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Columns

A collection of featured Columns.

“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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

I didn’t shop at all on Amazon.com during the 2017 holiday season, which apparently puts me in the minority of U.S. shoppers – including within my own house, where my wife and teenage daughter made backdoor packages from Prime a near-daily occurrence in December.

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.

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