Hello, you are listening to the Omni talk Fast 5 brought to you. In partnership with the A and M consumer and retail group Firework, SPS Commerce and Sezzle ranked in the top 10 of all podcasts globally. The Omni Talk Fast 5 is the podcast that we hope. Makes you feel a little smarter, but most importantly a little happier each week too. Today is August 3rd, 2023. I’m your host, Ann Mezzenga. And I’m Chris Walton, and we are here once again to discuss the most important headlines from the past week, two weeks actually.
Yes, good car. Yes, that highlight how the physical, digital and human elements of retail are coming together to shape the future. Chris, how was vacation? Yeah, yeah, right. Yeah, we got a lot to talk about. A sneaker of a vacation that. Came out, went out to San Clemente last week, you know, took in the sun. My wife tried to learn how to surf. I sat and watched. My 40 No Surfing for you? No. No, no, no. Too much. Too much risks of muscle cramping while in water. Never a good idea and man. But but you’re remote again today. Where the hell are you?
Tell me I’m where. In the world is and the Zingo dude. I’m I’m that was very good. I’m in Duluth because I drove up here. Duluth, Duluth, MN Up North in Duluth, MN because I went to one of my favorite bands of all time, was playing up here. Bonavere, and only only Justin Vernon, who’s a Eau Claire, WI native, chooses Duluth to kick off his his American summer tour. So we drove up here. It’s about 2 1/2 hours north of the the Twin Cities went to college here for a hot minute, so it’s kind of been fun to revisit the old haunts and then show was amazing, yeah.
And I don’t think we’ve ever talked about this on the show. But real quick before we get to today’s headlines. You you played hockey at the University of Minnesota Duluth too, did you not? We skated a little bit here. Hockey star. I think not a not a star. Not a star. And this was also for I might have. Elaborated a little bit on Love team. So I was not very, you know, this was like this is like the J V for the JV. So it was. But yeah, it was fun it. Was but you still have all your teeth, so that’s that’s the best thing as far as you know. As far as you know, yes, as.
Far as anyone will ever know, right? Yes. Unless you’re certified dentist, yeah. But only your wife will really know the. Answer. Yeah, Dennis can spot that in like seconds. It’s like reading flash cards for them. Fake teeth. Not fake teeth. All right. And well, should we do this show? Yes. Let’s get to it. It’s been a while.
Yeah, it has. Let’s get this party started. Lots of stuff to cover, lots of exciting topics. All right. And but before we do kind of kind of announcement I want to make today. Yeah, yeah, I know, right. If you haven’t already heard about meet up at grocery shop. Buckle up everyone, because it’s going to be an incredible ride. And and I are here today to give you an exclusive sneak peek into the Camp Miss program. The colossal and cutting edge gathering has received rave reviews in the past with a 90% satisfaction rating from participants at Shoptok and Shoptok Europe, both of which Ann and I were in attendance for and it was incredible. And best of all, and it’s free with your ticket. Our favorite word. Free as entrepreneurs Our favorite word. On Monday, August 28th, meet up selections week.
That sounds that sounds kind of like rush week because this coincides with the week with like pre college, you’re going back to college. You better, you better get in on that rush.
It does, It does. And rush is the operative word. And as you’ll find out in a second, because this is when Meet Up Selections Week is when thousands of topnotch executives from 37 countries and still counting, we’ll be diving into the action, requesting meetings left and right. Here’s a key insider stat that Anna and I are Privy to that we are letting our fans in on today.
It’s a little bit, yeah, right. This is fun.
We’ve never done this before. Thanks. Thanks Grocery Shop. On opening day, August 28th, 50% of grocery shop attendees will make their selections. That means you’re going to really want to get a ticket by then to don’t miss being seen by half the audience. You can learn more at groceryshop.com/omni Talk.
Ticket prices increase next week, so get yourself set well in advance of Meetup Selections Week, starting when in August.
28th That’s right. That’s right. Yes, good car. Yes, that highlight how the physical, digital and human elements of retail are coming together to shape the future. Chris, how was vacation? Yeah, yeah, right. Yeah, we got a lot to talk about. In today’s Fast 5 headlines, we’ve got news and our thoughts on Amazon unveiling what Bloomberg is calling its biggest grocery overhaul since Whole Foods. Poshmark adding visual search. Cleavon embarking on multiparcel autonomous last mile delivery in Texas. Gap’s new CEO pick. You’re going to want to stick around to the end. For that one with us. But we begin today with the rebirth of Bed, Bath and beyond. And you’re Why don’t you take it away?
