Ray Riley

Chief Executive Officer, Progress Retail
  • Posted on: 05/17/2018

    Walmart drops Scan & Go tech – again

    Any new in-store tech, whether it's client utilized or sales professional utilized, needs to be launched properly. The key is in sales professionals' understanding the technology, its implications and its utility. Strangely, I've visited Chase Bank probably six times in the past few months, requiring teller assistance each time. Each time, I've observed a banking professional guiding and educating customers to the eATMs that now enable a lot more functionality than the traditional ATM. They were keeping it fun, demonstrating its ease, and removing potential barriers towards the technology. "Build it, and they will come" rarely works in retail. If those on the front-line aren't using the new tech, why would a customer?
  • Posted on: 05/16/2018

    Can retailers find riches at sea?

    Definitely a strong opportunity with a number of positive factors (cruise customer demographics, merchandise mix strategy, captive clientele) for LVMH to further gain marketshare. Will be interesting to watch.
  • Posted on: 05/15/2018

    Retail loyalty programs are no longer in the cards

    I think in this case, Macy's is focusing on the wrong end of the funnel. Retail private label credit cards are archaic and, as mentioned, there are so many other ways to aggregate consumer data. Therefore it's a no-brainer to remove that requirement. Loyalty and retention are critical, but what if Macy's placed an emphasis on having relevant, stylish, well-priced merchandise? What if their stores were clean, and updated from 1985? In that case, they may attract a younger consumer and loyalty could be a more valuable component of their strategy. To me, this is plainly putting the cart before the horse.
  • Posted on: 05/14/2018

    Dormify pops up well before back-to-school season

    Whether mainstream retailers are filling the needs of students today or not shouldn't be an emphasis. Generation Z, and the next cohort will be increasingly time poor, as will their parents. Being able to quickly select curated packages and organize fulfillment will be the future. Not only could Dormify focus on small, short-term dorm space pan out, it could also eventually create the space for a subscription-based furniture rental model on curated designs or "packages" in more permanent spaces e.g. apartments and rentals that removes the pain of moving for the roughly 100 million Gen Y/Z individuals living on their own. Excluding mattresses of course!
  • Posted on: 05/14/2018

    Why is Amazon partnering with Sears again?

    Begin selling tires, and eventually end up showrooming vehicles perhaps? I can't see this being all about tires for Amazon. And for Sears, unless this is a final gasp for air, there must be more upside down the line.
  • Posted on: 05/14/2018

    DSW’s rewards program includes ‘emotional experiences’

    Manicures and shoe repairs are a no-brainer, but how quickly is this planned to roll out to all doors? Increasing frequency of visit, duration of visit and potential virality among shoppers makes a lot of sense, but if the offer is not consistent door-to-door it will die on the vine.
  • Posted on: 05/14/2018

    Is an on-demand workforce heading to retail’s selling floors?

    This definitely could work in theory -- particularly in CPG, fast-fashion and a few other verticals. Theoretically, a private organization could recruit and develop the talent, give them process and let them loose in those retail environments. I can't see the feasibility at this stage in luxury or anywhere with an average transaction over $250.
  • Posted on: 05/11/2018

    Best Buy campaign highlights its ‘insurmountable advantage’ – its people

    Their people have to be their differentiation. The Geek Squad model could be a growing opportunity for further specialized service with IoT, smart homes, and even as farfetched as dedicated technical services and support. Want a web developer? Get a Geek Squad consultant over for coffee tomorrow at 11 a.m. to talk through your project. With Circuit City, CompUSA, and a number of other players long gone, Best Buy could become the de facto electronics services arm for or against Amazon.
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