Hello you are listening to the Omnitalk retail Fast Five brought to you in partnership with the a&m consumer retail group, firework, trigo, sezzle and silk. Ranked in the top 10% of all podcasts globally the omnitalk retail Fast Five podcast is a podcast that we hope makes you feel a little smarter. But most importantly, a little happier each week too. Today is February 23 2023. I’m your host Anne Mezzenga.
And I’m Chris Walton.
And we are here once again to discuss all the headlines making waves in the world of omni channel retailing. Chris. Snowmageddon is upon us. Your birthday yesterday brought the Snowmageddon to Minneapolis. Is that what your intent was?
Yeah, no, I’m getting kind of pissed about that. Two of the biggest snowstorms in history in Minnesota are both been on my birthday this year and in 2007. And yeah, it kept us from doing our annual tradition, which is going to get going and getting a pint of Guinness at the Irish Pub. I’m very pissed about that.
Yes, even Irish pubs are shutting down. You know, Minneapolis is getting serious when they stop serving beer here. I mean, this is ridiculous.
It’s a great point. So as for those watching the video, I’ve got my English soccer jersey on in front of my because we’re home, we’re having to record this from home. We can’t get into the podcast studio today. And that’s another important thing. Like there’s too much snow on the road for us to get anywhere people. And so I’m in my happy place. London’s my happy place to government to map my English supporting my English soccer team. I have no idea why that’s my happy place. But it is.
I don’t I don’t either. I don’t either.
Tells you something about my personality.
Yeah, I’m getting excited about going to Palm Springs next week. I’m going to the Etail conference, and I’m getting the hell out of this awful, awful weather.
Yeah you’re flying solo next week in Palm Springs. Tell the audience about that. Meanwhile, I’m up north at my for some cabin retreat with both my kids for their school like the last place I really want to be honest,
I win that one
So jealous, but yeah, tell me what you’re doing in Palm Springs.
Yes. So if you don’t already, make sure you all follow me talk retail on LinkedIn. I am going to be doing live coverage from the etail conference, thanks to our partners at celebrus and firework. And you can catch all the details. I’ve got some great interviews lined up, we’re gonna be talking to thread up which we’re going to be talking about today.
We’re gonna be talking to a few other companies here that we’re still locking down the interviews, but but some really great content, especially as we head into this year and all of the complexities that are in and around e commerce. So make sure you stay tuned. We’ll be coming to you live multiple times on Tuesday and Wednesday next week.
Yeah, it’s always a great show. Great location. Palm Springs can’t be that can’t be the in end of February and March. And then we’re headed to NCA at the end of them at the end of the next week to for their brain, their national confectioners associations meeting down in Miami or Fort Lauderdale, Fort Lauderdale. I think technically, but yeah, I’m excited about that, too. And I’m pumped about today’s show, too. I think this is going to be a great show. You alluded to one of the topics already. I think we got some great stuff like we’re gonna it’s gonna be an above average. So I’m gonna take the energy that I would have used to go to the office. I’m going to channel it into this podcast, I think, my gosh, should we do it?
I will. I will. I feel sorry for everybody that’s in your home when you’re channelling that energy because as people have seen, especially the last three weeks, Chris, you have been bringing in so much so that your body’s convulsing because you are so upset,
And usually you’re trying to hold me back but today you’re saying you’re with me so I’m excited
I am here for it.
All right. But before we get to today’s headlines, I want to let you know that Las Vegas casinos aren’t your only chance at hitting the jackpot this March. Shop talks keynote lineup is full of retail powerhouses guaranteed to share insights that will take your business to the next level. You’ll hear directly from the CEOs of Levi’s footlocker, chewy Pinterest, Ulta, Walmart, international Vera shop, brilliant Earth, along with other C level execs from places like Canada Goose DoorDash, one of whom and we’ll be interviewing Oh, yes, you’re gonna want to check that out. h&m, Lowe’s, Macy’s, and so, so many more. The registration deadline is just a week away on March 3, and we hear that at Mandalay Bay, believe it or not, Mandalay Bay has actually sold out of rooms. I know that very well.
