The Retail Focus Podcast
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.

Retail Focus 12/9/20 – Customers Shopping on Values; Mobile Wallet Adoption; 2020’s Returns Landscape

Retail Focus 12/9/20 – Customers Shopping on Values; Mobile Wallet Adoption; 2020’s Returns Landscape

December 10, 2020

We’re joined by two interview guests in this episode. First is Karl Haller, Consumer Center of Competency Leader at IBM, who joins us to discuss how retail shoppers are continuing to increasingly make purchase decisions based on their values. Then, Vidya Peters, Chief Marketing Officer at Marqeta, addresses their latest data regarding mobile wallet adoption by consumers. In our news segment, we look at CBRE’s latest reverse logistics report to gain insight on what the returns landscape may look like after the 2020 holiday season.

Retail Focus 12/6/20 – Price & Private Label Predictions for 2021; Kroger Notes Digital Sales Profitability

Retail Focus 12/6/20 – Price & Private Label Predictions for 2021; Kroger Notes Digital Sales Profitability

December 8, 2020

Our interview guest is Cheryl Sullivan, President of DemandTec; Cheryl looks ahead to 2021 regarding retail pricing and private label market share. Speaking of private label, Kroger set a company record in Q3 in the number of private label products released and were also incrementally profitable on the digital side of their business—we discuss them and Goldman Sachs numbers regarding consumer saving during the pandemic.

Retail Focus 11/29/20 – Flyer Readership Trends; Projecting Thanksgiving Weekend Retail Data

Retail Focus 11/29/20 – Flyer Readership Trends; Projecting Thanksgiving Weekend Retail Data

November 30, 2020

Our interview guest is Adam Halim, the Senior Vice President of Business Development at Flipp. Adam discusses the current state of flyer readership in North America as it pertains to retail, and where the advertising medium is headed over the next several years. In the news segment, we glance at Deloitte’s annual pre-Thanksgiving pulse survey as a means to determine how traffic may be falling this Thanksgiving weekend. Finally, we look ahead to a leadership change and slight merchandise shift at Dick’s Sporting Goods.

Retail Focus 11/22/20 – Oracle’s Global Holiday Shopping Survey; Categories of Strength at Walmart

Retail Focus 11/22/20 – Oracle’s Global Holiday Shopping Survey; Categories of Strength at Walmart

November 23, 2020

Our interview guest is Mike Webster, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Oracle Retail, who joins the show to discuss findings in their annual global holiday shopping survey. Additionally, we look to Walmart’s earnings call to determine categories of strength in general merchandise as they broke down third quarter sales at Walmart and Sam’s Club. Finally, we look ahead to Amazon potentially refocusing work at Prime Air.

Retail Focus 11/15/20 – Navigating Delivery Delays & Restrictions, Dillard’s Strategy Pays Off (For Now)

Retail Focus 11/15/20 – Navigating Delivery Delays & Restrictions, Dillard’s Strategy Pays Off (For Now)

November 16, 2020

Our interview guest is Rick Watson, Founder & CEO of RMW Commerce Consulting; he joins us to discuss how retailers are attempting to navigate the muddy logistics waters of Q4 by dealing with surging costs, delays, and volume restrictions. In our news segment, we discuss how Dillard’s is reaping the rewards of a long-standing company policy and emerging profitable during the pandemic and how budget grocers could possibly (paradoxically) see waning sales as the pandemic progresses. We’re also joined by a surprise guest to discuss retail visits in Ohio and Pennsylvania.

Retail Focus 11/8/20 – Updating Retail Back-End Processes; Diving into Grocery-Anchored Centers

Retail Focus 11/8/20 – Updating Retail Back-End Processes; Diving into Grocery-Anchored Centers

November 9, 2020

Our interview guest is Shash Anand, Vice President of Product Strategy at SOTI, who discusses the updates retailers and their suppliers are making to their back-end technology to meet changing customer demands. In our news segment, we discuss a business update from Regency Centers, a leading operator of grocery-anchored centers in the U.S., and the types of retailers filling their future lease pipeline. We close by discussing Pet Valu’s decision to close their U.S. stores and potential impacts for the likes of Pet Supplies Plus and Petsense.

Retail Focus 11/1/20 – The State of Extended Warranties in Retail; Why Auto Parts Retail is Flourishing

Retail Focus 11/1/20 – The State of Extended Warranties in Retail; Why Auto Parts Retail is Flourishing

November 2, 2020

Our interview guest is Woody Levin, the CEO and Co-Founder of Extend—he joins us to discuss the rapidly evolving extended warranty space, something that touches nearly every retailer yet about which little is known. Additionally, we look at O’Reilly Auto Parts’ latest quarter and seek leadership insight on why auto parts retailers are seeing a surge in sales in non-traditional categories during the pandemic. We finish by looking ahead at the rural retail real estate landscape, and how there may be less vacancy in the future as a result of potential rural migration.

