Gartner Blog Network

Robert Hetu
Research Director
6 years at Gartner
29 years IT Industry

Bob Hetu is a Research Director with the Gartner Retail Industry Services team. His responsibilities involve tracking the technology markets and trends impacting the broad-based retail merchandising and planning areas. Mr. Hetu is an expert in the areas of brand, vendor and assortment management, merchandise planning, allocation, and replenishment. Read Full Bio

Transforming to Unified Retail Commerce

by Robert Hetu  |  January 23, 2017

Today’s retailers must enable and enhance customer lifestyles. Customers expect flexible and consistent shopping between and across retailer’s channels. To support unified retail commerce, retail CIOs must help unify execution of customer-facing processes to improve customer experience. What is Unified Retail Commerce? Regardless of the number of retail channels, customer expectations of consistent and flexible […]

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Advanced Retail Space Management Technology is a Must Have

by Robert Hetu  |  January 3, 2017

Retail space management is composed of three major elements of macrospace planning, microspace planning and visual merchandising. Space optimization may be an additional element. Macrospace planning is the assignment of selling space for individual departments, categories and services in a physical store. Microspace planning is the assignment of specific products to fixtures and their resulting […]

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The 1980s Called – They Want Their Retail Strategy Back

by Robert Hetu  |  December 30, 2016

Its taking too long. Visiting a regional mall this week reinforced the urgency of required change in the physical retail customer experience. Other than a few aesthetic changes, and some new retail brands, it looked like retail strategy circa December 1989. Anchor stores like Macy’s Sears, Bonton and Boscov’s look old and tired, featuring snagged […]

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By 2020, 50% of everyday essential products will be autoreplenished through IoT

by Robert Hetu  |  December 20, 2016

In recent research titled Predicts 2017: Digital Business Elevates the Customer Experience Well Beyond Current Retail Multichannel Capabilities analyst Mim Burt and I discuss the implications of the Internet of Things (IoT) on replenishment of basic home consumables. By 2020, 50% of everyday essential household consumable products will be autoreplenished from the “connected home” through the […]

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Lessons From The U.S. Election On Big Data And Algorithms

by Robert Hetu  |  November 10, 2016

The failure to accurately predict the outcome of the elections has caused some backlash against big data and algorithms. This is misguided. The real issue is failure to build unbiased models that will identify trends that do not fit neatly into our present understanding. This is one of the most urgent challenges for big data, […]

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Black Friday Needs to be Reincarnated Not Resurrected

by Robert Hetu  |  November 10, 2016

Another November and another month of endless “Black Friday” retail promotions. In 2014 I hoped the end of this tired vehicle had arrived, as I described in a blog post In Cold Blood: The Murder of Black Friday.  However although beaten to death for another year retailers lacking vision for change resurrect it as their only […]

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Gartner Retail Research Roundup

by Robert Hetu  |  November 7, 2016

Gartner 2016 Retail Agenda   Retail Business and Technology Trends NEW: Industry Vision: Less Physical Retail Selling Space and Greater Retailer-Manufacturer Collaboration One way to pursue digital business transformation is to create an industry-specific vision. Managing the anticipated decline in physical retail selling space will prepare and position CIOs to be ahead of the change […]

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View our Retail and CG Symposium Presentations-Gartner on Demand

by Robert Hetu  |  November 7, 2016

Top 10 Forces Shaping the Retail and Consumer Goods Industries,  Consumer, market and technology forces are converging to create significant disruption for consumer driven manufacturers. Questions around growth potential, changes to the retail environment and economic stability in general place additional pressure on navigating these forces strategically and heightened importance on leveraging the right technologies […]

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Just Closing Retail Stores Is Not Enough

by Robert Hetu  |  November 4, 2016

As retailers struggle with sluggish like for like store sales many are axing unprofitable stores. This must be part of the strategy however reinvestment in the right things is critical for the future. Gartner analysts Joanne Joliet, Ed Porter and Mim Burt recently explored this in new research: Industry Vision: Less Physical Retail Selling Space and Greater […]

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Using Algorithmic Retailing to Drive Competitive Advantage

by Robert Hetu  |  September 21, 2016

New Gartner research explores how retailers gain competitive advantage through the application of algorithms that reduce costs and grow top-line revenue. CIOs can use this research to identify use cases that will improve business performance in the unified commerce retail marketplace. Gartner describes algorithmic business as the “enablement of business value through the action of […]

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