But shoptech has secured additional space at a few nearby venues. So if you haven’t booked now really is the time because rooms are becoming unavailable. Learn more and get your tickets at shoptalk.com/us/omnitalk. That’s shoptalk.com/us/omniTalk and Anne I will for sure see you there.
Yes, we well.
In today’s Fast Five we’ve got news on threat up quietly launching a new online store as Ann mentioned in the opening Instagram officially getting rid of live stream shopping, Heinen’s taking itself off Instacart marketplace can’t wait to talk about that Barnes and Noble launching a new subscription programme but we begin today by reading the tea leaves from this week’s earnings reports. Anne
Yes, that’s right Chris headline number one. Walmart and Home Depot each reported earnings this week and here are the big columns. First Walmart according to retail dive comp sales were up 8.3% and E commerce sales grew 17% In the US during the fourth quarter. However, Walmart also lowered expectations for 2023 Saying it expects us comp sales, only to increase between two and two and a half percent for the balance of the year. We have Home Depot also reporting earnings results here and well overall sales growth for the home improvement retailer was tepid at only point 3%.
The most interesting aspect of the release was that Home Depot also said again, according to retail dive that it will invest an additional $1 billion in annualised compensation, yes, for frontline hourly associates, Chris, what what are your call outs from these two earnings reports? What do they tell you if anything?
Well, first of all, I don’t think I’ve ever gotten the chance to go $1 billion before on this podcast. So that was kind of fun. All right. So I’m glad you enjoyed. Yeah, anytime I can channel Dr. Evil, it’s just always a good thing. It’s just a good thing. Alright, so normally normally and to answer your question, I loathe commenting on earnings reports. So I’m always excited when they get tired, they get they run in tandem with when a&m was on the show, and we generally let them do it. But that didn’t happen this time. So we’re gonna do it today. But but this time, I would tell you, I think there’s some some pretty compelling info to glean from them. So I would have first WalMart, Walmart’s earnings reports tell me, as we’ve long suspected, that the sales growth that they’re seeing looks to be coming solidly from grocery and from inflation. I think there’s no doubt about that at this point.
And now that we’re anniversary, those numbers in 2023 growth is going to be harder to come by. That’s essentially what they’re saying, which puts a lot of their other recent news in a different perspective. For example, we talked last week about the tech hub, the tech hub, closures being a reskin. Or another way of, you know, talking about layoffs, in reality, that’s probably what they are. And then this week, we also saw that they divested Moosejaw, selling into Dix, which says to me that Walmart is trying to conserve cash and probably doing and that move is probably Clerici. quite smart. We’ve talked about the Moosejaw acquisition and all the other acquisitions like bonobos, you know, going back three or four years now, but the Home Depot story and is to me is even more important, because it tells me that the economy is still overheated.
Here you have a company raising its actual minimum wage, not the average wages. Many people report like Walmart likes to report that but the actual minimum wage to $15 an hour. Once they do that, everyone else is likely going to fall alarm because the opportunity cost a worker taking a job sales associate in a store compared to driving Uber or making Instacart delivery is still just too high. So Mark my words now, but I think the earnings announcements will get even more constrained in the months and quarters ahead. For that reason. That’s my take. That’s why I think this is important to watch.
Yeah, I agree. I mean, don’t have too much to add here. I think just on the Walmart front, I think it’s interesting that we’re hearing from Walmart, that they’re getting the high end customer that all those all the big spenders are coming to Walmart to try to save money here. And I don’t know if I believe that 100% I don’t know that that’s a consistent thing. Like yes, maybe there’s some people that are exploring trying Walmart from that sector. But I think that at the baseline here, you still talking about two massive retailers here in the US and what they’re doing and what the changes that they’re seeing will likely be impacting other retailers across the US similarly, especially the Home Depot, carload, I think here is really something for people to watch, especially as you know, these gig, these gig companies are trying to find ways you know, to even increase what what the shopper is, like we saw Instacart this week trying to figure out ways that they can increase revenue or how much shoppers are able to make on top of the you know, $20 to $25 an hour. So that competition is still going to be there.
