Hello, you are listening to the Omni talk Retail Fast 5 brought to you in partnership with the A and M consumer and retail group Firework, Avalara, TGW and Sezzle. Ranked in the top 10% of all podcasts globally. You heard that right. Dave’s Deck. The Retail 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 October 26th, 2023.
I’m your host, Anne Mezzenga. And I’m Chris Walton. 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 coming together to shape the future. Chris, I I gave that shout out because we just got back from Saint Louis visiting Schnooks this week, and Dave Steck particularly said he liked that part of the podcast. Oh, did he really I didn’t know that.
Yeah, yeah, yeah. We got excited it. Wow, you excited it for us. Kind of catchy. I see, I see, I see other people trying to play into that same vein.
But but yes, that is a real statistic. So yeah. And we had the Spirit of Saint Louis alive and well this week we went down to Schnooks got a tour from their their Chief Supply Chain Officer and their Chief Innovation Officer Bob as he’s affectionately known by me as and I’m name dropping. You ever notice when people name drop people they always just use their first names. You know how I feel about.
I know you hate it right. But it is always they’re like hey I sat with you know this person. I won’t I won’t call anybody out because it just happened recently but I just sat with this person and I just used his first name to reference it so I’m so cool but but but yeah man we got the best tour So thanks to them to Dave to Bob the entire Schnook’s team for for showing us around. We got a a very inside look at their flagship store in Saint Louis and it was, it was pretty damn amazing. Really remarkable.
I mean from just the the overall appearance and experience of the store all the way through to each and every single component of the technology that they have in their store. Some that we didn’t even really know about. So look forward to content coming out from that soon so that you can get a view of that store for yourself. Yeah. And and was coming home on the plane.
She’s got her headphones and she’s like don’t talk to me, I’m editing. So we got some a nice person when that happens. Shocking. I just need to be heads down and focus. You said it, not me.
You said it not me. But yes. But she’s got she’s going to do her best and we got some great footage of what is just an absolutely amazing and quite honestly a road map for all groceries to follow. In terms of where the future of retail is headed in our opinion, right. Well, Chris, even better.
We have. It’s my favorite show and special guest show back back for their regularly scheduled monthly appearance to consultants from the A&M Consumer and retail group, David Schneidman and Truett Horn. David, Double Chicken Dave, as he’s also known from former episodes. Double Chicken Dave, welcome back. Tell the audience a little bit about you.
Hi. Yes, thank you. So the Double Chicken Dave is from a comment I made about Sweet Green. And just so you know, I do eat Sweet green weekly and I still put double chicken, double chicken all the way every time. I’m a senior director here at A&M, been with the company for 2 1/2 years before that spent over a decade in industry.
My passion is consumer and growth, but you know, I still like to dabble in retail and cost and operating model, Native New Yorker. And I live in Austin, TJX with my beautiful family. Amazing. Welcome back, Truett. You’re you’re a return guest as well.
Truett Horn, tell us a little bit about you.
Great to see you again, Chris and Anne and and glad to be on the show. So my name is Truett, I’m with, I’m a partner with our CRG team, been with the firm a couple years from Dallas. I’ve been here a number of years and most of my work is in retail and particularly. When there’s a large scale change or turn around type situation, so categories I work with apparel, home, specialty, there’s going to be a few of those topics or you know those those kind of verticals today.
So excited to Yeah, it’s great to have you back. What show is this for you, Truett? Is it 3? Where, Where? Where?
Are we this is number.
This is 3 3. Hopefully it gets better every time, but you can tell me third time is the charm. That’s what they say, Truett. That’s right. All right.
Yes, that’s right. All right, Chris, let’s get to the headlines. Yes. Yeah. And I think we should.
But before we do that, I do want to tell our audience about Manifest. Yes, Manifest is the future of Logistics Conference where over 250 thought leaders will come together in Vegas the week before Super Bowl and they’re all going to share their insights in over 120 sessions. My buddy Moyden, actually he just hit me up, the Chief Supply Chain officer at American Tire Distributors. He told me he’s going to be there yesterday on LinkedIn. And so I think all of you too, all of you out there should be too.
