Hello, you’re listening to the Omni talk Fast Five brought to you in partnership with Microsoft, the a&m consumer and retail group, Takeoff, sezzle and silk. The only talk Fast Five podcast is a podcast that we hope makes you feel a little smarter, but most importantly, a little happier each year. And week too, Today is December 22 2022. I’m your host, Anne Mezzenga
And I’m Chris Walton.
It’s our last show of the year. And you know what that means, Chris?
I sure do. It means it’s time to hand out some awards Anne.
Oh my god
And I can feel it in your voice already. Your excitement in that read was like the highest it’s ever been
This is. The only disappointment that I have about the intro here is that I feel like we need some Christmas trap music to be playing us in the intro. If you haven’t already do yourself a favour and Google not Google, search Holiday trap music on Spotify
What is trap music?
Trap music just just
Just put it in your search on Spotify. And thank me later because it is one of the best like collection of Christmas like or holiday music that you could ever find. But Chris, more importantly than the trap music joining us today as we do every year
The random stuff you always bring up
I guarantee a good time. Okay, you need a little little change during this this season to what you’re listening to. And that is one of my like greatest fine,
Right. All right. Okay,
But more importantly,
For our annual award show. Every year we have our distinguished guests from the a&m consumer and retail group this year, we are delighted to welcome Dave Ritter and David Brown to help us hand out some hardware. Dave Ritter for those who don’t know you, I want to go to you first tell people a little bit about yourself and how many times you’ve been on the show, which is probably in the in the double digits by this point.
I’m not quite in the double digits. I think this is time seven,
Seven or eight, been on the show quite quite a bit. Dave Ritter, a longtime consultant in the retail space, I focus at the intersection of kind of retail operations and technology. I’m a managing director in this consumer retail group, at alvarez and marcel. Thanks for having me.
Excellent. Thanks for being with us, Dave for your seventh time. David Brown, introduce yourself if you would, sir.
Oh, thank you. David Brown, also a managing director in an a&m consumer and retail group focused much like Dave does on retail and CPG. I got a little bit of catching up to do. I think this is my fourth time maybe?
Yeah,I think so. It feels like it. Yeah.
But yeah, I feel like my episodes are higher rated than Dave
We might have the data to support
That can be true. It’s the battle of the Dave’s. Remember the battle of the Daves back in like the Olympics Dave Johnson. And who’s the other Dave Do you remember? I can’t remember his name. decathletes. 88. Yeah. Yeah, we’ve got that going on here Anne. All right, well, let’s get to it. We have a tonne of great awards to hand out this year.
And stick around to the end because that is when we’re also going to pick predict tomorrow’s headlines today. Like I did that. That’s so cool. All right Anne take it away.
All right. Let’s get right to it. You guys. Let’s start with retailer of the year David Ritter. Why don’t you start us out who who’s your pick for retailer of the year this year?
Okay, I’m going Kroger this year.
Oh, yeah, that was close for me close. Yeah.
Three different kind of buckets of why I think the first is just their core performance. So thanks for sales up 6% and private label up 10. The second is just around innovation. So they’re proving with Ocado that they can enter a market. They don’t have a physical footprint, like Northern Florida and taking it to Publix, and Publix has backyard, which I think is a pretty bold move.
They’re also COVID Precision Marketing has been kind of groundbreaking, and that we’re seeing everyone follow suit. And then the last thing is, I think from a strategic perspective, gutsy move going after Albertsons acquisition, we’ll see. But yeah, I mean, when you take core performance and innovation and strategy I’ll put together I think there’s a clear case for Kroger.
I think that makes a lot of sense
Yeah, it’s hard to argue that well, yeah, yeah, that was in fact, you might just put me over the edge on mine, actually, too, a different one. But I think I’m kind of Yeah, it’s but it’s a good year. There was a lot of good year. A lot of good retailers.
Yeah, I totally agree. David Brown. What about you? What’s your pick?
Yeah, I’m gonna pull a different direction. I’m going with Victoria’s Secret.
Longtime viewed as the anchor of Elle brands, and now it gets spun off completely changes their image, you know, embraces inclusivity and body positivity. Ah, you know, killed it. The holidays the same time, you know, growing with the younger customer base with a Dormy. But yet maintaining a brand image change. Successful spin off. I think they crushed it this year.
New Chief Customer Officer.
Yeah. I know Chris Rock is over there. They did they did fit tech this year. I mean, that’s I think that’s a compelling, compelling argument for retailer of the year. David Brown
David Brown’s there one to watch that and probably going into 2023, I would say to right, David, kind of what you’re thinking here,
Yeah they could be in the headlines next year.
