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: 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.
  • Posted on: 07/19/2016

    Are wearables just for the kids?

    Make no mistake, wearables are transforming healthcare and extending far beyond fitness trackers. I do not believe this to be a fad that will be casually adopted by a handful of demographic segments.Even the FDA is seeing the viability of these advancements through its Center for Devices and Radiological Health currently examining the convergence of medical devices with connectivity and consumer technology. Just days ago the FDA approved a new drug delivery wearable for delivery of a monthly dose of a cholesterol-lowering drug, Repatha®.The ubiquity of wearables will be rapid, transformative and far-reaching.
  • Posted on: 07/18/2016

    Pokémon Go showcases potential of augmented reality in retail

    Popularity does not necessarily translate to monetization for retailers. Although, I must admit, the Pokemon Go phenomenon should teach us all that something unique, exciting, engaging and competitive can create unbelievable buzz.Augmented reality and gamification will most definitely be part of future marketing mixes ... perhaps sooner than we all imagined.
  • Posted on: 07/06/2016

    Dollar stores — they have the meats

    First, make no mistake, competition is everywhere. C-stores carry meat, Target carries meat and you can even order meat sight-unseen from multiple online providers. So why not dollar stores?Second, I believe that the meat and poultry categories within dollar stores will continue to rise. Keeping in mind that this is largely prepackaged meat that has been treated for longer shelf life and does not compare to the quality offered by a butcher slicing the ideal cut. That said, for most, good enough is good enough.Finally, should supermarkets be worried? Competition is always worrisome if you have absolutely no notable difference. For the moment, the differences should be apparent and supermarkets and specialty shops will continue to capture their fair share.
  • Posted on: 06/23/2016

    What’s the next step for content marketing?

    Content marketing is serious business and serious for business. Consumers will no longer tolerate out-of-date or missing product images, inaccurate data and descriptions, or lack of meaningful information. For years we have seen organizations try and cobble together disparate data sources in an attempt to pass them off to consumers as coherent. I believe those days are over and it's high time content is taking seriously and managed more intelligently.
  • Posted on: 06/20/2016

    Why aren’t retailers closing more stores?

    Interesting discussion. I would agree that leases are one contributor to a retailer's reluctance to close stores. Another may be visibility (physical properties are noticeable).On the other hand, I'm more convinced than ever that for those retailers who are in denial about the effects of e-commerce or have delayed reinventing their brick-and-mortar storefront and purpose, closing stores may become their only option. If retailers with good store locations but ever-reducing traffic asked for my opinion, I would begin by asking three questions: 1) what do customers really want from your physical property?; 2) how could the brick-and-mortar operation complement online and mobile activities?; and 3) in what ways can relevance return to the physical shopping experience (in ways that cannot be delivered technologically)?
  • Posted on: 06/09/2016

    Should Walmart open its own dollar stores?

    In my opinion, this would be a distraction to Walmart and equally distracting to their customers. As was stated previously, Walmart shoppers expect value when they shop Walmart and that needs to be the focus on their core operation. Dollar stores threaten every retail format and they will continually improve their operations and the overall consumer shopping experience. That said, Walmart is advised to keep their eye on the ball and improve their operations and overall shopper experience, all the while sharpening their pricing pencil.
  • Posted on: 06/06/2016

    How can new product forecasting be improved?

    Could software and sophisticated forecasting algorithms improve new product forecasts? Perhaps. However, there are far too many "soft" factors to rely solely on the data. In fact, the advantage of applying human factors (both from consumer research around acceptance of the item into retail and from the category manager's gut feel) is that intuition and educated guesses matter.Because new items remain the lifeblood of category growth I am concerned that the empowerment once given to category managers who were making decisions as "merchants" has been replaced by forecasting models that are devoid of experience and hunches. Even in a perfect world, I believe there is no perfect world for new item forecasting.

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