So you can view the just announced agenda and save $200.00 on your registration, which also coincidentally is $800 if you try to register on site. It’s an $800 savings if you try to register on site. And you can do that by visiting manifest vegas.com/omnitalk. That’s Manifest vegas.com/omni talk. And prices do go up tomorrow, Friday, October 27th.
So come join anime and maybe, just maybe an. I think we should consider this. Actually, I think we should stick around for Super Bowl weekend. I’m just going to place my bets and then dip. You’re going to leave?
Yeah, I would. I might actually consider sticking around. So if you’re interested, you want to stick around with me? Hang out in Vegas for the weekend. Drop me a line.
All right. And today’s FAST 5. We’ve got news on a new AI tool from Amazon, HomeGoods shutting down its e-commerce site, Kroger attempting to trace the environmental impact of its retail media network. Best Buy Buy Babies reopening. But we begin today with more big news out of Walmart.
And that’s right, Chris, headline 1. Walmart has committed to secure and transparent AI usage. What does that mean exactly, you might ask? Well, let me tell you, according to chain storage, Walmart has issued a public guarantee that it will only develop and deploy artificial intelligence or AI for those people who have not been living in this world for the last three years. A technology that is, they will be using artificial intelligence technology in a safe and ethical manner.
The company has released what it is called its Responsible AI Pledge. The pledge is centered around six commitments that the company says highlight how customers, members and associates can expect to use, can expect Walmart, sorry to use AI responsibly, and throughout all phases of AI technology. And the six principles include transparency, security, privacy, fairness, accountability, and customer centricity, of course. Truett, I need to get your thoughts right away here. Do they need all six?
Is this valuable? What do you think about this approach on AI from Walmart?
There, there’s AI. Think a couple, a couple of angles to think about. First is it’s really hard to argue with transparency, security, customer centricity. So I mean, I think at A at a macro level. Good, good principles to follow as a good corporate steward I think probably most important is I think one is Walmart who’s always been a techno.
You know technological leader in in retail is just to make sure that they’re thinking ahead keeping up with the likes of their one of their biggest competitors Amazon, which is also on the topic here, Google, Meta and others who’ve officially come out and said. We’re you know developing our own Gen. AI capabilities and this is how we’re going to to use them. And I think for them it’s it’s as much keeping up and and you know positioning themselves as as in the same voice and and presence as some of those other technology leaders. I think the second thing which is I think more valuable, is really how they’re using Gen.
AI, and I think the use cases they’ll actually apply is what creates value and so things around. Which was also in the article, their search capabilities, how they’re trying to make that easier for customers, There’s complex transactions that it can help. There’s a virtual try on and and you know viewing furniture in in your home which is you know ultimately taking a while to reach maturation. And so the actual Gen. AI investments they’re making can can help consumers and actually drive conversion and and loyalty with their consumers.
I think that’s the more relevant. Angle Engine AII think these other principles it’s good to define, but you know probably more falls into how they you know view themselves as a as a corporate through or their ESG etcetera and ultimately being transparent. So kind of my take overall.
Yeah, I agree, David, anything you throw in there, are you, do you agree with what Truett said? I actually do agree with them, you know say 100%. I don’t think we’re going to necessarily agree on the other on the other four. So but no, we’re completely on the same page here. Yeah, I I agree.
I mean I think if you look at the other companies who are coming out as Truett mentioned some of those Google meta, Microsoft Open AI, anthropic and inflection who are mentioned it particularly in this article. But those who are coming out and really talking about this, it shows Walmart’s desire and really you know putting it out there as Walmart as a tech company as well as one of the biggest retailers in the US And really their focus to kind of place themselves in the in that group or in that that other arena of some of the biggest technology companies that are impacting where the future of AI will go. But Chris close out with your thoughts. No, I mean real quickly I mean I think I think you know corporate stewardship matters and Walmart’s showing leadership here. I mean that’s the point I would make here.
