Fast Five: Join the movement #FemaleFounders

Hello everyone!

Last week I wrote a quite personal and important piece for Retail Dive, entitled My favorite retail tech startup of 2018 is woman-led, and that part is important.

In the piece, I highlighted two women entrepreneurs out of North Carolina, Monica Wood and Dede Houston, and their company, Myxx Recipes. I wrote the piece to showcase a technology and an experience design concept in which I believe strongly and also to draw attention to our need to stand behind the women in our industry, and especially in retail tech, even going so far as to challenge NRF (and other trade shows) to dedicate entire wings to women-led businesses.

I hope you will join me in my call to action by clicking on the above piece and then sharing it via a copy/paste on social media with the following taglines:

(Twitter) Your move @NRFnews. Your move. #FemaleFounders

(LinkedIn) Your move @National Retail Federation. Your move. #FemaleFounders

The cause is important. It is one of the reasons why Anne Mezzenga and I came together to form Red Archer Retail and to create Omni Talk as a platform and voice to discuss the most pressing topics within our industry.

Thank you in advance for your courage to spread the word.

Please enjoy this week’s Fast Five:

#1) The most popular mobile payment app is. . . (Chain Store Age)

More people use the Starbucks mobile app for payment than any other payment app, even more than Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Samsung Pay. Mobile applications and cloud commerce are two legs of the stool to the future of retailing (location analytics is the other). Retailers that do not start to design their in-store experiences around these technology trends will lose in the long-run.

#2) Nike sells out Facebook Messenger sneaker drop in less than an hour (Retail Dive)

This one is for loyal reader, Andy F., who moans that I do not talk about Facebook enough. The long linear connection between social networks and digital commerce is coming. Give Facebook the edge here. The Nike example is just the tip of the iceberg. Who wins the battle of “social-first” commerce is still up for grabs.

#3) Walmart offers college subsidy so U.S. workers pay $1 a day (Bloomberg)

Strong move by Walmart. As the largest U.S. employer, investing in their hundreds of thousands of store employees is just good business. It keeps them differentiated from Amazon over the long-term. Kudos to Walmart for investing in the retail workforce of tomorrow.

#4) Nordstrom plots 2 more merch-free stores (Retail Dive)

Nordstrom continues to experiment with their merch-free local concept — right on! As I stated in The store of the future won’t be Amazon last year, expect this concept to gain even more steam, especially with upstart digitally-native pure plays who want to invest in a store strategy that runs on different working capital and square footage investments.

#5) Mary Meeker Internet Trends 2018 — The Outlook for Social and Digital Marketing (Social Media Today)

A mentor of mine first turned me on to Mary Meeker’s annual report back in 2014. I now read it every year. It is a must read. You can find all 294 slides for your review here (it already has 350K views in one day).

Be careful out there,

– Chris

P.S. Much of the Omni Talk staff is on vacation this week, so our normally scheduled video and podcast production is still on hiatus. Anne and I are out at IRCE next week in Chicago so we hope to have live tweets and recaps for you to enjoy.

P.P.S. If you have not yet checked out my fireside chat interview at Microsoft or our Spotlight Series feature with E.Y. Snowden, the CEO of One Door merchandising cloud solutions, both are worth the listen. You can hear me discuss the Holy Trinity of retail technology and see how nine years of Catholic education stays with a person.

Chris Walton is an accomplished Senior Executive with nearly 20 years of success within the retail and retail technology industries. He is well-versed in merchandising, store operations, inventory management, product design, forecasting, e-commerce, pricing and promotions, and tech product development.

Chris was most recently a Vice President with Target, where he led the retailer’s Store of the Future project and also ran the Target’s home furnishing division for e-commerce. He previously worked for GAP, Inc., as a Distribution Analyst and Manager.

Chris holds a BA in Economics and History from Stanford University, and a MBA from Harvard Business School.

He likes to dress as Darth Vader for Halloween, and his wife also frequently asks him to ask Alexa, "to turn off the music."

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