I think what what kind of investments are we going to see from the Home Depot’s from the Walmart’s here to try to invest in getting better resources here whether that’s minimum wage increases or you know, what we’re seeing from Walmart or increase in investment in technology to kind of make that store experience better to be more efficient in store to so I think net net for me it’s what what will these these earnings reports mean for the for what we’re we’re likely to see in the coming months from other large mass retailers is.
Yeah, the third part real quick, the third part that you just made me think of two is I think the other thing that Walmart earnings report tells me quite clearly and I’ve been thinking about this a lot for something I’m doing tomorrow is that the Walmart’s pretty much defended itself on the grocery turf from the onslaught of Amazon at this point like you have to wonder if physical retail is really in play for Amazon and Walmart has done a good job, they’re specially in terms of this inflationary environment environment of keeping that strong core grocery base alive, regardless of whether the growth is fueled.
They’ve kept it alive. And I think that’s an important thing for people to recognise as well. All right, so headline number two, according to modern retail threat up has launched a new online site 777 Thrift, where everything for sale is less than $7.
Makes me think of the makes me think of the you know, the slot machines that you’re talking about in Vegas, like the if you started with like, the odds or not,
Oh, that’s what it makes me think of 7 7 7 You remember that one? But anyway
No? Yeah. Well, you should look that one up. All right, loyal friends watchers will know exactly what I’m talking about. The site features over 50,00 second Hand items across women’s boys and girls, and features brands like Zara J. Crew, banana, and American Eagle, just to name a few. I tried to say yesterday, and it appears that All sales are final, and that their free shipping threshold is not surprisingly, this is kind of cool. Actually, I didn’t catch this at the time. But the free shipping threshold is $77.
That they’ve they picked a theme person. They’re sticking with it.
They are stick with it. Yeah, I love it. So I’m curious to hear what you think. But and we’re gonna hit you with this earlier this week. And we’ve been on a trend of holding this question till the later parts of the show. But today, we’re gonna give it to you. Here is A&M’s put you on the spot question. All right. 777, thrift leans deeply into the value fashion proposition with even lower prices than thread up’s consignment pricing. But with all the steep discounting happening out there, is there an opportunity for thread up or 777 thrift to stand out from the crowd of low price fashion providers, such as just being the sustainability of retail?
I, you know, I do I think that
You do, yeah.
I do, I think that there’s a trend that’s been continuous across this next generation of yes, you have some people, there’s always going to be people going after low price. And that’s where she n is winning, and other, you know, fast fashion retailers. But I do think that we’re seeing this this trend towards, you know, only buying sustainable only buying secondhand that started with this next generation. And I think we’ll continue to expand, you know, throughout multiple generations through the millennials, even through boomers, I think. And while 777 Thrift is specifically targeting that younger audience with a $7 per item clothing, I do think this is the next generations kind of fast fashion.
It’s keeping keeping products out of landfills, which is a great, great use, because that all that thread up content, I mean, they just get bags and bags, and people not all of that product is able to go up for resale. So I think this is hopefully helping, you know, when that stuff doesn’t turn over seasonally to help ensure that you know, someone’s getting it, it’s not ending up in the landfill or being burned. I think this will only continue to get better to Chris, because I think that, as we’ve talked about in past shows, like once you start to put in things like RFID, at the manufacturer level, once visual search becomes more common, like now these products will continue to show up in those searches, they’ll have companies will have better awareness of where these products are throughout their first second and third owners in some cases.
And so I think that this is a great foundation to start with here. I love this move from thread up. I’m going to be asking them about that next week at etail. But I think loads of opportunity for this to continue to get better for them to continue to make money off of this through subscription and loyalty programmes the same way that we’re seeing she and and others.
Yeah, I mean, I think I think I’m with you, you know, at first. Yeah, at first, I was really sceptical of this. And then I started perusing the site yesterday, and I was like, Whoa, chatting, my joy. Laura’s Whoa, like, I was like, I was kind of blown away by it, actually. Because, yeah, a big question for me, whenever I see this, and we talked about this a little bit yesterday is like, Okay, how do you make money shipping this stuff? Sure, the product margin is really high. But at $7. Like, it’s gonna cost you that much, if not more to ship an individual item. But then when you get down to it, it’s like, okay, yeah, but you can still charge for shipping, and they have a pretty high threshold for their shipping $77.