I mean, you could try to poo poo this all you want, but like, they’re actually doing it. Like how many other companies are are doing this. And it’s important that more and more people take this approach on AII think the more we can write down my one of my favorite things I ever heard working at Target was it’s not a plan until you write it down. So you’re not going to have a process for how you’re going to deploy AI until you write it down. And so everyone, every organization should be having the same stewardship in how they’re trying to go about it.
And so kudos to Walmart. I can’t remember, honestly. And the last time wheel ambassad Walmart for everything. I for anything. I feel like they’ve been on A roll here on this show.
Without a doubt. Without a doubt. All right, headline 2. Amazon is now letting advertisers use generative AI to spruce up their product imagery. According to The Verge, Amazon is beta testing AI image generation tools for its advertisers, offering an easy way to create backgrounds or scenes around whatever product ad buyers are hoping to sell.
Amazon says the new feature is quote designed to remove creative barriers and enable brands to produce lifestyle imagery that helps improve their ads performance. End Quote. For example, Amazon says putting products in a lifestyle scene versus just leaving them on a stand alone white background can lead to 40% higher click through rates, especially when Pumpkin Spice is involved. I mean that’s the if you see the video Chris put out on LinkedIn, that’s not even calculable. And no, I mean you got apsl up that I love that that’s a filter option.
Is like pumpkin spice up this image. Is it really? That’s great. I did. I missed that in that video.
Oh man. All right, so this one we’re going to go to you again. Would you be advising brands to leverage this new capability from Amazon? What do you think here?
I like this one. And I think it’s a, it’s a solution for, you know, they’re they’re stellar. It’s there’s a little bit of a little YouTube video that was attached to the article that kind of showed how this worked in practice. Looks simple, easy to use. Is it perfect?
Absolutely not. I think it noted a couple of forks that were on top of each other and and ultimately do you need that next to the toaster. So you’re going to see these types of things happen. But I think it’s just you know go back to the the previous conversation we had around specific use cases, just leveraging Gen. AI capabilities to make sellers lives easier to make customers lives easier.
I think it’s AI think it’s a good idea. Is it breakthrough? Probably not, but it it shows a solution orientation from Amazon that they’re known for.
Yeah, I agree 100%. I mean, I have thing I love about this show and is sometimes we just get to cover headlines that are just awesome and that we want people to know about because we’re seeing them. We want the retail executives that are listening to see them. So my 2 words for this is no brainer. Like, honestly, what do you think, though?
Yeah, I agree. I mean, I think as true I mentioned, these are the appropriate use cases for Gen. AI. These are the, these are the scenarios that are not super sexy, but they’re saving time. They’re allowing, especially the smaller sellers on Amazon.
I think that’s where I really start to get into this and I love it. I don’t think based on my experience you know that Target and other places who have created the background images and spent the hundreds of thousands of dollars on the shoots to create those background images say like those companies I think will still be super involved making sure that the fork is not next to the toaster and all those crazy things that happen on a shoot. But I do think that this is a really smart thing for you know the the mid size seller to be able to just jazz up their images especially when you look at 40% increase in engagement you know in those images and they it does matter. Pumpkin spicing up a picture matters to whether or not somebody is going to be picking your image or product over another one. And I think down the road what I’m really excited about is I think this could be really cool as you start to incorporate this more into video and motion too because we we heard Amazon announced at Amazon Unbox this week too that they’re starting to allow more more opportunities for those SM BS to be able to to produce live Motion content for streaming Amazon streaming services.
So I think when you’re able to really pinpoint this to time of year to contacts to consumer like and using the same Gen. I tools, I think that could be really powerful. Yeah, great points. So David, are you going to go contrarian on us or are you going to agree with us? Are we, are we unanimous in this one?
I think we are unanimous. So first and foremost, you know this is a good, powerful tool to leverage AI. And I think what Amazon’s doing is being quite innovative here in leveraging it in a way that really is a symbiotic relationship with their with their customers but then also with their consumers or their suppliers. A big thing with the suppliers is how do you mitigate non working media. They don’t want to put a lot of money into creative.