All right. Yes, that is right, Chris. Bed Baths website is back and better than ever, according to.
Oh, yeah, you think so. All right.
Oh yeah. According to NBC News, the new site launched under its new owner and what was formerly known as overstock.com. Overstock CEO Jonathan Johnson, there’s a name for you. Said the customer is visiting. The new website would see up to $50.00 of loyalty reward points reinstated from former Bed Bath and Beyond customer accounts, and a number of other perks like 20% off along with all the current rewards for members of Club. Oh, which was Overstocks former loyalty program. You Also Chris, don’t you worry about a thing. Those coupons, the 25%, yes, yes, 25% off initial purchases for anyone who downloads the new Bed Bath and Beyond mobile app. When asked why Overstock adopted the Bed Bath and Beyond name Johnson, that’s Jonathan Johnson. You’re paying attention. Jonathan Johnson said, quote, people view Overstock as liquidation, which is what we were 25 years ago when we started, but that’s not what we’ve been for the past two decades. And quote, Chris, are you buying what Jonathan Johnson is putting out and selling?
I played to you for the Jonathan Johnson jokes. Like, I didn’t even think about that as I was reading and bone it up for this headline. I love that Jonathan Johnson. Yes, Jonathan Johnson, shout out to you.
Also a former like 90s TV kid TV star, right?
I have no.
I’m thinking of Jonathan Taylor Thomas.
Jonathan Taylor Thomas. Yes, that would be impressive if Jonathan Taylor Thomas was not running Overstock. Yeah. But and I mean I net, net, I love this, I, I actually put this in the freaking love this category, which I know I say a lot in the show, but this falls in that category because I can’t believe how fast they’ve converted the whole site. I mean Amazon, I mean oversight purchase these assets in June. Yeah, like.
I mean, that’s what I’ve done.
That’s freaking amazing, But. When you think about it, there’s a reason they could do it that fast because the strategy behind this, as we talked about when they made the, when they acquired the assets in June, is really straightforward and simple, right? It’s basically a reskin with new creative placements and brand name changes on the Overstock site, along with what I think is cool, a site redirect from Overstock to Bed Bath and Beyond. That’s how I found out I was like, I don’t want to type in Bed Bath. I typed in overstock.com and look what appeared. That was super cool. So. You know for me, so essentially what you’re talking about here when you get right down to it is Overstock invested $21 million for better search, a better brand and an existing customer file too, which also is important part of this announcement that came over hence you know the discussion points you had about the loyalty. So for me when I look at that and all they got for that, this is a total steal. It’s probably, it’s also probably a pittance and it’s a one time charge to their overall search budget. So like. Great move you know and the the best thing to hand last point I make the site looks exactly as I would expect it to. You know it’s just overstock setup and they get ecommerce as well as anybody. That’s how they’ve hung around for so long with a terrible name like Jonathan alluded to and it just says Bed Bath, Bed Bath and Beyond branding.
So such a smart move by these guys, I think. Yeah, steal of a deal. I mean that really $21 million is you know it’s it was appropriately priced I think given everything that’s happened there in the last year especially. But I mean even for them to take and turn this around like you said so quickly like we’ve both been part of website relaunches like 3 months to get this thing up and going was really well done. I think the site the search is so much better than Overstock was like the whole site experience is just a has leveled up compared to what what Overstock used to be you know the only question though that Chris I’m curious because you have rich home furnishings history. The only question I have is like is, is this enough to stay viable? I think you’re you’re still like, you know, yes, Bed Bath and Beyond is a top five brand in this category for today’s Consumer Focus groups. But do you think that this swap is enough to hold them? And if so, like what? What more needs to be done there? Because that’s the only thing that I worry about is like, yeah, you you’ve got it popping off right now, but like, can you hold the next generation audience?
