Verlin Youd

SVP Partners, Theatro
Verlin is a global retail technology solution executive with 20 years of successful retail industry and software experience. He is currently SVP Global Sales for Theatro, an innovative start-up dedicated to driving efficient and effective communication across the entire workforce, especially hourly workers. Verlin has held senior executive positions at a number of innovative solution providers, including Verizon, SCOPIX, SAP, Motorola, IBM, and Systech Retail Solutions. As Managing Principal at Verizon Verlin was responsible for delivering value to the largest retail clients. At SCOPIX Verlin was SVP Sales, Marketing & Delivery and drove high ROI value using video analytics and business intelligence. A Retail, Wholesale & Transportation at SAP, Verlin was responsible for the global retail, wholesale, and transportation solutions portfolio and business. Prior to SAP, Mr. Youd was the VP/GM of Global Industry Solutions for Motorola where he led strategies and initiatives across all target industries including Retail, Wholesale, and Transportation, as well as Manufacturing, Energy and Utilities, Healthcare and Field Mobility. Verlin held the same position at Symbol Technologies prior to Motorola’s acquisition in 2007. He also spent time at IBM and Systech Retail Systems (now part of Oracle & Omnicorp), where he held a variety of executive and management roles in roles in sales, marketing, solutions, channels, product management, and development. Verlin holds a BS in Finance from Brigham Young University, and an MBA from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He resides with his family in North Carolina where he is active in local community groups, activities and charitable organizations, including the Retail Orphan Initiative (RetailROI) where is enjoys focusing on initiatives in Haiti, his second home. All opinions expressed by Verlin are his own, and not those of his current employer.
  • Posted on: 06/13/2019

    Can GameStop reboot itself?

    GameStop is in a very difficult and dangerous position, created between streaming, online games, and ability to order games for home delivery. The world will become even more dangerous for them with the advent of 5G allowing for very high performance gaming while streaming. However, I don't think this means we should start carving the grave marker as GameStop has a unique opportunity, right now with low expectations, to pivot and reposition themselves. I am not claiming to have the answer, but what about a gaming lifestyle company, providing anything and everything the gamer needs to enjoy gaming to the fullest? They could hire gaming social media influencers and eSports celebrities and take a page from the likes of Van's, Ulta, West Elm, and others who cater to either a real or desired lifestyle.
  • Posted on: 06/13/2019

    Will same-day delivery flexibility give Target an edge over Amazon and Walmart?

    Not meaning to over-generalize here and totally anecdotal ... I know quite a few shoppers, predominantly millennial but also Gen Xers, who regularly order for same day delivery. They seem to have taken Just-In-Time to a new level....
  • Posted on: 06/13/2019

    Will same-day delivery flexibility give Target an edge over Amazon and Walmart?

    The challenge is that some retailers (customers not to be named) are experiencing sales growth when not requiring the shopper to go into the store, specifically for curbside pick-up when it is executed well.
  • Posted on: 06/13/2019

    Will same-day delivery flexibility give Target an edge over Amazon and Walmart?

    I think it's a smart move, but seems like a tactic to stay relevant in the current e-commerce arms race. It would really be news if they were offering free shipping for same day delivery, even if just offered to REDCard holders in addition to the 5% discount. The shipping arms race will continue and I expect Amazon, Walmart, and Target to continue to set the pace for others.
  • Posted on: 06/12/2019

    Kroger is high on the CBD sales opportunity

    Yes and 1-3 years. CBD is more than a fad, at least if handled correctly. Package that (pun intended) with ever quicker means to get private labels to market and you have the perfect opportunity.
  • Posted on: 05/23/2019

    BBQ Guys and Lowe’s discuss best practices for implementing AI tech

    I'll echo Peter's comments. Additionally, you can have the best AI insights ever, however, they need to be turned into very clear and specific action to be taken, sent to the right person at the right time to take the action, and then have the ability to confirm and measure the results to validate the value of that specific AI insight -- did it result in a net increase to business value?
  • Posted on: 05/23/2019

    Are retail HQs and stores suffering a communication breakdown?