Mine is actually yeah, this was fun. This was a fun year. Like I said, there were a lot of good companies to pick from I picked Tractor Supply. The stock price has held held steady, which is more than you can say about most retailers, quite honestly, going into the pandemic, for example, their share price was $76. And now it’s over $200 per share. And
That and that’s been going on for like a while. Right? Like it wasn’t just this year, like they’ve had a pretty like they can their stocks held for a long time when we talk to Colin Yankee. Right.
Yeah, yeah. I mean, they’ve the last three years particularly have been really good, you know, kind of coinciding with the takeover of how Lawton is the new CEO, and revenue still up 10% This year, which is, you know, ahead of inflation to which I think you have to take into account as well. But yeah, I think he’s done a great job since taking coming over from Macy’s, which I was a little sceptical of that hire, initially seeing what he’d done at Macy’s, but then it makes me question if he was like, I gotta get the heck out of Macy’s to actually do something that I want to do. But the best thing I can say too, is, like you said, calling Yankee when we talk to their execs, yeah, they just get it from an omni channel perspective, and they understand where they want to focus and how they want to think about the problems at hand. And I think that to me, is why I singled them out.
And where else can you buy brand new baby chicks? Chris,
I have no idea Anne
Tractor Supply. Might be one of the few places where you can walk in and get yourself some baby and get a check. Okay, I’m gonna close this out my retailer of the year, this interview
You said itnot me.
Baby chicks. Okay, my retailer of the year this year was Lululemon
That’s a good pick.
I had to pick them they nearly doubled their revenue, which seems crazy to me. They claimed they’re gonna do it again by 2026. They launched new categories this year, shoes, footwear, put a tonne of effort into that and hiking if you’re gonna count hiking, but also expanded their men’s business by nearly 30%. Just last quarter alone. They launched in house resale and buyback programme this year, which again, I think is super smart. They got into subscription services.
And I think that they are doubling down on experience again, like their we went to the experience store and Linkin Park in Chicago, Chicago, they’ve taken food prep and house like they are going all over the place. They are just trying to capture as much of that brand love as they can and continue to give customers what they want. And the customers are showing that they like it by spending and spending and spending on a product that is not discounted.
It is, you know, just continuing
And Dave that Dave correct me if I’m wrong. That was your pick last year. Right. Like you predicted a good year for them last year, if I remember correctly to.
I did Paul Yankee is my West Point classmate, so
Oh, shout out to him then
Oh, hey, we got a call in connection.
We like that.
Right. Your ham talk today. I love it. All right. Yeah. But that kudos to you, man. Yeah, you call that going into the year and they crushed it Yeah, seemingly. All right. So next up, we have CEO of the Year, which this is one of my favorite categories, because it always feels like the Oscars to me Anne like, does the director win Best Picture? Do you go Argo and Snell Ben Affleck? So I’m curious what everyone’s going to do here. David Brown, let’s start with you.
For me, this was was a pretty easy choice. Ryan Gellert
Interesting. I like what you do this,
You know, living the brand ethos of authenticity. And, you know, making the decision to essentially give away your company to fight climate change. What you’ve been preaching and has been the brand identity for since the beginning. Like I mean, no better move by CEO this year than than that like
Yeah, that’s how that works. You that’s kind of a mic drop as well.
Definitely. I have to say, I mean, I completely forgot about that.
And I shouldn’t have that was a great call putting you’re actually doing what you’re talking about, like not just saying you’re gonna do it or greenwashing or all this others
Yeah, right. Wow, that was a good one. Yeah. David red. Dave Ritter. What do you think?
I’m going with Dave Campbell, Alta? You know, I know there’s a newer CEO but taking over from a legend is not easy to do as Disney has shown us all this year, the stocks up 10% year to date in a down market. You I think they continue to innovate in places that maybe aren’t the most fair little more edgy like sexual wellness and places like that. And I think he’s just done a really bang up job at taking over for a legend.
Always hard. Yeah. always hard to follow a legend.
Yeah, well, yeah,
Generally speaking not that I would know Anne what about you?
I picked Todd R Schnuck
I love your I love the Todd R Schnuck like I wish I could have Anne E Mazinga. In my, when people talks about
those initials all go together too T R & S. Like they’re all like right next to each other.
Okay, well, I picked
Todd R Schnuck of schnuck markets for multiple reasons. They introduce shelf scanning robots across the entire store ecosystem, they launched their own flex force employment options, so that associates could choose which locations they wanted to work in shifts. And they he allowed them or he empowered the team working under him to get a while those those individuals get paid after each shift. They’re also testing new store formats, which this was a runner up for me for the headline that people should be paying more attention to this year. Because Schnucks is launching a lot of pilots with this eat well, organic markets side by side with a Schnucks Express. So I think that was a really bold move.