Yeah, it’s a great question, I mean. It’s, it’s still that’s still to be determined, right. I think that’s still the tough question. I mean the great good thing about Overstock is they’ve been around for 20 years. So they know how to exist as an ecommerce retailer which you can count on your two hands the number of people that are able to do that. So but now I think this positions them more. I was thinking about that last night. It positions them more squarely to go headtohead with Wayfair, which is really the category leader in that space. It does it more overtly than it did before and now when people are doing bed and bath searches, they should capture more of that volume in theory. So that’s the play here. But you know, running ecommerce business is hard. It takes a lot of smart people to make it work and without stores, it, you know, can be kind of difficult too for all the reasons we talked about on the show before in terms of, you know, helping to ameliorate some of those cost pressures that come with ecommerce. So I think the jury’s out on that. But net, net for that reason is small move. When asked why Overstock adopted the Bed Bath and Beyond name Johnson, that’s Jonathan Johnson. You’re paying attention. Jonathan Johnson said, quote, people view Overstock as liquidation, which is what we were 25 years ago when we started, but that’s not what we’ve been for the past two decades. And quote, Chris, are you buying what Jonathan Johnson is putting out and selling?
Executive team pay themselves like factors above that in the like the two years that they were running the show, I think that got paid like over 30 million.
That’s the number that was in my head too, like $30 million. That’s just nuts that you pay the guy for two years for more than the assets are worth to this other company. Unreal.
Fucking that’s effing mind bond again. Like I I never thought about that until just now. All right, headline 2. Amazon. This is going to be a fun one, folks. Amazon unveiled, according to Bloomberg and I quote, its biggest grocery overhaul since Whole Foods.
Oh my God. Somebody’s been somebody’s been listening to the movie trailer person this summer and decided to take it into the into the news world, I think.
Right, coming this summer, the biggest grocery overhaul since Whole Foods. Here’s what Bloomberg says defines a big overhaul 1. Oh my God, this is hilarious. Number one, Amazon will begin offering fresh food delivery to customers who aren’t Prime subscribers. Previously, only shoppers paying the annual $139 Prime subscription could get food delivered from Amazon Fresh stores. Delivery fees range from $7.95 to $13.95 or roughly $4.00 more than Prime members pay, for example. 2 Amazon plans emerged its various ecommerce supermarket offerings from Whole Foods, Amazon Fresh and Amazon.com into one online cart. OK and my personal favorite, and I’m sure it’s yours, to 3A revamp of its physical fresh stores, which includes placing Krispy Kreme coffee and donut stands near the front door. Adding roughly 1500 items to what had been limited inventory for a full size supermarket, as well as trying to make the space more inviting with bright colors. Bright colors and bright colors all right And the great thing about this too and this is smart by our friends at the A and M consumer and retail group. This is also today’s put you on the spot question. Here it is. After reading all of Amazon’s plan changes. What do you give a higher likelihood of success? A former Tesco executive actually getting Amazon to succeed in physical retail or creating a compelling one stop grocery shop online across Whole Foods. Amazon Fresh and Amazon itself.
This is a no brainer for me. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I love Tesco. I think the team there is very smart, but without a doubt it’s the latter. I think the sooner that you get to 1 platform for your consumers especially is Amazon, I think the sooner that you start to converge operations between those start sharing data more fluidly and you really start to get an understanding I think of your customer across all those platforms and then how you, how and where you need to lever up, especially when you’re talking about going into physical grocery. So I think that it’s it’s definitely the right thing to focus on for Amazon. I do think though, and I I I’m guessing you feel similarly just based on the intro, but like. How I read that, Yeah, like this kind of is a giant headline that didn’t hit on any of the points that I think really are most important for Amazon to be focusing on right now. Like there’s no mention in these articles about the quality of the food. Like I don’t care if you have the biggest, brightest retail merchandiser like if it doesn’t matter what it looks like, the bright colors like that doesn’t mean anything if the product’s not worth going back for. And we already have learned that the technology experience is not enough for people to go back for it. And that to me gives one like underlying factor and that’s you have to focus on the food that you’re giving especially the produce. And so I I’m really curious here what this Tesco executive, especially the merchant in him like what the, what he’s going to bring in and be like. It’s not just about like putting lipstick on this pig here. It’s like, what are we going to do to change where we’re buying from, where we’re sourcing and how we’re really giving people a reason to come back for the food that we’re carrying in our store?
