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A collection of featured Commentary.

NEW Horizons: Break the Glass Ceiling (or Break the Law)

Last fall, California became the first state to pass a law requiring publicly traded corporations to add women to their boards. Hmm, “All male? Go to jail.” Not quite.

Goodbye for Now – and Hello

Jody Kalmbach was standing in a lunch line at Amazon 15 or so years ago when her boss, Jeff Bezos, challenged her with a question:  “Are we a technology company or are we a retailer?” 

During his opening keynote session at the NRF Big Show in January, as he described his company’s upcoming initiatives, Kroger chief executive officer Rodney McMullen said ...

It’s pretty clear that a dramatic transformation is underway when the industry’s largest company sells off its namesake brand. That’s exactly what happened to the consumer goods industry in 2018.

Last year was marked by women acting together. In small groups and large, women took on one of the most formidable barriers to gender equality: sexual harassment.

While browsing Reddit in early December I spotted a drone-taken photo of our little neighborhood. I thought it was pretty cool; a detailed, high-resolution image from a perspective attainable only via flying camera.

“Buy Now” buttons on digital display ads have become so commonplace that I rarely notice them anymore.

Sights and sounds from people I ran into at P2PX in October.

Great news, everyone: The “Retail Apocalypse” might not be happening after all. I don’t have a lot of information on which to base this bold declaration, just a headline I found in August suggesting that the industry might be experiencing a “Retail Renaissance.”

Sorry, fellow kids, but it’s back to school in this edition of your favorite marketing-to-shoppers journal. So, turn in your flip-flops, beach books and SPF 30.

How do you succeed in a marketplace where the rules of engagement – increasingly empowered consumers, an evolving retailer landscape and a new batch of more-nimble competitors – keep changing dramatically?

The opening lines from “The Divine Comedy” – which, to be honest, are about all I remember from my college Comp Lit class – somehow sprang to mind the other day while reading, of all things, a LinkedIn group discussion.

Whenever a magazine like "Shopper Marketing" gets sent to the printer, the editors have at least a few moments of angst wondering if all the information that’s soon to be published is accurate – and then worrying that the information will still be accurate when the issue lands on readers’ desks.

I’m not much of a “holidays” guy. I think that’s because my late mother wasn’t much of a holidays gal. Back in the 1960s, my family’s Advent calendar tradition was watching her get progressively overwhelmed by the decorating and shopping and cooking and social obligations until she snapped.

After yet another weekend of spotty internet performance, my eyes were drawn to an article with a wonderfully direct headline: “How can I make my home Wi-Fi faster?” The site being Recode.net, I braced for techno-speak about mesh routers, GHz bands and CAT 6 cabling.

… a spot in the Shopper Marketing Hall of Fame. Her father did; he was part of the 22nd annual class of honorees back in 2015.

I’ve got an old friend from the neighborhood who’s in the retail business. He’s a franchisee for a national chain and a real old-fashioned store manager.

It’s official: Consumers now have as many options for subscription-based razor blade replenishment services as they do product options on the retail shelf.

May marks my fifth month as executive director of the Path to Purchase Institute, and I don’t mind saying the experience has been an eye opener.

Irrational paranoia aside, the arrival of IoT devices such as the recently announced Samsung Family Hub Refrigerator is a trend that should start keeping brand marketers up at night.

Now we find ourselves in an era when most traditional retailers are scrambling to turn back the clock and find simple, affordable ways to provide home delivery services.

We close a chapter on one of the legends of the past, Joe Ricci, who is retiring his column, “Ricci at Retail,” as of the March issue of Shopper Marketing magazine.

If there’s been one constant during my two decades-plus of writing about shopper, in-store and point-of-purchase marketing, it’s the notion that this business can somehow trick, compel or otherwise mesmerize people into buying things they didn’t want to buy.

My summer began unceremoniously this year with a thumb caught in a door that was slammed shut by a sudden burst of thunderstorm wind. (That, admittedly, is a far less seasonally romantic image than the ones evoked by Johnny Mercer and Frank Sinatra all those years ago.)

In half a decade, if things go according to plan, Aldi will be the #3 supermarket chain in the U.S. behind Walmart and Kroger. 

The sales and marketing activities that for decades have been treated as two separate functions must align for consumer product manufacturers to succeed in a changing marketplace.

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