Hello you are listening to the Omni talk Fast Five brought to you in partnership with the A & M Consumer and Retail group, Firework, SPS commerce and Sezzle ranked in the top 10 of podcasts globally the Omni talk fast five is the podcast that we hope makes you feel a little smarter but most importantly a little happier each week too.
Today is May 18 2023 I’m your host Anne Mezzenga and I’m Chris Walden and we are here once again to discuss the most important headlines from the past week that highlight how the physical digital and human elements of retail are evolving to shape the future and Chris this is one of our favorite shows of the month it is it is it is my favorite show of the month every month and every month especially when earnings reports come out because I love having this Duo on the show to help us break those down
Which is one going to be one of our stories today um joining us today for their regular monthly appearance are two of our favorite people from the a m consumer and Retail Group Dave Ritter and David Brown welcome Dave and David uh tell the audience the two well not the two Dave’s Chris it’s the David and David’s show we got to be very specific now because Dave hates David the name and David hates Dave the name so we have to we have to honor their preferences here that’s right Ann it’s right it’s hard to keep it straight we’ll see if we can do our do our we’ll do our best throughout the show um David Brown let’s start with you tell.
The audience a little bit about you and your background and uh and some of the contacts you’re going to be providing today for our Fast Five uh thanks Sam happy to uh so lifelong consultant uh with a little bit of uh banking uh you know sprinkled in at the beginning of my career uh really spend all my time in in retail and uh and a little bit in uh cpg so looking forward to uh sharing that uh point of view and uh over the next hour or so excellent we’re very happy to have you and Dave.
Ritter the OG of the a m consumer and Retail Group participation in the Fast Five how’s it going tell the audience a little bit about you it’s been a while since you’ve been on the show so give give us a recap I think this is time number six so really excited to be here again six times wow green jacket for sure yeah nice to meet you Dave Ritter uh I am a long-term consultant in the retail space I do almost all my work in retail I uh most of the topics I’ve serve clients on sit at the intersection of uh retail technology and operations so just excited to be here well we are very excited to have you Chris how are you holding up we uh we were embar we were live from Barcelona.
Last week now we’re back in Minneapolis living the dream um I’m struggling and I’m not gonna lie this is uh for those watching the video you’ll see that I’m in uh in not quarantine per se but I’m in my attic in my house you know recording this because uh Hey a podcast is easy to do remotely and there’s no sense in getting you sick so uh but we showed your eyes I appreciate that I’m glad we have I’m glad we have these two Dave and David to help shoulder the load here because I’m gonna need it today for sure but uh let’s get to it Ann you ready let’s do.
It all right guys let’s do this in today’s Fast Five we’ve got news on Amazon paying people ten dollars to pick up packages Google is starting to test generative AI for search in-game shopping via something called Amazon anywhere a new startup called tele that plans to give away 500 000 free 4K TVs this year oh yeah but we begin today with the earnings Roundup and that is correct Chris the big guy’s Walmart Target and Home Depot all reported earnings this week here are some of the highlights so according to retail dive on Tuesday the Home Depot reported first quarter nut sales fell 4.2 percent from.
A year ago while comp sales also fell 4.5 the company also updated its guidance saying it now expects sales and comp sales to decline between two and five percent year-over-year compared to its previous guidance of flat then on Wednesday CNBC reported that Target stuck with its full year outlook saying it expects comp sales will range from a low single digit decline to a low single digit increase for the first fiscal year coming off of flat first quarter comp Target CEO Brian Cornell also made.
Specific mention of organized crime a number of times over 20 in fact uh the and said that Target expects shrink will reduce the Retailer’s profitability by more than half a billion dollars compared with last year and finally this morning Walmart raised its guidance for the year reporting after reporting U.S same store sales were up 7.4 percent way ahead of analyst estimates of 5.5 with digital sales coming in at a whopping 26 percent now take a moment to digest all of that information good job Ann that was a tough it was a lot um so David Brown we’re going to go to.
You first what do you make of these three major retailers earning reports right now what lessons should we be taken away yeah I think what you’re saying again is um I’m not surprised by any of it it’s you know value makes a lot of sense right now right so and if you just look at you know some of the retail reports that have come out in the last week and it basically shows that spending is down in most most categories but up in.