And the idea there that you like is that you can get your natural organic products and get the products done.
Yeah, they still like yeah, they sell Heinz ketchup and Coca Cola and the snacks Express that’s adjacent to this, like full on organic market foods. Yeah, exactly. But I think that that Todd deserves credit, because I think what we’ve seen, especially from our very close conversations with their friends, and leaders that shucks markets like Dave sec, I think he’s empowering the teams to test and learn and to really be able to put into practice some of the r&d efforts that I think a lot of retailers will like pilot in one store and then either kill or you know, not fully expand upon.
Yeah, that’s a great point. Yeah, I mean, I think if you look at look at grocery, particularly, I think from an innovation perspective, that is the company I would single out and model from a retail tech innovation perspective, not necessarily some of the other areas of innovation, but from a retail tech innovation. Not that I wouldn’t, but I’m just saying like the focus for me would be they get retail tech innovation, to focus on it and deploy it. i For me, you know, I almost I almost didn’t snub Ben Affleck here. But so I it was hard to argue against how not Latin based on what I said, but if I had to pick someone, honestly, I’d give it to Doug McMillon.
Yeah, I mean, for all intents and purposes, Walmart’s had a great year financially. Sure, it’s been buoyed by the pandemic, but Walmart’s a big ship to steer. And he has taken everything Amazon has thrown at him over the last few years ever since he got into position and I think he’s done pretty well. And this year, has been a good hallmark for him like, they’ve also cut back on the PR. I know they had the drone sing. But generally speaking, I’m liking the news. I’m hearing out of Walmart a lot more than I ever have in the past.
With the exception of this last soundbite from CNBC, I hope, the Squawk Box interview where he just said the same thing over and over and over again.
Oh, which was, which was what?
We work with local law enforcement.
Oh, that thing? Yeah. Right. Well, hey, he’s he’s taking the smart playbook.
Good boy dougie
Depressing the expectations on earnings. Right?
Yes. Okay. Let’s move on to the next award. And that is for retail technology of the year. Chris, let’s have you start with this.
You want me to start eyes?
All right. For me, it was easy. I think computer vision.
Again, like I think that he was gonna keep winning it for me every year. But you know, it’s not just for diet. But I say that because it’s not just for just walk out. It’s for the value add that you’re getting from all these implementations, and specifically, the headlines I would call attention to our Amazon’s use of the technology to provide data to CPGs and even triggers new easy stock programme, which provides inventory visibility in real time, which goes back to the theft discussion we’ve had for the last few podcasts have something that people need to solve.
So I think you know, with all the heat we’re seeing around theft and shrink in the marketplace right now heading into 2023. I actually think that’s one of the top tech trends we’re gonna see is a lot of efforts being devoted towards this. I think computer vision is one of the big sauce for that. And so I think it continues to rise to the top
Yeah, I agree with you. I mean, I think computer vision obviously is going to, it’s been at the top of the list last couple of years is going to continue to be but I am going to go with my favourite technology of the year which is fit Tech
Yes. Fit tech had a huge year when you look at FIT match launching with savage by Fenty and getting a huge amount of investment from fabrics which we are I imagine we’ll see them launched in the coming year. And even Macy’s launch fit tech this, fit match. I think
It’s definitely trendy.
You also have volume mental launching fit ticket fleet feet for running shoes, also with Red Wing and using the Fit technology to create that Lululemon running shoe.
Finally, we have David Brown’s retailer of the year, and that is Victoria’s Secret, launching their fit Tech with very fit. And I think with all the increasing costs that we’re seeing from shipping all the logistics that are involved that retailers need to figure out a way to Boom, caught back on. I think that this next year will bring even more advancement for fit tech. But Dave Ritter I want to hear what yours is. What was your retail technology of the year?
Mine is automated fulfilment slice micro fulfilment technology.
Oh, wow. Okay.
And the reason I say that is I think ultimately I mentioned it briefly about Kroger, that we’re starting to see Kroger test Publix and ATVs backyards, which has been kind of unapproachable for years. So Walmart acquire alert innovation, which I think shows that they’re headed down this path. I don’t think we fully seen it. I think we’re it was a big year, but it’s the first big year of many. But frankly, I think we’re on the path to profitable ecommerce grocery, which is
That’s crazy talk Dave crazy talk.
Profitable ecommerce grocery,
Long theorised never acquired. David Brown, what what’s yours?
