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

Amazon Derangement Syndrome And The End of Retail

by Robert Hetu  |  January 5, 2018

The retail apocalypse is so overblown by the media and analysts my head wants to explode.  Lazy articles from CNBC and other news outlets clump together store closings from long dying retailers like Sears and Kmart with those announced by Macy’s.  I have many concerns about Macy’s but there is no connection between these companies […]

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Product is No Longer King

by Robert Hetu  |  January 3, 2018

The old saying “product is king” is no longer true for retail. Experience is king, and product is a critical component of experience, but consumers increasingly determine the value provided by the associated experience. This is seen by the transition toward click and collect, home delivery, autoreplenishment, in-store entertainment and the growing use of subscription […]

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Will People or Machines Rule Algorithmic Retailing?

by Robert Hetu  |  January 2, 2018

Business leaders are understandably overwhelmed by artificial intelligence due to its complexity and disruptive workplace implications. My latest research “Will People or Machines Rule Algorithmic Retailing?” explores the topic in a practical way, building framework for retail CIOs to enable active leadership in setting the course for this critical technology as part of an overall retail digital […]

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Leveraging the Retail Associate as a Platform for Digital Transformation

by Robert Hetu  |  December 4, 2017

Retail CIOs’ digital business transformation objectives must include development of associates’ digital dexterity to increase their engagement. This is necessary to create a digital workplace in which associates can create successful customer experiences, leading to long-term growth and stability. In her recent research Industry Vision: Leveraging the Retail Associate as a Platform for In-Store Transformation, Gartner […]

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Advanced analytics are critical for modern and effective retail assortment planning

by Robert Hetu  |  December 1, 2017

Having just completed publication of the 2017 Critical Capabilities For Retail Assortment Management Applications it’s a great time to reinforce the importance of using new advanced analytic capabilities. Advanced analytics and big data from sources like the Internet of Things (IoT) are enablers of customer-centric assortments as well as effective category planning and management. This […]

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What is the future of the retail store associate?

by Robert Hetu  |  November 29, 2017

A new headline drew attention today: “Automation could destroy as many as 73 million U.S. jobs by 2030, but economic growth, rising productivity and other forces could more than offset the losses according to a new McKinsey Global Institute report”. No doubt Intelligent Process Automation (IPA) and Robotic Process Automation (RPA) combined with Artificial Intelligence (AI) will cause […]

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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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