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: 06/20/2017

    Can humanizing self-checkouts reduce theft?

    Unfortunately, it is my belief that shoppers will always find a way to beat the system. Regardless of threats or prosecution, more (expensive) staff to monitor self-checkout or humanization, some people are simply dishonest.My advice is before investing significant expense to overcome what is surely the exception not the rule with self-checkout, plan for the next major technological shift which will consist of a scan-and-go process for customers while selecting items at shelf (in other words, no checkout whatsoever).
  • Posted on: 06/01/2017

    Should Amazon buy Macy’s?

    Although an interesting notion, I have to wonder if this is the best option for Amazon's expansion. Consider the reinvention required to transform a department store operation to relevance; it's a monumental task. Regarding curation of the latest and greatest fashions, etc., there are other less expensive paths to ponder -- such as "acquiring" the best talent in the space at a fraction of the cost of assuming Macy's infrastructure. And finally, Amazon's continued move into brick-and-mortar begins with the question of location and access. Unless the real estate assets of Macy's are unbelievably solid, I believe there may be alternatives for Amazon.
  • Posted on: 05/25/2017

    Are some retailer CEOs too old to learn new tricks?

    CEOs that underestimate trends and do not recognize emerging opportunities quickly enough are definitely present across today's retail landscape. It may not be that they are "too old to learn new tricks," rather it's that they are paralyzed by inaction or confused by the various pathways in front of them.About 18 months ago I started referring to these retail operations as "establishment" retailers -- unwilling to change or unknowing which direction to turn. Establishing a vision and breaking the status quo to achieve it is not for the faint of heart. However, as credited to Lewis Carroll's classic Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, "If you don't know where you're going, any road will take you there."
  • Posted on: 05/18/2017

    Is the $400B prescription drug business ripe for an Amazon disruption?

    Entry into the pharmacy market is a natural fit for Amazon's model. And the potential scale, efficiencies and visibility would indeed change the face of the traditional retail dispensary model. (A watchword to the established pharmacy sector ... up your game and focus on the value of advice rather than the Rx commodity or Amazon may eat your lunch.)Sure there are obstacles and hoops -- nothing that Amazon isn't capable of conquering. Even if Amazon elected to only focus on maintenance drugs and the highest volume generics, the size of the prize may be worth pursuing. Combined with the analytics and basket-building knowledge that Amazon holds, I believe this market is too ripe to ignore.
  • Posted on: 05/17/2017

    How many training hours are appropriate for store-level workers?

    Let me be among the first to say that staff training is essential to demonstrate a point of difference and express a commitment to consumers. However comparing a consumer's product research habits on a single SKU to an associate's level of knowledge of the same is askew.Retailers should focus on creating a knowledge bank of product information and THEN provide training on how to use tools to access the information. The best training should be based on empowering the associates not overwhelming them with endless talking points and senseless product features. Another aspect of training that is too often overlooked at retail is the enhancement of "charisma" (in other words -- people skills!).
  • Posted on: 05/12/2017

    Will Unilever’s investment in an organic meal kit maker pay off?

    Let me begin by commenting on Unilever's investment in Sun Basket. I do think this is a prudent move for the company and an area that will broaden Unilever's understanding of the space and strengthen their brand portfolio. Although the investment is quite large, starting from scratch would have not only delayed their entry into the space, but also required learning as they go.As for the meal kit space in general. It is my belief that this is not a fad. Quality, cost and reliability are big issues to overcome. While at the same time, consumers want convenience, variety and an "experience." Meal kits can deliver all of the benefit sought by shoppers and will continue to soar as the issues of quality and cost are adequately addressed.
  • Posted on: 05/02/2017

    Will giving associates mobile devices enhance the shopping experience?

    Yes. Empowering associates with knowledge at their fingertips to better engage shoppers is essential. And offering mobile in-aisle POS will become ubiquitous.It seems to me that in-store technology, including mobile devices for associates, needs to be deployed as quickly as possible to improve the shopping experience, deliver more efficiency, encourage basket-building in the aisle, provide access to relevant information and compete more effectively with online options.
  • Posted on: 04/25/2017

    Will omnichannel make the J.C. Penney and Sephora partnership more successful?

    "Beauty and the Best," that's what Sephora and J.C. Penney have been able to achieve. Department store rivals have been unable to effectively knock this combo off their perch. Why? 1.) Adequate space has been devoted to the environment. 2.) Placement of the store-within-a-store is front-and-center. 3.) Management believes in and supports the model.Will a more concerted omnichannel approach grow the business? Yes. Expanded reach, ubiquity of messaging and convenience will surely drive results.Speaking of stores-within-a-store, here's a recent article I penned on the topic for Chain Drug Review.
  • Posted on: 04/20/2017

    Has CVS crafted a promising new drugstore shopping journey?