They want to put money into driving sales and creating a product shot that is just of the key visual And then having to do a different types of shots related to lifestyle imagery is expensive. You that’s multiple shoots and by leveraging the same key hero shot and now putting on AI on top of it is a huge value add for them that will not only drive sales but mitigate a lot of cost potentially. And so I think this is, I think this is great. Yeah. And where this goes next to is actually 3D imagery like you’re going to get to the 3D side of this too because I know there’s companies that are trying to do that as well.
So. So we got unanimity in this show up to this point. Unanimity, unanimity. Unanimity. All right.
Let’s go to headline 3. HomeGoods has shut down its e-commerce sites according to Business Insider. The discount home decor chain, which is owned by TJX Company, sent an e-mail to customers announcing that it would stop offering online shopping after October 21st. Quote. We’ve made the decision to focus our resources on our brick and mortar stores and quote the e-mail message said while adding that it would also be announcing, “many new store openings.”
TJX also reported this past August that net sales from e-commerce were less than 2% of total sales in its most recent quarter. David, we’re going to you for some this one bold move from home goods. What do you think? Do you agree with it?
I’m a fan of it. Yes, I am. I am. You know, there’s that concept of everyone needs to be Omni channel. But I actually think this fits within their core competency.
If you think about HomeGoods, they’re all about holiday and and or seasonality and surprise and delight. And so when you go in there, it’s almost like an adventure. And they have what I’m calling an awkward but very curated assortment. They know their core consumer, they know what their, they know what their purpose is. And I think when you think about online, it’s much more intentional and you’re there for a specific need.
And I don’t think they can compete with you know other competitors whether that is Etsy, you know Amazon, Target and and the Walmart and the other and the other B. So you know I don’t know their P&L but if it’s 2% and they’re probably putting a lot of investment in their their they got to be you know maybe break even if they’re lucky. And so I think from a poor competency of financial aspect, it really makes sense and they can have a singular vision and really drive in store experience and curation. So I’m a fan of it and it fits within the TJX model If you think, if you think about that with the rest of the portfolio, yeah, 100 percent, 100%, yeah, I I think I remember when we first covered the story when they were going online and I remember thinking like this sounds amazing, but it’s a huge feat when you have single products that you’re trying to get you know, eyes on or trying to have visibility to in store and then to be able to promise to that customer that’s very loyal to you. But Chris, you agreed with.
Yeah, I do. Resolutely, Yeah. And I think on that show too, if I remember right, we, we said there were a lot of watch outs called out because you’re right, like the onesie and twosie thing. I actually think it’s impossible to do this business online the way TJX does it. I I would, I would go so far as to say it’s impossible like you have ones and twosie items that you’re trying to sell online.
So there’s no way you can be profitable because the whole idea of e-commerce is you’re picking out of 1 warehouse a lot of units. You’re trying to move through a lot of units or you’re doing the marketplace approach where Amazon is taking advantage of the people trying to do that, right. And then don’t even get me started on like, which is probably what what precipitated this was the Omni channel idea of like buy online, pick up in store curbside. That’s impossible in these stores. Like the data accuracy that’s going to be needed to make that happen is just not, it’s not going to work.
And so as it stands right now, yeah, right. And so they’re going to, so they have to give it up. So, but my point on this though is TJX has got to be really careful because Amazon I think is going to be gunning for this very soon. They just announced just walk out technology and apparel. They could easily start to do this thing in the same space with all their return items where they then get that inventory accuracy and they can know what can be shipped and sold online.
And so when that day comes, look out TJX because I and I think it’s coming and I think it’s going to be here within the next three to five years too would be my prediction. Bold, bold prediction. Truett, where do you fall on this?
I I agree with with what’s been outlined by Kristen and Dave and you know HomeGoods at their their core competency and the treasure hunt and and stores and they they’ve proven that they can drive growth without the e-commerce business plus 8% on a comp sales basis. And I would just say continue to to focus on your core competencies and and open stores and drive growth that way versus focusing on the digital business.
