Brick & Mortar Reborn

Is brick and mortar dead or is it just coming alive? Join industry veteran, Bobby Marhamat, as he investigates the future of brick and mortar, why it’s gotten a bad name and what it takes to create a customer experience that increases ROI and keeps people coming back for more. Join him as he interviews the experts and learn what it takes to make or break the in-location experience.

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Episodes

Wednesday Dec 28, 2022

In today’s podcast, Bobby is joined by Nadina Guglielmetti, Vice President, General Manager, Marketing at The Vitamin Shoppe, a popular specialty vitamin and supplement retailer.
 
Nadina shares how her team at the Vitamin Shoppe makes use of a process that allows them to democratize work and enables them to plan and strategize with consistency across all channels whether it be for brand launches, promotions, or brand messaging. She highlights the importance of leveraging data and technology and of having a solid understanding of both the online and offline world in building better customer relationships.
 
Topics discussed:
Nadina’s  background in retail, advertising, pr, and marketing working for top-tier brands, and what led her to working with the Vitamin Shoppe
Best practices she learned from her previous roles which she was able to use in her current role managing omnichannel marketing for the Vitamin Shoppe
What differentiates The Vitamin Shoppe from other retailers and the advantages it has as a mid-sized company with a simple organizational structure
The four areas Nadina focus on in managing her team’s daily marketing processes
What excites her about the world of brick and mortar
Strategies Nadina and her team uses to ensure consistency in their customers’ experience
The important role technology plays in marketing
How AI can help address the challenge of identifying and connecting all customer touch points
Nadina’s advice for retailers looking to grow their business

Wednesday Dec 14, 2022

Jenna Flateman Posner is the Chief Digital Officer for SNIPES, one of the fastest growing sneaker and streetwear retail platforms in Europe and the US. Jenna is a seasoned retail industry professional having worked as a  retail technologist and digital retailer for an impressive lineup of innovative tech startups like Radius8 (Fiserve), Clutch, Curalate (Bazaarevoice) and Levelup (GrubHub).
 
In this episode, Jenna gives us an overview on her current role at SNIPES, and shares some tips on how she supports all channels of the business by prioritizing customer experience, cultivating a strong partnership with vendors, and leveraging technology to expedite and augment her team’s efforts.
 
Topics discussed:
Jenna’s career journey, from being a retail technologist to a digital retailer, and how she came to work at SNIPES
A brief history of SNIPES, and how established vendor relationships and legacy knowledge let to it’s steady growth and  success
Jenna’s primary role and three main disciplines Jenna focuses on on a day to day basis
Using  technology to improve customer confidence
How the company utilizes the BOPUS (buy online, pick up in store) business model
Jenna’s view on the future of e-commerce 
The importance of using information and data to better engage with consumers and drive value
SNIPES’ ‘‘Crack the Code” initiative
Jenna’s advice for start-up retailers to prepare them for the future

Monday Nov 28, 2022

Tal Zvi Nathanel is the CEO & Co-Founder of SHOWFIELD, a multi-brand department store environment built for today’s customers and tomorrow’s brands. With a background in technology and event experiences, and inspired by the power of physical stores to stimulate all of our senses, Tal is driving democratization in the retail sector by bringing new brands and new customers together in shared spaces. SHOWFIELD’s unique ‘C-Commerce’ approach pushes them to constantly innovate, asking critical questions about what a customer journey really looks like today, and how they can always keep relevant.
Topics discussed:
 Why exclusivity and stagnation negatively impacted the retail sector, and how SHOWFIELD plans to restore faith in brick & mortar
 How a background in event experiences and technology paired with a partner from the construction sector helped shape the SHOWFIELD approach to retail
 Why democratizing retail means asking customer-focused questions, and leaving selling to the side
 The strengths and weaknesses of retail vs. online stores, and how each should play to their strengths
 Why physical stores provide a more rewarding customer experience and present more opportunities for astute promotional strategies
 Why focusing on ‘Instagrammable’ content is putting the cart before the horse when it comes to memorable moments
The ‘C-commerce’ strategy: community, curation, connection, content, convenience

Wednesday Oct 26, 2022

Barruch Ben-Zekry is the Founder and CEO of Out&Back, a managed marketplace for outdoor gear leveling up the peer-to-peer resale experience. He joins the show to talk about why re-commerce has so much potential in the outdoors market, how building partnerships with brick-and-mortar stores helps drive growth in a largely digital industry, and why customer experience is central to sustainable growth.
Topics discussed:
Barruch’s background in the apparel industry and how he came to found Out&Back
How Out&Back found a niche in the outdoor gear re-commerce market
The need for managed marketplaces adjacent to the peer-to-peer space
Trust and convenience as the foundation for Out&Back’s business model
Partnerships with brick and mortar stores as a supplementary sales channel
The importance of partner alignment when expanding a collaborative strategy
Why the customer experience is vital for any contemporary marketplace

Thursday Aug 18, 2022

Craig Patterson is the Editor-in-Chief of the leading Canadian retail industry news magazine, Retail Insider. He joins the show to discuss how retail has changed in the last few years, why online shopping still has value in a post-covid world, and his take on the future of retail. 
 
