Nov. 2021: How should retail plan for a return to normal?

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: How should stores strategize around the potential that a return to normal may not occur until late next year? Should retailers/brands prepare for the worst? Interactive Edge’s CEO, Zel Bianco comments, featured on RetailWire’s Braintrust : Those retailers and brands that have continued to move forward, plan, automate and work collaboratively will be the ones that will increase their chances of navigating through this very challenging period and will emerge stronger. Those that Read more…

What can you learn about ecommerce sales driving on the NJ Turnpike?

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Which retailers do you think have made the most significant gains based on their ecommerce performance going back to March? What stands out to you about their operational performance? Interactive Edge’s CEO, Zel Bianco comments, featured on RetailWire’s Braintrust : Our son, daughter-in-law and granddaughter live in Northern Virginia so we find ourselves on the New Jersey Turnpike quite often, as least we did before COVID-19. It seems like Ron’s “survey” is quite Read more…

Are boycotts becoming bigger risks?

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: What is driving the apparent rise in boycotts of retailers and brands? Do you see the increase in boycotts as a short-term or long-term issue for retailers and brands? Interactive Edge’s CEO, Zel Bianco comments, featured on RetailWire’s Braintrust : So many of us are so frustrated with feeling helpless and sometimes hopeless with the current administration that speaking out or boycotting companies and brands makes many feel empowered or at least like Read more…

Best Buy connects strong sales to frontline worker performance

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Do you think Best Buy is likely to emerge from the experience of the last several months in a stronger competitive position based on its preliminary second quarter results and employee rehiring and pay initiatives? Where do you see opportunities for the chain to build its business going forward? Interactive Edge’s CEO, Zel Bianco comments, featured on RetailWire’s Braintrust : Pleasant, knowledgeable frontline workers are likely the most important connection to sales, whether Read more…

Why does it take a crisis for retailers to get innovative?

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: What lessons does the COVID-19 crisis offer about the barriers retail management teams often encounter to innovation and experimentation? What’s the likelihood that legacy retailers will more readily embrace digitally-first approaches as the crisis lifts? Interactive Edge’s CEO, Zel Bianco comments, featured on RetailWire’s Braintrust : When it’s do or die, people tend to do what they need to do to survive. There have been many other death threats to retailers for many Read more…

Struggling retailers lay off workers and pay millions in executive bonuses

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: How does the payout of large financial bonuses to top executives at struggling and bankrupt retailers affect the morale and performance of employees within those organizations? Do you think corporate America, specifically the retail industry, needs to rethink how employees from the frontline to the c-suite are compensated for their work? Interactive Edge’s CEO, Zel Bianco comments, featured on RetailWire’s Braintrust : It’s one of the most tone deaf moves they could be Read more…

How murky has COVID-19 made retail data?

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: What challenges have sudden behavior changes caused by COVID-19 put on leveraging shopper data? Can marketers correct accordingly? Do you see long-term implications? Interactive Edge’s CEO, Zel Bianco comments, featured on RetailWire’s Braintrust : It has absolutely rendered the process more challenging but not impossible. There are many trends and buying patterns, etc. that are erratic through the pandemic and will continue to be, but aligning your retail store shopper data together with Read more…

Has the pandemic changed shopping behaviors forever?

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Do you think that a large percentage of consumers will have their purchasing behavior shaped for the long-term as a result of living through the COVID-19 pandemic? What do you expect to be the effect on retailers and brands? Interactive Edge’s CEO, Zel Bianco comments, featured on RetailWire’s Braintrust : Yes and no. It depends on the category. Many will continue to have groceries delivered until they get a few orders that are Read more…

Lululemon moves into in-home fitness with $500M deal for Mirror

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Do you expect other athletic wear and athleisure brands to expand their efforts in the at-home fitness technology market following Lululemon’s acquisition of Mirror? What rivals to Lululemon and Mirror do you see being most affected by this deal? Interactive Edge’s CEO, Zel Bianco comments, featured on RetailWire’s Braintrust : This definitely makes sense, as it both a practical way to get their customers in shape while also being a showroom of sorts Read more…

Does Microsoft need stores?

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Will most of the hardware sales previously done through Microsoft’s stores now likely go to its online platforms or to other retailers? Do you see more pros or cons for Microsoft in making this move? Interactive Edge’s CEO, Zel Bianco comments, featured on RetailWire’s Braintrust : My only concern would be that shoppers would not have the ability to have the hands-on experience they had with Microsoft stores. Also if Apple decides to Read more…