Our team of senior retail executives offer their thought leadership and share their insights to help navigate the challenging and ever changing retail landscape.


Compressing the Supply Chain to Connect with Your Consumer

By Wolfgang Hoffman
I need to be honest. I was one of those skeptics about online shopping back in the mid-90s and well into the 2000s when Amazon was revolutionizing the shopping experience. I was comfortable and complacent with the brick-and-mortar shopping experience both as a consumer and as a supply chain professional

Marketplaces Make Money

By Brad Eckhart
With growing consumer dependence on sites like Amazon, Uber and Airbnb, we are squarely in a platform economy. This means that a significant amount of buying and selling today takes place via an online platform or technology framework. Savvy retailers are shifting to digital-first transactions – and benefit from engagement and sales

New Omnichannel Opportunity from Covid-Complicated Fulfillment

By Kavindra Malik 
Omnichannel fulfillment has always been a challenge for retailers and its complexity is only growing. Covid-19 changed our world and retailers have faced renewed difficulty maintaining an attractive assortment and stock availability, balancing online orders with weaker demand in some store locations.

Fulfillment – Retail’s New Loyalty Factor

By Rich Pedott
Covid has forced many retailers to make dramatic shifts toward digital transformation of their business models. Many have successfully pivoted to offer services including BOPIS, curbside pick-up, and same-day home delivery across their digital, customer facing touchpoints.

Measuring the New Normal: Retail’s KPI Challenge

By Rich Pedott
The media has been busy proclaiming the coming death of both the store and experiential retailing in a voice that has grown progressively louder over the course of the last decade. The scourge of Covid-19 is now being touted as the cataclysmic event that will signal the coming of a dramatic shift in the channel mix of retail.

Retail Planning: The Business Case for Anaplan

By Jared Dolich
Anaplan is an ideal platform to enable virtually all retail, wholesale, and ecommerce planning activities. The value provided by Anaplan combines the flexibility of spreadsheets and the connected business drivers in today’s most common point solutions. But the best part is that when fully deployed to the organization

Preparing for Data Driven Labor Management

One of the major impacts of the continual march of “Omni” retailing is to re-define the role of the store and the staff who service it. Experiential shopping doesn’t happen by accident, and exceptional customer service ...

Planning and Managing the Critical Aspects of a Full Merchandising Season

By Charlotte Kula-Przezwanski
Retailers could learn a lot from the Italian micro-economist Vilfredo Federico Damaso Pareto, who in 1906 came up with the principle that is sometimes known as the 80/20 rule.

Drapers Roundtable Breakfast

By Charlotte Kula-Przezwanski
Over more than just coffee and croissants in a nice upmarket London hotel, merchandise and planning experts debated if NOW was the time to move off spreadsheets and onto more formal planning solutions.

Executing On Time

By Charlotte Kula-Przezwanski
think we all know that great apparel brands maintain competitive advantage by consistently executing on time. Executing late, or under constant pressure, is not a mark of creativity. It’s just bad management.


By Charlotte Kula-Przezwanski
Omni-channel, cross-channel, or all-channel retailing--whatever you may call it, retailers of all sizes are struggling to get it right. The goal is to satisfy customers who want a consistent shopping experience in the store, through e-commerce, and through catalogues and call centres.


By Charlotte Kula-Przezwanski
The current pace of social, economic, technical, and environmental change appears likely to continue or accelerate nearly everywhere in the world. If adaptation is key to survival, retailers must strive to be ever more agile. But adaptation in response to change is defensive and reactive.

Case Studies


MALIN+GOETZ Refreshes its Systems Infrastructure to Scale for Future Growth Download This Case Study By uncomplicating its core processes, the personal care brand can now embrace omnichannel, with the flexibility and speed required for retail today In 2004, ...

Helzberg Diamonds Store front

Helzberg Diamonds

Helzberg Diamonds Engages in Planning and Process Transformation Download This Case Study In accepting the proposal of new technology, the retailer has renewed clarity in forecasting, allocation and replenishment For more than a century, Helzberg Diamonds has been ...

Carhartt Outer Wear


Achieving Carhartt – Operating Model Alignment / Business Transformation Download This Case Study Columbus Consulting facilitated the redesign and implementation of Carhartt’s Design to Delivery business processes, synchronizing enterprise wide functional areas, delivering optimal visibility, flexibility and ...

At Home

Making a House a Home: At Home’s Journey to Becoming the Leading Home Décor Retailer Download This Case Study What makes a house a “home?” Ask a dozen people that question, and you’ll get profoundly varied answers ...

Eileen fisher

Eileen Fisher

EILEEN FISHER Outlines Processes to Drive Sustainable Design By 2020 Download This Case Study At EILEEN FISHER, the design process goes beyond the material. For over 30 years, EILEEN FISHER has delivered modern apparel that not only ...

Green Growth Brands

With IT Sophistication, Green Growth Brands Brings CBD to Mainstream Retail Download This Case Study Seventh Sense Botanical Therapy Launches On Unprecedented Three-Month Deadline Cannabis. It’s a multifaceted and taboo topic. To some, it’s misunderstood, even distasteful. For ...


Change Management Behind the Red Door: Talbots Modernizes with Planning Process Reboot Download This Case Study Talbots has nostalgic and entrepreneurial roots, self-described as a company “inspired by a joy of discovery.” A 1947 ad placed in ...

Hunkemoller runway


Hunkemöller’s Strategic Growth Supported Through New Allocation and Replenishment Technology Download This Case Study she·ro/ˈshirō/nounplural noun: sheroes a career-driven young woman who is health and beauty conscious, as well as a follower of fashion and lover of lingerie.“a ...

