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30 minutes with retail's top executives

In this executive interview series, Retail Dive talks with industry thought leaders about everything from marketing strategy to in-store technology and the future of retail.

by Corinne Ruff, Cara Salpini and Kaarin Vembar | July 30, 2019

Illustration by Kendall Davis, Retail Dive

The retail landscape is in an ever-evolving state of flux as brick-and-mortar merchants grow e-commerce capabilities and online-only players learn how to get physical. Throw in the advancements in augmented reality, artificial intelligence and social media marketing, and the picture gets even more complex.

This series, where we talk to top executives about challenges, opportunities and strategies for success, is just one way Retail Dive is looking to shine some light on the forces — and thought leaders — that are shaking up the retail industry. So sit back and enjoy one (or more) of our deep, narrative dives.

We couldn't point to anything and say: 'Here's what it is,' you know? We were like: 'We're going to sell people samples' and everybody would say: 'No one buys samples.'

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It's that Paradox of Choice that leaves us paralyzed. What we're doing with this is we are curating choice.

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If you don't get it, you don't get it. You will eventually get it, and when you are ready — here we are.

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People used to say 'oh retail is dead,' or 'physical retail is dead' and you know, I think all of these different channels are evolving … [E-commerce] is a way to tell a story, it's a way to get product in front of people, but you have to constantly evolve or it is dead.

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For over a hundred years a few players controlled virtually all the supply and distribution in this category and chose not to innovate or really think about the customer experience.

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Human beings are social creatures. Shopping isn't just about getting stuff, or else you would just be sitting eating Ben and Jerry's in bed and shopping on Amazon.

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There's a lot of buzz about how brick and mortar has to bring in the experience aspect for their customers and the beautiful thing for us, is that it's always been a part of our DNA.

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The way you build an entrepreneurial culture is you give a team the power to innovate. And a lot of the choices that the team needs are not necessarily going to be the right choices initially ...

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Unfortunately, I think we're at the tipping point where the legacy dinosaur retailers [will] become very obsolete from a leadership perspective.

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One of the beautiful things about being in such a personal retail category is that there are human interactions happening all the time — and not just at a cash wrap.

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