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Retail Is Your Business

Retail Is Your Business is a weekly podcast covering the intersection of innovation/technology and business strategy in the world of retail (online and offline, across all industries) -- with a focus on consumer experience. As informed hosts dive deep with insiders -- from industry leaders to cutting edge startup founders -- crucial insights, career journeys, trends, new ideas, and the state and trajectory of the retail industry become accessible with a fun and comfortable morning radio vibe.

Weekly hand curated podcast episodes for learning

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Katia Beauchamp of Birchbox - Staying On Mission

How do you continue to grow, to be relevant, and  innovate to stay a leader — without going off mission? A lot of companies are compared to the innovators of their space—"the WeWork of such and such", "the Casper of this", and "the Birchbox of that".  But when you are one of those companies -- in this case, Birchbox -- eventually the space will have those other players.  Katia Beauchamp, CEO and founder of the very successful subscription beauty service Birchbox, joins Rebecca Fitts and Chris Hansen to offer some great insights on how she has evolved with her company, how she thinks about retail , and why the journey toward  a customer should never actually  end; how the recently revamped subscription model that focuses on customer loyalty, despite criticism from some,  is actually on-mission , and has been more successful than anticipated; what she learned about the physical store and the importance of passion from those who work there; learning’s about agility from retail partners; creating the reality you want to live; and, how one of the quickest ways to Katia’s heart might just be if you know about food wrapped in food. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.


14 Aug 2019

Rank #1

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Mark Ghermezian of Fourpost - Opening a Door to Plug-and-Play Physical Retail

If you've ever needed an office for a new company, you might have gone to a company like WeWork. If you were looking for a retail space, an intriguing option is  Fourpost, a company taking something that is commoditized and turning into something that is elevated and transforming it by integrating content, customer experience, and what looks like a white glove, plug and play retail opportunity. CEO and Founder Mark Ghermezian, who’s deconstructing the retail space into a kind of incubator for brick and mortar, shares how Fourpost looks at creating experiences, seeks out innovation, and why this model could play an important role in the next generation of physical retail.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.


3 Oct 2019

Rank #2

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Emily Culp of Cover FX - Customer, Team, Data

Customer, team, and data. No matter the order of priority, getting these things right is essential to the success of any retail operation. An expert in all of these is Emily Culp. Before leading beauty brand Cover FX Skincare as CEO, Emily’s work managing call centers and in executive positions with brands such as Keds, Rebecca Minkoff, Clinique, and Unilever, has demonstrated she is the perfect blend all three areas of expertise.  Emily joins Rebecca Fitts and Chris Hansen to share career-focused advise on being a CEO in the retail sector, why data is queen, and why customers have driven her decisions, why KPI's are such a focus, and building the right team is everything, and -- the power of bench pressing.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.


7 Aug 2019

Rank #3

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Dana Glaeser of Slightly Alabama - Building a Retail Brand, Inside-Out

Slightly Alabama is a line of leather wallets, bags, iPad and iPhone cases, computer cases, belts, bracelets, watch straps, and accessories,  designed and manufactured in our West Village, NY studio where we focus on developing expertise in design through traditional techniques and processes. But it is the community-based, brand-building, event-embracing ,brand-first-growth-later retail strategy led by founder Dana Glaeser that might just be the real story.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.


16 Oct 2019

Rank #4

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Kabeer Chopra of Burrow - Reimagining Supply Chain

Some of the greatest companies have come from solving a need the founders had themselves—“there must be a better way”. Fast-growing, direct to consumer furniture brand Burrow is one of them. When a co-founder couldn’t get what he wanted, when he wanted, he and his partners created a company that did things differently — including tapping into existing delivery services like FedEx and UPS in an industry where that just wasn’t being done. Kabeer Chopra, Co-founder and CPO of Burrow, shares the company's journey with Rebecca Fitts and Chris Hansen, including how growing this company wasn’t about following a path of interest, but instead about solving a problem; the way Burrow developed new advantageous and game-changing paths to supply chain; and why really listening to the customer has resulted in some of the best product ideas.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.


31 Jul 2019

Rank #5

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Heather Marie Udo of Shoppable - Changing the Shopping Paradigm

Will you need a website in the future to sell your products online?  If you ask Heather Marie Udo, online retail expert and Founder and CEO of Shoppable (a distributed commerce technology company with a patented, universal checkout API), she’ll tell you the answer is likely “no”. After all, the retail consumer is changing, and the focus is shifting from pulling the consumer to the brands to bringing the brands to where the consumer already is. And retailers are following and creating commerce experiences there instead of through their own channels. Heather joins Chris Hansen and Rebecca Fitts to discuss how commerce is  everywhere; about trends in social shopping.why there is so much disruption in the buying process that’s actually changing the shopping paradigm; why collaborations between solutions like Shoppable, and social platforms like Pinterest, are a big deal; and the Cheesehead brings cheese.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.