Grocery and up in consumables yeah and you know if I marry that with just some
of the conversations that we’ve been having in the industry almost everybody is seeing kind of down traffic I don’t know if it’s a combination of uh tax season or you know finally the catch-up of inflation or uh you know maybe people are spooked that uh our government won’t get its act together and solve the uh the debt ceiling but um you know there’s a retreat to you know high value and a retreat to you know what people need the most right which is uh groceries and consumable so I think that you’ll see uh eating out.
Less and everything like that so the places that provide food and Basics an extreme value or value which is right or Target if you look at uh grocery Outlets numbers if you look at you know what I expect Dollar Tree or our Dollar General to report um you know that that’s where you’re seeing a lot of activity and you’re starting to see a lot of uh trade down activity as well even from high income consumers right so for me the earnings for the industry are exactly in line with what I would expect yeah not great news for the retail industry but hopefully good for consumers when it comes to inflation hopefully that means that we can we’ll level out here in a.
Little bit um Dave Ritter what are your thoughts you got you got some opinions on the uh the old earnings reports this week you know I think Dave David covered it quite well but I’d add two things I think you know it’s not only a traffic problem outside of value we’re seeing basket sizes get smaller and you know it’s pretty clear that the consumer is tightening the belt and I don’t think we can highlight uh enough strengths impact on earnings uh it’s unprecedented and it’s in almost every industry vertical is experiencing it um you know beyond theft even you know.
Even into fresh uh we’re seeing uh strength levels go up obviously uh that’s a that’s going to be a weight on uh on earnings going forward yeah so Dave so Dave you think so that’s a legitimate call out from Cornell then you guys are hearing that across the board across every retailer brand you’re Consulting with I mean a lot of our clients uh get over 10 over 15 strength which yeah in retail that makes that store uh untenable frankly yeah and Dave I mean is it is it what are the causes of that shrink because I think like we heard the Walgreens CEO come out and say like a lot of these.
Retail CEOs are kind of over blowing the whole like shrink numbers and they’re using that as an excuse for you know a cover-up for some other things that are going on behind the scenes is it actual retail theft that you’re seeing is it more in they’re deploying new types of technology and there’s you know the wrong things getting scanned or extra stuff’s getting accidentally put into a buy online pickup and store order like what are the causes of that I mean I think it’s varies by store right yeah first off I think you know across the.
Board uh inventory accuracy has been a problem uh especially as we move into an omni channel World which is driving some of it we call it papers Frank um but I do think that there are select uh especially Urban locations where where retail theft is becoming a problem to the point where you know and with policies where security guards can’t really stop people yeah um it just becomes essentially you can walk out with you know up to 900 worth of stuff.
In California and not be prosecuted so there’s just no in some cases there’s no way to stop it right yeah it’s a tricky really tricky position for retailers that’s for sure Chris um what are your thoughts here you want to jump in yeah I mean I think too you know I think the macroeconomic status are probably having to play on that too and people are more budget constrained you’re going to see more activity in that in that Arena as well so I think that’s also a play here I mean for me I don’t have much to add beyond what Dave and David already said but I think the two points I would make is one you know kudos to Walmart and McMillan I mean.
They’ve just done a masterful job setting them up sells up for success to uh succeed in this macroeconomic environment in my opinion that the digital number is really outstanding 26 uh increased to last year that’s in contrast to Walmart where they’re sorry to Target where their digital sales fell yeah and that’s the other point I would make too which is you know their sales declined three almost three and a half percent just shy of that so you know and.
It’s probably due to the fact that people are spending Less on discretionary items which make up a larger portion of what people purchase at Target whereas the Walmart you have to assume that Converse of that where that digital growth is actually still being fueled by non-discretionary atoms which positions them very well on the market so you know I’m a little worried about Target not you know revising their guidance here going forward I think that could still be likely the case or something that we see in the future but you know hard to tell at this time but that’s that’s my one watch out is okay.
Whoa what happens to Target here in the back half of the year yeah I agree same questions for me Chris like one target if shrink is this big of a problem like so much of a problem a billion dollars there that he’s estimating what are you doing about that like what are you gonna start putting in technology to try to avoid things like this from you know from happening the other thing too is that you know the you Chris you called out the decline in online sales for.
