'The Largess Of Amazon Will Continue To Be The Overarching Trend In American Retail'

Interview with Jeremy Renna, former Vice President of Leased-Strategic Planning and Vendor Collaboration at Macy's


Jeremy is the former Vice President of Leased-Strategic Planning and Vendor Collaboration at Macy's, where he took charge of strategic store and location planning for the concession business group at Macy's. He worked with finance, merchandising and store design to vet new opportunities to fill spaces in their department stores,  overseeing the omni-channel planning analysis for 49 concession businesses totalling $1 billion in volume.

We sat down with him ahead of his presentation at the Strategic Planning Innovation Summit, which takes place in San Francisco this May 22-23.

How is internal innovation impacting your strategic planning?

Internal innovation is readily becoming the answer to questions and problems posed by outside retail environments. If Amazon does X then give that to the Macy’s Innovation Lab (set in NY and SF) and let them see how it can be done in the Macy’s environment.

How have your strategic planning priorities changed over the past three years?

Coming off the financial downturn of the early part of this decade, innovation saved companies millions of dollars and grew topline revenue. But, if you stop executing on the long-term strategic priorities you run into the turbulence of your competitive surroundings instead of flying above it. Therefore, your priorities change to more easily achievable, less impactful, strategies that allow more innovative companies to take market share.

Why do you believe Corporate Social Responsibility is becoming more important to organizations?

Everyone is attempting to capture the Millennial generation both as a customer and an employee. Every significant survey I’ve seen tells of a socially conscious millennial group. Companies have pivoted to be more openly responsible to capture this group's attention.

What major trends do you believe will affect strategic planning objectives in the next year?

The largess of Amazon will continue to be the overarching trend in American retail. Off-price can grow, experiences can replace hard and soft goods in gift giving time periods, but Amazon’s amazing growth continues to be the show stopper. Their ability to make the app developer the focus of the customer experience as opposed to the $10-$12 retail associate will continue to make them the shadow the entire industry will strategize against.

You can hear more from Jeremy, as well as other strategic leaders from some of the world's foremost organizations, at Strategic Planning Innovation Summit. View the full agenda here.


Read next:

How Google Uses The 20% Product In Strategy