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

Post-COVID-19, Retailers Must Get FMCG Demand Right

by Robert Hetu  |  June 11, 2020

Fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) retailers were deemed essential during the COVID-19 crisis and grew top-line sales. But now they face significant challenges from the aftermath. They must return to operational stability, while taking advantage of new business opportunities and shifting consumer preferences. As surging COVID-19 demand normalizes, grocery and FMCG retailers must address the impact […]

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Grand Reopening Retail Playbook

by Robert Hetu  |  May 1, 2020

Gartner Analyst and fellow retail team member Joanne Joliet this week published the latest in our series of COVID-19 research designed to give meaningful insights for retailers grand reopening.   COVID-19 has highlighted the criticality of stores in delivering unified commerce. Unlocking the potential of the stores will be the key to retail unified commerce success […]

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Apparel Retailers Must Plan to Succeed

by Robert Hetu  |  April 21, 2020

Plan to Succeed Merchandise planning is the core of retailing, where multi-million dollar decisions are made on a daily basis in a diverse organization structure. Product selection, availability and pricing remain the heart of retail business, however, accuracy of procurement and placement, and consistency of best-practice execution, have never been more urgent. Gartner recently predicted […]

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Apparel Retail Forever Changed: Moving Beyond COVID -19

by Robert Hetu  |  April 14, 2020

Apparel and footwear retailers seeking digital business transformation and innovation must embrace the aftermath of COVID-19 as an opportunity to affect major changes in operating models and business processes that are long overdue. The apparel industry was struggling before COVID-19 to restructure their operating models and are now facing an existential crisis.

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COVID-19 Resources for Retailers

by Robert Hetu  |  March 19, 2020

Retail is spiraling in a confusing and complex global reaction to the COVID-19 pandemic. Right now, consumables retailers (grocery, quick-service restaurants and drugstores) are actively trying to manage and improvise to meet immediate consumer demand. That said, nearly all retail segments are/will be impacted by the urgent need for support staff to work remotely. The […]

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Retail CIO New Year’s Resolutions, 2020

by Robert Hetu  |  December 19, 2019

Our retail team collaborated on this set of new year’s resolutions for retail CIOs. The dawn of a new decade is the perfect time for retail CIOs to get serious about the changes necessary for digital transformation success. Gartner clients can leverage research that identifies five key areas that will ready CIO retail culture, strengthen digital capabilities and […]

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AI Can Be A Central Nervous System

by Robert Hetu  |  December 16, 2019

It’s tempting to anthropomorphize artificial intelligence (AI), particularly when devices such as Alexa and Siri increasingly employ human communication. I’ve been known to throw in a sharp retort every now and then when it misses the point. But AI does not think like humans, and should not be considered a brain, however it can serve as […]

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Our Predictions for Retailers Show More Change Ahead

by Robert Hetu  |  December 9, 2019

Customers are demanding greater levels of contextualization of products and services. Retail CIOs can leverage intelligence to capture deeper insights, anticipate customer needs and proactively deliver across every touchpoint. Retailers must reinforce their store’s position as an integral part of delivering unified commerce. Our recent research Predicts 2020: Consumers Determine Retail Success Well Before the Sale […]

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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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