COVID Resources

Free Tools to Help Manage Low / Missing Sales

Columbus Consulting invested time, skills and talent into our relationship with retailers / brands to help the industry move forward through this difficult period. We have developed two tools that provide support for dealing with ...

Creating A Culture Of Continuous Transformation

Testing, learning and pivoting haven’t necessarily been retailers’ strong points. Right before COVID-19 hit, many businesses were still struggling with legacy infrastructures and disjointed processes. These legacy qualities inhibited them from responding ...


Consumers are placing far more emphasis on value than they did before the crisis, suggesting that it is having a big impact on people’s buying habits.

Managing Your MP&A Team Through COVID – 19

By Richard Pedott Many of us have had to manage a crisis before. It may have been a small scale one such as a natural disaster confined to individual markets like Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Sandy ...

How IT Leads in the COVID-19 Era

As CIO’s tackle the immediate short term and tactical needs of the organization, they must also look to the future and prepare to support their organization and service the consumer in the post COVID-19 Era.

Retailers Need to be Transformation Journey Leaders, Now More than Ever

We know that retail is going to transform into a different world than the one we knew before COVID-19. As retailers, we’ve all had conversations on how the industry’s landscape is constantly changing.

COVID-19 Crisis Management: Sharing My Retail Lessons Learned

While the coronavirus has caused unprecedented disruption in the retail industry, some aspects of this pandemic are not entirely unique.

White Papers

Managing Your MP&A Team Through COVID – 19

By Richard Pedott Many of us have had to manage a crisis before. It may have been a small scale one such as a natural disaster confined to individual markets like Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Sandy ...

Increase Sales and Fulfillment Across Multiple Channels Through Inventory Optimization

By Charlotte Kula-Przezwanski in collaboration with Mi9 Retail June 2019 The soul of a retailer lies in its stores. It can be seen and felt. It is what makes the brand an exciting place with a distinctive ...

Can today’s retailers adapt to the need for frictionless shopping?

By Island Pacific in collaboration with Charlotte Kula-Przezwanski June 2019 Retail is facing a seismic shift New technology, the internet, social media and an empowered, fickle and less brand-loyal consumer have combined to create a new phenomenon. We ...

Planning, Allocation, Demand Forecasting

By Island Pacific in collaboration with Charlotte Kula-Przezwanski March 2019 How do retailers measure Return on Investment (ROI) from new systems implementations? Technology is transforming every aspect of the retail business, often at a dizzying rate. Innovations that ...

How to effectively manage international growth in today’s multichannel environment

By Island Pacific in collaboration with Charlotte Kula-Przezwanski March 2019 Is it possible to create a truly successful international and multi-channel brand? On the face of it, it is easy to understand why any retailers might succumb to ...

Project Management in Merchandise Planning and Allocation – Understanding the Basics

By Columbus Consulting With any major business undertaking, proper project management plays a huge role in the success or failure of the endeavor. Managing a project from the initial idea, through planning and execution, can be ...

Labor Management – Understanding the Basics

By Columbus Consulting No matter how many robots, kiosks and other fancy machines are created to improve the in-store experience, retail stores still need human power to operate and the personalized customer services provided by store ...

Assortment Planning – Understanding the Basics

By Columbus Consulting Assortment Planning is like a box of chocolates. No really. The next time you have a box of chocolates, take a look at what you have. There are lots of choices that you ...

Grading, Clustering and Store Attributing – Understanding the Basics

By Columbus Consulting Retailers are always looking for ways to achieve the highest margins and least amount of markdowns for merchandise at each store. The key is to assign the merchandise where it is most likely ...

Planning and managing the critical aspects of a full merchandising season

By Charlotte Kula-Przezwanski, Columbus Consulting and Mikko Kärkkäinen, Relex January 2017 In this co-authored white paper with Relex, we discuss the practical aspects of executing a disciplined and organized planning and buying process, and we identify the ...

Enterprise Performance Management – Understanding The Basics

By Columbus Consulting Enterprise Performance Management (EPM) is an area of software and process which is designed to guide and connect companies through the planning, analytics and reporting activities across the entire organization. Download This White Paper

Allocation – Understanding The Basics

By Columbus Consulting At its core, allocation is the optimal deployment of inventory to best meet customer demand. It is usually the last step in the merchandise lifecycle before the sale. Allocation originated from merchandising, when ...

Merchandise Planning – Understanding the Basics

By Columbus Consulting Every planning professional or retail executive knows the answer to this question, right? In reality, though, it’s not that simple. Merchandise Planning (or Merchandise Financial Planning) means different things to different people depending ...

Spreadsheets to Software

This white paper produced in collaboration with Island Pacific focuses on the urgency around moving your company away from a purely spreadsheet driven enterprise and onto a more reliable planning solution. Through analysis ...

Executing On Time

Do you have friends who always run late? It’s annoying, right? When they keep you waiting, you’re not so eager to see them next time. So it is with customers. If you don’t give them what they ...

Agile Retailing

Change has always been a constant in retail and the current levels of uncertainty and disruption are likely to continue. Now more than ever, Agility is as important as efficiency and effectiveness. Columbus Consulting have just ...

Faster Product Development

The search is over for real world insights and practical steps to shorten ‘concept to customer’ timelines. Download Columbus Consulting’s latest White Paper to learn from industry experts and start your company on the path to ...

Omni Channel Retailing

Inside you’ll discover: 6 things you must do, in sequence, to deliver the cross-channel shopping experience your customers expect.2 key internal factors many retailers neglect or ignore–to their disadvantage–in pursuing omni-channel initiatives.3 project-planning forms to help ...

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