Hopefully, that works. And it isn’t just like, some catchy thing, because that seems kind of a silly place to try to do that catchy thing if it doesn’t work financially for you. But like so that so that actually makes me think it could be sustainable in the long run.
And so the other and so when I start thinking about it, like that way, I’m like, okay, yeah, where would I rather get my fast fashion from in this day and age? You know what, I’d rather get it from a place like this or would I rather keep going to the well and Zara and h&m. net net? They’re all still shipping it to me. So that’s still the problem, but at least I’m reusing it is how I think about it, you know, as a consumer so, so I think you know, I’m I kind of all in on this one, I think I like it. I like it good. Then even goodwill fines which we were loading a few months ago, like I think this is, this is really cool.
And they’re doing it quietly too, which tells me that they’ve got something and they want to see how it works, which is very different than the average, digitally native brand that’s out there talking about everything they do before you even know if it’s successful.
Yeah, no, totally. I completely agree. Yeah, I think tonnes of opportunity here. I will be following this closely. And again, asking a threat up next week. What where they plan to take it so hopefully we’ll get some more insight there.
Yeah, can’t wait.
All right, Chris. So in headline number three in a story that broke last week, which just missed our Fast Five cut off timing. Instagram will no longer let creators tag products in live streams. According to The Verge, Instagram wrote on a company’s support page, quote, beginning on March 16 2023, you will no longer be able to tag products in live broadcasts on Instagram. This change will help us focus on products and features that provide the most value to our users and quote, Chris, do you think this is a load of baloney? What’s What’s the meta parent company here thinking about taking tagging off of live broadcasts for influencers?
Yeah, oh my god. Like this is why this is why we had to cover this. I mean, I remember I remember finishing last week’s show I was like, oh my god, we forgot to put this in the show. We’ve got to bring this back next week because I have so many thoughts on this and like and so many questions like and I’m just gonna rattle them off here for you like yes, number one. Doesn’t this move push more influencers to tick tock like I think that’s something that you have to think is gonna happen. Number two doesn’t display and this is really important to me, too, doesn’t display into the hands of the thesis we’ve heard from our friends at firework that what is really at play in the US is shoppable video on a brand’s own websites because the retailers and brands can still partner with influencers on their ads via Facebook, Instagram, Tik Tok, wherever they want you, that’s where the traffic’s going anyway, which is probably why Instagram is not getting the value from this effort that they wanted initially.
And so the brands can pretty much say fu to meta in the process of doing that. So So you know, and then I think about like, just like last week, another store that almost made the cut, the Fresh Market announced its plans to make shoppable video a programmatic offering to CPGs in its retail media network. So the next question I have then is, if all that starts to happen across retail media networks in mass, doesn’t that mean less ad dollars also for meta over time? Because if I’m a CPG, wouldn’t I want to put my dollars where the traffic is going. And then by the same token, they can still place those ads on Tik Tok.
So I have no idea absolutely zero idea how this is a good move for meta Instagram, Facebook, whatever. In the long run, it makes no sense to me. In fact, it seems like you’re kind of digging your own grave in a lot of ways.
Yeah, I don’t I don’t know if I’m 100% on board, I still think there’s a lot of ad revenue to be earned by meta from these brands, because you still there’s traffic, I think it’s what’s really important and we talked to, we talked to firework just to kind of get their thoughts a little bit on this, I think that one thing is really important to still call out like, they’re still going to be creating content, because you’re when you’re in that social environment, you’re still consuming. You still want to consume content from brands now, maybe you’re not purchasing on there. But I think there’s still going to be a consistent stream of revenue for meta that makes sense to kind of keep the brands involved here just to drive traffic to that site, where people are then in a different mindset about purchasing.
