Preparing for the future of your business requires a deep understanding of what’s happening in the present. At IHA’s annual senior-level conference, CHESS presents top experts in their fields who share the latest information that can help industry leaders map their strategies.
Don Unser, president of NPD’s retail group, will outline macro trends in the U.S. retail industry and consumer lifestyles and will offer his perspectives on the performance of key industry categories. Unser’s expertise in consumer and retail trends spans a wide range of general merchandise categories, making him a trusted advisor to some of today’s most successful brands. He is a frequent guest in the C-suites of companies such as Target, LG, adidas, Wolverine and others who rely on him for insight into industry and category performance, the state of retail and winning strategies of best-in-class companies. Such companies turn to NPD for customized intelligence.
“We bring data to life, specifically as we interpret data trends within and outside an industry, and we advise clients where we see opportunity,” explains Unser.
Unser also oversees recruitment and business development efforts for NPD’s panel of more than 1,300 chains worldwide, representing all platforms including ecommerce and brick-and-mortar. NPD studies complex industry general merchandise (non-CPG, non-drug) categories to gain a large sample. Their research empowers them to analyze market share.
“The insights groups at a manufacturer or retailer find so much value in this data, they stay with NPD for many years. Our clients ask us to interpret the data to reveal trouble spots and opportunities,” Unser said. “For example, if a company’s blender sales are growing at 3 percent, it’s not time to celebrate but to be concerned when the blender category is growing at 11 percent. That company is losing share.”
In his CHESS presentation, Unser will offer a top-level view of the realities of today’s marketplace and the possibilities for where we are headed. He will highlight who is winning at retail; offer comment on online shifting with some industries at saturation and others just emerging; and suggest strategies for protecting and growing your business while brands become retailers and retailers become brands.
Unser also will address issues such as competitive threats for specialty retailers. NPD’s 20 years of data on specialty retail show difficulties in nearly every category, he says. “If the only differentiator is price, then that ship runs out of steam quickly,” he notes. “The wide assortment available online also erodes the value proposition for consumers.”
Other macro trends Unser said he will touch on include economic factors impacting the U.S. consumer; e-commerce maturation; retail growth prospects; delivery – fight for the last 10 miles; regions of the country that are showing the best retail growth; and borderless retailing—why consumers travel to seek value at Canadian and Mexican borders.
Before joining The NPD Group, Unser was a 20-year veteran of Hewlett-Packard. At the time, HP was just entering retail. “We built a multi-billion dollar business selling ink, toner, computers and printers to Staples, Office Depot and other top retailers. At the time, HP was the #1 technology brand in the world and developing its emerging retail model was invaluable experience and a spectacular career moment in my life,” Unser recalls.
This year’s CHESS conference, “Adapting in the Face of Change” will be the strongest event ever, with an exciting schedule of 10 sessions packed with timely and relevant topics. Don Unser’s retail expertise, coupled with NPD’s unique data on industry trends across $1.8 trillion of U.S. consumer spending, will provide attendees with valuable insights. His presentation is scheduled at:
Tuesday, October 2, 2018
Group President, Retail
The NPD Group
Don Unser leads The NPD Group’s practice areas for thought leadership, financial services and the public sector. He also oversees recruitment and business development efforts for NPD’s panel of more than 1300 retailers representing all platforms, including ecommerce and brick-and-mortar. Unser’s expertise in consumer and retail trends spans a wide range of general merchandise categories, making him a trusted advisor to some of today’s most successful brands. He is a frequent guest in the C-suites of companies such as Target, LG, adidas, Wolverine and others, who rely on him for insight into industry and category performance, the state of retail and winning strategies of best-in-class companies.
Prior to joining The NPD Group, Unser was a 20-year veteran at Hewlett-Packard, serving in a variety of positions with the company.
CHESS—Chief Housewares Executive SuperSession—is IHA’s annual senior-level conference for industry leaders. This strategic education and networking event of the year allows attendees to access high-profile industry experts directly and share information and ideas with other housewares and home goods decision-makers. Held every fall, CHESS attracts more than 150 chief officers of IHA’s most prominent member companies. The program includes Keynotes, panel discussions, general sessions and networking opportunities—the most valuable part of the 2-day event according to past participants.