Yeah, I mean, I I agree with you 100%. I mean the the the crazy thing for me is like it’s all the right, it’s all the things you should expect to be hearing. But the big question for me is like. Why can Amazon win in this game like it seems like a it seems like a huge uphill battle. That’s what I take away from what you just said you know. And for that reason I think I think this is this is by far and away. I mean I I do this a lot but this is by far and away. That’s not the headline of the year but it’s definitely the most hyperbolic headline of the year without a doubt. Like it’s not even close. I think it’s like far, far in first place at this point because the other point about this too and. It’s really interesting to me the amount of announcements that Amazon is releasing like this ahead of earnings. You know they had the, they had the we’re going to ship, we’ve invested in same day for back to school. I’m like okay, yeah I can get my back to school items same day versus in two days who cares you know like why are you doing that? They’ve got the healthcare thing going on this week, so they’re just flooding the the media with stuff. You can tell this was a this was a a story where they said at Bloomberg, hey, do you want to write this about us?
And then now everybody’s picking it up.
Now everyone’s picking it up because of the hyper ball, the hyperbole in the headline, but you know, net, net, when I look at those three things we talked about, I love the combined experience. It’s a nobrainer. John Furner when he when he took head of Walmart, he insisted on that being one of the first things he wanted to do. Because you know, and it and it’s smart.
And quite honestly, John Frederick could poop in a bag and I would probably eat it. But Oh my God, that is. That needs to be stricken from the record. I’m sorry listeners. That was one of the most disgusting things. I know you love John Furner. But but no, I mean God, we have to draw a line somewhere but it just.
Is super smart. I mean, there’s no reason you should have a disparate experience like that when you want to shop. If you want to go to Amazon to shop for your grocery, just go to Amazon to shop for your groceries. But the other stuff for me is like where you know, like. Why do, Why do I I said this before, but why do I need another grocery option? What is Amazon providing that others can’t? Bright walls, Krispy Kreme. You know, And the other point is just walk out. It’s not enough. That’s that was actually the most telling thing from the Bloomberg story. They actually talk about that like we’re not investing in technology. We’re investing in everything that makes a traditional grocery work. And you know, Amazon thought that that would be enough, right? You know, I can remember insiders telling me like. Dave Clark’s walk in the store and he’s like, when they first launched it, like there’s nothing special about this aside from a dash cart. And that turned out to be true. And so now they’re trying to stand up a grocery experience on par with Kroger, Walmart, Albertsons and having lived at Target as Target, tried to do that same thing throughout all of 2000s and all the even the 1990s. It’s just really hard to do. So many people have tried to fail, tried and fail and including, and I’ve said this on the show before, Tesco. Tesco tried this with fresh and easy around 2007 to to 2010 roughly. I don’t remember the exact dates but and coincidentally like like A and M called out. That’s where the guy that’s headed this up used to work. Tony Hoggint. So so there’s just so much going against this at this point that it just seems like more bad news for me down the road. But I don’t know what final word for you.
I think if I’m if I’m a reporter covering the grocery be right now I’m covering the downtown spirits just walk out headline 1000 times over this like yeah it’s this seems like oh gosh it’s hard because it’s Amazon and you have to cover it. I’m sure like that’s part of your journalistic responsibility, but man, I would that what they’re doing in that just walk out store with you know, having Pete having controlled entry and exit for booze and you know up upgrading that whole process. I think it’s far more interesting to me than than this headline was. But hey, we are covering it too.
Yeah. Well, yeah, because we have to. But like, you know, the other point too is like they’re trying to do, I think they’re trying to do this in Schaumburg, IL as one of the stores like. Source Been open for a while? Like now you have the uphill battle of trying to get people back into that store too, which is not easy to do. Once disappointed at once? Like it’s a tough game.
All right, let’s move on to Headline 3. Chris Poshmark has added visual search functionality to its app. Love this story? According to Retail Dive, Poshmark released Posh Lens, a tool that lets shoppers use photos to search for secondhand items. Users can upload or take a picture of any item they want and look through available listings of their desired item or a similar product. The tool is available available for women’s apparel, men’s clothing, shoes, and bags. The tool uses artificial intelligence and visual search technology from Naver, a South Korean firm that acquired Poshmark earlier this year, to conduct the image searches. Chris, I can go through all kinds of reasons why I love this, but what? What convinced you that this is something that we should have on the show?
And I’m gonna let you actually have the floor on this for the most part. But I’m gonna be in honor of Posh Lens. I’m gonna do this at my comments as Posh Chris. I’ve got my grocery cup, my grocery shop mug out. I’ve got my pinky out. Posh, Chris. Trying to do a posh Chris voice, You know I yeah, right.
