The Retail Focus Podcast
Retail Focus 4/25/21 – The Landscape of Retail Lighting; Digital Coupons and Organic Produce Increase Share

Retail Focus 4/25/21 – The Landscape of Retail Lighting; Digital Coupons and Organic Produce Increase Share

April 26, 2021

Our interview guest is Daniel Gold, founder of Future Energy Solutions, a leading provider of lighting-as-a-service for businesses nationwide. He joins us to discuss the current state of retail lighting, where it makes sense for retailers to seek energy efficiency, and why new models (such as lighting-as-a-service) may prove more cost-effective for retailers as it pertains to energy-efficient fixtures. In news, we cover data surrounding the increased use of digital coupons and a significant year-over-year increase in organic produce sales; we look ahead to Amazon’s announced palm-based payment technology for Whole Foods as well.

Retail Focus 4/18/21 – How Retail Customers are Paying in 2021; Kimco Seeks Expansion; Bed Bath & Beyond

Retail Focus 4/18/21 – How Retail Customers are Paying in 2021; Kimco Seeks Expansion; Bed Bath & Beyond

April 19, 2021

Our interview guest is Jim Johnson, head of Worldpay Merchant Solutions at FIS, who joins us to discuss data in their Global Payments Report and the Generation Pay Report about how retail customers are paying for goods in 2021 and the associated impacts on retailers. In news, we discuss an announced deal between Kimco and Weingarten Realty Investors that could impact the grocery-anchored center space, and Bed Bath & Beyond earnings as they look to a robust Q1.

 

If you wish to download the FIS reports, please visit here: https://www.fisglobal.com/generationpay ; https://worldpay.globalpaymentsreport.com/en/

Retail Focus 4/11/21 – Consumer Anxiety Begins to Lift in U.S.; Meijer Releases Sales Trends

Retail Focus 4/11/21 – Consumer Anxiety Begins to Lift in U.S.; Meijer Releases Sales Trends

April 12, 2021

Our interview guest is Anthony Waelter, vice chairman at Deloitte LLP and Deloitte’s U.S. consumer industry leader, who joins us to discuss their most recent Global State of the Consumer Tracker data. Specifically, we talk with him about consumer anxiety levels (and risk tolerance) as well as why consumers might buy more—or less—online post-pandemic. In news, we get a rare update from Meijer regarding sales trends in the past year, and we note sad news by way of BJ’s Wholesale Club.

Retail Focus 4/5/21 – PGA TOUR Superstore CEO Dick Sullivan; JOANN Sees Another Sales Leap

Retail Focus 4/5/21 – PGA TOUR Superstore CEO Dick Sullivan; JOANN Sees Another Sales Leap

April 6, 2021

Our interview guest is Dick Sullivan, President and CEO of PGA TOUR Superstore. He joins to discuss the last year for the company, what the accelerating popularity of golf may mean for the future, his experience as CMO at Home Depot during a time of unprecedented company growth, and how his experience in retail helped him in his leadership role with the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons. In news, we discuss another solid quarter of sales for JOANN (despite plummeting inventories) and why Walgreens may not see quite the financial benefit from COVID-19 vaccination traffic as speculated.

Retail Focus 3/28/21 – Alternative Wellness Product Education; H-E-B’s Northward Push; Casey’s Big Acquisition

Retail Focus 3/28/21 – Alternative Wellness Product Education; H-E-B’s Northward Push; Casey’s Big Acquisition

March 30, 2021

We discuss two stories of regional importance, first with Casey’s, as they reach a deal to purchase 49 Circle K locations from Couche-Tard. From there, we discuss news of H-E-B announcing their first Dallas-area flagship stores and look ahead to Walgreens’ earnings next week. In our interview segment, we revisit a chat with Colby McKenzie, principal at Enlighten Wellness, who speaks to the process behind educating both retailers and consumers about alternative wellness and CBD products in retail stores.

Retail Focus 3/21/21 – The Current State of Retail Real Estate; Petco’s “Customer Acquisition Machine”

Retail Focus 3/21/21 – The Current State of Retail Real Estate; Petco’s “Customer Acquisition Machine”

March 22, 2021

Our interview guest is Bruce Milton, Associate at Lee & Associates--LA North/Ventura, who joins us to discuss the current state of retail real estate, how companies are prospecting for new locations in 2021, and why cities should be proactive in zoning adjustments for retail landlords struggling with vacancies. In news, we talk Petco’s first earnings call since their January IPO and their ease with which they’re acquiring new customers (as well as some things to have on radar for 2021 as it pertains to product mix). And, we look ahead to REI’s annual member meeting in May.