Target I’m curious like anecdotally I’ve seen a shift um in my own purchases from there where this 35 dollar threshold for shipping is now put into place even if you’re a red card holder which used to be free shipping a lot of products and I wonder if that’s you know that that you know change like we’re going to talk about in some of the stories to come here but this change to what’s the threshold are you willing to spend 35 dollars to get shipping from Target or is that driving more consumers in store to actually go purchase those items to save themselves you know that that extra that extra fear hitting that minimum so we’ll see lots to come there it’s all interesting and Walmart is I haven’t had a chance to read the full earnings announcements but from the headlines I’ve seen too Walmart didn’t mention shrink at all which is also very fascinating to me so right so.
All right well let’s keep rolling headline number two Amazon wants to pay customers ten dollars to pick up packages according to Yahoo finance and what and in what some would consider an odd promotion I being one of them Amazon is offering a 10 incentive to first-time users or anyone who has not used Amazon’s pickup service over the last 12 months which basically means that if you want to pick up your packages at Whole Foods an Amazon Fresh store or even inside of a Kohl’s Amazon will pay you ten dollars to do so Dave Ritter what do you think of this promotion would you have would you have advised Amazon to take this approach I actually like this approach you one thing that you didn’t add is this is in Los Angeles so I think that answers like Nuance oh right great so obviously the.
The cost of end-to-end fulfillment and delivery to the End customer has gone up uh in California specifically they’re facing uh a bunch of wage pressure and the talent Market to get drivers it is very tight so in that world in that with that kind of strategic context I think essentially it’s going to cost you about ten dollars of delivery in California anyway uh so to return that to your customer um and to train your customer to do a more economic um a more economic model uh makes sense to me uh there was a second part of that article that I don’t like which was Amazon is going to charge a one dollar fee for returns uh to UPS Stores um as opposed to Amazon stores uh but there’s a Nuance there that is around if it’s closer to the delivery point I mean that policy is very confusing and not very customer-centric and to be honest it usually a carrot works better than a stick with a customer so I understand that returns are a big problem but the fee rather than um you know rather than the carrot makes uh it I don’t know that that’s a very smart customer-centric move right we’re just trying everything yeah it’s kind of confusing yeah you can get paid to go pick something up but if you want to go to a place to return it on behalf of Amazon then you gotta you gotta pay defeat yourself yeah that is.
Kind of odd uh David Dave David Brown what are your thoughts here I love it as well yeah you do I think there’s another angle that uh that we’re missing and it ties back to the the shrink conversation right I mean if you if you actually go pick up a package yourself right it eliminates the whole concept of porch Pirates right yeah and uh you know so it’s just yet another way to eliminate shrink by not you know having to yeah have a UPS driver or whoever an Amazon Prime driver drop it off somebody steal it and uh and then go through that whole process uh which not only you know affects your specs customer service you know all of those type of things so if you get it yourself you’ve taken responsibility for it so you’re in the you’re in the yay camp on this as well and what are you thinking David’s point is great I mean I think that was something that if you read into you know what Cornell was saying in the previous story like that you know the whole like I didn’t receive it and oh yeah I got it two days later but now I have two items shipped me I mean that is a problem that is contributing to that billion dollars in shrink so I didn’t even think about that but I love that idea of the traceability then uh that Amazon will now have of these packages but I think you know what Dave Ritter said in the beginning is right like.
Amazon is using this to retrain us we have to be retrained and it’s not just Amazon we’re seeing this we’re seeing fees for returns and changes to this you know shipping time to returns processes from you know J Cruise r h m and now Amazon is is doing this too with you know training us on how and when we can expect delivery returns that process to to evolve and it’s not going to be what we’re used to so I think this is a smart play to get people into this new kind of method of thinking of especially in urban areas like I’m just gonna now I’m gonna go to the grocery store and I’m gonna pick up my Amazon stuff that same day um and it works out great for the retailers great for Amazon and eventually I think the customers are going to come to to do this because it’s expensive that’s it I see ya excuse me yeah right I mean I think conceptually.
Conceptually I like it on its surface but I don’t think it’s going to work that’s my key here like my key Point here is because I think it highlights what am what Amazon’s biggest weakness is that it doesn’t have a physical location where you go to get things done you know that’s not a part that’s not in the mind of the consumer
like when you go to shop when you go and Shop on Amazon you’re like hey I’m gonna go there because I want this delivered to my house it’s like kind of goes it’s part and parcel with shopping there and today and David Brown to your point like
if I’m concerned about porch piracy I’m probably going to Amazon to pick up my packages already so the incentive isn’t going to do anything to Spur a new behavior and so you know you contrast that with like a place like a Walmart or a Target like a Home Depot the places we’ve already talked about where people are going to get things done I feel like this type of behavior is going to naturally happen with that consumer base Amazon you’re shoving Amazon you’re not thinking that way as a consumer that’s why I just don’t think this is going to work in little long run and it highlights what is you know becoming a.
