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Craig Sundstrom

CFO, Weisner Steel
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  • Posted on: 12/14/2017

    San Francisco limits robots on its sidewalks

    Quite simply, we have no idea what's going to happen. Sometimes a new technology e.g. "cars" catches on, and sometimes something like personal helicopters just don't. The reasons for each are often though not always clear in the long-run, but less so initially.As for drones specifically, I would say at the moment it's 99% hype with little practical/cost-effective application ... and that's even before self-defeating ideas like human-monitors. That may change in the long-term, but not at the pace enthusiasts are predicting.
  • Posted on: 12/08/2017

    Get ready – there are still three shopping holidays left before Christmas

    I think Matt has a very different definition of "critical" than I do (isn't "critical ... lesser-known" an oxymoron?). Anyway, the last two months of the year are a perpetual sale or promotion period. I think the relevance of specific "events," ever more contrived, has long since passed.
  • Posted on: 12/08/2017

    Amazon is (quietly) upending private branding. Will others follow?

    I don't know that I would describe this as "stealth," since most people probably think everything they buy via Amazon "comes" from Amazon anyway (so one might say they've been doing this all along ... albeit unknowingly). But whatever the semantics, I think it's safe to say when the World's Biggest Retailer -- or soon to be such -- does something, the "biggest" part ends up being more important than the details of what it is they did.
  • Posted on: 12/07/2017

    Would CVS + Aetna = lower healthcare costs?

    It will be interesting to see how this plays out. The insurance side will want people to spend as little as possible, while the retail side will want them to spend as much as possible. Who will win? I don't know... but I'm pretty sure it won't be the consumer.
  • Posted on: 12/07/2017

    The RetailWire Christmas Commercial Challenge: H&M vs. Gap

    I'm sorry, but I'm not going to even consider H&M: 3:27 isn't a commercial, it's a miniseries.I watched the GAP spot and, while it's nicely done, it continues the pattern we've been seeing: too much Broadway, too little Madison Ave. It made me want to go to church, not shopping.
  • Posted on: 12/06/2017

    Dollar General is betting on the continuing decline of the middle class

    I'm dubious of using "the market" as a measure of anything -- Quick: what was Enron worth? -- but I'm willing to accept that "poor" is a large market. But is it really an opportunity or more precisely, a missed one?Markets have value only to the extent that they have money, so they must be either large or wealthy. One that's "poor" by definition doesn't have much money, and barring a complete economic collapse, I don't see it becoming significantly larger in the near term (not that some aren't trying). And of course a flood of entrants would diminish whatever opportunities were somehow missed.
  • Posted on: 12/06/2017

    What can retailers do to prevent sexual harassment?

    In answer to the question of "worse...?" I would ask what industries? My instinctive response is that it's likely much better than "food service" or "hospitality," both of which would seem to offer particular dangers ... though from customers more than coworkers (at least I hope "more than coworkers").My other thought is how we would categorize a workplace like A&F (or such) that seems to exist to sexualize everything Admittedly my experience with them is limited, and interactions there may be as professional as at a library, but I would think it would be confusing to have company policies on the order of "no suggestive or inappropriate remarks" when "suggestive" and "inappropriate" seems to be the business plan.
  • Posted on: 12/05/2017

    Which off-price retailers will withstand the test of time?

    L&T has an off price segment ... who knew? Anyway, with the move to online sales -- yes, here I go again beating the drum about the increasing irrelevance of traditional metrics like "same store" and an explosive growth in the number of brands (it seems like it anyway) -- I'm reluctant to attach too much meaning to small declines over small periods. Yes, we may see declines in the individual companies, but the segment itself I think will be stable ... we don't have much movement in full price, so what's left?
  • Posted on: 12/05/2017

    Can brands hit a hole-in-one with urban golf apparel?

    I'm not sure how much sense this question makes. Golf attire, other than the shoes, of course, has traditionally been a shirt (in recent years a pullover or "polo"), and pants that aren't really distinguishable from everyday clothing, so my response would be "it already is."
  • Posted on: 12/04/2017

    Should marketers personalize products using consumers’ DNA?

    Paging George Jetson, please pick up the white courtesy phone....Really, just, no. I'm not sure this won't happen because people don't want their DNA public knowledge, or for some other reason, but I just don't think it will happen ... and I'm perfectly OK with that.
  • Posted on: 12/04/2017

    Barnes & Noble wants to get smaller, more bookish

    Honestly, what choice do they have? They aren't selling the volumes (no pun intended) to justify the larger stores, so this is the only alternative (short of, perhaps, a desperate measure like trying to become a supermarket or general merchandiser).The real question here is whether/not the decline will keep on going to the point that even the smaller stores can't be supported ... and while I hope that isn't the case, I wouldn't bet against it.
  • Posted on: 12/01/2017

    Target is the early star of Christmas – online

    "Early" is certainly the key word in George's headline ... as the key phrase in the article is "under-promise." And once again, if we're going to preach omnichannel let's practice it: who should care that the small proportion of online sales became somewhat less so if overall sales don't grow?Those gripes out of the way, I'm sure everyone, save perhaps their competitors, wants them to get their mojo back. And that mojo came from a simple formula: better-than-average merchandise presented well and sold at lower-than-average (or at least no more than average) prices. If they can do that again, without the distracting screw-ups of security breaches, ill-planned expansions, and what-not, then I think they'll do OK. But I'll wait 'til year's end to see.
  • Posted on: 11/30/2017

    The RetailWire Christmas Commercial Challenge Global Edition – Asda vs. Lidl

    I'll go with Asda: the presentation is just too spectacular to ignore, plus it seemed to actually bring some product in (though shoppers are apt to be disappointed that the store doesn't look like THAT!).The Lidl spot started off strong, but then detoured into another song-and-dance routine ... enough with off-Broadway, already!
  • Posted on: 11/30/2017

    It’s good to be Home Depot

    My own "curve" related experience with Home Depot, a BOPIS -- the only one I've ever tried -- was underwhelming. Two days to get it from the wherever to the distribution center, two weeks (the short distance) from there to the store. Small sample size? You bet, but it's what I have to work with.As for HD, in general, I think they're positioned at the moment to do well. Most of the goods they sell are either so bulky or so urgently needed that they've largely escaped Amazon, et al., and as was the case of Macy's benefitting from JCP's missteps, they've benefitted from Sears's continued implosion. The long-term threats are from Lowe's and smaller regional players (OSH, etc.) that offer a nicer shopping environment.
  • Posted on: 11/29/2017

    Tech tries to end the annoying search for mall parking spots

    Certainly "finding a space," as in indicators that show availability, is a win for everyone. To expand this topic a bit, though, I think the issue in the future is going to be matching parking lot size to the fact that (average) mall traffic is diminishing, but still needs to provide for holiday peaks ... which may not be diminishing. (Of course this discord would be even more reason to adopt technologies to optimize what you have.)
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