PROFILE

Dave Wendland

Vice President, Hamacher Resource Group

Bringing more than 25 years marketing and business development experience to the organization, Dave is responsible for strategic, partner development, and trade relations activities for the organization. In addition he works closely with the company’s marketing, business development, and national account teams to strengthen client relationships and enhance product value. Dave is also the primary architect and leader of the company’s Collaborative Strategy Sessions conducted on behalf of clients looking to extend their market reach, discover new opportunities, or plan future products.

Recognized for his retail expertise, Dave’s insights and forward-thinking make him a sought-after speaker and author. Delivering more than 20 presentations each year and authoring more than 50 articles and blogs, his passion for helping organizations realize their potential is evident.

Dave joined Hamacher in 1992 after having operated a California-based marketing firm. Dave graduated from the University of Wisconsin – Whitewater with a Communications and Marketing degree.

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Behind the Shelf (blog)

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  • Posted on: 09/27/2016

    Target wraps up its first tech accelerator program

    It's exciting to see retailers such as Target embracing innovation and inviting tech-savvy pacesetters to share their visions. I expect this approach to expand quickly across other retail venues.This week the Global Market Development Center, a trade association connecting retailers, wholesalers, suppliers and service/solution companies in the General Merchandise and Health/Beauty/Wellness marketplaces, is hosting its first accelerator program, Retail Tomorrow, at its annual HBW conference to be held in San Antonio. Another example showcasing innovation that will shape the future of retail.The benefit of such forward-looking programs propels entrepreneurial luminaries onto center stage. My hope is that retailers -- and suppliers -- will seize the exciting opportunities at hand and leapfrog traditional obstacles.
  • Posted on: 09/21/2016

    Is consumer demand really that unpredictable?

    Demand planning appears to have become trickier given the fickleness of shoppers and their lack of loyalty. Consumers are making purchases anytime, anywhere and from anyone. So is the anticipation of demand difficult? Yes. Do I expect it to get easier in the near-term? No.
  • Posted on: 09/20/2016

    Unilever makes ‘purpose-driven’ deal for Seventh Generation

    Yes, this is an excellent acquisition and will provide compelling growth for the company. My encouragement to Unilever is to allow the "purpose-driven" brand philosophy to infiltrate other brands within the Unilever portfolio. At the end of the day, consumers will decide whether the acquisition makes sense and if Unilever is remaining relevant with Seventh Generation and its other franchise brands.
  • Posted on: 09/16/2016

    When will AR and VR become “realities” at retail?

    Many comments from my esteemed BrainTrust colleagues suggest that retailers wait. My answer is a bit different — it depends. For clothing retailers and cosmetic/beauty stores, I suggest it be investigated now (there are some emerging technologies that look applicable). For grocers, hardware stores, and c-stores, I don't see an application today. Technology is emerging quickly and I envision a day where costs — and consumer acceptance — converge and create a "Pokemon Go" moment that includes VR/AR at retail.
  • Posted on: 09/13/2016

    Amazon and Fanatics play ‘anytime, anywhere, anyhow’ commerce on game day

    Innovative way to build brand ubiquity. Smart move by Amazon -- even if it doesn't drive spectacular sales results. I love the out-of-the-box thinking (I wish more were willing to step outside their comfort zones).
  • Posted on: 09/01/2016

    Has American Girl made a wise move into Toys ‘R’ Us?

    Well said, Bob. Increasing distribution through new channels does not always raise value. And, in this case, I suspect American Girl dolls will require new levels of discounting to move fast enough to warrant space in a box store like Toys "R" Us, thus reducing the brand's appeal. Time will certainly either prove or disprove my prediction.
  • Posted on: 09/01/2016

    J.Crew to sell inside Nordstrom

    I agree, Camille. J.Crew is the winner here. And, I'm the first to promote innovation, experimentation, and "partnerships." This one has me puzzled, however. Seems to be less than a calculated risk ... and could affect Nordstrom's traditional image.
  • Posted on: 08/26/2016

    Are wearables on the way out?

    Perhaps I'm the glass half-full guy in this discussion, but I don't believe that the white flag should be raised on wearables. Honestly, we are only beginning to see the initial stages of what is sure to be an evolutionary — and revolutionary — change within how we measure, track, monitor, and quantify our health. Having just attended an incredible event in Nashville (anyone interested in the future of technology in healthcare should attend in 2017!), the applications of wearables is merely just emerging. The challenge for the moment is that there has not yet been a breakout moment within this field ... but I'm anticipating a game changer on the near-term horizon (I believe there is a "PokemonGo" wearable just around the corner!).
  • Posted on: 08/15/2016

    Is brick & mortar ready to leverage in-store shopper data?

