handled well or packaged correctly, and switched to Chewy. I have never looked back. The only thing I get from Petco is kitty litter because it feels unconscionable to ship kitty litter on a plane. And they pretty much are always in stock on that. So maybe they've solved their inventory management problems, but I left for a reason. So if they want the stores to be a competitive advantage, the company ought to manage its inventory position better.
  • Posted on: 05/24/2021

    Do chatbots need to be more likable?

    I like humans. And humans also need jobs. I find talking to a chatbot annoying, period.
  • Posted on: 05/20/2021

    Macy’s CEO says recent gains are real and better things are ahead

    Nope. I don't know how any reasonable analyst could. We're comparing a chain that had no stores open for at least a month of the quarter (the one that would have generated sales), with a panicky population to a more enured population, many of whom are vaccinated, and who are also excited to get out of the house. I don't know what to say, really. To me, as people come back out into their lives, it's going to be like a rebound romance, with pent-up demand and energy. And then, they'll remember "Oh wait, this wasn't so much fun" and sales will slide again. I wish Macy's the best. I really do. But it would be way better for Mr. Gennette to be less hyperbolic.
  • Posted on: 05/19/2021

    Will made-to-order polos have everyone wanting to wear Ralph Lauren?

    Levi's tried this about a decade or so ago. Custom made jeans. It ultimately didn't work because of the dilemma, "What to do with returns?" Among other reasons around profitability. Do I think the time is now? Given the second-hand market rise, the answer is "maybe." Not a slam dunk on any account, but the times are different, so I can't give it a hard "no."

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