So I I don’t know that there’s much that I would add outside of I don’t think saying it’s impossible, it is possible. Now whether or not that’s going to be a profitable endeavor after the things that Trua had called out, where you know, is this really with what’s going to move their bottom line, probably not. Is Amazon going to come in and eat their lunch if they can get this figured out? Debatable, I think. I think that it comes down to like, are we going to start having manufacturers?
RFID tagging, things like this is not just an an issue in this treasure hunt experience in the HomeGoods area, but also for other things like if we want resale to take off in the future, like the way the visibility to what is in stores I think has to be an investment that’s made at the manufacturer and retailer’s end to make sure that you know this process can be as seamless online as it or as it is offline for for a retailer like HomeGoods. So not impossible. Just is it part of the investment that they’re willing to make? Yeah, I would say it’s impossible right now under the current technological strength of how a retailer, particularly TJX, is doing its business. All right, Headline 4, Kroger wants to trace the impact of its retail media network on and the environment.
According to Chain Storage, Kroger Precision Marketing, the retail media business unit of Kroger, will become the first retail media network to measure carbon emissions through a collaboration with supply Chain emissions measurement and reduction specialist Scope 3. Kroger will use Scope Three’s open source methodology and emissions model to measure the carbon impact by applying Kroger’s audience data to off site media campaigns. The idea being that advertiser should understand the impact of wasted online ad impressions. David, curious, do you think this is a real thing that brands care about sustainable retail media or do you think this is just PR hype, PR hype. I think it’s a really, I think it’s a total stretch, really stretch.
So wow, the concept of being environmentally friendly and you know having offset carbon footprint is super important, but I think that’s more you know in the physical manifestation of products. So supply chain, if we’re thinking or you know in store, actual experience in inventory, if we’re talking about digital advertising and media and translating that to high emission inventory, I think it’s a total stretch, right. I think like I, I think they’re they’re shooting for the moon on this one, talking about the moon, this is like when you know brands send their product to space like why it’s, you know, it’s APR play. So like I’m all for mitigating ad impressions. Like I completely agree, I just don’t like that is why are we wasting spend on you know that’s a lot of cost and that’s a lot of time and efficiency.
If we understand that those impressions aren’t driving sales, but I don’t think translating that to the actual environment or carbon footprint works. And then they’re talking about how they’re comparing their carbon footprint to other retail medias. And as a brand, I would focus more on you know, you know demographics, you know what’s your, the amount, your size of opportunity with impressions, with your traffic, you know with your CPC and then ultimately conversion then your, your environmental impact there ’cause I think it’s it’s, it’s difficult to really right your return on ad spend. I mean that’s what you’d be focused on. I mean, yeah, it’s not you know return on ad spend to environmental impact.
I think that’s right. Yeah. That’s what not return on add sustainability, right. No, I mean but there are some interesting angles here too. But like, but that is the way the article couch did it was like basically like telling you if you’re making bad investments with your media spend, right.
That’s essentially what it was. It was saying it was another way of saying that. So and what do you think though you you don’t like this at all. I think whatever the award is for public relations, the Kroger Precision marketing team should win that 1000 * /. I think this is the insight that they found.
Oh my God, I mean yeah great. This is giving, this gives Kroger a bullet to put on their how we’re sustainable site of their part of their website. It gives every brand that’s part of all those goals that everyone has those targets like they’ve got the they’ve got they work hard. Does this impact what what really comes down to for me, does this impact my choice as a Kroger consumer of going to Kroger over another retailer? Absolutely not.
Is this going to make an impact in the sustainability that I look for as a consumer? No, no one cares about this. I really does it impact your decision as a CPG brand of where to place your money. It sounds like Dave says no. What about you?
No. Like it’s it all comes down to money. This is like a such ABS thing. I can’t interesting. I might go the other way on this on you guys.
True. What do you think first before I jump in here?
