PROFILE

Rick Moss

President, Co-founder, RetailWire

Along with partners Al McClain and Santi Briglia, Rick Moss is responsible for conceiving and building RetailWire.com. Principally, he spearheads the functional design and content of the site, along with other administrative and creative duties.

  • Rick’s career in retail trade communications stretches back to 1981 with the start-up of Retail Insights, a ground-breaking video trade magazine. He headed the production and design team for that series of programs until 1993, when, along with partner Santi Briglia, he formed Further Media, a communications design company.
  • With Further Media, Moss and Briglia produced a diversity of b2b communications for the likes of IBM, CMP/InformationWeek, Dean Foods, Ralston Purina and GE. Although primarily concentrated on web design and management, Further Media also designed for video, print and interactive disk.
  • In 1998, out of a partnership between Further Media and Al McClain’s Media Connection, came IdeaBeat.com — the retail industry’s most innovative online community. Rick served as President, overseeing content and strategic partnerships.

Rick is also a contributor to blogs and news publications, typically writing on the impact of future technologies. His opinion pieces have appeared in USA Today and Forbes.com. He is the author of two novels: the speculative fiction thriller, Ebocloud, and Tellers, about a tragedy that befalls a Hudson Valley farming collective. He serves on the Human Trajectories Board, Media & Arts Board and the Robotics/AI Board of the Lifeboat Foundation, an organization dedicated to encouraging scientific advancements while helping humanity survive existential risks associated with the misuse of increasingly powerful technologies.

Rick resides in Brooklyn, New York with his wife Catherine of 30 plus years. They have two grown daughters, Alison and Genna, both involved in the creative arts.

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  • Posted on: 01/22/2019

    Did Gillette’s rant against toxic masculinity go too far?

    We're not that far apart on this, Rich, but I think the danger in your thinking is that such broad assumptions give men the excuse to behave badly — that since we're "wired differently" we somehow have a right to, say, speak over a woman in a meeting because we are instinctively more aggressive and therefore make better leaders. (I know you don't mean that, but other men I'm sure feel that way.) I think it's a bad practice for you or anyone to assume they "know it when they see it" because the "it" (masculinity) has been defined only through stereotypes, many of which are not constructive to moving forward on this issue. And so I would suggest the best way to broaden our views is to reject the notion of "traditional masculinity" and instead just focus on being good people.
  • Posted on: 01/21/2019

    Did Gillette’s rant against toxic masculinity go too far?

    You make some good points, Rich, but I think your argument would be stronger if we understood your definition of "masculinity." When you say, today's culture needs "more masculinity by men," what kind of behavior is that, exactly? The point Gillette is trying to make (not all that successfully, IMO), is that we need a new definition of masculinity. Is compassion a core ingredient of masculinity? How important is "toughness"? Are gay men any less "masculine" than hetero men? If so, why? Is masculinity a desirable quality for women? If not, why not? Do we need masculinity at all in our culture? If so, what purpose does it serve? I'm being rhetorical. These are questions that go to the very heart of our male-dominated culture. Answering them satisfactorily might teach us a lot about ourselves. But they certainly will not be answered quickly, and for sure not by Gillette. And maybe that's the point. This is a hugely complicated issue. Maybe they should stick to selling razors.
  • Posted on: 01/21/2019

    Did Gillette’s rant against toxic masculinity go too far?

    I agree, Steve. We talked the other day about the need for authenticity when brands take political or social stands. Why does making razors for men make Gillette an expert on masculinity? Because they've used the misogynistically-tinged "The best a man can get" slogan for so long? The connection is off. I don't need some global conglomerate consumer products brand telling me how to be a better man any more than I need Anheuser-Busch telling me how to be a better patriot. "Me Too" is a critical issue for our society and we should look to authentic voices to educate ourselves and our children, not consumer brands. Sorry.
  • Posted on: 01/17/2019

    NRF: Is the time right for retailers and brands to take political stands?

    I agree, Ryan, about the need for authenticity. While I admire what Gillette is trying to do with its masculinity ad, I don't see why being a razor manufacturer authorizes them to be experts on gender, bullying and "me too" issues. Same goes with [brand name here] Super Bowl beer commercials that insist on slow-motion American flag waving and somehow trying to equate beer consumption with patriotism. I find the suggestion of a connection insulting. On the other hand, REI has a stake in fighting the demise of our National Parks, and I expect they know a lot about the battle and the players involved. That, to me, is an authentic stance.
  • Posted on: 01/04/2019

    Can David’s Bridal appeal to ‘every type of bride’ with its new campaign?