I know, yes, Voice is very different from regular Chris.
And I I love this story because historically, as we’ve talked about on the show, it’s a much more efficient way to search than using words or pictures because pictures literally say 1000 words, which humans can’t, right? That’s the point of this. So, but your angle I think is particularly interesting. My posh Chris. Reddition is dying on the vibe as I try to do it so, and particularly in terms of what it means for resale. So like I said, let’s, let’s have you save the audience from my terrible posh Chris impression.
Yeah, I think you need visuals on that one, so for everybody. Yeah, it’s also a podcast.
Yeah, I don’t know if you could hear. The pinky up in Chris’s posh Chris voice, but just check in Direct Messages if you want that visual sent directly to your inbox.
Or watch our new video styling on YouTube, which is also important to note. We did it. We invested in some new video styling. We’re kind of PTI ish, right, Anne?
Yes, yes, absolutely. Okay. Well, this is the reason that I love this. It’s super simple to use. This is, this works. For those of you listening who are familiar with the Amazon search function, this works just like that little camera to the right, except this is in your Poshmark search field. It’s a little magnifying glass to the right of your search field. You click on it. Yesterday, obviously, Chris, I was wearing my Nike Daybreak light bone tennis shoes to go to the Bone of Air concert.
You wore light bone shoes to go to the Bone of Air concert.
I obviously did. I had to be on brand, but the cool thing was like, I was trying this as we were driving up here and it’s fascinating like that one pair of shoes came up in 1000. Different search, like the search function brought up all of those shoes. Every single title had a different name in it. Some weren’t even saying the name of the shoe. Some said light bone and it was light bone. Sneaker like nobody’s got. Nobody in their right mind is going to search for a Nike sneaker by typing in the words light bone. Only you and I know that, but. Nobody should be typing that into a search.
Don’t. I do not recommend typing lightbone into any search search function. No, I think the the key point is here. It’s just like you said, retailers can’t even get consistent product details across their own product detail page, right? So how are you expecting that Carla or Katie, who’s listing their product on Poshmark is going to use the right search terms that are going to have their product found and discovered? It’s not going to happen. So this unlocks so much more possibility for the seller and the shopper to be able to search and find the item that they’re looking for in in a swath of results that are are much better tuned to exactly the product that they want. It means higher volume for Poshmark. I just, I think that this is really going to start to unlock a lot of power specially in the second hand market. And I also wonder one more thing, if you could help spot counterfeiters more easily too. Like when you think about people who are stealing products like the lululemon product for example, like the product up on this website as lululemon, Can I now use this tool to see who’s selling products on the third like the the second hand market? Like, I think there’s a lot of possibility now that you have AI and the tools with visual search to track things down at a speed that no no human is capable of doing so.
Yeah. That that’s really and and with the addon take again, nice. Yeah. Like can you could you use visual AI to give you like a sense of like the stitching or the quality of the embroidery to understand the logo placement is in the right spot like that kind of stuff. Like all the stuff that you notice when you’re like looking at those guys try to sell those things on, you know on a blanket on the street corner in New York City or Barcelona as we as we frequent it or we saw this summer. So yeah, that’s. That’s a great point. Yeah. Your point about, your point about the average person who’s selling things on Poshmark not knowing the ins and outs of ecommerce and how their products are probably found is so dead on. So yeah, it makes me think. Really great move. As, as we’ve said, and we’ve long been a proponent of this, this is 1 the first tech. This is actually the first technology demo we ever shot as a video. Yeah, for Army talk inside of a Starbucks, right. Using visual search to show how you could buy a Starbucks coffee bag on Amazon. It was pretty cool. So all right. And well, before we get to headline 4, this is also the part of the podcast we’re going to tell you about. Another exciting conference we are planning to attend. And we are talking about the Manifest Conference in Las Vegas, which is happening in the. First week of February, Manifest just announced 150 speakers are now confirmed to take the stage. You can see the full list and save $200.00 on the price to attend by visiting manifest vegas.com/omni talk Manifest Vegas slash Look man let me say that again and Manifest vegas.com/omni talk. I got so excited to say like, man, it’s so cool to see all these like. Trade shows putting Omni talk at the end of the URL’s just for us. I mean it shows you how far we’ve come in hurry. Prices increase August 4th too, so you’re going to want to get on that. That is a great show. It is. It is definitely one of my favorite shows and it is actually at this point now the top logistics show on our list to attend each and every year.