I just agree. Unfortunately, I think it’s it, consumers don’t care about it. I would be shocked if brands care about it, if there’s other uses for it in terms of PR, etcetera, go for it. But given, you know, retail media is still a, you know, pretty in its nascent sea in terms of just the stage. And I would focus on driving return 1st and making sure that there’s actually growth in the platforms that are being used.
Yeah. See, I don’t disagree with anything you three said, but I think there’s a unique angle here that I think is quite fascinating from like the merchandising marketing standpoint of like of running Kroger’s media network. Like in in a lot of ways it creates the opportunity for a new metric to come out of this. Like, so like just like absolute waste, right. And so like, I don’t know how you do that, but like, let’s say it’s like on a score of 100, right.
And so if I tell ACPG that your your ad spend was 19 out of 100 in environmental waste, right, like that’s going to have an? Impact on people and like that could be about people. I think it’s what if I was 95 out of 100 on driving sales there though. Yeah, right. Well, they probably are correlated though, right.
So that’s the thing, Like if it’s about wasted ad spend and inefficient ad spend, they’re probably correlated and it calls the CPG onto the carpet if they’re not performing well. And so I think that could have an impact on how people view this over time. But anyway, just throwing that little wrinkle in there. But, you know, I could see that that’s not a very strong point. So I will concede you’re, you’re floating on the raft with Jack outside of the Titanic.
You’re floating on the board. This is, you’re off the board, then you’re off the board. Not going to work for you. All right, let’s go to the final headline, 5. Bye bye, Baby is making a comeback with plans to open 11 stores.
This one’s for you, Truett. According to Chain Storage, Dream On Me, the baby goods manufacturer company that acquired the brand through bankruptcy proceedings, is reopening the stores just in time for the holiday season. They plan to launch a website this month as well. The company will open 11 stores in November as part of this initial relaunch with locations from Massachusetts to Maryland, and the stores will offer quote, an elevated shopping experience and quote along with an updated registry, according to what a company spokesperson told the news outlet. David, I’m going to go to you first.
I want to know what advice you would have for Dream On Me which is a great name as they yeah, I thought you made this up. You thought I made this up. I did dream as they prepare to launch this brand. What what what advice would you have David. So I think the what they said in the article and what we’re talking about, they’re they’re doing one of the two things which is that really doubling down on the digital experience, super important, leveraging QR codes, having a seamless app, self checkout in today’s day and age with where brick and mortar experience is having that in store, digital seamless experience is huge.
You know I have two kids under the age of four, so this is very near and dear to my heart. And so the other piece I would say is make sure you get the assortment correct. I think assortment is super important here and I think that’s a big reason why they struggled with foot traffic. It needs to be super curated on big ticket item purchases that are what you’re what are a necessity for the for the family and then your daily needs very curated. 2 to 3 tiers of good, better, best, don’t you know?
Overthink this and just something that it’s a staple for the family and bye bye baby where it was before the assortment was all over the place. It was confusing. There wasn’t a clear tier and price architecture. So I think assortment is huge here as they think about relaunching and then also continuing to drive that loyalty through better assortment digital experience. So those are the two things.
I think one of them, if they actually do what they say. Will, will, will be a nice check. Yeah, that’s interesting. Truett, what do you, where do you come down on this?
I think it’s the right you know. Kind of way to put your toe in the water to see what’s what’s left in terms of the equity in the brand. And I I do think Bye Bye baby does have equity. It was obviously the kind of charm in the OR the jewel in the portfolio, the Bed, Bath and Beyond. You know just it’s always a struggle.
I think it’s it’s a playbook that you’ve seen others follow. Toys-R-Us is a top of mind example where they’ve kind of. Come back in terms of the brand and and leveraging that licensing and recreating that experience and there’s slow growth in terms of brick and mortar, but I think it’s the the right thing to test and then let’s just see if there’s a pulse from the consumer for this brand anymore. But I think all those fundamental, you only have one chance to relaunch. And so it has to be in place in terms of the experience and the assortment to to have, you know, to help them and make sure that.
