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

Most Retail Digital Strategies Not Yet Harvesting Results

by Robert Hetu  |  October 19, 2017

The retail CIO agenda for 2018 reflects the existential threat to many retailers, caused by digitally enabled consumers, new entrants and new business models in the market. Gartner’s annual CIO Survey gathered data from 3,160 CIO respondents in 98 countries and across major industries, representing $13.0 trillion in revenue and public-sector budgets and $277 billion in […]

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Retail Assortment Planning: Not What It Used To Be

by Robert Hetu  |  October 9, 2017

Recently I published the 2017 Magic Quadrant for Retail Assortment Management Applications and one thing is clear, this is not your mama’s assortment planning process. To support unified retail commerce, retailers are investing in new, analytically driven applications that will allow them to be very prescriptive with assortment in and across channels. Unified retail commerce […]

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Amazon’s NYC Bookstore – Somehow I Expected More

by Robert Hetu  |  October 9, 2017

I had a few minutes to visit Amazon’s bookstore on 34th street in Manhattan the other day.  It was a weekday, late afternoon. This was my first visit to one of Amazon’s stores. Don’t get me wrong I am glad to see bookstores live on, however, I guess I expected something new and different. As I […]

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New Research: How Will You Fare When Your Device Approaches The Bench?

by Robert Hetu  |  September 28, 2017

Just published new Maverick research, How will you fare when your device approaches the bench? that takes a look at the implications of devices on criminal justice systems. The expansion of myriad devices is causing a clash of privacy versus conveni, leading to unprecedented transparency and shaking the core of our justice systems. This research helps […]

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Toolkit Helps Prioritize Technology Investments for Retail

by Robert Hetu  |  August 15, 2017

Determining prioritization and sequencing of technology implementation that will enable effective transformation from multichannel to unified retail commerce is complex. The combination of rapid technological advancement with industry disruption has created great opportunities and significant challenges, requiring a structured approach. One of the major challenges is coordinating and aligning business and IT leaders’ actions to […]

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Digital Disruptor Amazon’s Planned Acquisition of Whole Foods Could Redefine Retail Grocery Market

by Robert Hetu  |  June 20, 2017

Gartner’s First Take on the Amazon acquisition of Whole Foods just published.  Amazon’s deal to acquire Whole Foods Market is an example of aggressive digital disruption of a market. CIOs should apply the lessons learned from Amazon to learn to structure and invest for long-term disruption. Gartner was also quoted extensively on this topic by […]

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Gartner’s Cool Vendors in Unified Retail Commerce, 2017

by Robert Hetu  |  May 19, 2017

Customers expect more, driving retailers to deliver a unified retail commerce journey offering a personalized, consistent and comprehensive experience across retail touchpoints.  Gartner analysts Mim Burt, Joanne Joliet and Kelsie Marian published the following: Key Findings: Unified commerce is about contextualized engagement with consumers, regardless of device or channel. Retailers are still struggling with the […]

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Using AI to Drive Smart Automation in Retail

by Robert Hetu  |  May 16, 2017

Retailers must use AI to automate and deliver better decisions and make it possible for associates to be customer experience differentiators.  Multichannel retailers are facing an existential crisis. Consumers’ buying behaviors and lifestyle choices are changing. Competitive pressures from disruptive pure-play e-commerce players are causing radical changes to antiquated business models, driving down prices and […]

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Gartner’s Cool Vendors in Retail Merchandising and Marketing

by Robert Hetu  |  May 4, 2017

Customer-centric merchandising and marketing require deep learning algorithms that can predict who, what, where and when consumers will browse and transact. This research will introduce CIOs to five innovative vendors that are reconfiguring merchandising and marketing processes with AI. Key Findings: Emerging artificial intelligence (AI) applications are transforming the ability of markets and merchandisers to […]

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Generation Z Is Inspiring the Future of Customer Experience

by Robert Hetu  |  May 4, 2017

There is much talk about the millennials shaping the future. However, retail CIOs should be cognizant of Generation Z, a rapidly growing cohort that is already becoming a prime mover, shaker and disruptor, shaping experiences not only for the future of retailing, but for the future of living. Fellow Gartner analyst Miriam Burt recently published […]

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