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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

Apr 24, 2017
Retail

Traveling Dollars

Nearly half of consumers recently told NPD they plan to spend less in the next 12 months. Of course, consumers will rarely say they want to or plan to spend more. Then again, if it is something th...

Feb 2, 2017
Retail

An Urgent Message for Retail

There was one big thing missing from Holiday 2016 – a sense of urgency among consumers, and that should create a sense of urgency among retailers to take action. Such a unique holiday shopping sea...

Jan 9, 2017
Retail

2017 Will Test Retail’s Resilience

This will be a year of increased intangibles, experiential engagement, an emphasis on origins, and a continued deal dilemma. The consumer is changing, demanding something different, and retail m...

Eight Expectations for Fashion in 2017

This year will be one full of change for fashion at retail – some is overdue, some is driven, but all of it is necessary. The days of the consumer following trends have faded. Consumers are now cr...

Dec 21, 2016
Apparel

Holiday Wardrobe Malfunction?

The first half of this holiday shopping season proved to be a challenging start for the apparel industry. Despite early consumer intentions pointing to apparel as an area of increased spending thi...

Nov 28, 2016
Retail

Stores Saved Black Friday Weekend

That's right. Despite the surge of online and Thanksgiving Day  in-store sales, combined with the less-than-stellar Friday  in-store sales, retailers got the boost they needed from Saturday and ev...

Nov 25, 2016
Retail

Black Thursday Turns Black Friday Grey

Pre-Black Friday online sales starting earlier than in past years, opening on Thanksgiving night; and ongoing doorbuster deals all proved to work well, but perhaps too well.  As Thanksgiving Day sales...

Oct 17, 2016
Retail

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
Apparel

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
Apparel

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...

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