When you say in, yes, absolutely. And there’s really great flight deals right now to Vegas. So take advantage, get your manifest ticket, get your cheap. Yeah, it was like 7000 sky miles round trip on Delta to get to Vegas. Crazy, isn’t it? So book your tickets now I didn’t know there were cheap flights anywhere. Right now it seems like that’s costing an arm and a leg basically every week. All right, headline 4. This is a fun one to say. Autonomous multiparcel delivery has arrived officially in Texas according to Parcel and posting Technology International. Yes, that is real. And shout out to them for their first appearance on the show. Estonia’s autonomous delivery innovator Cleavon has launched a commercial service in the USA in collaboration with Postnet North Lake. Cleavon service offers the convenience of direct doorstep delivery with the security residents want. The way it works is Cleavon schedules a desired delivery time with each resident and brings the package directly to them. Cleavon’s, ARC’s. A KA autonomous robot carriers. Yeah, that one in your mental vault. And they run on public roads and enable the transportation of goods in energy efficient and costeffective and scalable ways. Cleveland’s AR C’s have been on public roads in Europe for over three years and have proved to be safe and reliable with a perfect safety record thus far. And you have frequently poo pooed autonomous last mile delivery in the past. Quite vociferously, I might add. Are you going to do the same thing today?
What are your thoughts? I think I I don’t know, defend myself a little bit. I feel like. I feel like some things I’ve poo pooed. Not all autonomous delivery, but there are some like one thing going to one person does not seem to be efficient. Drones. Still not a fan, but here I think you have multi. The key thing here is that you have multiple parcels doing multiple things. It’s not just delivery of items, they’re also picking things up. And the key thing about what I think is so unique about what Cleveland’s doing here is that we’re in the suburbs now. We’re not in Europe with high dense areas where they’ve proven their their success over the last three years. Now you’re out in the burbs and I think that’s really telling especially from an operations perspective. If I’m any of the the third party logistics companies right now, I think this is a technology that I am looking taking into especially when you think about you know it’s packages. It’s we’re not talking about food in this case, which I know they’re getting into down the road with food and restaurant delivery. But right now it’s just one to one packages like I can go on my phone, I can tell this thing I’m going to be home at this time. The package delivery parcel pulls up, I get my package out. I can put any packages in like this is all the things I love about DoorDash right now out having to require human workforce to do that right now, like I it just seems so smart to me. I think there’s so much potential and if you can make it in North Lake, Texas, I would hope you can make it just about anywhere.
Yeah. And the key being like it carries multiple people’s deliveries like in the vehicle. And that’s the key point here, right? That’s what makes it different than like the. I mean, I remember you and I had quite the the fun ripping of Chicago’s citywide investment in these little robots running around. Remember that the single Onetoone delivery robot? Watch, which this is not that.
Like this is like a delivery van that is very akin to, like the Robo Mart idea in concept, right? Which I love, yeah.
Yeah, just done differently and done for the purposes of delivery. Like I was thinking like God, you know like bunch of the company that we have eyes like maybe that’s something that you know we talked you know that they get involved in to help with the delivery cost or defray that at some point. But you know my point is look to Europe and I mean that that’s that’s why I put that in the read. It’s been a theme of the show for years. What is there now will be here in 10 to 15 years. So get accustomed to it, get familiar with it. You see it already and click and collect you see it and pick up only stores those have been around forever in Europe. And so these ideas that have been around for three years and are working will eventually come this way. So, you know, that’s my big take away here. And it’s again, it’s a theme of the show consistently.
All right, let’s move on to headline 5. Chris Gap has a new CEO. I can’t wait to ask you about this one. OK. According to CNBC last week, Gap named former metal exec Richard Dixon another great name. We have got some all Dick Dixon. Dick Dixon, I’m sure, he’s never heard that before.
Yeah, Dick Dixon is the new CEO. After a year long search, Dixon, the former or the toy makers former president and Chief Operating officer, is credited with reviving the Barbie franchise during his tenure. Dixon, who has been a member of GAPS board since November of 2022, will leave his current position at Mattel on August 3rd and start the new role on August 22nd, earning an annual base salary of $1.4 million. Chris Gap, give us your thoughts on that. Yeah, I mean, actually, as you as you just read that there was something I didn’t catch to like it was a Dick Dixon it.
