Press & Podium

iPad users stampede to Victoria's Secret app | The Columbus Dispatch

But the app's usefulness should not be underestimated, and the prominence of scantily clad models "makes perfect sense," said retail marketing consultant Chuck Palmer of ConsumerX Retail. "That's part of their brand, that edge of sexiness."
Although the app might not lead directly to bigger sales, he said, "You can't think of this as another revenue stream. It's an engagement stream.
"Now, is it going to move more merchandise? Maybe," Palmer said. "Will it enhance the brand? Absolutely. Is it also soft porn? Probably."

Amazon Plans Haute Couture Takeover | 

Chuck Palmer, principal strategist at ConsumerX, doesn't wholly agree, instead proposing that luxury retailers are held back by their own limitations.
"Amazon's opportunity here is exactly what it was with books," wrote Palmer. "Consolidate a fragmented business by creating value for brands and consumers alike. After all, this is what Bergdorf's, Harrod's and Barneys does."

Mango Makes a Fresh Brand for the Unbanked | The Financial Brand: Marketing Insights for Banks & Credit Unions 

Chuck Palmer, a customer service experience expert who worked on Mango’s pilot store.  Palmer says the unbanked have been treated poorly. Mango creates an experience optimized for these people while still allowing the company to earn a healthy profit over time.
“We came to understand the distrust the unbanked have for the financial system, mostly because their experiences have been riddled with inflated fees and prison-like architecture,” Palmer wrote on his blog.
“We found when these consumers felt a company was loyal to them, they stayed loyal to the company,” Palmer said. “We looked at world-class retailers to benchmark the elements that signaled to the consumer that Mango respects them as much as Apple or Starbucks does their customers. We shopped and spent time in the places they did in order to develop the right sense of place.”
“The main idea of the engagement strategy was to encourage Mango customers to ‘Learn, Do, Be,’” Palmer explained.

Fashion stores getting creative to entice you | USA WEEKEND Magazine |

"Customers feel special because only a select group are invited,"; says Chuck Palmer, chief strategist at ConsumerX Retail. The chosen flock to Cynthia Rowley's boutique-on-wheels, which travels to malls and top clients' homes and offices nationwide. And they lap up The Limited's intimate in-store signings with authors who share style and networking tips.

One-fifth of The Limited's attendees are new to the chain — and they spend five times more than the average client.

"It's all about the experience and connection," Palmer says. “That pays off more than any ad can.”

No Time to Shop? Fashion Vans Will Come to Your Doorstep |

Fittingly, the newest door-to-door salespersons are a quirky clan of fashionistas: Cynthia Rowley (a designer of dresses, garden hoses and bandages), Alice + Olivia, Shipley & Halmos; Skechers Fitness and Sanrio’s Hello Kitty. Even upscale Marc Jacobs got in the game, renting an ice cream truck to sell jewelry on New York’s Fashion Night’s Out. “If Hermes or Burberry did this,” says ConsumerX retail strategist Chuck Palmer, “it might be a head-scratcher.”
But for those catering to cool consumers under 35, mobile units are a natural progression from the recent eruption of pop-up stores.
These fans — new and old — are also more likely to shop than in a traditional store “because they’re having fun,” Palmer says. “They feel good about the purchase and will always remember when they bought it — and will share the experience with others.”
E-mail, Twitter, Facebook, FourSquare or word-of-mouth add to the insider cachet. “It’s only there a limited time — the latest version of Blue Light Specials: Grab the deal now or you’ll miss it,” he says.

Mobile apps moving e-commerce off the Web | Embedded Internet

"Apps provide a faster connection to the information that people most want and need," said Chuck Palmer, principal strategist at ConsumerX Retail (Grandview Heights, Ohio). "For the app provider, they cut through the clutter of competition and allow you access to your most engaged consumers. For users, apps offers speed to information without having to mess with browsers, search engines and URLs. If something is happening in the news, people go right to their New York Times or Wall Street Journal app. Plus they can be arranged 'my way' on the phone's home screens."

Alshaya holds key for retailers to Middle East piece of expansion plans | Business First 

Consultant Chuck Palmer, of Grandview Heights-based ConsumerX Retail, said a merchant chain and its partners must understand consumers and markets as they balance maintaining a brand image amid the dynamics of a new and foreign marketplace. Companies like Alshaya give retailers “someone on the ground” who has that market knowledge and can manage the business day to day and at less expense than if the retailer staffed and ran the stores itself.