Yeah, I hate to be boring. But I’m going with Manhattan. As every buddy I know, is going through a Manhattan warehouse implementation, it’s literally powering the back offices of every retailer, every logistics network, and, you know, as omni channel and buying online, pick up in store, and you know, and every other flavour of that becomes kind of more important the ability to get goods in people’s hands. And we saw throughout the pandemic, like how genuine just supply chain was, it’s making the supply chains run easier. And and everybody’s doing it. So I know, it’s about a bit of a boring infrastructure pick. But no, that’s usually critical to powering retail.
Yeah, I mean, David, you didn’t just name it technology named a technology provider? No, that’s fine. I mean, hey, they’re gonna love it. And we’re friends with Manhattan. We love those guys. So yeah, that’s great to hear, man. Those are some good picks.
Those are excellent picks.
So best, both you guys are on the warehouse management side of things. Right. That’s kind of what you’re thinking here. That’s still going to be the key focus here going into 2023. Interesting. All right now this is my I think it’s my favorite category, most overhyped technology of the year. Anne why don’t you go first?
This time it was easy.
Oh, good. Oh, good. That’s what I say about the metaverse. So just so much about it. And I still think there’s, you know, creating digital assets, digital twins of a store. Yes. Like there’s things on the operational side that you can be using VR for and
VR, though not not the most important. Yeah,
Again, what part of the problem but this is one of the roots of the problem is that there’s so many definitions, I think there are there, there are worlds that make sense to create in order to optimise the efficiency of your store operations. But expecting consumers to shop in another world that you’re somehow a part of, or that you believe you as a brand have the authority to create is just so future state, and I don’t think it’s worth the investment in energy time headlines. All of the above for people this year in the industry.
I 100%. agree with you. 100%
Okay I was like this is gonna get ugly.
100% No, I mean, we are so far away from impacting retail at scale. I mean, think about a computer. Computer Vision is essentially been my retail technology for the past few years. It’s just getting off the ground operational.
Saying nothing of the consumer facing side of its implementation, Sue. But the adoption curve for VR glasses is nowhere near iPhone esque at this point, either. So I wouldn’t be invested here, you know, at all, as a retailer beyond maybe like some smartly placed NFT, some video games or tie ins or something like that. But that’s like minimal minimal budget here.
And like you said, that’s like, what is how it is that Metaverse like No, it’s not necessarily its component. But
Right, which is the last one I was gonna make is like the kicker for me on why it’s so overhyped is like, even the meta people I talked to
Don’t understand what the hell it’s all about, like the and they’re the most immersed in it. And so like, that’s my thing is like, go and study web 3.0 what it is in relation to the metaverse, everyone out there listening if you haven’t done that spend, like 10-15 minutes googling the difference
Or 10 hours
You’re gonna understand why this thing is so goddamn far away. But anyway, all right, David, what do you think?
Yeah, I’m gonna, I’m gonna stick with the theme, I think it’s NFT’s for sale. Right?
I actually, you know, like, you know, the, you know, other than like, you know, the board ape guys who have made a tonne tonne of money on this, the idea of like, either taking something and just, you know, selling a digital image of it. Either, you know, in VR or you know, in any of the worlds or just to say you you own the likeness.
I think is a little crazy. Don’t get me wrong. I actually think web 3.0 blockchain technology like have huge upside. You know, I think there’s tremendous loyalty plays or authenticity plays. There’s, you know, social plays like something like what some of the majestic guys are doing in Africa, you know, you know, trying to get to a common currency and stuff like that. But yeah, taking it NFT and trying to sell it. Just crazy talk,
Right and web three different than the metaverse to like that’s an important distinction here.
So the underlying technology behind it, you know, kind of the blockchain technology has a huge upside and huge future potential. But people are just focused on the wrong thing.
Yeah, I couldn’t I think and I couldn’t agree more. Yeah. All right, Dave. Dave Ritter, what do you think?
I’m gonna be boring, just echo and the metaverse
Unanimous. First time in the history of the show. First time we’ve ever had an award controversial.
The thing I’d point out is that he meant spending billions of dollars on the metaverse is literally just setting their shareholders money on fire at this point. I mean, it’s so far out before it returns on investment, that it’s just, I mean, it’s crazy talk. Even companies like Nike, they’re doing some cool stuff, you know, getting LeBron James and their virtual in their virtual world. I think it’s a waste of time and effort at this point. We’re just not at a place where the consumer is there yet. And I just think it’s overhyped
Could not agree more. I love it. I just got
We’re gonna play this back in 10 years and be like, Oh, my God, we got this wrong or something like that.
I’m just imagining like being inside of Horizon world and like Mark Zuckerberg just holding a lighter underneath piles of cash just like dropping digitally from the ground. But
No, it’s not like, we haven’t worked in metal, but like it just I don’t get it. I’m sorry. I have to be candid on that. You know, but All right, let’s keep rolling.