Glaring strategic weakness for them and the fact that yeah physical physicality for Amazon just isn’t part of our equation as consumers yet though Chris I think that’s the big purpose like is this 10 incentive going to work I don’t know but I think we just don’t have it yet I think as you start to get as Amazon starts to expand their footprint of these types of you know pickup lockers it’s not just going to be you know one Amazon pickup Locker in the middle of nowhere it’s going to be at some of the grocery stores it’s going to be at the gyms like these places that you’re having these repeat visits to outside of Target and Walmart I think there’s the potential and and what’s the harm in in trying out a 10 credit for people to you know there’s nothing wrong with that they can at least see if they get any adoption from it and which areas of the country they are seeing more adoption yeah fair point I mean they’re great at experimenting but guys any last words on this one no all right let’s keep rolling Ann all right headline number three Google has started testing generative AI for search and ads according to marketing diet the use of AI is meant to take some of the heavy lifting out of search answering not only the initial user query in detail but also offering follow-up suggestions and links while preserving contacts from question to question user experience wise Google also said that its ads will appear in dedicated slots in AI generated responses similar to how.
They surface in conventional search today uh and on the shopping front Google’s AI powered search will draw on a Google shopping graph of over 35 billion product listings to present recent reviews ratings prices and product images that can inform purchasing decisions uh Dave Ritter let’s go to you first um I have a two-parter for you on this Dave first I want to know what you think this means for Google and the whole Google search landscape as they try to you know hold on for dear life and not be overtaken um and second what are what are you advising clients to do that you’re working with in regards to AI more generally like how are you telling retailers and Brands you work with to approach using Ai and operations so your first question uh I think this is a great move by Google I think it’s a Natural Evolution um yeah I don’t know about you but when I searched I often have to search two three four times to get the comprehensive answer to the question
That I was trying to get the answer to this feels like that will streamline the user experience and get you a more comprehensive correct kind of full answer all right faster right um in terms of our clients you know when Chatgpt came out I can’t tell you how many of our clients uh board members c-suite reached out and was like what is this doing it um it was it was it was actually there’s a few few times in my career that that an event has really triggered Outreach at that level really so you know it is a hot topic for for our clients um and you know they’ve started to dip a toe in the water in terms of using it but it’s mostly in places like you know corporate Communications if you’re going to issue a statement GPT write it the first draft for you pretty simple things like that I think what we’re telling our clients is that a more comprehensive view uh makes sense because I mean effectively this is you know this should be thought of as a form of Automation and can be and it has a pretty wide-ranging uses from whether it’s you know in due diligence getting collecting benchmarks all the way to HR and writing job descriptions like across the gamut of retail specifically retail support there’s a lot of opportunities here and and frankly if you take a piecemeal approach I don’t think you ever get great execution so we’re encouraging people to think about it in a programmatic fashion yeah that makes sense you know thinking about those operational things just like taking the first pass out of it removing those mundane like just the assembly and then leveraging your the intellect of your human Workforce to kind of augment that a little bit it sounds like exactly yeah uh David Brown what are your thoughts here yeah no I I think it’s a great move by uh Google as well right I mean to me I.
Think the race on the AI front and search is is really what personalization was meant to be yeah and and a lot of the retailers couldn’t figure out I think it’s going to get figured out for them in some ways right so now you know I make a query and if I can get a lot better answer to that query that’s effectively a form of personalization now I think I think the retailers have to figure out how they provide the right input into the algorithms so that they bounce out on top right it’s now it’s what’s the what’s the next version of I’m going to pay for this keyword or um uh you know search engine optimization how do you actually beat the AI algorithm to get your product your company your answer into you know Google’s answer or Bing’s answer or whoever it’s going to be right uh or you know chat GPD or or whatever uh you know and then on the company front I completely agree with Dave it’s it’s a programmatic approach it’s uh it’s it’s an automation play it’s about getting better answers and um but you you better be comfortable with the answers that you get and be able to deal with that uh you know whether it’s on the HR front or you know we’re seeing a lot on the supply chain fund with a lot of startups and uh you know that are trying to automate supply chain answers right you know and inventory management and and planning so it’s at the infancy you know we’ll see how it plays out yeah great point on the SEO like just getting getting retailers
and Brands to rethink you know how am I gonna get my products to show up and Chris I’m I want I’m curious what you think especially when we talk about like.
