Author Archives: Paula Rosenblum

Only Employees Can Hug Your Customers

22 July 2014, 10:55

Paula Rosenblum

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A Gallup Poll study released on June 23, 2014 echoed what RSR has consistently found in our own research: namely that engaged and pleasant sales associates have a far greater impact on company performance than price, promotion, or social media. The study goes a step further to observe that organic growth in consumer-facing industries can […]

The CIO: Emerging or Submerging?

15 July 2014, 09:32

Paula Rosenblum

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Last week, RSR’s partners took our first crack at a 2015 Benchmark report agenda. Gosh, this year is flying by. One study we discussed was “The Re-emergence of the CIO.” We haven’t done a report purely on the state of IT in four years, and it seemed time to take the temperature of the industry […]

Alibaba Moves Into Main Street

1 July 2014, 08:21

Paula Rosenblum

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Editor’s Note: This article was originally published on Forbes’ blog, but I was very curious to find out our retailer readers thoughts. Since it was published, 11 Main has gone live. I stopped by the site and found the merchandise quirky but very expensive. In a quirky turn of fate, the site is featuring “Made […]

Where Have All the CEOs Gone?

10 June 2014, 11:13

Paula Rosenblum

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While at Sapphire last week, I took a call from Phil Wahba, a reporter at Fortune. The original topic was about Target’s couponing app, Cartwheel. But the subject turned from that to the company’s search for a new CEO. In the course of that conversation, I had an epiphany. Phil asked the question, “Why didn’t […]

Apple’s Got the Beat(s)

3 June 2014, 11:25

Paula Rosenblum

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By now you know that Apple has agreed to pay $3 billion to buy Beats. The company’s main tangible businesses are its end of high end speakers and music gear and a streaming music service. Its main intangible asset is something Apple finds itself in need of: coolness. Even though one of Beats’ founders, Jimmy […]

Mobile Payment Update: Still Not a Happening Thing in the US

13 May 2014, 09:48

Paula Rosenblum

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A couple of weeks ago I wrote a piece on my Forbes blog about mobile payment adoption, or lack thereof in the US. Specifically, I highlighted some data that was served up to me by Balance Innovations, who’d done a survey of college students. Even though as a cash management solution, the results were potentially […]

Epicor Retail Is Back in the Game

6 May 2014, 06:42

Paula Rosenblum

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Last week I had the chance to attend Epicor’s Insight 2014 conference in Las Vegas. This conference marked an important milestone in the company’s renewed focus on retail, highlighted in the Retail Insights portion of the conference. It gave us an opportunity to catch up with the corporate changes that have occurred over the past […]

Amazon’s Befuddling Behavior

29 April 2014, 10:34

Paula Rosenblum

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It’s no secret that I’m an Amazon.com junkie. Prime was the crack that lured me in; Prime and the fundamentally cloistered life working out of the house or on the road leads me, as well. I don’t have any daily travel pattern that would allow me to “pick up some [fill in the blank] at […]

The Walmart Out-of-Stock Problem: Lessons Learned

22 April 2014, 11:46

Paula Rosenblum

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Since 2010, respondents to our annual Merchandising benchmark survey have cited underperforming inventory as a top-three business challenge more than most any other option, certainly more than “out-of-stocks.” We mostly viewed this as a lasting aftereffect of the Great Recession, when working capital suddenly was at a minimum and every inventory buy mattered. But while […]

The Pricing Paradox

15 April 2014, 10:50

Paula Rosenblum

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There’s a reason the newsletter you’re reading is called Retail Paradox. When we started RSR (on June 15 it will be eight years! Time flies!), we observed three essential paradoxes retailers were grappling with: the shift to global supply while trying to satisfy far more local demand, the imperative to improve customer service while also […]

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