Retail Focus 3/10/21 – Why Blockbuster Was “Built to Fail”; Dick’s Sporting Goods Reveals 2021 Outlook

Retail Focus 3/10/21 – Why Blockbuster Was “Built to Fail”; Dick’s Sporting Goods Reveals 2021 Outlook

March 11, 2021

Our interview guest is Alan Payne, author of the newly released book Built to Fail, which chronicles Blockbuster’s ascent and descent within the span of just two decades. He was a part of the leadership group at Border Entertainment—a Blockbuster franchisee who just shuttered their last store in 2018. In news, we discuss Dick’s Sporting Goods releasing their 2021 outlook and themes that may prove important to them over the next 10 months. Additionally, we look ahead to retailers navigating the gradual removal of mask mandates in the U.S.

Retail Focus 3/7/21 – The Next Step for Malls and Gallerias; Big Lots Eyes 2021 Expansion

Retail Focus 3/7/21 – The Next Step for Malls and Gallerias; Big Lots Eyes 2021 Expansion

March 8, 2021

Our interview guest is Howard Meitiner, Managing Director at Carl Marks Advisors and former President and CEO of Sephora USA; he joins us to discuss the immediate future for shopping malls and mall-based retailers and the differences in leading growth-centric retailers versus those recovering from previous struggles. In our news segment, we discuss Big Lots’ plans for 2021 (including development of new stores) and we look ahead to what could be a robust year for sporting goods retail.

Retail Focus 2/28/21 – Implementing Sustainability Practices at Ahold Delhaize; NRF’s 2021 Projections

Retail Focus 2/28/21 – Implementing Sustainability Practices at Ahold Delhaize; NRF’s 2021 Projections

March 1, 2021

Our interview guest is Brittni Furrow, VP of Sustainable Retailing & Healthy Living at Ahold Delhaize USA, who joins us to discuss ADUSA’s sustainability goals and why implementation of practices to support sustainability is important for grocery retailers. In news, we look at the NRF’s recent projections for 2021, TJX sales data, and a new partnership between Verizon and Deloitte designed to assist retailers with in-store processes.

Retail Focus 2/21/21 – Innovation at Washington Prime Group; Walmart Sees Grocery Sales Bump

Retail Focus 2/21/21 – Innovation at Washington Prime Group; Walmart Sees Grocery Sales Bump

February 22, 2021

Our interview guest is Jennifer Moretti, Senior VP and Chief Activation Officer at Washington Prime Group, who joins us to discuss innovation and upscaling for the REIT’s various initiatives (including Tangible). In news, we look at Walmart’s earnings call, as grocery comps see a sequential uptick for Walmart U.S. and Sam’s Club has their best quarter in terms of driving membership in six years. Finally, we look ahead to JoAnn’s proposed IPO.

Retail Focus 2/14/21 – The Pandemic’s Impact on Apparel Retail; Kimco’s Yearly Report

Retail Focus 2/14/21 – The Pandemic’s Impact on Apparel Retail; Kimco’s Yearly Report

February 15, 2021

Our interview guest is Alexa Driansky, the head of market and consumer insights for the retail practice at AlixPartners, who discusses how the pandemic has affected apparel retail from inventory to design. In news, we look at Kimco’s yearly report for 2020, which was released this week—the report suggests that rent may continue to increase at grocery-anchored centers in 2021 and provides other interesting insights. And, we look ahead to Aldi purportedly expanding their curbside services.

Retail Focus 2/7/21 – Changes in Hiring for Hourly Retail Positions; Dollar Tree Makes Two Announcements

Retail Focus 2/7/21 – Changes in Hiring for Hourly Retail Positions; Dollar Tree Makes Two Announcements

February 10, 2021

Our interview guest is Quincy Valencia, VP of Product Innovation for Hourly by AMS, who joins to discuss the state of retail hourly hiring. Topics include automation in the hiring process, increasing efficiency by routing candidates to ideal positions, and ensuring strong two-way communication throughout the journey. In news, we discuss two big announcements for Dollar Tree—one for each of their banners—and Uber’s acquisition agreement with Drizly.

Retail Focus 1/31/21 – The Current State of Natural & Organic Products, Tractor Supply Earnings

Retail Focus 1/31/21 – The Current State of Natural & Organic Products, Tractor Supply Earnings

February 1, 2021

Our interview guest is Diana Fryc, Partner and Chief Sales & Marketing Officer with Retail Voodoo and host of the Gooder podcast; she joins us to discuss brand and product development over the last several years in naturals and organics, how brands can diversify their customer base, and trends to look for in the near future. In news, Tractor Supply Company releases much-anticipated earnings that suggest people may be increasingly interested in products to make them for self-sufficient. We also discuss Hobby Lobby ending their 40% off coupon program.