The shopping angle of this like when you’re looking for like how does this change how Google’s approach approaching Commerce yeah I think that’s the really interesting point here and that’s probably more longer term but I think it’s important to call out I think it’s a great question and like to me I think if Google’s smart about this I wonder if this isn’t also what jumpstarts their Commerce efforts yep because if you think about it they have had the data for a long time to be the be-all end-all marketplace but they’ve just never been able to get their act together so could this be the lighter fluid possibly if I’m a betting man I would still say no but it’s a really interesting question to think about in the long term because you have the intersection of three things happening here right you have our nature to search as tumors yep intersecting with AI and then intersecting with a Commerce platform or a new version of that something that we don’t really know what that is yet that is going to happen and that’ll be the next big transition in Commerce similar to e-commerce the mobile phone at least that’s what I’m betting on now happening and the races on and Google stands to have a good chance of anyone is winning that you know I start to think about what does this mean for Amazon that’s what I started reading in this story for the strength of their Commerce platform long term now they’ve got a lot of you know bullets in the chamber that you know they can defend themselves against that and they’re thinking about this they released the same week too right and they they’re they said they’re putting this into their search as well.
So they’re likely thinking about that as well but you know what that Commerce platform of the future looks like that’s driven by AI is the really interesting question of me here yeah I mean I think that’s a such an important call Chris
and what we really need to think about is that this is an entirely new way of shopping for the consumer this is a new channel this is not just you know I’m I’m searching in a different way and I’m going to have a back and forth worth like this is taking voice that we talked about years ago when the like Google and Alexa devices came out and it was like yeah it’s great to be able to say like I need to make something for dinner tonight what should I make like this is now serving that up an entirely different way it’s going to be a back and forth that we as consumers haven’t had before it’s like what Dave Ritter said you have to type in three times to get the answer that you want and I think that’s what I’m gonna be I agree with you on the Commerce I think the Google Commerce front I think this is a huge opportunity for Google 35 billion products that they have in their product Universe to serve up to me through this exchange this new way of shopping but I think it all comes down to what are the search results like which what David Brown was saying how how good are my keywords to serve up the right products because if it’s just like you know the Google shopping search now where I just get inundated with whoever paid the most for the research or for the return results not what I’m actually looking for as a consumer it’s not going to work they have to really get in there and make sure that the key words that they’re pulling from the conversation with me are serving me up a product that’s going to save me time otherwise this doesn’t work that’s a good point and yeah when I step back and think about whatever you just said and everything the day the two days Dave and David just said is like that you know I’d be using AI to clean up my data first and foremost as a retailer that’d be where I would be started Dave one question for you because you mentioned it because it really stuck with me you said you know you’ve been a consultant for a lot of years now you know I won’t I won’t date you but it’s it’s you know it’s a good a good amount of time and you said this is one of those seminal moments for you what were some of those other ones was it like the mobile phone was it I was gonna give them a hard time and be like color TV right the radio.
What was it dude so one of the big ones was uh Walmart went to four dollar generics everything okay in the world just right I mean it was it was insane yeah I think that you know the rise of mobile has obviously been one um I to be perfectly candid there’s not that many right there’s only three um so yeah it’s a that’s a big deal well the other thing we always talk about how every 30 to 40 years retail Innovation Cycles there’s some new Commerce platform that develops you know you had the e-commerce you had the mobile phone and you know we’re kind of at that next kind of you know stage gate of when you know when something new is going to happen so you know it’s it’s interesting to think about all right let’s keep rolling but before we get to headline number four this is also the part of our podcast where we tell you about another great retail conference Ann and I are heading to this summer and that is the retail Innovation conference and Expo as one of Chicago’s most famous fictional citizens once said in life moves pretty fast if you don’t stop and look around once in a while you could miss it one of the hottest characters remember I’m like oh I still every time you say that I think about him in the towel yeah I learned that Anne had a big infatuation with Matthew Broderick in a towel after the last time.