And so you’re absolutely right, like, it’s definitely a better experience for brands to develop that one to one not only data relationship, but also you know, a buying relationship with their customers on their websites, gives brands the opportunity for an alternative revenue stream, like you’re talking about with the fresh market to be able to have CPGs also be placing content in there. I just I don’t think it’s going to go away completely from Instagram. The other thing too, that this is just the this is just the like devil’s advocate and me that’s trying to figure out what’s going on here at meta. And I think that I’m curious, like, how much so you’ve been there, Chris, where you’ve ordered something on Instagram, it never showed up? Like it was a disaster, like, Who do you go to do you go to Instagram, do your brand, like who’s responsible? And I wonder if Instagram was like, pause hold up, we need to like figure things out here because consumers are not having good experiences. Once they have that bad experience the first time they’re less likely to purchase again on Instagram.
So I wonder if this is something here where they’re kind of like trying to figure out how to actually do this successfully and create this new offering likely in conjunction with some sort of like ad spy or something that that helps kind of bolster that the reason behind creating this content on Instagram.
Yeah, that’s extreme point. I want to spend more time on this too real quick because that’s it. same point, like I think I think fundamentally, what you’re seeing here is meta Instagram, Facebook, whatever want to call it is basically saying we’re gonna do what we do well, and we haven’t done this well. And so we’re gonna go back and focus on authentic social connections among sprayable. My question, though, is like, that is probably a losing financial proposition when you look at the future relative to where you were before.
So my question for you, and when they first announced they’re getting out of commerce, and we covered this on the show, like two, three months ago now maybe Yeah, you were like, and not a big deal. They can still they still have like, I think your exact words were they still have livestream shopping, the influencers can still promote the products they want on their brands, they’ll still get the influencers to the site, which is still get traffic for Instagram, and they’ll get you advertising dollars. Are you rethinking that position at all anymore given this announcement? I’m curious.
No I don’t I still think there’s value, I still think there’s value in influencers, doing live streams, talking about a product and taking you to the brand’s website. I think it’s all about authenticity in these situations. And if the influencers are telling people they’re driving traffic, like come to for the drop on Tuesday at this site, we’ve got all these things happening. Like I think it makes sense for them to be able to drive people who are again in that shopping mindset who are ready to purchase on site who are going to ultimately have a better shopping experience, because they’re participating in the livestream video on the brand’s site. I think that that makes sense to me. There’s still money to be made, maybe a little bit less, but I still think there’s a lot of money to be made. Interesting, interesting.
Well, I 100% disagree, but in the interest of time, we’ll move on. I think there’s less money for Instagram in that way of doing business in the long run. But alright, headline number four. Before we get to it, though. This is the part of our podcasts where we’re going to tell you about another great retail conference and and I are heading to this summer.
I’m not singing this week.
No, you’re not why not?
Come on. Come on. You can think of a Chicago Tsar because that’s where we’re headed and get ready on me talk fans to experience what’s next in connected commerce. The retail innovation conference and expo will feature two expos under one roof. Three co located conferences speakers from established businesses like Walmart, General Mills and Brookfield properties, and fast growing disruptors like liquid death, bubble skincare and wassan that would maybe work for it and the live learning and networking event in Chicago June 13 through 15th will also include special programming unique hands on attendee experiences and lots more visit omnitalk.rice.events. That’s Rice.events to learn all about it and get your past today come on and kill me think of like a Peter SubTerra Sauron from like, The Karate Kid. I am a man who will fight for your honour.
Oh, God, we gotta stop this. What does that have to do with anything Chicago, I was thinking like, Chicago like isn’t there like a Frank Sinatra song or something in Chicago? After after my Aerosmith blunder this early earlier this week? I don’t know. I don’t even know if I do.
Yeah, and tried to, for those listening Anne tried to call me out on an Aerosmith like reference and turns out she was incorrect. But anyway, we will move on headline number four. And I know this is one of your faves in the list today. pinit is just Hi name is flat out done. They’re done with Instacart. And according to grocery dive Heinz announced last Wednesday that it will no longer be available through Instacart marketplace, starting February 22. The chain which runs 23 stores in Ohio, Ed Chicago, but instead Koshi dive rod, a new mobile app and upgraded and an upgraded shopping platform and that all ecommerce orders will be fulfilled by hind ends own associates. And do you think this is yet another sign of trouble afoot at Instacart?
