• David Livingston
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David Livingston

  • Posted on: 11/07/2017

    Should Papa John’s drop its NFL sponsorship?

    Exactly Art. If Papa John's markets this right they can turn it into a "Chik-fil-A" moment and connect with customers who take their position. It's a gamble and Papa John's needs to get the word out to the consumers who agree with them.
  • Posted on: 11/07/2017

    Why is it so hard to get retail associates to upsell?

    Ditto. No incentive, no enthusiasm, and most of the customers will be annoyed by the scripted upsell.
  • Posted on: 11/06/2017

    Can Kroger make a name for itself in fashion?

    Kroger is just coming up with press releases because their stock is down. If Meijer or H-E-B added a new line, it would not be newsworthy since they are not public. This will probably do best in Kroger's Fred Meyer format. I don't expect it to make much impact in their other stores. Kroger should do very well as a company going forward since many of their competitors like Bi-Lo, Food Lion, Fresh Farm and such are imploding on the East Coast. In the West, Albertsons-Safeway certainly is not much of a threat. I'll just write this news off as another lateral change hyped in a press release.
  • Posted on: 10/18/2017

    Should the holiday selling season be retired?

    Over time consumer behavior will dictate what happens and retailers won't have to do anything. It will resolve itself on its own as consumer behavior changes.
  • Posted on: 10/17/2017

    Should Kroger sell its c-stores?

    This is all about "Shares of Kroger have been down 40 percent this year." If the purpose is to make news to increase stock price, then its the right thing to do. We will probably see a lot of lateral move press releases over the next several months. Kroger does not want to be left behind during the Trump rally.
  • Posted on: 10/13/2017

    Amazon has plans to deliver packages to car trunks

    I live in a highly secure building with limited access. I've had packages left at the building entrance at 8pm on a Sunday night. I learned that overnight delivery can be a poor option and I should only choose delivery by US mail. Be safe and just let the mailman bring it, put it in your locked postal box or leave it with security during business hours.
  • Posted on: 10/13/2017

    Is Kroger in denial about the magnitude of its challenges?

    Kroger is not in denial and they don't really have any real strategic plan. Its all just jargon for the press release in order to increase stock price. At the end the day, Kroger is simply one of the better run plain vanilla sterile supermarket chains. Every grocer can say they are doing what Kroger is doing.
  • Posted on: 10/10/2017

    Will Lidl follow Aldi’s path in the U.S. – or Tesco’s?

    What we do know is they are under-performing. They have picked poor locations in order to get a large number of sites. They are trying to do in just a few years what it has taken Aldi 40 years to do. Aldi figured out in the 1990s that success is just being in Walmart's parking lot. Lidl relied on real estate brokers, not really the brightest bulbs when it comes to site selection.It is unlikely that Lidl will be as bad as Tesco's Fresh & Easy. Both went about opening the wrong way. Lots of stores and lots of bad locations with no meaningful research. Why not just open one first in a good location and see how it works? Aldi is expanding rapidly but they have 40 more years of experience in the U.S. and know a thing or two about site selection.
  • Posted on: 10/02/2017

    Is the time right for Kroger to go hyper-local?

    Grocers seem to recycle this idea as if it's a new one. Like lowering 5,000 prices. It sounds good for the press release. However it has no meaningful impact. Probably thought up by a new executive desperate to make an impression. The bottom line is consumers want the lowest prices. Unless you have stores in Florida, Texas or California, there is only so much local produce you can put in your store.
  • Posted on: 09/15/2017

    Kitchen 1883 may be a new platform for Kroger’s growth

    Consumers will eat at grocery store-related restaurants if they are good. Kroger already has a number of restaurant formats that are just mediocre. They are no Wegmans or Hy-Vee. So why open a bunch of mediocre restaurant formats? Panic reaction to their stock crash and getting psyched out by Amazon. They should have learned their lesson after buying Mariano's.
  • Posted on: 09/13/2017

    Kmart ditches plus sizes for ‘fabulously sized’ clothing

    I think the stigma of buying anything from Kmart is enough to make it fail. I still have nightmares of kids making fun of me 50 years ago because my mom bought me some clothes from Kmart. Goodwill has a better reputation now for clothes than Kmart.
  • Posted on: 08/15/2017

    Is Target ready to make a move on the home delivery front?

    This reminds me of one of the opening scenes in Saturday Night Fever where John Travolta is delivering paint that a customer ordered. It seems simple yet Target needs to hook up with a small tech company to accomplish the same thing. Does this have to be so complicated? Perhaps hiring two employees and buying a small delivery truck will accomplish the same thing without any algorithms or executives with lots of words in their title.
  • Posted on: 08/14/2017

    Will Aldi upset the grocery home delivery cart?

    Aldi is so far in left field anything they do will not affect traditional grocery stores much. I'm wondering if delivery will put them in play to compete with institutional wholesalers. I know at my local Aldi, when avocados go on sale, local restaurants come in and clean them out.
  • Posted on: 08/08/2017

    Should executive pay structures change to address slower growth at retail?

    At the end of the day people will demand to make a certain wage and if they aren't getting it, they move on. Most of the above comments seem to be right on target. If a retailer pays a fair wage, there is no need for bonuses. When too much emphasis is put on the bonus, that's when you see all kinds of games being played to skew the results. One time at FW Woolwroth, in order to get our bonus we needed more sales. So the employees made large purchases at our store and returned the items to a nearby sister store. We cheated, got our bonus and the management at the other store didn't. We got away with that once.
  • Posted on: 08/07/2017

    Will Lidl’s fresh approach to the U.S. grocery market prove successful?

    Sounds like Tesco's Fresh & Easy 2.0. Totally different than their European model, open lots of untested stores, put the pedal to the metal and hope for the best.I think Lidl will do better than Tesco because they are competing with grocers that are so ineffectual like Food Lion, Ahold and Farm Fresh, to name a few. It will probably just be another Aldi, which is successful but certainly never ranks high with market share leaders. Lidl should have just opened a handful of stores before making such a big commitment. However they were smart enough to have an exit strategy if they don't work.As far as competitive advantages I would say none, other than that the major market share leaders have lost their mojo and can be taken advantage of. Wegmans and Publix will do the same. Lidl and Aldi coexist well in Europe among high-volume market share leaders and will probably do the same in the U.S. Walmart is not getting better which is good for everyone. Although Walmart probably will not give up much percentage-wise, even a point or two is all Lidl needs. Having Publix and Wegmans beat up on the competitors creating massive store closings, Lidl and Aldi can clean up feeding off the scraps.
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