Robert Hetu

Robert Hetu

Robert Hetu is research director, retail, at Gartner


The retail apocalypse is so overblown by the media and analysts that 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. Sign up for Which-50’s Irregular Insights newsletter I have

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


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 behaviours and lifestyle choices are changing. Competitive pressures from disruptive pure-play ecommerce players are causing radical changes to antiquated business

There is much talk about millennials shaping the future, but retail CIOs should be cognisant of Generation Z — a rapidly growing cohort that is already becoming a prime mover, shaker and disruptor. Gen Z’s influence is shaping experiences not only for the future of retailing, but for the future


Product pricing is a critical component of the customer cross-channel experience, but the promise of unified price, promotion and markdown optimisation (UPPMO) is elusive. Gartner’s long-held position is that retailers must support consistent cross-channel pricing with situational differentiation. Foundational elements of an effective cross-channel pricing strategy for unified retail commerce

The recent spate of store closings will do nothing but hasten the decline of physical retail, while providing only short-term profitability gains. Okay, so I know the US is over stored, and some locations just need to close, but there are many things going on here that must be considered.

Forces not unlike wind, rain, thunder and lightning have engulfed the retail world in the perfect storm. The question on everyone’s mind is who will survive the storm and how will it have changed the landscape. Perfect storm Retailia exhibits the powerful forces of shifting lifestyles, social upheaval, political instability and

That financial analysts have ulterior motives is no surprise but we are all going to have to live in the marketplace they are influencing. I wish I could say retail leaders will cut through all the noise and tell the markets what they are going to do and why they