Retail Focus 1/24/21 – 2021 Retail Industry Outlook; Addressing Technology in Retail in 2021

Retail Focus 1/24/21 – 2021 Retail Industry Outlook; Addressing Technology in Retail in 2021

January 24, 2021

We’re joined by two interview guests this week—first is Rod Sides, the vice chairman and leader of U.S. retail for Deloitte, who speaks to details surrounding their 2021 Retail Industry Outlook and insights from leading retail executives on the year ahead. Then, Shash Anand, VP of Product Strategy at SOTI, joins us to address what a positive technology experience looks like for the 2021 consumer and areas retailers need to be cognizant of as they scale up in-store tech. In our news segment, we discuss a yearly convenience store report and how ownership is shifting in that retail space.

Retail Focus 1/17/21 – Spirits Retail in 2021; Target & Nordstrom Provide Holiday Sales Numbers

Retail Focus 1/17/21 – Spirits Retail in 2021; Target & Nordstrom Provide Holiday Sales Numbers

January 18, 2021

Our interview guest is Mike Provance, the CEO of 3X3; Mike joins the show to discuss the state of beer, wine, and spirits retail in 2021, trends in the space, and how independent store operators managed to keep pace in 2020 with chain competition. In our news segment, we look at Target’s stellar holiday season sales and Nordstrom’s sales moving increasingly to digital. Finally, we discuss Petco’s IPO.

Retail Focus 1/10/21 – Communicating Post-Sale with Customers; L Brands Holiday Sales

Retail Focus 1/10/21 – Communicating Post-Sale with Customers; L Brands Holiday Sales

January 11, 2021

Our interview guest is Tobias Buxhoidt, co-founder and CEO of parcelLab; he discusses the importance of post-sale communication in e-commerce and why retailers should take ownership of the process rather than relying on third-party logistics firms. In news, we look at L Brands’ holiday sales updates and news that Lowe’s is expanding their outlet store concept. Additionally, we glance at news of Ahold Delhaize’s acquisition of FreshDirect.

Retail Focus 12/27/20 – Inspecting Goods En Route From China to Retailers; Early Holiday Sales Numbers

Retail Focus 12/27/20 – Inspecting Goods En Route From China to Retailers; Early Holiday Sales Numbers

December 28, 2020

Our interview guest is Sajag Agarwal, the Founder of Movley. He discusses the current state of inspections in China of goods bound for U.S. retailers, present shortcomings of the process on the macro level, and areas in which the process could or should be improved to reduce retailers’ risk. In our news segment, we discuss early holiday spend numbers from Mastercard SpendingPulse data and we close by looking ahead to small and mid-sized market retail sales in early 2021.

Retail Focus 12/20/20 – Retail Onboarding & Training Research; Grocery Survey Finds Customers Pleased

Retail Focus 12/20/20 – Retail Onboarding & Training Research; Grocery Survey Finds Customers Pleased

December 21, 2020

Our interview guest is Dr. Santiago Gallino, Assistant Professor of Operations, Information, and Decisions from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. He discusses some of his research and work with retailers regarding onboarding and training associates, and how retailers can look at data differently to determine appropriate staffing levels. Our news segment is led by a Retail Feedback Group study that suggests U.S. customers are overwhelmingly happy with their retail grocery experience, and we look ahead towards Rite Aid and Kroger’s list of potential breakthrough foods in 2021.

Retail Focus 12/16/20 – Rethinking Retail Communication; November U.S. Retail Data

Retail Focus 12/16/20 – Rethinking Retail Communication; November U.S. Retail Data

December 17, 2020

Our interview guest is Melissa Wong, CEO of Retail Zipline. Melissa joins the show to talk about ways in which communication within retail organizations has changed, challenges in communication posed in 2020, and why it is important for the corporate branch of a retail company to have a consistent two-way dialogue with individual stores. Our news segment looks at U.S. retail sales data for November, and we look ahead to JD Sports’ acquisition of Shoe Palace.

Retail Focus 12/13/20 – The State of Confectionary Retail; Sporting Goods Continue Hot Streak

Retail Focus 12/13/20 – The State of Confectionary Retail; Sporting Goods Continue Hot Streak

December 13, 2020

Our interview guest is Keith Cohn, founder and CEO of Candy Club, who offers specialty confections direct to consumers and wholesale to retailers in the U.S. He speaks about the state of confectionary retail, trends to watch for, and employing impulse buys outside of the front end. In our news segment, we discuss Academy Sports + Outdoors, who revealed stellar sales numbers as the sporting goods retail sector continues to surge. And, we look ahead to warehouse club membership sales and Chewy’s continued autoship growth.

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