Topics discussed:
 Craig’s background and why he started Retail Insider 
What Retail Insider does and does not cover 
The current biggest stories at Retail Insider 
Changes to the retail space in the past few years 
The value of selling experience as a retailer 
Resources that will help you keep up to date with the latest in the retail industry 
Tips to future-proof your retail business

Friday Aug 12, 2022

Marshall Kay is the founder of RFID Sherpas and a retail entrepreneurial consultant. In this episode, we dive into the technology of RFID technology, and how it can help retail brands in their stores. RFID creates smart lables that will help stores collect and manage more data about the movement of their inventories. This technology is inexpensive to implement and it will fundamentally improve the running of your store.
 
Topics discussed:
 What is RFID Sherpas and how does it assist retail entrepreneurs? 
Why you want to use RFIDs in your store
How Marshall discovered RFID technology 
Is RFID technology expensive? 
Are there any privacy concerns with using RFID tags in your store? 
Examples of stores using this new technology today 
Common mistakes stores will make when implementing RFID technology 
The future of RFID in retail 

Friday Aug 05, 2022

Ron Thurston is the host of the Retail in America Podcast. He spent many years working on the front lines of retail, and then he wrote his book, Retail Pride, to celebrate his career journey. On his book tour, he also meets front line retail workers around the country and documents his adventures on his podcast. On the show today, we talk about what it’s like to work on the front lines of retail in 2022. Ron shares everything retail businesses need to know about supporting the workers on the front lines. 
 
Topics discussed:
About Ron and the Retail in America Podcast 
Retail as a fulfilling and exciting career 
Stories from the front lines of retail in America 
Retail as an “accidental career” for a lot of people 
How people find success in their retail careers 
What retail companies can do to inspire pride and build employee loyalty 
Proof that retail workers actually love their job 
What front line retail workers need from the organization

Thursday Jul 28, 2022

April Sabral is the founder and CEO of retailu, an online, on-demand leadership development platform for retail professionals. She is also the author of The Positive Effect, where she details her journey working in retail. In the episode today, we talk about the biggest lessons April has to share about leadership in the retail industry, including her ACT model that she uses to teach retail professionals how to build strong teams. 
Topics discussed:
 April’s background and about retailu
About April’s book, the Positive Effect 
The ACT model and how it helps you build a strong team in the retail industry. 
Biggest leadership lessons from all of April’s work in the retail space 
Why being nice actually helps you get your way in life 
Riding the highs and lows of day-to-day working in retail 
Managing conflict and difficult conversations as a leader 
Staying focused on the most important asset in your store - people

Thursday Jul 21, 2022

Mina Fader is the Managing Director of Wharton’s Baker Retailing Center at the University of Pennsylvania. In this episode, Mina discusses the present and future state of retail. She breaks down the fate of the brick and mortar space in the digital, post-COVID world, and you might be surprised to hear her take on where retail is heading in the future. 
Topics discussed:
About Mina and how her career in retail developed 
About the Wharton Baker Retailing Center 
How you can learn from the Wharton Baker Retailing Center 
Some of the most compelling research in the retailing space today 
Merging online and offline worlds as retailers 
Why brick and mortar stores will not go away 
Consumers valuing social purpose and authenticity in the younger generations 
How retail professionals can grow and thrive post COVID

Wednesday Jul 13, 2022

Hitha is the Chief Research Officer at H Squared Research LLC, a consumer spending columnist at US News and World Report, and the author of the book “Black Market Billions: How Organized Retail Crimes Fund Terrorists.” She is a self-proclaimed futurist related to all things retail, and in this episode, she discusses some of the trends that we should be looking for in the retail space. 
 
Topics discussed:
What’s exciting right now in the retail industry 
What contributes to businesses’ success and failure in the retail space 
A description of the modern consumer and key behaviors 
Why brick and mortar is part of the future even with online retail 
The current state of the black market and what we all need to know 
The role retailers have in battling the black market 
Advice for brick and mortar retailers to thrive again after COVID 
Future trends to look for over the next few years

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