We as an industry have learned through many hard-fought lessons that the right data can always point the way. Never was this more apparent than during a trip to my local mall last week. I went partly out of necessity (my son needed shorts), but mostly out of curiosity. I had zero preconceived notions on what I would find. Would it be empty? Would stores be closed? Could I even find shorts right now in-store?

What I observed was that, despite the mall being PACKED with shoppers buying like crazy, many stores were disappointingly responding with a hodgepodge of best and worst practices, inconsistencies, and glaringly obvious disconnects with the needs and expectations of consumers. While a few had it right, it was surprising that so many retailers and brands still hadn’t figured out how to use data to direct how to service their customers - particularly when it’s more important than ever that they make every dollar they can.

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