I read this which is still quite disturbing to me but anyway if you’re feeling stuck in the day-to-day and daydreaming about all the things you could and would improve if you only had the time and inspiration make like Ferris Bueller and take a day off in fact take three but don’t just come in a towel the retail Innovation conference and Expo is the perfect opportunity to step away from the everyday and experience what’s next in retail via 100 sessions show floor activations Magnificent Mile starters and so much more so and come on live in the middle all right visit armytalk.rice.events to learn more and be sure to secure your all access pass by today today to save 400 that’s armytalk.rice.events you can register today get to it get it going we’ll see you there all right headline number four Amazon despite everything is keeping its foot on the Innovation gas pedal according to retail dive Amazon has debuted Amazon anywhere a new shopping tool that allows users to make purchases within games and apps Amazon anywhere enables Shoppers to see relevant products with the selected game or app within a selected gamer app I should say and access product details images prices estimated delivery dates and other information all it takes is for Shoppers to connect their Amazon account to whatever game or app they are using David Brown are you bullish or bare on in-game Advertising as a strategy for retailers all in yeah all right I absolutely love.
This one you know you mentioned uh Amazon bullets and uh and new channels this is exactly one right I mean Gamers have already been trained on in-app purchases have already been you know and especially mobile Gamers have already been trained on ads as much as your item uh it’s yeah it’s part of the experience so why not fully develop this Channel and and make it easier there’s been product placements in games for a long time um yeah there’s been buying behavior and games so I I think this is uh is brilliant and uh we’ll actually have a lot of legs for uh for Amazon you’re all in I love it Dave Dave Ritter what do you think I couldn’t agree more um in the article he mentions meet our customers where they are I think that’s the right Mantra in the Digital World um I also think this is an important uh channel to engage younger customers um if you can get them hooked I mean I don’t know about you my nephew uh and niece uh can’t get their noses out of the games so I think this is you know got a captive audience and it’s a great chance to to engage a younger uh segment wholeheartedly I think this changes the entire perspective like my kid asking me to buy something in fortnite now where I’m like I don’t even know who where this product has come who I’m paying
like this is really uncomfortable but my kids know Amazon they’re comfortable with it they have my account on their phone like they already are so set up I feel more comfortable with it I know where I’m gonna go if something doesn’t.
Show up um I have better visibility into what my kids are buying because it’s showing up on my Amazon Amazon account but I think number one thing that Amazon is doing right here is that you are not leaving the gaming platform we talked about this last week Chris with like lucky and Sephora what they’re doing this is all happening inside the entertainment you don’t have to leave the entertainment which I think is going to be critical as we think about these new methods methods of purchasing in inside content so I think that’s the key thing here that Amazon’s doing that not a lot of other retailers are going to be able to do yeah I 100 agree this is crazy we’re all like unanimously agreeing on this one which is unusual for the four of us but yeah I mean my the the story I would share the antidote shares I ran into my one of my favorite all-time people to run to at a conference which was Ben Thompson of the Endeavor group down in Australia last week in Barcelona and he was talking about how this is such a big thing that there are Beauty Brands I think particularly in like South America that are only you only marketing their products through video games they’re already taking this approach like that’s how yeah profoundly effective this approach is because video games know a ton about us as consumers they have a great understanding of what’s going to motivate us and they can serve up things in the moment in many different ways they can constantly be a b testing to understand what’s the right ads what’s the best placement of those and so he’s onto something and then I was like okay I’ve never really thought about that and the degree that you’re telling me and then today or this week we see Amazon with this announcement it’s like okay.
Yeah they’re smart they’re ahead of it and I mean what other retailer in the US is even contemplating thinking about this right now I mean I can’t think of one and who wants to see the number of hours of dwell time inside those games like talk about a captive audience I mean I don’t I don’t I don’t even want to know what those hours look like on some people’s uh devices so yes Star Wars Galaxy the data that they already have right from twitch and stuff like that right so it’s unbelievable
um all right let’s move on to headline number five a new startup Telly plans to give away 500 free 4K TVs this year but there’s a catch every TV has a second screen that will constantly show you ads according to variety the TV is a 55-inch main
screen with a regular TV panel three HDMI inputs and an over-the-air tuner plus an integrated sound bar but what is most interesting is that each unit also has a nine inch high screen affixed to the bottom of the set which is real estate that Telly will use for displaying News sports scores weather or stocks or even letting users play video games the second screen also features a dedicated space on the right hand side that will display advertising ads you can’t skip past and ads that will stay.