All right, let’s do the headline of the year. Dave Ritter, we’re going back to you. What What was your pick?
My pick is buy now pay later during Black Friday. I think for oh, I mean, this the massive growth and the huge portion of the sales that were could be attributed to buy now pay later, it was just insane. I think from one perspective, it’s great innovation. And it’s amazing growth by those those companies that are that are doing the Buy Now pay later. Services. I think the second point is troubling in an inflationary and recessionary environment. We’ve got all these consumers needing Buy now pay later, in some ways kind of smells like the subprime loans ahead of 2008. So I think it’s the headline of the year but also particularly troubling headline,
The BNPL. Short, I have the new version of that movie, David.
Dave was in this category, particularly, that’s a good one.
All right. David Brown, what’s your pick for headline of the year?
Yeah, you know, maybe a little repetitive here. I’m, I’m doubling down on my CEO pick. Yeah, as the Patagonian founder, company to fight climate change. Like I remember being exactly where I was when I read it that morning. And like, to me that just stood out as like, as you said, Chris, it’s a mic drop moment. So
Yeah, for sure. That was a that was a shocker. Like that was one of the things you’re like, Well, I got to dig into and read this right away and figure out like, what exactly is happening, and it was exactly as the headline said, it was really remarkable.
Yeah. potentially the most impactful headline for the world. For sure. Yeah.
Chris, what one headline a year for you?
Yeah, I’m surprised you didn’t slag me off on this one, too. Because like, I already said it. Yeah. Well, I said it last week. Yeah. But you know, I said every week you guys always everyone was giving me grief because I was like, This is my retail headline. The year which I kept a list. I only kept eight candidates in the running. I won’t I won’t list
That’s like almost one a month.
52 weeks, I thought that much eight headlines in the running. Come on give you some credit? All right, mine is
365 days. So
It’s a small fraction anyway. Mine is Walmart Manning RF mandating RFID in home furnishings. I loved it since the beginning. And I said it last week, too. But it’s only RFID is only going to become more commonplace here because of all the issues with stuff. And the other thing I love about it too, which is why single single single out Doug McMillon the beginning. Walmart, if you look back actually made that announcement in January of this year. How many other retailers have been Have you read about Manning? RFID cents? I can’t think of one I think that’s a big fat zero.
So it shows me the Walmart’s got its act together. And it’s thinking about things in the right way, which I think is really important as you talk about how the industry is going to move towards something.
Yeah, big big ups for Walmart this week in the past in the past, really surprise not typical of you. But
You know, I’m critical, but I’m fair. I try to be fair, okay. You know,
I had to go with the Albertsons Kroger merger. That was that, for me was like what David Brown said, where you’re like, you remember where you were when you saw that headline? Because it was so
Do you remember where you were?
There’s not a lot of places that I could have been, but I do. I was right here at this table and the text came through. And I was like, Whoa, this is gonna be massive, especially with like I hold, like thrown in and around that for a little while. But I think that you talk about the power of this with merging retail media platforms, as Dave Ritter was talking about earlier, I think shipping all the things that Dave mentioned, really like shipping from Hub and Spoke facilities going into territories without physical stores. And I think that we’re going to see further experimentation if this goes through. In retail technology, you have Albertsons who’s a big player in that space and Kroger so I think they’re really kind of for me, the gonna be the the frontline, like retail tech grocery industry provider for the future of the grocery industry. So I thought that was a massive headline.
That’s a really good point Anne I hadn’t thought about that too. In the context of the Kroger conversation. Kroger is taking a tech platform play here in some of the things I wonder if they’re gonna start to do that in other spaces, too. Like you think about what they’re doing with ever seen. Yeah, check out and all that kind of stuff.
And, you know, where did they take this? But that’s, that’s a really great one. All right. This is another one of my favourite categories. Headline that deserves more attention than it received. David Brown, why don’t you start this one off?
Going with circle K’s cannabis deal.
Oh, in Florida, nice
In Florida. But I mean, you think about like how that could, you know, as as cannabis continues to get legalised state to state, you know, what, 6000 plus stores that could be outlets for green thumps products. That’s that could be huge. I mean, it’s it could be a complete game changer in the cannabis industry from you know, small, dispense one off dispensaries to mass distribution. You know, people kind of are asleep at the wheel on this one a little.
David Brown is winning the show.
He really is he’s winning the show Anne
He is pulling out all these like, Yeah, you did your homework. We appreciate it.
