Gartner Blog Network

Robert Hetu
VP, Analyst Retail
7 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

AI Will Transform Retail Merchandising For Those Who Are Ready For Change

by Robert Hetu  |  June 28, 2019

Retailers are aware of the significant opportunity to leverage vast amounts of customer data to drive in-depth customer analytics that enhance merchandising processes through AI. The goal is creating customer-centric assortments, across every touchpoint, optimally priced and available to consumers when and where they expect to browse, transact and acquire items. Gartner conducted the 2018 […]

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Avoid Retail’s Fake News Purveyors

by Robert Hetu  |  April 3, 2019

Yesterday I saw an article that really grabbed my attention.  @CNBC published the headline “Online shopping officially overtakes brick-and-mortar retail for the first time ever” (recently the title has changed). Imagine my surprise, as I knew that ecommerce was 14.3% of US retail sales in 2018. Obviously I missed the culmination of the retail apocalypse […]

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Retail Change Outpacing Digital Business Strategies

by Robert Hetu  |  March 30, 2019

Driven in many markets by consumer optimism, 2018 was a year of progress for retail.  This caused some retailers to feel a bit of a reprieve. This will be short-lived, and retailers are not moving fast enough to identify future scenarios.  As a result, retailers are failing to build detailed digital business strategies to be […]

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Retail Scenarios 2025 Require More Than E-commerce

by Robert Hetu  |  March 30, 2019

By 2023, e-commerce will cease to be a differentiator in the retail marketplace Retail can’t survive and thrive by e-commerce alone. E-commerce is ceasing to be a stand-alone differentiator in retail success.  Unified retail commerce meshes together the digital and physical worlds.  Amazon generated $141.92 billion in product sales in 2018, up 19.7% from $118.57 billion […]

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Walmart Drops Savings Catcher, Really?

by Robert Hetu  |  March 18, 2019

Walmart has been getting a lot of credit from me lately for some really smart decisions. Then they do this?  I am trying hard to figure out the motivation behind ending Savings Catcher, but it seems so out of touch. Small refunds may seem like they have negligible impact, but for many consumers these represent […]

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Amazon Dash Was Marketing Genius

by Robert Hetu  |  March 1, 2019

Amazon announced that it is discontinuing Amazon Dash after four years. Reading a few articles on this today that seem to imply this is some kind of failure. What was the purpose of Amazon Dash? When Amazon Dash launched, the intent was clear to me.  In a blog from April 2015, Target and Amazon: Scarcity, Innovation […]

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When Digital Business Strategies Go Wrong, Go Back To Basics

by Robert Hetu  |  February 27, 2019

Recent visits to three different AMC movie theaters highlighted for me a clear success factor for building a great digital business strategy. Customers must be the primary beneficiaries of digital business strategies, certainly before the organization attempts to reap substantive benefits. The single most important aspect of a digital business strategy must be to enhance […]

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Walmart, The Empire Strikes Back Through Unified Retail Commerce

by Robert Hetu  |  February 23, 2019

Walmart may have been a sleeping giant, but it finally woke up. Its reported 4Q18 sales revenue was $138.8B with 4.3% comp store sales growth, and 43% ecommerce growth.  By embracing its core strengths, investing in its stores and people, Walmart added new services and technologies that demonstrate the power of unified retail commerce. In […]

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Retail Digital Investments Pay Off

by Robert Hetu  |  November 27, 2018

The improving economy, low unemployment, tax cuts and lower gas prices finally proved that there is not a retail apocalypse. Pent up demand is driving a great start to the holiday shopping period. According to Adobe Analytics on Thanksgiving Day, shoppers spend $3.7 billion online and on Black Friday, shoppers spent $6.2 billion. Cyber Monday […]

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Is Technology Winning Retail Customers?

by Robert Hetu  |  November 14, 2018

In a NYC neighborhood becoming synonymous with experimental retail installations, Soho provides a living laboratory for observation of human shopping behavior. During my recent visit, UNIQLO was a clear winner, sporting lines of shoppers making purchases from a store that had very little in the way of overt technology on display. While nearby two different H&M storefronts were […]

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