Wasn’t Dick Dixon? Although, you know, I do love a good alliteration. It was actually the board tenures. Not that long really, when you think about it. Like he’s been there like 7 months at the end of the day, and this was in flight well before it was announced too. So like that that actually makes me a little even more skeptical of what we’ve got here. So I don’t know what you think. I have not talked to you about this, so I have no idea what your thoughts are, but. I am actually a little skeptical of this again because you know, Lifetime Gapper started my career there in San Francisco. Shout out to all my friends that are still there, still working there, still participating in our content daily weekly. It gives me Paul Pressler flashbacks and Paul Pressler. Paul, Great question. So Paul Pressler was named CEO. He succeeded Mickey Drexler. This was in the early 2000s, probably like 2002, 2003, maybe even 2001. I don’t remember the exact date, but that dude flamed out. Really quickly it was a, I would say it was almost an unmitigated disaster. He was from Disney and you know they made all these they tried to make all these connections between Disney and the Gap and at the time he, I think he ran Disney stores Even so the connections was even a little more probable than Sam Mattel and and so my concerns there is like we’re that is the board forcing the connection here between running a toy brand and running apparel brand. Now with that said, if I look at his resume and that’s what I do because I don’t know him personally, I’m just basing this on my resume review. He does have a weird four year stop as CEO of the Jones Apparel Group between 2010 and 2014 which he left Mattel to go to and then interestingly enough return to Mattel afterwards. So my question, he just wanted to change the pace. Maybe he was like.
Yeah, I know. But my question is if you’re an apparel guy and that’s what you’re really good at. Why would you jump back to Mattel after leading the Jones Group? Is it because your heart’s really in CPG or the wholesale side of the business to like Jones? Sounds like Jones Group has some wholesale you know is part partly the that’s a big piece of business. Maybe that’s a tell to where he thinks Gap needs to take the business. We’ve talked about them selling on Amazon. We’ve talked about potentially, you know, that angle before and and maybe that is what they need to do. So I don’t know, it just brings back a lot of scar tissue for me. And for those reasons I just said it worries me a lot because the skills that it takes to lead like Barbie, right, are very different than the skills it’s going to take to reform you know gap. And the other part too is, I have to think, the Barbie success. Created a bias around his performance, which if you’re not careful is probably the equivalent of beer goggles in a CEO search. That’s what I think, you know, I mean that’s the best way I could put it. Like it’s going to be like, oh, that person looks much more attractive than he probably really is in real, you know, in all actuality. And you can get carried away with those things very easily. Look at Mark Trenton, Bed, Bath and Beyond, same thing. So much is success attributed to him from Target, which if you talk to the insiders, it’s like Target was always doing that and. Massive flame out of Bed Bath and beyond. So anyway, Nat Nat. Long story long I’m skeptical. I’m worried based on previous patterns I’ve seen in history at The Gap.
Yeah, I don’t have much more to add, although I love Gap and I wish that it would thrive, but I I don’t really know that this is the guy that can fix it. Is is it a branding issue? Like, I really think that it’s deeper. I think it’s the, I think GAP is selling a product that is no longer unique. Like there’s too many people out there doing basics especially in the direct to consumer space with purpose behind them that Gap just needs to figure out another way that they’re going to provide a unique point of view or a more pointed fashion approach I think to to stay relevant. I don’t think it’s creating basics for all anymore. And I think that’s where you know this guy, even with his, even with his background in some apparel like I really feel like you need somebody who’s more of like a fashion director to go in there and figure out how to take, you know, the stuff we talked about two weeks ago, the the denim jacket, the vintage gap that’s selling so well online right now. Like, is there a way to capture that nostalgia and bring that into the new design so they’re putting out and not just be focused on on mass anymore. I think I think it could survive if you can get somebody in there and and that’s where I’d be focused. I don’t know that I’d be focused on a marketing bring and a marketing person in, but.
Yeah. Yeah, you’re right. If it needs both ultimately and you a merchandising point of view with a good marketing plan behind it, the coordinates and complements that merchandising point of view and it needs it across all the brands too. We sometimes talk about Gap ubiquitously like it’s the Gap brand here, but it’s really Gap, Banana, Old Navy, Athleta, all those together that need that point of view and that supercharging from both those things happen the same time. And yeah, I just don’t know that four years of an apparel background. Proved to me that he has the merchant shops right to lead that. But maybe he does. Maybe does. I don’t know.