    Some interesting stats in a new study from Brides magazine, showing the blossoming of the wedding industry and related retail opportunities: "The average cost of a wedding is $44,105, an all-time high, and couples invested in expanding the celebration more than ever. Also in 2018, 9 percent of couples took a wedding-moon (pre-wedding trip) together; 31 percent of couples had multiday-event wedding weekends (up from 20 percent in 2017); 39 percent of couples had a post-reception after-party (up from 20 percent in 2017); and 14 percent of brides wore a second look for their after-party (up from 7 percent in 2017)."
  • Posted on: 12/21/2018

    Should the Marlboro Man be vaping?

    All true, Evan, but kind of sad, don't you think, when companies toss away their core principles when because is on the table? Imagine if REI sold out to an oil company with a goal of using the retailer's brand cred to support efforts to buy up public wilderness land for development? Would REI just say, "Well, hey, after all, money is money"?
  • Posted on: 12/12/2018

    Where will Amazon go with its cashier-free concept?

    Many urban commuters would have a similar need, Bob, and exhibit equal comfort with the technology. Any location near mass transit stops and within stations and hubs would be welcome. (Nothing more nerve-racking than waiting for your change from the bodega guy as your train is pulling up.)
  • Posted on: 12/06/2018

    Will Instagrammers all scream for Baskin-Robbins’ new ice cream concept?

    While I agree that a great customer experience is a must, Chris, pandering to Instagrammers can't hurt. Restaurants have taken to installing pinpoint lighting over their tables to give customers better conditions for their Instagram shots. And the idea of having some sort of sculpture or mammoth display in a store geared toward selfies would not in itself detract from the customer experience — in a way, it can support it.
  • Posted on: 07/03/2018

    Amazon announces Prime Day-and-a-half

    It appears that eBay is taking your advice, Kiri. They announced today that they are going head to head with Amazon the same week. Their press release tells consumers to, "Skip monthly fees and access hot deals on new, in-demand items with free shipping and no membership required, ever."
  • Posted on: 05/21/2018

    Sexism is still alive and well

    I understand your point, Gareth. Certainly, I can sympathize with being in that situation when someone takes advantage of his position of power to behave in a disgraceful manner. But I don't believe it equates to what a woman would feel if present under the same circumstances. Men often experience a range of emotions -- distaste, embarrassment, etc. I can imagine women experience that plus a whole lot worse.
  • Posted on: 05/21/2018

    Sexism is still alive and well

    I agree, Meaghan, that many men think that inviting women into their boys club demonstrates inclusiveness, when in most cases it gives them excuses to carry on bad behavior. I think it's important to take the recommendation of having conversations literally. I expect that many companies have conducted staff meetings to reconfirm company policies, but sitting in an auditorium watching a Powerpoint presentation won't have nearly the effectiveness of facilitating small group conversations so that men and women talk to one another about what's happening and what needs to happen.
  • Posted on: 05/07/2018

    Trader Joe’s and Barneys launch podcasts

    Anne, I too think TJ's and Barneys will benefit from telling their stories. While visuals would be nice, I think video serves a different function. Podcasts are for those times of the day when you can (or at least should) only listen: walking or driving to work, cooking, etc. And when done well, they can be more involving than watching TV because they stimulate your imagination. Sometimes getting people to create their own pictures can compel them to concentrate more, which may account for the greater retention rates cited in article.
  • Posted on: 04/24/2018

    Will Prime members give Amazon the key to their cars?

    I don't think we're all being fair. Sure, consumers are facing risks with such a service, but Amazon is taking its fair share of risks as well. Consider what delivery folks may encounter in the trunks of those cars: rattlesnakes, kidnapping victims, that gym bag you forgot to launder last fall — last week's Amazon delivery of broccoli and limburger. Convenience — it comes with a cost, people.
  • Posted on: 04/10/2018

    Retailers must unite to bring dying downtowns back to life

    While inventive and engaging activities by local merchants help a great deal to keep commercial districts vibrant, I have to agree, Ryan, that the landlords are the culprit in many big cities. We've seen so many terrific, well-loved stores and cafes forced out due to rent hikes from landlords that apparently smell money that's not really there. Many storefronts sit vacant for years while the landlords hold out for high rent. Maybe a real estate expert can explain the reasoning — makes no sense to me.
  • Posted on: 04/05/2018

    Will Amazon or Walmart win the clash of the retail titans?

    I believe the ultimate outcome will depend on what Jeff Bezos and his successors (because, yes, he will not run the company forever) choose to focus on. In order to fulfill its mission, Amazon has explored a wide range of bleeding edge technologies and logistics processes. The trick will be to avoid getting sidetracked and stifling the impulse to match Google in its quest to be everything to everyone, at all times, forever. If Amazon gets distracted from building out a physical retail infrastructure to support the omnichannel promises it's making, Walmart will triumph. Amazon will never become the physical store retailer Walmart is without directing all its efforts that way.

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