Yeah, you know, I was talking to Katherine Douglas Moran from grocery yesterday because this is getting so much attention that she’s actually writing another like, follow up article on this. Yeah, because
He believes that there’s meat on the bone here. And I do too. I think that I think that Instacart had this IPO is just scratching and clawing and trying to find out like where their unique value proposition is. And it’s becoming harder and harder for them to do that the further we get out from the pandemic. And you know what it reminded me Chris of was, remember when we interviewed Wesley Rhodes through Kroger at NRF. Okay, so one thing that he said multiple times when we were interviewing him, is that the best way to win in a low margin business like grocery is to create this like secret sauce of tech partners, both internal things that you’re building and other things that you’re buying, that allow you to get one step ahead of your competitors.
And I think that especially in this last year, as we’re coming out of the pandemic, I think more groceries are like, look, what can what should we be building internally, we’ve had two years of like ultimate stress tests from pandemic type, purchasing and online grocery. And I think that some retailers, like Heinz, in this case are starting to realise, like, maybe we can do this better on our own. Maybe we need like a third party delivery solution or type person or somebody to help, like, do one part of it. But yeah, we can pick on our own, we can do you know, like these things that Instacart is offering in store, I just don’t think hold the value for the retailers when they’re like developing their secret sauce against competitors.
So my guess is that Instacart was a nice bandaid for Heinz during the pandemic. But now, it’s all about like, how do we build this for the long term? And I don’t know that I see that happening with Instacart.
Yeah, I 100% agree. And that is great Intel to because it emboldened me even more to talk about this. Like, I think, you know, you hear the expression where there’s smoke, there’s fire, I would say there’s already a campfire in place, in my opinion on Instacart here, because, I mean, it seems like every week Instacart is losing another customer, or some element of its relationship with its customer base, whether it be direct placement on its website, like this example here, or providing white label services in store, like we talked about with top to market a few weeks ago, all which, you know, I was stepping back, I was trying to Okay, what does this remind me of, because it’s goes back to our theme of what is old is new again. And I can remember my days at Target.
This was like 2008-2009, I was running frozen food. And we ran all of our grocery distribution through a third party wholesale relationship was super valuable at the time. And we we had target went away from that and started building out our own network of what we called FTCS, which was a food distribution network. And obviously, we did yeah, and the reason we did that was because we wanted more control over the ultimate end consumer experience, particularly about freshness and quality. And that’s what Haydn’s is talking about in this story that Catherine wrote. And so and you also want to do that as affordably as you can for yourself as well. And you want to do it to your point in a differentiating way.
So I draw that same analogy here, when I look at what’s happening in 2023, across the grocery landscape, especially with respect to last mile delivery, and in store picking and packing, because like we’ve talked about, those are essentially white label services at this point, anyone can do them, but you want to do them in the right way you want to control them. And so for that reason that like I think I think this is just gonna get worse before it gets better. And that’s why I’m still so.
So pinning my hopes on my prediction here last last holiday when I said like, I’m not even sure Instagram IPOs I think the CEO is going to be out the door. And I think at best Mike, we might be looking at an acquisition here for Instacart. And it’s probably going to be a fairly cheap acquisition on the dollar when you get down to it.
Yeah, I mean, I agree, Chris. I mean, last word, I would say is like, if this isn’t working for the regionals like high ends, like tops, they mentioned, like, who is who is going to keep continuing to leverage Instacart platform. I thought, like, you know, I was talking to Katherine yesterday, I thought that, you know, I wouldn’t expect these giant enterprise retailers to be leveraging Instacart I thought there was maybe a case for these regionals. But again, I think you’re right like it’s getting to the point now where if they’re not that your client who is
Yeah, and you’re my other telling point would be like, we had tops and then they had the smart card in there, or what was it not the smart card announced with the announcement that we covered a few weeks ago with the seller market. Well, they’re scanning go shopping, right? They had that if we see another silly announcement like that next week, that’s the tough like, that’s the poker table of all time. That’s like the that’s like the Rounders like John Malkovich, tell eating the Oreos in my opinion. And All right, let’s keep rolling.
