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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
September 17, 2020
Our interview guest is Jon Cheney, the CEO and co-founder of Seek, a leading imaging provider for retailers. He discusses the technology behind implementing 3D images into augmented reality services for retailers and drawing AR out of apps and into browsers for digital commerce. We look at Walmart’s launch of Walmart+ in the news segment, and why it may be more instructive to view it as an expansion of Delivery Unlimited rather than “Walmart’s Prime.” And, we wrap up with news of Chewy’s new limited-SKU distribution center.
September 14, 2020
Our interview guest is Dani Cushion, the CMO at Cardlytics, who catches us up on summer purchase data and their latest State of Spend report, as well as how the data suggests a continued potential flattening of the holiday sales curve with the shift of Prime Day. Additionally, we discuss the stalking horse bid by REITs Simon Property Group and Brookfield Property Group for JCPenney’s retail operations and what Five Below is seeing regarding Halloween sales thus far.
September 8, 2020
Our interview guest is Mike Welsh, the chief creative officer for Mobiquity. Mobiquity counts among its clients Kum & Go and Wawa, and Mike discusses considerations that go into developing effective loyalty programs that give c-stores the ability to leverage apps to improve and enhance the customer experience. We discuss Duluth Trading Co. in our news segment, as they beat analyst expectations but warn of potential future shipping pitfalls. And, we look ahead to Giant Eagle’s proposed rollout of cashierless technology in a 100,000 square foot store.
September 4, 2020
Ben Houston, the founder of Threekit, joins the show to discuss how his Hollywood background let to the creation of a platform wherein retailers can create 3D images and virtual photographs for their e-commerce sites. Additionally, he’ll discuss the next phase in AR as it pertains to retailers. In the news segment, Michaels takes center stage with their positive earnings surprise and launch of MichaelsPro, designed to target high-volume “Makers.”
August 31, 2020
The pandemic has affected customer-facing aspects of retail, but what about the vendor-retailer relationship? Paul Lee, the CEO of NHN Global (parent of FashionGo), joins us to discuss hosting FashionGo Week, an online fashion trade show running through September 6. In news, dollar store earnings were revealed this week, and despite a strong showing from Dollar Tree, Dollar General is still the unquestioned leader of the space. The show is rounded out with a look at updated retail produce sales numbers and a glance at the surprising leading growth driver for convenience stores in 2020: beer. For more about FashionGo Week, visit https://www.fashiongo.net/fashiongoweek2020.
August 27, 2020
Joining us to discuss how science, technology, and digital insights can assist retailers in making prudent inventory decisions in 2020 is Carla Anderson, Senior Director of Merchandising Strategy at Oracle Retail. Best Buy’s quarterly numbers are also addressed, as they managed fantastic comp numbers in June and July. And, we look ahead to dollar store earnings later in the week.
August 23, 2020
Our interview guest is Paul Brenner, the president of audio out-of-home and CSO of Vibenomics—he discusses the changing world of in-store audio and how retailers can tap into this resource for additional revenue streams. The show’s news topic is home improvement retail, as Home Depot, Lowe’s, and Ace all released impressive second quarter sales numbers this week. And, we look ahead to a potential logistics concern on the horizon for the holiday retail season.
August 19, 2020
The return of the Retail Focus Podcast features an interview with Daniel Sines, the CEO and co-founder of Traitify, who discusses onboarding for retail companies during a pandemic and how shifting roles have given some companies an opportunity to rethink their hiring practices. In news, Grocery Outlet’s Q2 sales were strong, but other information on the earnings call might be good news for retailers who are active in the secondary wholesale market. Additionally, we look ahead to a busy retail earnings week, with Walmart, Target, Home Depot, Lowe’s, and other titans set to reveal numbers.
June 30, 2020
Rite Aid’s sales trends flip during the pandemic, with pharmacy sales tepid but front-store sales surging. We discuss retail pharmacy, along with GNC’s transition into Chapter 11 bankruptcy. From there, we touch on two different clearance projects for Dick’s Sporting Goods and how they may be able to leverage their real estate footprint to expand one of them. We close with more Sears and Kmart closures, Microsoft exiting brick-and-mortar retail, and Brandless making a return.
June 21, 2020
Although not as fruitful an earnings call as we hoped, we did get a glimpse into Kroger sales in Q1, including where they are seeing the most momentum on the digital front. From there, we talk about how the summer season is shaping up for fireworks retailers and yet another landlord taking umbrage with Gap. We close by discussing a PPE retailer’s endeavors to open a brick-and-mortar location and Stein Mart’s continued struggles to stay afloat.
June 16, 2020
We get a good view into a segment that’s been largely overlooked during the pandemic—convenience stores—as Casey’s releases earnings. Additionally, Chewy discusses the buying habits of newly won customers, Sam’s Club introduces curbside, and some retailers lobby against price controls by states. Our interview guest is Nikki Baird, the VP of retail innovation at Aptos, who discusses the question retailers must answer regarding pent-up inventory collected during widespread closures.
June 7, 2020
We start with Gap—although their quarter wasn’t as bad as it first seemed, their latest earnings call showed the company has a long way to go with the Gap and Banana Republic brands. From there, we talk about Southeastern Grocers’ deal with Food Lion, retail produce sales in Q1, and GameStop. Our interview guest is Cardlytics CMO Dani Cushion, who discusses Cardlytics’ first two State of Spend reports and provides insight into how U.S. consumer spend is trending as we begin June. Our podcast is brought to you by EZ Texting; get a free trial of their services by texting RETAIL to 858585.