think tank

WWD’s Think Tank byline columns are penned by fashion and retail executives, scholars, entrepreneurs, scientists and industry pioneers. The columns not only offer insights and business intelligence into today’s complex market, but the authors also serve up tangible and tactical solutions as well.

Here are a few recently published Think Tank columns:

Stephan Schambach, founder and chief executive officer of NewStore, is one of the early pioneers of e-commerce. In his third byline column for WWD, Schambach scolds retailers for still debating whether sales associates should be equipped with mobile devices. “The ubiquity of mobile is something that should be carefully observed and considered as corporate intelligence resources and strategic assets,” he wrote. “Mobile usage offers a window into the psyche of target consumers. Do they like to use apps? Is the iPhone more popular than Android? Do any of the sales staff use buy-online-pick-up-in-store elsewhere? How have their experiences been in returning an incorrect shipment? What sort of payment options do they prefer? This might be useful to know.” Read the full bylined column here.

In this column, Traci Inglis, general manager and chief marketing officer of TechStyle Fashion Group’s Fast Fashion division, discusses the importance and role of “Big Data” in improving consumer engagement at retail. And retailers with physical stores may have an edge over others in the market. “Traditional brick-and-mortar retailers, for all the challenges they’re facing today, do have this going for them: easy access to shoppers,” Inglis noted. Read Inglis’ Think Tank column here.

Hana Ben-Shabat, partner in the consumer and retail practice of A.T. Kearney, said amid the growth of social media, shoppers are having trust issues with retailers and brands. Ben-Shabat said that the “conventional advertising channels have been displaced as trusted sources of information or authority and replaced by online influencers, whether a buyer’s peer group, a respected blogger or a peer-affirmed trend leader.” Read Ben-Shabat’s column here.

Betsy Pearce, an attorney specializing in the global fashion and luxury goods sector, said non-compete clauses in fashion and retail industry contracts have become “burdensome” and unfair. Maybe even obsolete. “The fact is that many employees are bound by non-compete clauses without justification,” Pearce wrote. “Traditionally, companies used non-competes to prevent rivals from poaching high-level executives who have unique skills and/or access to valuable information such as trade secrets and customer lists. Increasingly, in the fashion industry as elsewhere, restrictions have been imposed on the rank-and–file who pose little to no competitive threat.” Read Pearce’s full Think Tank column here.

For More Business News From WWD, See:

Amazon, Wal-Mart and Apple Top List of Biggest E-commerce Retailers

Consumer Preferences Reshaping Retail Landscape

As IoT Grows, AT&T Sees Broad Deployment of Connected Devices and Products

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