On the screen the whole time you’re watching TV and even when you’re not David Brown are the days of paying for a new HDTV V and the crazy like Black Friday waiting in line fighting over the giant big screen TV over or is this just a splashy marketing campaign yeah the image that comes to mind for me is like uh is Jim Cramer taking a bat to a TV and uh to me this is you know uh really uh you know the founder of Pluto made his money like this is his next crazy idea but I think it’s going nowhere uh really I yeah I hate it like it’s uh why well I think if you can you look at like TV advertising and what TV has become right it’s become kind of so Niche and uh hey there’s no streaming platforms on.
Any of this TV it’s only going to be a Chromecast uh device so you’re actually gonna have to stream something to it from either your phone or a computer or anything like that yeah but nobody wants to do that right anyways it’s like why you know the you know kind of the Google AI and PBS hasn’t worked that well um and I just don’t think anybody’s gonna yeah there might be a very small low-income Market that will take a free TV but people aren’t looking for more ads they’re actually looking for you know less ads and uh I I see this going nowhere okay yeah all right six months from now you’ll hear about uh you know some VC writing off uh 100 million dollar investment and uh and that’ll be the end of it yeah Dave Ritter that was kind of on your mind I know as we were just going through stories before the show but what what would you add to what David said oh I just the the image this brings to mind for me is I’m sure that a bunch of kids in dorms Across America will have this and then they’ll cover the bar with a towel uh and just watch.
The TV oh I just I I have a hard time believing that The Upfront investment uh could be recouped right like they say it’s a thousand dollar retail TV so what that’s 500 bucks a TV uh and the the audience is going to be you know lower likely uh you know lower income uh I just like to get to our the marketing return on investment it would require some some some pretty big assumptions um in terms of a lot of you know user input right well Chris um what do you think about this I’m I’m really curious because I I think I might differ a little bit from Dave and David but what do you think yeah I know I I I was thinking differently to them but now they’re so resolutely against it that I’m kind of starting to switch switch my thinking here but uh you know did any of you my question did any of any of you
guys actually try signing up for the TV I signed up yes yesterday I did too yeah and they the crazy thing about it is I had to feel like out like a Nielsen demographic spreadsheet on myself you know like the amount of data I had to give them to get this TV is probably pretty valuable and they know that all in advance in terms of who they’re.
Giving the TVs to too so I don’t know I guess it just comes down to like for me what is the value of me as a consumer I have to think it’s more than 500 right yeah they can they can now be certain that they’re putting the ads in front of me in a way that gets around the issue of people not watching actual TV anymore and so this circumvents that so there’s a part of this that I really like uh it was you know difficult to sign up for but you know if if I’m getting a free 55 inch TV that’s a pretty compelling thing that I think people will sign up for so I I think it’s again it’s gimmicky as hell but yeah it might just work I don’t know I I’m not as I’m not as you know against it on it yeah I well I wasn’t able to I tried to sign up and I kept getting an error so I wasn’t able to get through to the Nielsen information so maybe you’re you are more valuable because of a customer interface is kind of tricky actually that would be the one thing I would say it was not well designed yeah yes but I kind of I think this is a cool idea especially like coming from an advertising and marketing background.
This would be a really fun project to work on because it is a challenge like how are you going to get people not to put a towel on the the ad part of it like Dave Ritter is talking about in the dorms you know I think that there’s the opportunity here like one of the things that I think is really cool that they don’t highlight and we have no idea at this point like how how far they can take it but they’re talking about video gaming happening on the second screen while you’re watching TV which I think is relevant for a lot of audiences like being able to watch a show and play a video game at the same time sports betting being an option here like I think the idea of like watching a football game and then being able to like have QR codes or like things scrolling against the bottom to like show you where your bets are and especially as you know the the gambling across state lines and all that starts to get the DraftKings people start to like make their empire go further like I think this could be kind of cool um and I I think we’ll well either way we’ll get a lot of information from this I do think even those those you know lower income customers even the kids in the dorms like there’s data that can be collected about their habits that I think will at least return the 500 or a thousand dollar investment for that data I think there’s a lot of companies paying a lot more for it but anybody need the last word here final.