28 Aug 2019

Rank #6

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Timothy Aquino of Institchu - Suiting Up for Custom Fit

Two words that hold increasing real estate in the vocabulary of retail are commerce and personalization (a.k.a customization). One of the challenges of buying high-end apparel and accessories online (whether it be eyeglasses, footwear, or even tailored suits) is the confidence in both the accuracy of fit and the quality of the workmanship. Tim Aquino, the Head of Sales North America for Institchu (offering tailored made suits both online and in their showroom here in New York) came into the studio looking about as dapper as one would expect, and if that’s any indication, this  company might just be onto how to make personalized commerce work. He shares with Chris Hansen and Rebecca Fitts about why fears about the quality of work in China may be misguided, and how this retail company brings their in-person store experience to the online customer.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.


25 Sep 2019

Rank #7

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Dorie Smith of Of Mercer - Selling a Work/Life Balance

Designed for women, by women, Of Mercer is an apparel brand building a community of women professionals whose combined voice is a very effective ambassador in the entrepreneurial world. Aligning with successful executives, business leaders, influencers, and innovators, Of Mercer has taken an effective and  bold approach to the growth of the brand. Co-founder Dorie Smith offer insights into the brand's retail strategy so far and looking forward.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.


9 Oct 2019

Rank #8

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Ran Reske of Resident - The Entire Home Under One Umbrella

What if you could get everything you need for your home, online, from one company that has everything, from bedding, linens, lighting, furniture, and more…but each category is actually its own brand, managed by the umbrella company. It’s all seamless and coordinated, with the consumer getting the benefit of buying from multiple brands—-when those brands are all talking to one another.  Ran Reske, Co-Founder of Resident, joins Rebecca Fitts and Chris Hansen, and he shares how this isn’t just a great consumer experience that can change your life -- it’s a fascinating retail concept in motion with Resident that makes the most out of the hardest part of retail: customer acquisition. If you can outpace, and out-experience, the competition by keeping all the needed brands under one umbrella, you’ve got a great chance of more sales with that customer once they’ve been acquired.  What’s more, like a hive mind, internal partners act as agencies, and talk to one another in a. coordinated way. With this model, and the fact that the direct to consumer online furniture and home goods market is still wide open and ready to be conquered, the opportunity is massive. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.


21 Aug 2019

Rank #9

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Brand Marketing and Media in a World with COVID-19

Jason Schulweis, SVP and Head of Brand Partnerships and Integrated Marketing for Morning Brew,  offers crucial insights about current trends within media and marketing due to the impact of COVID-19, how marketers can authentically connect with consumers, and the importance of brand purpose in the face of this new reality.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.


23 Mar 2020

Rank #10

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Diane Burley of Lucidworks - Bridging a Data Gap in Retail

From the global digital workplace to the digital commerce experience, companies need to build powerful search and data discovery solutions for employees and customers. Diane Burley, VP of Content for Lucidworks a a Leader in Cognitive Search, with an AI enabled internal and external search solution, talks with Rob Sanchez on location at eTail East in Boston. She covers how companies in and out of the mason industry can bridge the a gap between people and their data.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.


11 Sep 2019

Rank #11

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Steven Garcia of Papaya King - Launching the Next 86 Years

There are iconic brands whose customers not only expect, but demand, that the brand not change. When you think of New York institutions, legendary frankfurter and tropical juice restaurant chain Papaya King (and their neon sign) very well comes to mind. For 86 years this retail business has kept a following, been featured in movies, TV and print, and has remained a part of the  cultural fabric that makes New York "New York". So, how do you stay true to the brand you’ve always been, while being mindful and smart about what tomorrows consumers need -- with an eye on health and saving the planet? Steven Garcia , COO of Papaya King, joins Chris Hansen and Rebecca Fitts to share how the business is getting ready for the next 86 years by implementing an overhaul of its offerings, enlarging its footprint, and heading down the path of franchising -- all while keeping the loyalty of their patrons intact. Plus, how Steven's own need to rethink what he eats has inspired the path forward.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.