    Congratulations to CVS Health on extending its commitment to the consumer's health journey by enhancing the in-store experience. The planned elements appear to nicely engage consumers along their health management paths to remain healthy, get better, live vitally with a chronic condition or care for a loved one. (I believe these to be the four primary purposes for consumers to visit a drug store.)I often speak of the advantages of brick-and-mortar and highlight the sensory aspects that are not available via an online shopping encounter. It appears that part of CVS' vision is to create an environment that evokes sight and touch. I would think about ways to also involve smell, taste and sound. As CVS Health continues to evolve this re-imagined drug store, I would look for them to tap into all five senses. Healthcare is personal and an individual's in-store shopping experience must be informative and emotive.
  • Posted on: 04/11/2017

    Are ‘Employee of the Month’ programs worth it?

    Personally, I'm not a fan of "Employee of the Month." Although I'm a strong advocate for recognition, encouragement and inspiring comments. Striking the right balance to motivate all employees while individually recognizing the value of each is the secret.
  • Posted on: 04/10/2017

    Should the same-store sales metric be retired?

    If you haven't yet noticed, we have been embroiled in a seismic paradigm shift at retail. Thus clinging to "establishment" metrics and patting ourselves on our backs if same-store sales are declining at a lower rate than the market average is simply fuzzy math.Shoppers have changed the way they shop. Competitors do not look like what they once did. And brand loyalty isn't what it used to be. These are among the factors that strongly point to the need for a re-imagined (timely and relevant) measurement.Kurt Salmon has it right, "Retailers need to measure overall cross-channel brand performance." The new measurement must take into consideration brand interactions, conversion rates, content stickiness, referrals, reviews and much more.
  • Posted on: 04/07/2017

    Is Fred’s up to acquiring 1,200 Rite Aid stores?

    First, the good news. Mike Bloom's prior experience and proven credentials certainly provide firsthand knowledge of how to run a successful chain drug operation. The team that has been assembled and the advisers to Fred's are suggesting they are up to the challenge. Size matters and this will definitely provide Fred's with a larger footprint from which to negotiate and gain market attention.Now the not-so-good news. Financially, I'm concerned about the ability for Fred's to effectively renovate, rejuvenate and recover the investment in these potential 1,200 units. Furthermore, brick-and-mortar is not an easy business ... and the formidable giants in this space have a sizable head start. And finally, as said by several of my esteemed BrainTrust colleagues, integration is not for the faint of heart.
  • Posted on: 03/28/2017

    Is ‘experiential retail’ taking a new form?

    Experiential retail to the extreme. Perhaps West Elm and Target are the two latest examples of presenting retail merchandise and engaging with shoppers differently. To that end, the experience must make sense ... and drive dollars and cents. What is experiential retail? To me it is passionate, genuine engagement and shopper involvement. This is in stark contrast to retailers that simply offer a place for shoppers to walk aisles and passively select items from shelves.To West Elm's credit, they are definitely thinking outside the traditional box. That's a good thing. And I like the personalization/localization piece of the puzzle -- especially around events, etc. However, will the return on investment in this new hotel venture pay off for them? Will Millennials flock to these new hotels and, as a result, buy more West Elm furnishings? I'm not saying it won't necessarily work, however I believe it's a reach.As for Target and their new experiential prototype store, it's designed to create a mood or a feeling. That may also work for them. Of course, supporting their new approach needs to extend beyond their four walls with consistency.
  • Posted on: 03/27/2017

    Will ‘ambitious store redesign’ lift Target to new heights?

    Albert Einstein definitely had it right when he defined insanity as continually doing the same thing expecting different results. I applaud Target's imagination on this thoughtful design and the experimentation to deliver an experiential store to its guests. The integration of curbside pick-up and quick trip shopping journeys is important.Of course there is another expression that says, "even if you put lipstick on a pig, it is still a pig." The proof will be if this new design concept is more than a flash-in-the-pan makeover and instead delivers a truly differentiated experience and begins to transcend all of Target's consumer touch points. If they can do that successfully and seamlessly, then they may be onto something.
  • Posted on: 03/09/2017

    Can RadioShack come back from bankruptcy — again?

    It's all about relevance. Shoppers no longer relate to the store format. The retailer name no longer resonates with consumers. And despite attempts to streamline stores and improve the sites themselves, in my opinion keeping current formats on life support is not sustainable.

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