    As with all good challenges in retail, the answer is a focus on the end goal and using a combination of business process leveraged with the right technology. Until recently technology was a barrier as there wasn't any effective and affordable way to get beyond store manager or generic store level with email, video broadcasts, and signage. Today companies like The Container Store, Neiman Marcus, and Cabela's/Bass Pro, have used technology (shameless plug alert) like Theatro (see Bob's comment above) to connect every store team member. With the technology challenge solved and proven ROI they can now focus on processes to prioritize and optimize communication from HQ, field management, and store managers to drive additional increased store performance.
  • Posted on: 04/04/2019

    Chrome extension shows Goodwill to shoppers, not to Amazon or Walmart

    Credit to Goodwill! There is a large and growing demographic of those willing to purchase something second hand. Amazon has been offering "used" versions of some items for quite a while and second hand/consignment has been growing in both e-commerce and brick-and-mortar. When you think about it much of eBay is second hand as well. Additionally, Goodwill has taken a clever approach, using a plugin that exposes the Goodwill offer when someone is shopping other very popular e-commerce sites. I do expect that Walmart, Amazon, and others will respond with their own second hand strategy, either directly or in partnership.
  • Posted on: 04/03/2019

    Okay Google, how can you help grow Walmart’s online grocery business?

    Simple answer, yes. Conversational commerce is set to grow very quickly as consumers continue to use voice capabilities to talk to their technology be it their phone, their Roku remote, their car, and their smart speakers. I would expect it to grow at rates similar to mobile commerce in the early days. Conversational commerce is also invading the store for the use of store employees. Drop into any Container Store, Home Depot Canada, Neiman Marcus Last Call and a number of other well known retailers and you'll see store associates using conversational commerce enabled by an AI driven personal digital assistant to better serve customers by connecting to each other and enterprise systems.
  • Posted on: 03/20/2019

    Will a new name and private labels give DSW a leg up on the competition?

    Quick answer, yes. DSW needs to continue to adapt, blend e-comm and store, ensure the right store experience, and stabilize leadership to continue success. The new name and private labels will be important adaptations to position against the competition.
  • Posted on: 01/24/2019

    Can BOPIS keep up with its own success?

    I agree with many of the comments below but would add a wrinkle. It is critical to have the product available when the customer arrives, a designated space to store it so that it doesn't end up in someone else's hands, and someone to help the customer immediately. These can all be done using processes and systems available today. However, the critical challenge is the orchestration of all of the above in such a way that any/all "friction" is removed, meaning the customer shouldn't have to wait in line, the product must be easy to find/deliver, and ideally a store team member should be available just in time to deliver the product as well as any other special offers in the moment. The "magic" is the retailer's ability to handle this orchestration and "wow" the customer into coming back for more and more. Retailers like The Container Store understand this, are executing well today, and are continuing to innovate to stay ahead of the competitive curve. I'd encourage anyone to try BOPIS with The Container Store. You're likely to learn a thing or two and come back for more!
  • Posted on: 10/22/2018

    Stores rarely ID customers before they check out

    Great point Kenneth, identifying is just the start. If you are going to identify customers you must have a means of communicating that to the right store personnel and providing those personnel the means of delivering value to the customer as a result. If you can't provide the value, you better not be doing it.
  • Posted on: 10/22/2018

    Stores rarely ID customers before they check out

    Evan, I understand the point, however, today's in-store experience could be compared to having to register and input all of my personal information each and every time I log on to Amazon. I am happy to have a store retailer maintain that information and know that I am in the store if it provides better convenience, service, and value. I would love it if when I go into my favorite hardware store they already know my latest projects rather than having to explain it all to every employee I encounter. Wouldn't it be great if the employee of my favorite department already knew my clothing size and preference and didn't waste time going through all of that when they could be finding and showing me what I like and need? The right combination of service focus, people, process, and technologies should be able to deliver and help keep stores relevant.
  • Posted on: 10/22/2018

    Stores rarely ID customers before they check out

    Some great comments already. In my case, I am happy to be identified on Amazon and other e-commerce sites because of the convenience, service, and value. I would be just as pleased to be identified as I walk into a store if I received similar convenience, service, and value. Of course, in both cases this is based on my consent and control of when and where I am identified; always having the ability to be anonymous if and when desired. I would think than many, not all, would feel similar.
  • Posted on: 11/02/2017

    Gillette’s odd promo delivers some very weird results

    Interesting approach and issues. It seems like the perfect excuse to include something in the package that basically says "Sorry if we got your birthday wrong, but enjoy the free razor on us as we are confident it will be a great experience for you too!"

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