All right, Chris, Skepticism. Let’s close it out and get us to the lightning round. Chris, number one question for you. Trader Joe’s recently warned shoppers that certain foods maintain insects and rocks. What’s the most disturbing, disgusting, or surprising thing you’ve ever discovered in your food?
Oh man, you know, I I I got to tell you, I’ve been, despite being unlucky in terms of like bioorganisms that I’ve digested in my food in my life, quite unlucky. I don’t think I’ve ever ingested anything like that. Probably the worst thing I’ve ever noticed in my food is a hair. I mean, do you have a story like that? I think my I found a fingernail once in a salad. God, I wouldn’t even have thought of that.
And it’s so disgusting, so gross. I still can picture it vividly. And I think I was like 13 when it happened. I was having lunch with my grandmother and it was.
It was this podcast and that’s so disgusting I’ve been trying to move on. All right, Chickfila announced that it’s testing 2 new concepts, a walk up and pick up Only concept and a Mega 4 Level 4 drive through Lane concept as well. Which of those two concepts would you most like like to have in Minnesota?
It’s a tough call, not at all. We’re in Minnesota. I’m really the Mega 4 lane drive through nobody. The walk up is only viable like a few months out of the year. So I definitely, especially chick volume, like it’s all about how many people can you serve as quickly and as efficiently as possible and that would be the the Mega 4 lane drive through. Yeah, I’d be hitting that every week if we had one. You’re right.
Oh for sure, for sure. All right Chris, Walmart recently expanded its refurbished goods program with the quote like new quote items that the retailer says are products that show no sign of cosmetic damage and come with a one year warranty. Chris, what is 1 item in the Walmart catalog you would not risk getting a refurbished version of?
Oh man. You know, truthfully, I’m not worried about any. Item in the Walmart category didn’t refurbish item up. No, I mean if you know if it’s graded by Walmart, you know and the brands most likely this is a brand play too like you’re going to put the key brands that are refurbished in this. So like, I don’t think I have any concerns about that really. And honestly, I’m in the in the sheets or something.
Well, I don’t think you’re going to refurbish bed sheets. I doubt that’s part of this. It’s probably more computers, blenders, home appliances, phones, those types of things. So like I think. Yeah. So I, you know, I’m actually in the market for a new computer potentially, so I might check out to see what kind of refurbished deals they’ve got on that as well. But all right, and this is, this is again one of my all time favorite questions that I’ve devised for you to close this out. Captain Crunches uniform was recently rebranded to reflect his position as a captain, and surprisingly he was also given a fifth finger. And yes, he only had four fingers before and his new cartoon. Yeah. And right. And his uniform was actually that of a commander and not a captain. So they invested in the upgrade. But my question for you is this on a scale of 1 to 10 with one being not at all and 10 being absolutely. How much does Captain Crunch cereal taste like band AIDS?
Oh my God, not at all. Who thinks it tastes like band AIDS? Oh my God, I think it’s a 10. I think it’s just the most dead on taste of band aids. Why are you eating band aids?
I’m not. I’m. I’ve tried Captain Crunch. It tastes like my Oh my God, Captain Crunch Sensory.
Perception of what a Band-Aid would taste like. Oh God, Captain Crunch is in my top three. Captain Crunch with Crunch berries. Oh my God, it’s the best. I think there’s no, I think you’re in the minority in that one. I would be no, not with.
Crunch berries. Crunch Berries is different. Straight up. Captain Crunch get I still take it. Get the kids, Captain Crunch and tell me how much it tastes like band aids. It’ll never be this. I’ll report back.
And hopefully there’s no, hopefully there’s no figure nails in it as well. All right, on that final. Yeah, on that final disgusting note, happy birthday today to John Cena, Martin Sheen and to the man who once held a secure grip on the top of my man crush podium. But not so much anymore. Sorry, Tom, Mr. Tom Brady himself. And remember, if you can only read or listen to 1 Retail Blog in the business, make it Omni Talk, the only retail media outlet run by two former executives from a current top ten US retailer. Our Fastfive 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 all 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 http://www.omnitalk.blog. Thanks as always for listening in. Please remember to like and leave us to review wherever you happen to listen to your podcasts or on YouTube, and until next week, and on behalf of all of us at Omnitalk retail. As always, be careful out there.
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