All right. Dave Ritter
All right, ma’am. That’s just gonna make me sound nerdy relative to his spots. Walmart target and Kohl’s leapfrogging Amazon and Black Friday search. And I know that there’s some I know that there’s some debate because Amazon’s moving away from one Black Friday, I think you’d have to take it through a consumers lens. And that day on that day that consumers search those other sites more than they searched Amazon. And I think that’s, I think it shows a small kink in the Amazon armour, but also shows that some of Walmart and targets investments digitally are starting to pay off and people are going there more frequently.
Especially the Kohl’s inclusion, right, like Walmart and Target. But like, it’s,
You’re not alone. David Brown. That was a puzzling for a lot of us, I think.
Yeah, that’s where I wanted Earth to start tilting on it’s correct axis when I read that, you know, like, that was just like, oh, what’s, what’s going on here? Alright, Anne what about you,
Mine was the Zara flagship store opening,
I almost picked that one too. I feel like not enough people are talking about that.
No, and this was such a massive thing. Like we didn’t even have like US retail covering this. It was like in a Spanish newspaper that was covering the opening of the store. But this, I think, is the best picture of what the future state of a store should can and should look like inclusion of RFID scanning go rapid fulfilment, kiosks for return smart fitting rooms, like everything about that store, is I still think when we go and talk to people about it, or we show the video from that, that tour that we did, yeah, people are still surprised and don’t know about it. And it’s like, you gotta you gotta take a look at what’s going on in Madrid.
Yeah, that was funny. That was my pick. I was talking to the two days before the show. I was like thinking like, I saw them. I like I made my picks, like a couple weeks when I went and change. That was my original pick.
But then I thought of something else. And it goes back to what David David David Ritter said a couple of minutes ago around Facebook. Mine is actually Instagram and Facebook getting out of social commerce. Yeah, I mean, and have you looked at the shop tab and Instagram lately?
Yeah. Go check it out. Listeners like it is awful now. Like they’ve totally destroyed it. It’s just algorithmic at this point, like, do you just see a bunch of stuff just fed up in your feed? And it’s so sad
To see because Facebook and Instagram, they could have owned this space. And now they’re pivoting their resources towards the metaverse. Like, it doesn’t make it makes no sense to me at all going back to what Ritter said like, yeah, so I wonder from 10 years from now, if we’re gonna see, I’m gonna go a little step further. Like I think we’re gonna think of metas did managerial decisions right now and look about look on them like seriously regret it’s like they’ve kind of pissed the E commerce opportunity down their leg and I don’t know if they’re ever gonna get it back. Because when you talk to people there, it’s done. They’re just focusing on advertising now and it’s yeah, it’s sad. So you just wonder like, man, what does this mean?
I think we need to coin that phrase of pissed to the E commerce opportunity down their leg as one of the most disgusting descriptive of what’s going on within the retail industry.
But how else can you put it I mean,
December 22nd 2022
You took something that was so cool and had so much potential and now it’s just gone.
It’s awful. Yeah. But anyway, all right, take me off the ledge Anne.
All right lets go into the next one. So best new partnership of 2022. Chris, start and use a different way of describing
Mine this was pretty easy for me. I picked GAAP and Amazon.
Yeah, I like that because I think it sets the stage for what is more to come. We talked about on the show. I think more people need to look at this, especially in basic categories of apparel. Like you just want to replenish your apparel. You want the confidence you’re buying it from GAP not some third party Rando. And you want to go where the traffic is. It’s just like Amazon’s virtual mall set up shop. They’re just buying the whole idea. Get over it and do it. That was my thing.
They’re certainly doing better than peloton, Amazon.
If you read the Wall Street Journal today,
Yes. Okay, mine, Chris was an easy, clear winners. And that was target and Starbucks Partnering for curbside delivery.
That is pretty cool. Actually
Best thing of the year. I love it so much, everybody, all my friends, I told them about it. Now everybody’s using it. This is like driving me to target more than I was already going to target. It is so wonderful. I think that this also enables like this was close to him. Actually, this is close to taking headline of the year for me when this was announced. Because one I didn’t know that there was going to be we’re both a little sceptical of whether or not this is going to be something they could pull off. But they just they were like Beyonce flawless on this. And I
Although it’s still in pilot phase, lets not get too crazy about it. It’s still in pilot phase. They’ve rolled it out to 250 stores and you know,
That’s a lot of stores and still working really well.
Yeah, right. Yeah, right.
The coffee’s hot, Chris. That’s the important part. Okay,
Coffee stays hot and the cool stays cool.
David Brown, what was your pick for best new partnership for 2022?
Yeah, I’m going actually anti partnerships on this one, I think the the best new partnerships are the ones that kind of broke up and like for the right reason, you know, so whether it’s Adidas, and, you know, gap, dropping the anti symmetric space cadet, or all of the company rolling out or Russia, because of the Ukraine war, or like companies, you know, you know, dump in Twitter. I think, you know, we’re actually seeing companies live up to some values.