    Data -- in any business -- is vital. What e-commerce sites have been able to do is adapt, respond and react to data in a meaningful, personal way. Brick-and-mortar stores cannot possibly respond in the same way across an entire enterprise of "physical" plants. But what could and should they do?First and foremost, use the data! There are far too many retailers who claim to be collecting data and amassing information -- but too few turning that data into executional changes (I've often referred to these stuck-in-a-rut retailers as "establishment" retailers who are unwilling and/or too immobile to step outside their comfort zone).Next, stores must think beyond the four walls of their physical plant. The consumer shopping experience should not be confined to their brick-and-mortar operation but rather extend to omnichannel practices. That's how consumers want to interact with a brand.Finally, stop bemoaning what the other guys have. Just because online can react more quickly to data does not mean they have the advantage. Why? Because they don't have the ability to literally touch their patrons and observe them in the same way brick-and-mortar operators do. That competitive edge goes to the brick-and-mortar retailers. Problem is, not enough retailers fully capitalize on this HUGE advantage.
  • Posted on: 08/11/2016

    Did Amazon bring down Beauty.com and Drugstore.com?

    Operational efficiency and omnichannel strategy drove this decision. Operating a large brick-and-mortar entity (and its associated tentacles) is a daunting task. Add to that the complexities associated with a solid online and mobile presence, and it becomes a matter of focus. Walgreens needed to not only ensure a seamless shopping experience for the shopper (consistent content, inventory and processes), but also build scale to compete. And I believe that doing that through competing platforms simply became too arduous for Walgreens.Did Amazon play a part of this? Perhaps. Had Walgreens known of Walmart's acquisition of Jet.com, their decision to consolidate under one banner for a stronger online presence and more streamlined reach would have been even easier.
  • Posted on: 08/10/2016

    Kroger pushes its tech advantage

    Let's be clear. There is a vast difference between information derived from technology and genuine knowledge. I have spoken to many who suggest that they have terabytes of data. To that I say, "so what?"The key is translating data into meaningful insights which can then be used as knowledge to drive higher performance. If it's simply data, I'll pass.Sounds to me like Kroger's deal with Market6 will lead to significant retail insight. Hats off to this business-leading retailer for once again reaching beyond the limitations that others may face.
  • Posted on: 08/05/2016

    When should brands go down market?

    Decisions to switch and/or adopt new channels for a brand is all about reach. And clearly Under Armour's move into Kohl's department stores opens up an entirely new avenue to influence a new group of shoppers and influence their activewear choices (especially women).The risk, of course, is disruption to existing channel partners or cannibalization of sales. Personally, I don't believe this will greatly change Under Armour's success and panache within their traditional sporting goods retail strategy but rather raise the visibility and appeal of the brand overall.I'd be watching for others to follow suit (I have several likely candidates on my short list and I'm anxious to see which of my predictions come true).
  • Posted on: 08/01/2016

    Is online a bigger threat to independent merchants than big boxes?

    This is a rather difficult question to answer with a broad stroke. Online has definitely created a new dynamic that affects all of retail -- not just the independents. And the impact varies by class of trade.I envision a new type of retailer emerging (and there are some examples already) wherein the premise of the business may not be focused on the physical product that can indeed be delivered via an online site. Rather the emphasis is on the "service" piece of the puzzle ... but we've heard that all before Dave. I'm not merely talking about customer service, I'm speaking of a bigger level of services such as: measurement and installation if it is a household appliance or furniture; tailoring and accessories for clothing; set-up and training of medical-related items.I'm a huge proponent of thinking outside the box and it's time for retailers -- especially independents -- to think beyond their traditional four walls.
  • Posted on: 07/27/2016

    Will meal kit delivery services move beyond niche status?

    Localized, real-time delivery of "meal kits" and more may be in our future.Let's look at the realities of current meal kit delivery services: On the positive side, consumers want convenience, quality, and affordability. On the negative; cost, timing, reliability, service areas, etc.The future? Imagine a retail grocer who offered a meal kitting service from their local brick-and-mortar supermarket. A consumer orders the meal they are looking to prepare, a supermarket employee bundles up the necessary ingredients (in the right quantities so we're likely talking a deli associate), and this is either delivered to the home or ready for pick up.This model makes a great deal of sense to me ... and it applies to other classes of trade. Looking to replace your sink? A local hardware retailer would "package" up the ingredients and then deliver it to one's home for the project. What about an individual released from the hospital following hip replacement? Wouldn't a "kit" of supplies be more useful than an individual shopping list?What the meal kit delivery model proves is that consumers want convenience and they want to have the essential ingredients to make it themselves. My imagination is percolating.
  • Posted on: 07/21/2016

    What does Unilever’s acquisition of Dollar Shave Club mean?

    What Unilever gains from this acquisition is intelligence and a proven platform. Undoubtedly they are looking at ways to expand the direct-to-consumer portfolio to extend across a broader swatch of the Unilever portfolio ... and this, I profess, is a highly-productive path to market for Unilever.From an "establishment" retail standpoint, this is a game-changer. My recommendation to my retail colleagues and friends, recognize that this new direct channel is real, that it is growing, and that it is resonating with consumers. And figure out a way to work with it not against it. Where could you — as a brick-and-mortar retailer — add value to the equation. If you can't determine a way to actively participate in this new channel, then you must prepare for the percentage of business erosion to continue.

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