Value City Furniture seeks to stand out as campaign you can really be comfortable with | The Columbus Dispatch
The company's approach makes a lot of sense, said retail consultant Chuck Palmer, owner of local marketing consultancy firm ConsumerX Retail.
"Most brands this time of year will just sort of sit it out and wait until after the election," Palmer said. "It's interesting that they're not. They're playing in the midst of it and trying to leverage it."

Victoria's Secret plans tricks and treats | The Columbus Dispatch 

"Halloween has become much more of a grown-up activity and there are all sorts of merchandise product opportunities," said retail consultant Chuck Palmer, owner of Consumer X Retail. "I'm not surprised Victoria's Secret would want a piece of that."
While details remain sketchy, Palmer expected that Victoria's Secret items would continue to walk a careful line between tame and too sexy.
"I would imagine they'll be doing it in a tasteful and sophisticated way," he said. "Frederick's has had a bit of a raunch-factor that Victoria's has avoided."
Palmer's prediction for the still-secret Victoria's Halloween treats: "They'll probably be more fantasy-oriented, like you see in the runway show, and maybe play off the angel wings."

Apple store open at Polaris : Consumers expected to bite despite unit's proximity to Easton |

The proximity of the two central Ohio stores "says a lot about Apple's strategy of being everywhere their customers are," said retail consultant Chuck Palmer, owner of Consumer X Retail. "When a chain like that opens a second store, you take note."

One thing is certain: The Polaris store will focus heavily on customer service, Palmer said.

"Apple is essentially the best at in-store experience," Palmer said. "At some point, I'm sure, Apple will stumble, but they get the consumer experience. Apple really thinks it through, they think through every detail.

"And the timing is not to be ignored -- it's in time for back-to-school," a time when Apple fans typically would be flocking to retail stores for the latest gear and technical advice.

Bedbugs' bite closes Hollister's SoHo store | The Columbus Dispatch 
The infestation comes at a difficult time for the store, with the July Fourth holiday weekend approaching, said retail and consumer consultant Chuck Palmer, owner of Consumer X Retail.
"I'm sure that store is a tourist draw to a certain extent, so it's definitely going to hurt business and hurt the brand," Palmer said. "But it's better in the long run to close the store.
"The flip side of the holiday weekend is they've got a four-day window to fix this and get back up to speed."

Back To School: Retailers reel in school spending with amped deals | The Columbus Dispatch

Leading the way for Abercrombie & Fitch  is the revival of its A&F Quarterly, a racy magazine-catalog that sells for $10 and is aimed at raising the profile of the brand. So far, it seems to be doing exactly that. At the company’s London flagship store, a crowd stretched down the street to buy the publication when it first went on sale in the middle of last month.
Publishing the catalog is “a low-risk move because, while it’s not completely new, it is new to their current customers,” said retail consultant Chuck Palmer, owner of ConsumerX Retail. “If it has some of the old edginess, it will create lots of buzz.”
Abercrombie rival American Eagle, meanwhile, is offering free cell phones for anyone who tries on a new pair of jeans — a promotion scheduled to end Tuesday. Customers are sent to a special website for the details.
While the cell phones aren’t totally free — customers still must pay for the two-year service contract — “I love the fact that AE is providing a variety of choices,” Palmer said. “I’m sure it resonates with their customers. It’s not about moving phones, it’s about awareness. Those kids want those smartphones.”
“Many of today’s shoppers are smarter than any other generation before them, especially when it comes to finding the best price,” said Phil Rist, executive vice president of strategic initiatives at BIGresearch.
“They get that there’s a ‘new normal’; they have a sense of responsibility,” Palmer said. “They’re still driven, they’re still emotional to get the Abercrombie brand and probably always will be. But very few will buy a full wardrobe. They’ll buy a few key pieces.”
So while there is likely to be an uptick on higher-margin items, he isn’t expecting shoppers to splurge.
“Kids are smarter than to go for a wholesale buy-in of just one brand,” Palmer said. “Most kids consider someone like that a lemming. Instead, they’ll buy Old Navy jeans and an Abercrombie hoodie, say. It’s how they put it together that’s important.” 

Concepts for marketing presented by consultant | ThisWeek Newspapers
Grandview resident Chuck Palmer of ConsumerX has been working with the city to develop a set of guidelines that could be used as a blueprint for a brochure that would serve to point out to developers and those who influence them "the advantages of coming to the city," said Patrik Bowman,the city's director of administration/economic development.
Palmer told council members that he was looking to get feedback and reaction from them before presenting a final set of guidelines to design firms interested in being considered for the project.
"Our ideal target (audience) will be entrepreneurial CEOs, sites selectors and leasing agents -- those people who would be the influencers of the actual decision makers," he said.
The foundations of any marketing message are the vision, values, persona and experience of the community, Palmer said.