Marshal Cohen

Chief Industry Advisor - Retail

Marshal Cohen

Marshal Cohen, chief industry advisor of The NPD Group, Inc., is a nationally known expert on consumer behavior and the retail industry. He has followed retail trends for more than thirty years, at NPD and as the head of leading fashion and apparel manufacturers as well as major retailers.  As part of his work at NPD, Marshal leads many top firms in long range and strategic planning sessions.  He often utilizes motivational presentations to help launch corporate goals and kick-off meetings. Marshal is the author of two books, Why Customers Do What They Do (2006) and Buy Me! How to Get Customers to Choose Your Products and Ignore the Rest (2010).

In addition to his duties at NPD, Marshal is currently a member of several Boards of Directors and has most recently been appointed to the Cotton Board and American Apparel and Footwear Association (AAFA). He is also a guest professor at North Carolina State University, School of Textiles.  There he is introducing students and faculty to techniques for analyzing and applying data. Marshal has been a guest lecturer at the Wharton School of Business, the Fashion Institute of Technology, and Savannah College of Art and Design. He has also been twice named to the Footwear News Power 100 list.

Marshal is also a regular contributor to many major media outlets. He is frequently quoted in publications like The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, andWomen’s Wear Daily.  Additionally, he appears on various television news programs including “Today,” “Good Morning America,” “CBS Sunday Morning,” and has been a regular guest on Bloomberg TV and Radio.  He is also a sought after speaker at key industry events such as MAGIC, The Fairchild CEO Summits, The National Retail Federation’s (NRF) Annual Convention and The American Apparel and Footwear Association’s (AAFA) Annual Executive Summit.  Recently, Marshal was the only industry expert who appeared in the documentary, “God Save my Shoes,” (godsavemyshoes.com) produced by Caid Productions.

Since joining NPD in 1999, Marshal has held a variety of positions analyzing and interpreting NPD’s uniquely combined consumer and point-of-sale tracking services for the apparel, footwear, accessories, and sports industries. His career began in the training program at Bloomingdale’s, where he worked his way up to merchandise manager.  From there, he became president of WilliWear and subsequently president of Stanley Blacker. He was also founder, owner and president of Motive Marketing Group.


Recent Posts


Navigating the Road to Retail’s Repositioning

Navigating the Road to Retail’s Repositioning

Apr 27, 2021

Whether looking to recover from a challenging year or remain relevant, all manufacturers and retailers need to find ways to reposition their business.

Piecing Together a Retail Roadmap for 2021

Piecing Together a Retail Roadmap for 2021

Jan 12, 2021

There will be some level of recovery in 2021, but much uncertainty remains. But this knowledge can help retail prepare for consumer shifts that will emerge.

COVID Changed Retail. Will Prime Days Change Holiday?

COVID Changed Retail. Will Prime Days Change Holiday?

Oct 8, 2020

Prime Days are surrounded by completely different dynamics, and looking to make their mark on retail, and the 2020 holiday season in a new way.

Will Holiday 2020 Be Another COVID-19 Retail Casualty?

Will Holiday 2020 Be Another COVID-19 Retail Casualty?

Sep 8, 2020

Holiday 2020 will be as unpredictable as the months leading up to it, but the season's spirit of giving will drive consumer spending, and new ways of shopping.

Retail’s Future Opportunities Look Different than Today’s Wins

Retail’s Future Opportunities Look Different than Today’s Wins

May 22, 2020

Recent sales increases in several discretionary categories reflect today's buying behavior, but also offer insight to help prepare for a new way of shopping.

U.S. Retail Consumer Trends Shift Dramatically Amid COVID-19 Crisis

U.S. Retail Consumer Trends Shift Dramatically Amid COVID-19 Crisis

Mar 24, 2020

Some retail industries are more vulnerable than others, but early data reveals short-term opportunities to help us all navigate the unknown path ahead.

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