PROFILE

Robert DiPietro

SVP Energy Services and New Ventures, HomeServe

Rob has held various leadership roles at a Fortune 500 retailer where he was tasked with a wide array of responsibilities, including visual merchandising, category management and developing new lines of business. He specializes in formulating and executing strategic revenue and profit plans for high growth areas in both a corporate and retail field environment.

He is currently responsible for Energy Services and New Ventures at Homeserve.

At HomeServe USA, our mission is simple: To free our customers from the worry and inconvenience of home emergency repairs. And since 2003 we’ve been doing just that. We provide homeowners across the country with affordable home emergency repair plans that offer protection from the high cost of repair bills and provide help for home emergency repairs, all with just one phone call.

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  • Posted on: 02/26/2018

    What do shoppers want most?

    Less aggravation is key. I would call it frictionless experiences. Whether it is buying something in store (or on the kiosk) getting it delivered or returning the item. The customer wants it to be as frictionless as possible. They don't want to wait and expect curated (AR/AI) assistance that is relevant to them. Retailers have been collecting mounds of customer information -- it is time to put it to good use.
  • Posted on: 02/26/2018

    Lowe’s using pre-apprenticeship program to attract top talent

    This is a terrific program for Lowe's! Whether it helps retention is questionable, but it will help provide future customers if they continue in the trades. It may actually help sales in store as well since these associates will be very knowledgeable in the specific trade. There is a true shortage in the trades and society has preached everyone should go to college and get a degree which isn't helping. Kudos to Lowe's! It has applicability for other retailers as well.
  • Posted on: 02/12/2018

    L.L.Bean ends its famous ‘lifetime replacement’ guarantee

    I'm sure some customers will be angry with the change but it's just another good intention for the masses ruined by a minority of customers. In the age of things going viral it's no surprise to see this no-questions-asked policy being unsustainable. From a personal perspective, I remember this policy from my childhood and my parents would use it from time to time but never abused it. I recall the famed hunting boot having an issue after a couple years and sure enough it was replaced with a new one. Seems like a sign of the times.
  • Posted on: 02/12/2018

    No joke – Walmart asks CPGs for higher priced products

    It's not only a way for Walmart to drive margin potentially but also to drive revenue. I wonder if they are looking to hit a top-line number as well. It does seem as if Amazon pack sizes are creeping up at least in my consumer experience. Customer reaction will likely be muted.
  • Posted on: 01/02/2018

    Amazon and Google engage in a smart speaker price war

    It is a customer acquisition cost for these companies to sell additional services or merchandise and win the customer for life. I wouldn't be surprised if these devices are free in the near future.
  • Posted on: 01/02/2018

    Retail and weather go together

    Retailers can and must plan for changes in weather. Weather will impact shopping habits and behaviors of customers and retailers should adjust for it. They can adjust inventory, in store merchandising and pricing to reflect new behavior. Every store moves a display of shovels to the front when it snows or if it is raining, they move umbrellas.
  • Posted on: 12/11/2017

    The new NYC Nike store will have a members-only floor

    I think this is more of a PR move than one that will move the numbers for Nike. It does open up some interesting dynamics to really drive the "obsessed" members who are into all things Nike. They may become the brand's best advocates as the college runners did in the early days at Nike. I could see a subscription model coming for members -- early access or maybe an automatic shipment in your custom size of Air Jordans for each release or whatever sneaker you choose.
  • Posted on: 12/06/2017

    Dollar General is betting on the continuing decline of the middle class

    I think the dollar stores are benefiting from the economic situation and target customers who fit their profile and segment. I've seen Target start to incorporate a "dollar" section at the front of the store but it seems seasonally focused rather than actually targeting the demographic. If that end of the consumer segment is growing all retailers will have to target it in some sense. At a minimum retailers should be tailoring the store assortment based on demographic.
  • Posted on: 12/06/2017

    Will mobile move the needle for J. Crew – this holiday and beyond?

    Digital can help but is not the answer for J. Crew. They need to better differentiate between other competitors such as H&M and Uniqlo. The merchandise isn't unique enough to drive traffic and the amount of sales and "40 percent offs" probably aren't helping a value proposition. In general the returns for online purchases will be higher so eventually you will have to deliver a solid in-store experience.
  • Posted on: 12/04/2017

    Does Everlane need to open stores?

    You can't be omnichannel with just one channel. The physical component will add a chance for consumers to touch and feel before they buy. It's likely that these customers will even buy more online too. You can't overlook the marketing/branding component of a physical store either -- that can only help solidify the brand if the in-store experience is done right.
  • Posted on: 12/04/2017

    Barnes & Noble wants to get smaller, more bookish

    Shrinking the footprint is one way to drive sales per square foot. Twenty-six thousand square feet seems to be very large for the assortment they need to carry -- which is books. It is good that they are going to refocus on the core and shrink the store but that won't change customer behavior. Immediate need is why customers will go to a physical location. The other reason is they enjoy the process of browsing and hopefully buying. It will be interesting to see what Barnes & Noble is doing to increase the store experience. The book store/coffee shop vibe is one they should continue.
  • Posted on: 11/06/2017

    Date-certain shipping is the new holiday imperative for retailers

    Date certain shipping is the best approach for online retailers. Consumers don't care whether the delivery option is Fedex/UPS/USPS, they care about when and how much. They also want to track the shipment!
  • Posted on: 11/06/2017

    Amazon undercuts rivals by adding discounts to marketplace seller prices

    Great for customers, tough for the seller. It will be interesting to see if the sellers have issues as now they might be undercut on price without even knowing it.
  • Posted on: 10/10/2017

    Is Ace on-brand with The Grommet acquisition?

    Smart move for the Ace brand. It gets a clear pipeline of new and interesting products which every retailer needs to have. It will aid in making the in-store experience more fun for the consumer. It also helps the inventor and puts the spotlight on the DIYer.
  • Posted on: 10/10/2017

    Walmart seeks online edge with 35-second returns

    This will be a win for Walmart! It hits on several different points -- an easier path for consumers regarding returns, an extra trip to the store so customers will potentially buy something else and reduced labor in-store. Also it's a new angle for the marketing team. I might have to buy something just to return it and try it out myself!

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