I have no idea what you’re talking about. That was a deep dive, movie reference. All right, Chris. headline number five. According to The Wall Street Journal, Barnes and Noble is launching a $40 a year membership programme that promises to offer 10% discounts free shipping, a tote bag, Avi and bigger lattes to its members. So in addition, the bookseller is also launching a free lower tiered membership programme that allows members to earn a virtual stamp for every $10 spent online and in stores and translate into a $5 credit for future purchases once 10 stamps have been accumulated, Chris?
What are your thoughts on this? Are you, are you into this Barnes and Noble, the b&n loyalty programme that they’re starting here.
Yeah, I can’t wait to hear what you think on this too. Because when we talked about this, we didn’t really talk about this one at all. When we picked the headlines yesterday, and I was when I first told you about, I’m like, I don’t like this at all. But I actually hated it when I first heard about it, but then, like, I read into it, and I was like, Oh my God, there’s a lot here that I like, like I didn’t like it at first because I didn’t think it was a compelling value for the AVID Bookshare. Like, I’m like, What am I getting for 40 bucks like 10% off a book, like I’m already coming to you so it’s not gonna get I don’t think it’s gonna get new customers to you, Barnes and Noble because they’re probably already coming to Avid book readers. But the beauty of it, to me is actually what it’s merchandised against, which is a free offering.
So my gut tells me that this programme isn’t as much about getting people to pay $40 as it is about giving them a reason to sign up for free and there One reason I say that is the quote from James dark, the Barnes and Noble CEO who also happens to understand the book business pretty well, better than anyone because he’s also the longtime chief executive of Waterstones, which is across the Atlantic, he told The Wall Street Journal quote, If you don’t have a free programme, the vast majority of your customers are blank to you. Through such a programme, he said, you can learn what they’re buying, and then promote to them and engage them end quote, when I hear that, Anne I think you’re probably gonna, I’m curious if you go the same direction. I think first part, this is a first party data play, and anyone you can get to pay $40 is just icing on the cake. It isn’t about the subscription, it’s about enticing them into a different option.
You can see how this plays out at the cashier, just hey, do you want to pay $40 For a subscription? No? well, how about our free option? Then they’re like, Okay, fine for free. Sure. I’ll do it. That’s what this is about. It’s all about human psychology. It’s a master move and merchandising I think, or at least I’m kind of curious to see if that’s how it plays out.
Yeah, no, I love it. I think that okay, I do I do. Because one of something that you said earlier like you have a very loyal I think people listening probably don’t understand like, you have a very loyal fan base of Barnes and Noble like these people have been through with you since the pre Amazon, right and like, so Barnes and Noble is very smartly getting more from their that hardcore Barnes and Noble audience, they’re giving them this $40 $40 a year for people is like nothing like, that’s totally fine for them, who are already going into Barnes and Noble, like, yes, they’re gonna want all of these perks for only 40 bucks, like, it totally makes sense. They go there is their repeat visit place for them.
Without a doubt, you’ll get you’ll get more from your strongest customers. And then like you said, you’re getting this first party data. And Barnes and Noble is giving people a worthwhile, like exchange for that first party data. We just talked about it with treasure data, we released a podcast this week, where they’re talking about like the value has to be there for your consumer. And when you think about this, like it’s really the the same kind of value that you’re getting from like the Starbucks programme, like, you know, you’re giving roughly $5 Back in credit once you purchase 10 times, like, look how successful the Starbucks programmes loyalty programmes are.
I think it makes a lot of sense for you to do that in the same place to give people a reason to go back to Barnes and Noble when they may not otherwise. So I love it. I think that it’s it’s a brilliant move from Barnes and Noble.