Retail Focus 10/25/20 – CBRE’s U.S. Retail Holiday Trends Guide; Albertsons Slowly Catching Up

Retail Focus 10/25/20 – CBRE’s U.S. Retail Holiday Trends Guide; Albertsons Slowly Catching Up

October 26, 2020

Our interview guest is Meghann Martindale, Global Head of Retail Research at CBRE; she joins us to discuss CBRE’s U.S. Retail Holiday Trends Guide and what shopping center operators have learned since the onset of the pandemic. In our news segment, we focus on Albertsons as they attempt to catch up to Kroger and Walmart with a solid quarter. Additionally, we look ahead to Petco’s rebranding strategy and their planned 2021 ad campaign.

Retail Focus 10/21/20 – Deloitte’s Consumer Holiday Survey; The Container Store Enjoying Fall

Retail Focus 10/21/20 – Deloitte’s Consumer Holiday Survey; The Container Store Enjoying Fall

October 21, 2020

Our interview guest is Rod Sides, Vice Chairman & U.S. Leader of Retail & Distribution for Deloitte, who joins us to discuss findings in their annual Holiday Survey. He addresses some of the main points of the subsequent reports and provides a historical perspective on the numbers. In our news segment, we discuss The Container Store, whose sudden surge of sales in September and October may be as attributable to smart marketing as macro trends.

 

To view and download the Deloitte Holiday Survey results, visit https://www2.deloitte.com/us/en/insights/industry/retail-distribution/holiday-retail-sales-consumer-survey.html

Retail Focus 10/18/20 – Updating POS Systems to Meet Mobility Demands; Walgreens’ Front-Store Solid

Retail Focus 10/18/20 – Updating POS Systems to Meet Mobility Demands; Walgreens’ Front-Store Solid

October 19, 2020

Our interview guest is Peter Sciara, the Senior Mobile Solutions Architect at Stratix. He joins us to discuss, among other things, the update of POS systems and other digital solutions for retailers as they rush to incorporate curbside and other mobile POS options for customers—including some of the differences in platforms (like iOS vs. Android) when doing so. In our news segment, we look at Walgreens’ recent earnings call, their stellar front-store sales, and the rebrand and relaunch of their mobile app tabbed for November.

Retail Focus 10/11/20 – Taking Pride in and Developing Retail Careers; Dollar General Introduces popshelf

Retail Focus 10/11/20 – Taking Pride in and Developing Retail Careers; Dollar General Introduces popshelf

October 12, 2020

Our interview guest is Ron Thurston, a retail expert and author of the upcoming book Retail Pride. He discusses the book, why those with retail careers should be proud of their industry, and how to develop a fulfilling career in retail. In our news segment, we take a look at Dollar General’s rollout of their new concept popshelf and how the genesis of the store concept had its origins in their NCI initiatives. And, we look ahead to Prime Day as well as Rite Aid’s purchase of Bartell Drugs in the PNW.

Retail Focus 10/4/20 – Dynamics of Retail Grocery Coops, Bed Bath & Beyond Attracts a Younger Crowd

Retail Focus 10/4/20 – Dynamics of Retail Grocery Coops, Bed Bath & Beyond Attracts a Younger Crowd

October 5, 2020

Our interview guest is Tjacob Smude, the produce manager at the Bisman Community Food Coop in Bismarck, ND. He discusses the structure of their coop, sourcing local product in North Dakota, and their mission to ensure community members in their metro area are well-educated about the food they purchase. In our news segment, we discuss Bed Bath & Beyond going all-in (with good success) on the college crowd, and we look ahead to a Supercenter refresh that might have Walmarts looking more like airports.

Retail Focus 9/27/20 – Direct-to-Consumer Retail from the Farm; Costco’s Seasonal Plans

Retail Focus 9/27/20 – Direct-to-Consumer Retail from the Farm; Costco’s Seasonal Plans

September 28, 2020

Our interview guest is Sarah Fischer, owner of Nature’s Pantry Farm in Minnesota; she discusses the unique nature of retailing products directly from a farm to consumers and working to anticipate demand to ensure a constant supply for customers. In our news segment, we discuss Costco’s latest quarterly earnings, but more importantly, some of their plans for the upcoming months, which include an adjustment to their seasonal approach from prior years and expansion of their warehouse footprint.

Retail Focus 9/20/20 – Getting a Product on Store Shelves; Deloitte Releases Holiday Shopping Projections

Retail Focus 9/20/20 – Getting a Product on Store Shelves; Deloitte Releases Holiday Shopping Projections

September 20, 2020

Our interview guests are Nick Guillen and Nick Ajluni, co-founders and co-CEOs of TRUFF; they discuss the process behind creating a product (in this case, premium hot sauce) and working with retailers to get the product on store shelves throughout the country. Additionally, they touch on ongoing programs they leverage with retailers to ensure that their product remains top-of-mind for customers. We discuss Deloitte’s 2020 holiday shopping projections in our news segment and look ahead to auto parts retailer earnings as well as an earnings call from Stitch Fix.

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