Which, to me was was great. You know, I had to actually pick a partnership. I love what Allbirds is doing with all of their one off designs.So you know, big shout out to what they’re doing. But I think the anti partnership movement do and what was what struck me this year?
This is brands have to love themselves before they can love another partner. Yeah.
Well said Anne
Yeah, this is like, oh, it’s not me. That’s like probably from Brene. Brown,
That’s exactly what I thought of the same reference.
GottaLove yourself first. So I love David Brown, you’re bringing it. Okay. Dave Ritter, what’s your best partnership or anti partnership Since we’re opening?
First off, He’s not following the rules here.
Dave just trying to reclaim his position here.
Lululemon and trove. So I think, here to stay I kudos from embracing it, the fact that it is here to stay. The thing that I find interesting about this partnership is that many of the customers that are using this are not current customers. It’s a younger and younger customer. That’s that’s trying Lulu or trying to get into the loop. can’t really afford it yet. But I think that’s an entry point that could could end up paying dividends in their full price stores in the future.
100% I love that one.
Yeah, you brought that up in the beginning. Yeah, I mean, and you always talk about how much just Lululemon stuff is available in the universe for resale. And so if Lululemon can start capturing that it’s just got to be a massive opportunity. All right, so next one best strategy move Anne from a struggling retailer who you are gonna go with on that.
Okay, I picked Macy’s and Toys R Us I know we dogged on this all year we’ve been diagnoses hard that we I think we are Chris because I went into that store it was well executed shelves were stocked there was a great assortment good brands. And I think that after I mean there’s still some room for improvement. Sure. There’s a you know, everybody on LinkedIn was like there’s no experience blah, blah, blah. But if you’re going to Macy’s and you want to get all your Christmas shopping done now you could do it. That was like a one stop shop. I thought it was really well done. I think they could start to actually make that move. Even better. I still don’t know that like the Toys R Us brand resonates or that that needs to be like in there. I think just having a good toy selection is exactly what you said multiple times. So
Yyeah, that’s interesting. Yeah, I have Salmon eat crow on that when we learned about how they did this holiday, but we’ll see all right, David Ritter
You know the same thing
I did, you know, frankly I would brought it to mind was target and FAO Swartz this partnership and how cool I thought that was and I think toys is just a critical kind of battleground category where if you’re struggling retailer like Macy’s you just have to try to drive that traffic and I think it was done pretty well all told and in the stores that they did it so I think that’s probably the the best struggling retailer strategic moves that I could call up this year.
Well, interest this is gonna get really interesting in a second David Brown, what do you think?
This was a tough one. Um, I actually thought much more about like successful retailers and what they’re doing but I think from a struggling one, the the one that I liked is players moving outside of malls. You know, kind of malls are especially in the kind of malls or in like, you know, see be, you know, the malls. Big enclosed boxes are, are a dying breed. So, yeah, I think they’re one shot to still be relevant and, and get outside of kind of the death trap, like the big box and, and still trying to make it
And selling on Walmart. I mean, they’re selling on walmart.com Like, they’re that
They’re in a lot of Walmart stores. Yeah, yep, sure. All right, mine was. Man, this one really pains me this category actually hurts me in the heart because I think I’m gonna seriously be eaten some Crow, but I went with Macy’s, but I went with Macy’s for a different angle.
There was actually another angle to that we haven’t talked about that I thought about which was actually like their marketplace move a lot, too.
I think I’m gonna predict you that we’re gonna see a lot of good things coming out of that here at the end of the holiday season. But mine is actually the recent announcement on MFC is going back to Dave Ritter’s point in the beginning about the technology, they said, they’re gonna put like 30 Plus MFCs in their store, which, you know, part of me is like about time.
Like, you know, you guys probably could have been doing that two or three years ago. But they’ve made that commitment. I think that’s just smart.
Hopefully, the MFC’s are better organised than their sales floor.
Right yeah. hopefully. Right. But
Or t’s gonna take a while to get those products to the customers. Yes
Yeah But they got the space for it right at this point. And so like, I don’t know, makes me wonder if Macy’s has a sudden Dark Horse to watch here in 2023. It could be the case we’ll find out.
I know. Can you believe it? I can’t believe we’re saying that. But
I mean, but struggling retailer, like that’s the first thing that comes to most people’s minds. Struggle. Exactly. All right. Finally, we are going to end it with tomorrow’s headlines today, Chris, we’re going to talk predictions. What headline do you most expect to see across the front pages sometime in 2023? Dave Ritter kick us off.