Interesting. It’s yeah, and there are a lot of people Pooh poohing this on social media. And so I would, I would encourage them take another look at this, like think about at heart. And that’s a cheaper YouTube because you have been the biggest supporter of other subscription programmes like the one to bring that up for all those loyal Amitabh fans will remember that conversation. Well, we’ll put that aside for another day. But I just think it’s important to call that out that you’re in on this one, because it is kind of telling when you put it in that context. All right,
Yeah. Yeah, you you can also order things online from Barnes and Noble. You can order your coffee before 9am from Panera and have that delivered to your house. So there’s a few flaws in the Panera subscription just to hold my position. Yes. All right, before we get too crazy, let’s go to the lightning round. Chris. Question number one for you is that Tesco and Aldi in the UK that started to ration salad ingredients like peppers, cucumbers and tomatoes due to a shortage of those goods due to weather and supply chain complexities. Chris what vegetables would you like to put limits on purchasing for your family? What are you okay if they start rationing?
That’s crazy because I know those who cares love their cruise yet? I think that’s what they think that’s what they call a cucumber right? I don’t know. Correct me if I’m wrong, but
I have no idea for me
For me Anne it’s easy like squash, eggplant and avocados in that order. I’ve got so many of those downstairs right now. There’s enough to feed the Jolly Green Giant twice over. That would be what I’d get rid of 100%
Eggplant like squash. I can understand.
Yeah, I’ve always got eggplant in my house and I got
Really? What do you make with eggplant?
I don’t know. Ask Mrs Omni talk but I got a lot of it Anne. I got eggplants coming out the ears. Alright. Question number two NBA Commissioner Adam Silver unveiled a new streaming service that lets lets you capture your physical avatar via your mobile phone. And then insert yourself as any player in an actual NBA game and which NBA player past or present. would you most like to the most like to insert your avatar in place of I was very careful of how I wrote that sentence.
Yes, yes, I can tell. I’m picking an Anthony Edwards from Timberwolves. Like, why don’t he’s so much fun to watch. He’s always got this like, smirk kind of like quirky little mischievous grin, so I think I would pick him.
Wow, okay, that’s interesting. All right, go on with it today. Player. I liked that. I liked it.
I know. I was like, Christian Laettner Dennis Rodman like all these fun ones I’d be from years past but
I’m going Kurt Rambis going all in. I don’t even know how I’ll feel I was looking at the Timberwolves but that’s okay Anne.
I don’t follow the basketball closely enough. I should, I should. But, Chris, I’m gonna go to you for the next question. But Trump on tequila tapped AI degenerate cocktails for national Margarita day. Using the AI tool. They’ve coined the Petronas dream Margarita generator sounds amazing. Consumers can list their dream destination favourite ingredient and garnish of choice to receive a custom AI generated Margarita image Chris I want to know who makes a better Margarita you are the positron dream Margarita generator
Oh wow. First of all my first question actually is why am I just finding out about this now and I mean Christ’s birthday yesterday this I know that prove useful I know baby All right. Secondly all for sure that generators way better than me my bartending skills and ever since like
You you pride yourself on your coconut Margarita,
No, they’re like their hand their hands it’s not steady anymore as the hands it’s not steady or it’s just not working. All right, Yesterday was National supermarket Appreciation Day and anything you would like to say to your local supermarket.
Thanks for being there. London barley is crisp and my local walkable supermarket but what I would like to say to them is please invest in a checkout free platform.
Oh wow. Interesting. Interesting. Okay, cool. Fasten you want that Alright, cool. I think that wraps us up today
I am not as speedy as you are.
You’re not like 10 seconds in and out on the self checkout or Yeah, no, yeah, yeah. Yeah. Probably have more stuff with you too. I’m guessing on ours. I take many trips a lot. I go there like six times a week. All right. That wraps us up today. Happy birthday to Josh Gad, Dakota Fanny. And to the woman who steal every scene she was in and in what was possibly Meryl Streep’s most rewatchable movie of all time, The Devil Wears Prada, the great Emily blondes and remember that right everyone always says that whatever their whatever that’s talked about. And remember if you can only read or listen to one retail blog in the business make it omnitalk. Our fast five podcast 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 we try really hard to make it all fit within the preview pane of your inbox.
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