Rob Gallo

Chief Marketing Officer, Impact 21

Though Rob Gallo’s title is Chief Marketing Officer, his role goes above and beyond marketing. He has a knack for connecting the dots and finding better paths to reaching goals. And he has more than 20 years’ experience in doing just that as a trusted strategist driving real business results for the world’s biggest brands. At Impact 21, Rob guides the overall marketing strategy for the firm, working closely with clients including retailers, consumer goods companies and technology providers.

Rob leads a wide range of strategy, business outlook and performance improvement engagements, tapping into his significant experience with primary consumer research studies. He helps suppliers and retailers identify viable growth opportunities and provides diagnostic analysis. Rob has been heavily involved in assortment strategies, competitive and landscape assessments, market entry strategies and “Store of the Future” studies. Rob is frequently asked to share his knowledge in trade publications or as a guest presenter/speaker for organizations like NACS.

Rob’s expertise stems from his first days as a bagger for Big Bear grocery store. Rob’s experience has gone well beyond his bagging days and now encompasses multiple fast-moving consumer goods channels including grocery, supercenters and warehouse clubs. He also gained extensive experience with specialty apparel and department stores. He has worked with suppliers servicing most retail channels in the areas of growth strategy, market entry, category management and shopper insights. Currently, Rob holds advisory board positions with CBUS Retail and Med-Compliance IQ. Prior to Impact 21, he held senior positions at Chute Gerdeman, Kantar Retail, Retail Forward and the Management Horizons Division of Price Waterhouse.

Born in Philadelphia but raised in Ohio, Rob attended The Ohio State University where he earned his bachelor’s degree in marketing. He applies his know-how to the natural soap company, Elemental Blue, owned and operated in partnership with his wife. Rob is still able to find time to play and enjoys bicycling, fitness, fishing, the outdoors, traveling, and spending time with his family. He makes it a priority to support multiple charities that have affected his friends and family.

To learn more, visit:


  • Posted on: 08/16/2019

    Does a new product donation program for marketplace sellers make Amazon the good guy?

    The bigger and more successful you are, the more scrutiny you will attract. There was a time when folks were rooting for Amazon as it was perceived to be the David to Walmart's Goliath. I'm not sure at the size and scale Amazon's at now, they can "win" the public relations battle. The positive moves tend to get much less coverage than the negative moves. And people are always looking more aggressively for the negative stuff. It's something to be mindful of as other retailers and brands make it bigger.
  • Posted on: 08/16/2019

    Can Jill Soltau rebuild J.C. Penney?

    More power to Jill, but I think it's too late. I don't think J.C. Penney has enough of a brand left to be rebuilt given its financial situation. There's too much to do and not enough time to do it. I suppose it's possible that younger generations have simply no frame of reference for what J.C. Penney is/was that they could be introduced to whatever the new version of J.C. Penney turns into, but that would likely have to be on a much smaller scale than the size of the current company.
  • Posted on: 08/13/2019

    Is Nike’s new subscription program for kids a parent’s best friend?

    It will make sense for a niche group of customers if Nike can get the fit equation correct and minimize returns. I think it's a smart move to focus on kids ages two to 10. Kids older than that are more likely to be swayed by current fashion trends (which isn't always Nike) and could result in cancellations when the kids don't want to wear what Nike sends.
  • Posted on: 08/13/2019

    Grocers develop their own tech responses to Amazon Go

    I don't think they are getting ahead of themselves. They aren't going fast enough. This is consumer-driven, not Amazon-driven. Amazon just happens to have the most frictionless solution so far. As technological capabilities improve to handle an experience similar to Amazon Go, you will see retailers adopt it versus scan and go or other stop-gap solutions.
  • Posted on: 08/12/2019

    Is FedEx smart to say goodbye to Amazon’s U.S. business?

    FedEx has taken a low margin, low sales (percentage) contract and ended it with the opportunity to drive higher sales at higher margin. It's smart to do this. The only reason why this is news is because it's Amazon. Add in that Amazon is increasingly competing against them and it's an easy decision.
  • Posted on: 08/12/2019

    Does North Face’s new concept point the chain in the right direction?

