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Commentary

A collection of featured Commentary.

You Can't Sugarcoat the Future

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.

NEW Horizons: The Big Reveal

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.

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.

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.

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.

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