19 Sep 2019

Rank #12

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Chris Victory of Rokt - A Buying State Of Mind

It’s been said there is such a thing as a "buying state of mind." What could be possible if you could start a meaningful conversation with customers right at the moment they're making a purchase? At eTail East in Boston, MouthMedia Network CEO Rob Sanchez sat down with Chris Victory, SVP of Strategic Partnerships for Rokt (a global leader in e-commerce marketing technology, at the intersection of digital media and commerce) to talk about how companies can grab the maximum return on investment every time a customer engages a marketing offer.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.


4 Sep 2019

Rank #13

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Sandra Makarem of The Collective Child - Disrupting Luxury Shopping

With the visions of disrupting the luxury shopping space, beginning with childrenswear, Venezuela-born CEO/Founder of The Collective Child Sandra Makarem has over a decade of experience in the fashion space, including nearly eight years working as a buyer and a planner at Bloomingdale’s where she managed the performance of several omni-channel departments and led the development of new brands, including launching several successful multi-million dollar departments and private label brands to address the emerging millennial market segment. She launched The Collective Child as a side hustle and has helped members discover emerging limited distribution labels from around the world through an unparalleled personalized service to thousands. Her passion, knowledge, and experience come through in every box shipped. With guest host Rebecca Fitts.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.


6 May 2020

Rank #14

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Ayeshah Abuelhiga of Mason Dixie Biscuits - Everyone Needs a Biscuit!

Founder/CEO Ayeshah Abuelhiga shares how demand for the "Best Biscuit in America", women-owned, Washington, DC restaurant Mason Dixie Biscuits to create a completely unplanned product that was inspired by loyal customers, resulting in naturally made, fresh, preservative-free products. She also focuses on retail innovation, what makes her products so different from others out there, creating experience for customers, what she has brought to this company from other high-level career experiences, and the values which have driven success (with biscuits now available in many retails stores nationwide): grit, authenticity, transparency, quality, and advancement.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.


29 Apr 2020

Rank #15

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Dan Bruck of Fasetto - Tech Solutions to Connect the World

Fasetto, Inc. creates technology solutions for an increasingly connected world. CMO Dan Bruck joins the show on location at CES 2020 in Las Vegas to share the possibilities for brands that comes with unlimited connectivity between people, their content and the devices they use—regardless of platform, device or network.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.


22 Apr 2020

Rank #16

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Mark Kohlenberg of WDM Footwear and Accessories - Vertically Integrated Supply Chain

Mark Kohlenberg, CEO and Founder of WDM Footwear and Accessories, which is a premium leather footwear and accessories company offering turnkey development for private label production, discusses how the company's footwear and accessory production is all vertically integrated and 100% at their own factories in India. This has uniquely positioned them away from any fallout due to the coronavirus outbreak and, in fact, has led to them being inundated with many retail, wholesale, and DTC brands looking for assistance. With dozens of name brand clients, WDM’s capabilities include licensing, design and development, sourcing, packaging and full EDI capabilities and integration. WDM also owns its own DTC brand Moral Code, offering premium leather footwear and accessories for men.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.


15 Apr 2020

Rank #17

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Brandon Hitt of NowMobile - Granting Wishes, Accessorizing Technology

NowMobile’s lines of portable wireless accessories not only allow you to be productive and entertained while on-the-go; they also give back. Brandon Hitt, Managing Partner of Hitt Brands (introducing solution based, trend-forward items that delight customers across all retail channels), joins on location at CES in Las Vegas. Hitt covers how, for every item sold, NowMobile will make a donation to Make-A-Wish; how NowMobile is a global provider of mobile accessories for work, home, and school; and how the subsidiary of Hitt Brands creates products to simplify consumers’ lives and empowers them to fully leverage today's technology without breaking the bank.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.


8 Apr 2020

Rank #18

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Ron Bonacci of Weis Markets - Keeping Pace with Change as a Grocery Retailer

Ron Bonacci, Vice President of Marketing and Advertising for Weis Markets (a large regional grocery chain headquartered in Sunbury, PA with more than 200 stores in 7 states) shares insights on innovation, eduction, and keeping pace with change as a grocery retailer with Marc Raco and Sterling Hawkins on location at NGA in San Diego.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.


3 Apr 2020

Rank #19

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Social Distancing and Business in a World with COVID-19

Aside from the physical health risks stoked by COVID-19, there's another byproduct of the pandemic that's potentially terrifying: the social impact of isolation and quarantines. Given the number of people directed and electing to work from home, social distancing becomes both a personal challenge as well as an important business concern. From London, Julia Hobsbawm (social entrepreneur and author of The Simplicity Principle) shares important insights, strategy, and perspective, along with useful plays, for business leaders facing the realities of social distancing amongst their workforce and customers.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.


21 Mar 2020

Rank #20