Joining us for our second episode recorded live in the Vantage remote podcast studio at GroceryShop is Barbara Connors, Vice President of Strategy & Acceleration at 84.51° Kroger's retail data science, insights and media company. We start out big picture with Barbara's view of how consumer preferences continue to evolve and which Covid era behaviors are likely to persist. Then we go deep on the move to healthier choices, the growth of private brands, how loyalty is changing, and the blurring of the lines between digital and physical channels.
Joining us for our second episode recorded live in the Vantage remote podcast studio at Groceryshop is Barbara Connors, Vice President of Strategy & Acceleration at 84.51° Kroger's retail data science, insights and media company.
We start out big picture with Barbara's view of how consumer preferences continue to evolve and which Covid era behaviors are likely to persist. Then we go deep on the move to healthier choices, the growth of private brands, how loyalty is changing, and the blurring of the lines between digital and physical channels. We also explore whether the one-to-one future is (finally) here and how Kroger and 84.51 are leveraging artificial intelligence for greater speed, relevance, and personalization.
As usual we kick-off with the week in retail news. We briefly delve into what appear to be growing economic headwinds before unpacking quarterly earnings from Nike and Costco--which were rather tepid-and JC Penney, which were quite disturbing. Then it's on to Amazon news which includes the new anti-trust suit filed by the FTC. as well as the company's investment in AI start-up Anthropic. We also try to sort out what's really behind Target's decision to close nine urban stores, before wrapping up with Gamestop's new CEO Ryan Cohen warning that without "extreme frugality" his company's days may be numbered.
NRF National Retail Security Survey 2023
VP, Strategy & Acceleration, 84.51°
As Vice President of Strategy and Acceleration for 84.51°, Barbara Connors is an innovator, problem solver and strategist for Kroger and many of the most recognizable consumer packaged goods companies in the global grocery retail industry. She is responsible for long-range innovation planning and near-term go-to-market strategy for 84.51° Insights. Barbara brings customer-centric thought leadership to the industry and supports acceleration of 84.51°’s entire alternative profit portfolio by driving strategic alignment between Kroger and 84.51°’s 1000+ CPG clients.
Barbara brings 15 years of customer data science experience to her role at 84.51°. She joined dunnhumbyUSA / 84.51° in 2008 and has held several leadership positions associated with both Kroger and CPGs. Her roles include work in merchandising analytics, data insights, loyalty, and media.
As a graduate of the University of Georgia’s Terry School of Business, she earned a master’s degree in marketing research. Barbara is a recipient of the 2022 Top Women in Grocery among Senior Executives and 2023 Path to Purchase 40 Under 40.
Steve Dennis is a strategic advisor, keynote speaker, and bestselling author of focused on growth, innovation, and the impact of digital disruption. He is widely considered one of the foremost and influential voices in the retail industry. You can learn more about Steve on his website. His #1 bestselling book Remarkable Retail: How To Win & Keep Customers in the Age of Disruption is available at Amazon or just about anywhere else books are sold. Steve regularly shares his insights in his role as a Forbes senior contributor and on Twitter and LinkedIn. You can also check out his speaker "sizzle" reel here.
Michael LeBlanc is the Founder & President of M.E. LeBlanc & Company Inc and a Senior Advisor to Retail Council of Canada as part of his advisory and consulting practice. He brings 25+ years of brand/retail/marketing & eCommerce leadership experience, and has been on the front lines of retail industry change for his entire career. Michael is the producer and host of a network of leading podcasts including Canada’s top retail industry podcast, The Voice of Retail, plus Global eCommerce Leaders podcast, and The Food Professor with Dr. Sylvain Charlebois. You can learn more about Michael here or on LinkedIn.
Be sure and check out Michael's latest venture for fun and influencer riches - Last Request Barbecue, his YouTube BBQ cooking channel!