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Marshal Cohen

Chief Industry Analyst - Retail

Marshal Cohen chief industry analyst 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

Oct 17, 2016

A Political Holiday Split Screen

We’ve heard a lot – and are about to hear more – about how the Democratic and Republican presidential nominees feel on a wealth of issues. But what do their supporters feel about the weighty issue...

Sep 21, 2016
Apparel , Retail

Election Distraction

With less than two months to go until the 2016 presidential election it is as if the circus has come to town. Regardless of your political affiliation, there is no denying that this presidential e...

Aug 30, 2016
Apparel , Retail

New Rules for Back-to-School and Beyond

Another school year is here and that means shopping for everything from pencils and pants, to comforters and coffeemakers. One-third of consumers purchase some kind of back-to-school related merch...

May 25, 2016

Time to Realign

There is a growing gap between the retail world and the apparel consumer. The seasonal selling cycle is off, the emphasis on fashion vs. function is out of balance, and there is an overlooked oppo...

Apr 18, 2016

April Showers And The Email Flood

Springtime bloomed in stores months ago, though the season is only a few weeks old and, moreover, it hasn’t felt much like it in many parts of the country. For all this time, retailers’ heaps of promo...

Jan 21, 2016

Holiday Shopping Remorse

Despite the abundance of promotions designed to lure consumers to shop early and often throughout the 2015 holiday shopping season, the final sales results have been mixed. In reality, there may have ...

Feb 5, 2014
Apparel , Sports

Activewear Is Not Just For Athletes Anymore

Have you noticed just how many people are walking the streets or shopping the stores in sweat pants?  How about the number of people wearing yoga pants (by day and by night) to the gym, in the gym, an...

Dec 1, 2013
Apparel , Retail

What’s Selling So Far?

Holiday weekend shopping results (Thanksgiving Day, Black Friday, Saturday) are looking good for both brick and click retailers. The top ten categories that scored well are filled with a few surprises...

Aug 20, 2013

Say It Isn’t So. The “Murse” Is Back.

While many of us may have noticed others might have not, recently men have been quietly carrying around what women have been addicted to for decades – a bag for their essential items. Men have been si...

Sep 12, 2012
Apparel , Retail

The Importance of Fashion Week to the Business of Fashion

So just how important is Fashion Week to the business of Fashion? Well, according to the numbers that the NYC Tourism Bureau released – very important. New York Fashion Week contributes more revenue t...