All right, either her Bango or traigo. Or both will launch a full size. Just walk out grocery store in 2023.
Oh, my God. Dave Ritter. You and I think that we we just are we have a connection. Like, do you want to know how many things Dave Ritter and I have had the same for this?
So that was yours too, huh?
Yes, my was the same, same exact prediction. The only thing that I’m going to throw in there. Here’s my kicker, Dave Ritter. I think that they could launch this full size grocery store before Amazon Fresh launches their zombie stores, like they have 20 Zombie stores, like hanging out just fully ready to go. But still dark, not open. They got all the signage up and everything parking, whatever, they’re still shuttered. I think that Treecko Grove, Ango, whoever it is, is going to open one of these full sized grocery stores before those things launch.
I don’t know the exact count. But you guys did link up on a lot here. That’s kind of nuts.
Great minds think alike.
That’s right. brother from another mother. Great.
All right. David Brown, what do you think?
Well, actually, I hope both of their predictions are right, because it’ll make mine right then to which is that, you know, the death of brick and mortar was prematurely called, I actually think you’re gonna actually see kind of more importance on brick and mortar. I mean, you know, ecommerce slowed for the first time last year and how many years there and, you know, people are open to new stores, whether it’s Ross doubling down on open stores, or, you know, all the small brands, the Warby Parker’s of the world. You know, experiential in store retail still matters, and I think we’re gonna see even more of that next year.
Yeah, right for sure. All right, mine was and I think actually Dave’s when I listen back to the episode from last year David kind of inspired me on this one. If I’m not mistaken, mine is it Instacart CEO gets fired. Oh, as the company scrapped its plans to go public and instead is on the acquisition block hardcore by the summer of next year. That’s mine.
That’s probably not
What do you think? What do you guys think? Dave, David Brown you want to comment on that.
I you know, I think that’s a real possibility. You know, they’re going through layoffs right now. And yeah, it it could be the next web there.
Yeah, absolutely. All right. Anne any final parting words here thought this was a great show tonnes of fun
it is. No, I’m I’m excited to take some time off.
Yeah, me too.
It’s been a year. We’ve had some worldwide adventures this year. We’ve been all around the all around the world from Madrid to London to Amsterdam, Cologne, Utrecht
Utrecht Yes. Yes, we’ve been all around the world and Jersey we’ve been to Jersey to Alright, that wraps us up Happy Birthday today to Hector Elizondo, Diane Sawyer and the woman who reminds us that it should always be about that base. Megan trainor
How much fun did you have writing that line?
You smiled a lot at yourself is
It is pretty much my favourite show because like I kind of put my own shoes on it but remember if you can only read or listen to one retail blog in the business make it omnitalk. Our Fast Five podcasts is the quickest fastest rundown of all the week’s top news. And our twice weekly newsletter tells you the top five things you need to know each day and also features special content exclusive to us and just for you and we try really hard to make it fit within the preview pane of your inbox. You can sign up today at http://www.omnitalk.blog. Thanks as always for listening in. Please remember to like and leave us a review. wherever you happen. Listen to your podcasts or on YouTube. Dave Ritter if people want to get in touch with you or anyone else at the a&m consumer and retail group, what is the best way for them to do that?
They have several different options. The first is our website is http://www.AlvarezandMarsal-crg.com. We have Alvarez and Marsal consumer retail group on LinkedIn or they can reach out to David Brown or myself directly on LinkedIn.
Thank you guys on behalf of all of us at omni talk retails a great show. Have a wonderful holiday everyone. Happy New Year. See you in 2023. And as always Be careful out there.
The omni talk fast five is a Microsoft sponsored podcast Microsoft club for retail connects your customers, your people and your data across the shopper journey, delivering personalised experience and operational excellence and is also brought to you in association with the a&m consumer and retail group. The a&m consumer and retail group is a management consulting firm that tackles the most complex challenges and advances its clients people and communities toward their maximum potential. CRG brings the experience tools and operator like pragmatism to help retailers and consumer products companies be on the right side of disruption. And takeoff, takeoff is transforming grocery by empowering grocers to thrive online. The key is micro fulfilment small robotic fulfilment centres that can be leveraged at a hyperlocal scale. Takeoff also offers a robust software suite. So grocers can seamlessly integrate the robotic solution into their existing businesses. To learn more visit takeoff.com And sezzle, sezzle is an innovative Buy now pay later solution that allows shoppers to split purchases into four interest free payments over six weeks. To learn more visit sezzle.com. And finally silk, the silk cloud DB virtualization platform is a virtualization layer between your workloads and the cloud. Helps you scale your cloud without scaling your costs. Visit silk.us to learn more