Words I love the second screen idea and in terms of uh the sports betting and the gaming and everything like that I just don’t think an ad supported model Works sure and the second screen is your phone right like that’s that’s where now there’s three screens Dave three screens five four five how why not have more how many can you have my favorite is Ann said we’re gonna play a video game while watching TV that just shows and she’s excited about it that just shows you the state of our society right now you know I mean yeah I don’t know what can I do multitasking and we’re gonna be ordering things from Amazon like at the same time it’s like about the perfect world you can never have a down moment all right TVs have gotten so cheap why wouldn’t you just rather have a 65 or 75 years instead of uh yeah with something that’s showing you something you don’t want right because it’s free it’s free yeah nothing better than free all right let’s close this up here we’ll get to the lightning round Dave Ritter the first question is for you Etsy launched a wedding registry recently in hopes to pick up share from the sunset Bed Bath and Beyond registry Dave what registry item caused the most disagreement between you and your spouse so I like to cook and my wife does not
like to cook so I added a kind of a fancy German knife set that was over a thousand dollars and new stuff uh yeah I think that I forgot exactly what brand it was but uh uh but my wife was not excited about that her take was you only get to put a few pretty expensive things on there and sure like I get no I get no utility out of that so let’s fix something we both like uh anyway I kind of strong armed around that one and since she finally caved in we put it on and got it so they’re nice she doesn’t like food yeah yeah it’s a this is a required kitchen tool absolutely need to have it um all right Chris all right next one.
David Brown Heinz launched remix which is like a Coke fee style but for sauces 9
so given that description what sauce combo would you most like to make uh anything hot it’s got to be hot hot hot so let me find the jalapeno dial and uh and dial that up but but here’s what I think is even more interesting about this I’m waiting now for like Bravo or whoever that’s gonna come out with the home version like a salad dressing making station a bunch of vinegars so like I hope this for some kind of home Innovation for me because I would love uh a sauce maker at home oh my gosh I love that idea this is like future the future stuff David I love it I love where your head is going oh Jetson ask yeah yes um all right David Back to You.
Beyonce and Taylor Swift are going head to head this summer to have the highest grossing concert tour by an artist ever hitting an estimated one billion dollars into our Revenue which artist would you buy a ticket to in order to help them achieve this goal well I already contributed 2500 to the Taylor Swift fund so whoa yes [Music] I had to cancel our spring break and uh make it up to my wife and daughter so uh they went to see Taylor Swift in Dallas oh my gosh unbelievable she’s she’s that powerful she’s that popular we saw her that Vegas the place was off the hook wasn’t it and it was unbelievable all right last one Lego is releasing a 3981-piece Batcave set Dave Ritter if you could have any of Batman’s toys any one of Batman’s toys which toy would it be oh this is a.
No-brainer but really the Batmobile the battlefield is the only move in my opinion really okay interesting interesting answer really that’s the right answer yeah okay all right 100 what would you want Chris the suit you want the best yeah the suit for sure for sure the suit yeah for sure the cow the cape yeah of course if I have the bat light can I actually call Batman yeah cool that’d be cool too the bat light yeah that you could and then I would come running David Brown I would come running in the suit and Dave would drive up in the car yeah and Dave and I are gonna be rolling like we’re on our way to Vegas in the Batmobile so we’ll see you all later the grappling hook it’s so hard to pick it’s like picking between my children all right that wraps us up today happy birthday to George Strait Brooks Robinson and to the Bedrock of great comedy writing Tina Fey and remember if you can only read or listen to One retail blog in the.
Business make it Omnitalk the only retail media Outlet run by two former Executives from a current top 10 U.S retailer 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 do it just for you and we try really hard to make it all fit within the preview pane of your inbox you can sign up today at www. Omnitalk.blog thanks as always for listening in please remember to like and leave us a review wherever you happen to listen to your podcast or on YouTube Dave Ritter if people want to get in touch with the a m consumer and Retail Group what’s the best way for them to do that there’s three ways the first is our website which is http://www.alvarez and marcel-crg.com uh we also have a LinkedIn page which is Alvarez and marcel-crg uh and finally that you can email either myself or David directly at my email address is D Ritter r-i-t-t-e-r at Alvarez and marcel.com awesome awesome well it’s great having you guys thanks for joining us David Ritter and David Brown of the a m consumer and Retail Group and as always it’s been emotional it’s been a past we’ll be back next week so until then on behalf of all of us at Omni talk and on behalf of our guests be careful out.
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