Yeah. Yeah, Chris, I want to hear what your thoughts are. David Truett outlined some very important components, making sure you have the right assortment, getting your digital and Omni channel presence. Right. You were a former baby merchant.
Like what do they need to be thinking about as they’re going into these eleven stores? Yeah, I said this on the show before, our favorite business I’ve ever run. You know, I I would agree with what David and Truett both said. The element I would add to it is, I think and this comes through in the article too, is you’ve got to lean into first time moms, First time moms are the differentiator if you’re going to be successful. So that means registry and service.
You got to play those up if this is going to work at all. With that said though, I am very skeptical that this is going to work in the long run because online is such a factor as David said and there’s a lot of companies that know how to do online very well. And the other point thing is just macroeconomics. The demographics of the country, Walmart, Amazon and Target are already fulfilling such a need at mass for the first time mom that I think it makes longevity of a store concept in this space very difficult to do and to grow the footprint as well, which is why I think we’ve seen this business struggle over time. Yeah, I mean I think I agree with you guys.
I think, you know David and Truett also called this out, like the the way that I see this working and we you and I have gone back and forth about the future baby store experience several times. But the way that I, I approach this is like you have to be REI for baby products in gear. Like you have to be the the place where first time moms are going to the store because they have no idea and you do all the research for them. Yes, you can do that online, but like are you able to walk in talk to an associate who puts your mind at ease, who gets you, you know every single best possible product at the price point that you’re wanting to be at, which is exactly what David was saying too. Like that is great.
However, like what is your what is your big box store experience been in in recent days, in recent shopping days? Like I I think the challenge here is actually going to be to find those associates who are as knowledgeable to do this at scale to put your mind at ease. I think that’s yeah, I, I, I you gave me a light bulb. We love Target. Target’s great.
It curates and has everything we need. But we also do education before we get in the shop so we know what we’re looking for. The educated category. Exactly. So those who don’t, who aren’t as educated and to your point are like need something like REI where it’s like I can come in and give me everything instead of going camping for the first time.
I’m having a baby and you need to tell me what I need when I need it. And there’s a lot of, there’s a lot of products that you don’t think of there’s a lot of things and you’re you’re in where you are, you’re you’re you’re clouded judgement. So but I just think you need to make sure you have that that experience correct because if not how are you going to compete with the Walmart and the Target. And yeah the other element I would add here which is really important for this category is a lot of these products are market available goods. So you can go up market and the reason for that is the Product Safety thing.
So the things you need as a first time mom or first time parent, the car seats, the crib, the stroller, all those are market available. So and you don’t have the private label to buoy you up like say in a Dick’s Sporting Goods how they’ve leaned into it, that kind of thing. And so that causes a real challenge because showrooming doesn’t go away, right. So even if you get the great experience that great help, if cost is a factor, price is a factor, you’re going to go in and get that help and you’re still going to buy it somewhere else. And so that’s that’s still is the big rub in trying to get this store concept off the ground.
All right. That was a great. I liked that one. Yeah, it’s my favorite story. Yeah.
OK, let’s go into the lightning round, you guys. Truett, first question is for you. Tinder now allows other people to swipe for you, including your own mother. Truett, what’s 1 characteristic that you think your mom would have looked for in a partner when selecting a potential match for you?
I’m not a Tinder user and this is you know, my dating experience pre dated all these apps but. If you were able to look at, you know, not just physical attributes, I think the one attribute my mom would want to find is patient, because I’m really, really hard to deal with. And David Snideman can can attest to this.
That’s awesome. And it’s actually a great segue into my question for David next, which is that KFC is reportedly testing bringing its original Recipe chicken to the chicken tender. Dave, if you could describe your personality as only original Recipe or extra crispy, which of those two attributes best describes you well, I would say, you know, yes, need to have patience with Truett, but Truett needs to have patience with me because I would definitely say I’m extra crispy. The best kind double chicken, Dave, best kind of chicken. Oh no, I’m all a little recipe, you know, I wouldn’t say I’m original, so definitely extra crispy.