    A smart move by The North Face. They are a lifestyle brand and in a prime position to build on the emotional connection they can create with their customers. There are plenty of moves into rentals, services, expeditions that they could make to further this connection. The key will be to have the trained staff and consistency to keep it going. Retailers like Galyan's (now part of Dick's) had climbing walls and ponds for customers to test out everything from climbing gear to kayaks. However, these features slowly faded into nothing more than some attractive merchandising as it required a specialized staff to monitor and execute. Having a feature that customers cannot use is worse than not having it at all. I believe The North Face is better positioned to not let this happen.
  • Posted on: 08/12/2019

    Nike to marry predictive analytics and RFID to optimize inventory performance

    Definitely a positive move for Nike. Having products in the right place, right time and right amount is the goal and this helps get them there. RFID will be a big benefit for Nike and other companies that can make the cost/benefit work whether it's at the item, case or pallet level. Look for other large companies to begin buying such integral solutions versus being customers.
  • Posted on: 08/06/2019

    What are the signs of a dying retail business?

    Within the area of discount reliance, a big warning sign is when a retailer moves from a longstanding discount (say 20 percent) to a progressively deeper one (30 percent and then 40 percent). Increasing the cadence is also a big red flag.
  • Posted on: 07/30/2019

    Where does J.C. Penney go after ending its Bombfell subscription deal?

    It's a similar discussion to the Sears/J.C. Penney threads from February. Much of what has been said for Sears can be said for J.C. Penney. Like Sears, JCP has a customer relevance problem. Consumers have moved on. The brand is dead except for the reminiscing. Efforts by a leader to salvage the brand are low risk. Everybody expects it to be a losing proposition, so your career isn't really going to be impacted negatively. If you can magically get a bump in performance, other companies will come calling.
  • Posted on: 07/22/2019

    Is Amazon’s deal with indie brands a Faustian bargain?

    I own a brand that sells on Amazon. No surprise here, but to break through it's all about sales and reviews. In order to get sales, you need reviews and in order to get reviews you need sales. Amazon offers both paid and free ways to help with this some of which (paying for reviews) if done would violate Amazon's terms of service but are acceptable if you pay Amazon to do it (Early Reviewer Program). So the help that Amazon is offering certainly is appealing, but the acquisition price doesn't make any sense. To get up and running even with a basic brand offering you're looking at a minimum of $1,000 for a trademark, legitimate UPC Code(s), and an Amazon Business Account. Then you have listing fees, FBA fees (if applicable), Amazon PPC budget (which could easily be $7,300/year). If Amazon offered the same prioritized assistance AND a % of sales for 5-10 years, then the offer starts to get interesting.
  • Posted on: 07/01/2019

    Can mobile sensing tools boost worker productivity?

    Regardless of the intent, this will be interpreted as a Big Brother effort. Privacy concerns will be a major issue. In addition, 80 percent accuracy leaves a big gap that can only fuel doubt and lead to a measurable amount of incorrect conclusions and/or bad decisions.
  • Posted on: 06/21/2019

    Did Apple just hand Best Buy the keys to its retailing empire?

    Nice move by both companies. With just 300 stores and an ever growing installed base of iPhones, Apple needed to find a cost-effective way to have customers get needed services without increasing the store base. This could actually increase brand loyalty. Best Buy now gets added credibility by being an authorized Apple partner, added traffic and a chance to sell its own goods and services.
  • Posted on: 06/20/2019

    Should retailers welcome Facebook’s virtual currency?

    Starbucks, Nordstrom, Whole Foods, Lowe’s and some others already accept crypto through Flexa/Spedn (not a typo). I expect Facebook to have a much easier time accelerating penetration, but that's not to say that mainstream acceptance will come quickly. Even if the experience is simple and intuitive, it will take time for trust to build.
  • Posted on: 06/20/2019

    Kroger sees rivals’ one-hour delivery and raises it a half hour

    It's a curated selection of items that don't require much nuance (i.e. no produce, meat or seafood). It's just consumer packaged goods. I could see it working in select urban markets. And perhaps it's their strategy to move more folks into delivery of the full grocery selection. Worth a try. GoPuff does the same thing with a $1.95 delivery fee.
  • Posted on: 06/19/2019

    Do direct-to-consumer digital brands have advantages over traditional retailers?

    It's not smooth sailing for all digital DTCs, but they do have the benefit of investors that will prioritize growth over short-term profits. In addition they don't have to replace legacy systems that lack the capabilities to deliver a modern day customer experience. Not to make excuses for traditional DTCs, but they can replace everything all at once. It does take time to reinvent the company, culture and customer experience.

Contact Rob

  • 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.