Maybe a little spice in there too. Extra spicy, crispy, or whatever it was. That sounds good.
That sounds good.
I’m so down for the chicken tender original recipe. Like, that’s that’s those are soggy. Nobody wants a soggy chicken. No, that’s like finding gold. And like, I can’t wait for that to debut.
All right, David, I’m going back to you. Kim Kardashian is launching her SKIMS product for men right now, leaning into boxers and T-shirts and tanks and socks. If Kim came to you with the idea to push it further and develop shapewear for men, what would you say to her? What would you recommend? I’d I’d say just stick with your underwear.
Maybe. Maybe, you know, maybe, you know I wear like if I’m going to go for a run and you have like the tighter, yes, maybe something like that. But I think getting into like moisture wicking pieces is a little bit of a far stretch getting in a maybe athleisure with that. But I would say stick with just stick with your traditional underwear and socks and take. Although I do want you men to experience wearing shapewear and like having to go to the bathroom with shapewear on.
I would like men to experience that at some point in time down the road. You know, it’s not that different than like the spandex. I used to wear it in my shorts and basketball in high school. Oh, let me tell you. No, it was.
It was. It was.
It was stomach pain inducing and I can remember it vividly, all right. Especially when you like waiting for the quarter to get over, you’re like, Oh my God, could this quarter just end? All right, tie events. That’s what it’s for. It’s when you want to look a little bit better, you can.
That’s what you need, right. Right. It’s great. It’s great. All right.
True. Last one, Bush’s Best, is amplifying it’s light hearted image by making Halloween costumes available this year that look like Bush’s bean cans Truett. Other than baked beans, what is the last thing you would want to eat before putting on a terribly complex Halloween costume?
You know those zip up costumes that have air flow and it’s it’s completely covered? Anything that would smell bad, like onion or garlic, Where you’re smelling your own breasts. Oh, your own breasts.
Oh my God, yeah, you don’t want. To be like before you put on a mask, right? Yeah. No, I think that’s true. All right, Happy birthday today to Dylan McDermott, warlock from Top Gun Maverick Ann, who’s named Charles Parnell.
I’ll take your word for it. Yeah. And to Don Draper’s first and one of the his most lovely mistresses, the great Rosemarie DeWitt. Do you remember her? Anne Rosemarie DeWitt?
All right, I bet you will if you look her up later. All right. 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 Fast 5 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 that is exclusive to us.
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Dave, if people want to get in touch with you, pick the brains of you and your colleagues at the A&M Consumer and Retail group. What’s the best way for them to do that? I would say the two best ways or one go to our website itsalvarezandmarcel-crg.com. And if you want to reach out to True dot I individually, LinkedIn, LinkedIn. Just shoot us a note, we’ll respond.
Awesome, awesome. So also on behalf of Dave and Truett, thanks for being here with us, on behalf of Anne and all of us here at Omni Talk. As always, be careful out there. The Omni talk Fast Five is brought to you in association with the A&M consumer and Retail Group the a m consumer and Retail Group is a management consulting firm that tackles the most complex challenges and advances its clients people and communities toward their maximum potential CRG brings the experience tools and operator like pragmatism to help retailers and consumer products companies be on the right side of disruption and Firework is the largest video Commerce solution built for the world’s leading Brands they Empower brands with the stoppable and live stream video on their own websites where people like to shop put your Commerce in motion with firework find out more at firework.com and Avalara. Avalara makes tax compliance faster, easier, more accurate, and more reliable for 30,000+ business and government customers in over 90 countries. Avalara leverages 1,200+ signed partner integrations to power tax calculations, document management, tax return filing, and tax content access. Visit avalara.com to improve your compliance journey and TGW Revolutionize your grocery supply chain with TGW! Their experts tailor automation solutions to YOUR needs, ensuring you have the edge. Work with TGW before your competition does! Discover more at tgw-group.com and Sezzle. Sezzle is an Innovative buy now pay later solution that allows Shoppers to split purchases into four interest-free payments over six weeks to learn more visit sezzle.com