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Craig Sundstrom

CFO, Weisner Steel
  • Posted on: 01/18/2022

    December retail sales were strong, no matter what the clickbait headlines said

    Though I don't disagree with Steve -- either as to his general message or specific points -- it also seems a little bit of the gentleman doth protesteth too much: yes, of course it's wrong to pay much attention to month-to-month swings ... be they bad or good. It's also good to remember that, due to inflation and population growth, the economy (usually) grows over time ... which of course needs to be considered when analyzing results.
  • Posted on: 01/14/2022

    Will NFTs, Kanye West and high-fashion collabs help Gap get its groove back?

    That I had to look up "NFT" probably says a lot about my abilities to comment on this, but here goes: gim·mick/ˈɡimik/ a novel device or idea designed primarily to attract attention or increase appeal, often with little intrinsic value. I don't see it as a complement.
  • Posted on: 01/14/2022

    SCOTUS strikes down OSHA’s COVID vaccine/testing mandate

    Obviously it will make it harder to decide, since they'll now actually have to decide (nothing is so easy as saying "I had to do it"). As for the (SCOTUS) decision itself: while it may be disappointing (to some, and obviously not to others), it shouldn't be a surprise ... and claims notwithstanding, neither "side" seems to have the facts with them.
  • Posted on: 01/13/2022

    Has ‘just-in-case’ replaced ‘just-in-time’ inventory management?

    There will always be a contest between the two goals of preparedness and cost minimization, and -- breathless PR releases and academic papers notwithstanding -- nothing works all the time. JIT will be right back in vogue as soon as some activist investor decides some company can "free up" money by not having an inventory ... and the cycle will begin anew.
  • Posted on: 01/13/2022

    Can Penney’s new leadership (finally) transform the business?

    Thud, thud, thud ... that sound you hear is a dead horse being beaten; but let's go over it again: JCPenney hasn't been "transformed," and it's not going to be transformed ... barring something radical (like merging with Kohl's or fellow perpetual patient Macy's spinning off part of its operations and JCP picking them up). I'm not entirely sure what its future is ... maybe the Montgomery Ward of the 21st C (the other store that lingers on for decades). I wish them well (which for now means actually being around to be "wished well").
  • Posted on: 01/11/2022

    Reality hits omnichannel retail with a hard truth

    The same could be said of department stores spinning off their e-commerce businesses... Whoa! there: that's a titanic leap of logic. I say the onus is on those who want separation to prove it will work ... not to just claim is doesn't matter.
  • Posted on: 01/07/2022

    Supply chain woes just cost Bed Bath & Beyond $100M in sales

    Taking the $100M figure, or more precisely the "mid single digit impact," with a grain of salt -- i.e. let's make it 3-4% -- and comparing it to the 7% decline, my thought is what about the rest?
  • Posted on: 01/07/2022

    Will 15-minute cities truly bring back local retail?

    Sorry, but I think this is one of those examples of something that sounds great until you actually think about it. 15 minutes is about a mile, or more likely one half to two-thirds of that once delays and slower walking speeds are factored in, so you're talking about an area of 1.5-2 square miles. How much retail can be supported by a trading area that size? (And how often are people going to carry home items by foot/bike in the rain or snow or 105 degree heat?) This may be what some planners want, but it goes against 200 years of history.
  • Posted on: 01/05/2022

    Walmart says it’s ready to deliver groceries inside 30 million American homes

    It's being offered. Let's not -- at this point anyway -- read too much into it.
  • Posted on: 01/04/2022

    Omicron threatens to mess retail up

    What's to stop you, of course, is the spread through distribution channels: out front may be more vulnerable and of interest to us, but the backroom isn't immune.
  • Posted on: 01/04/2022

    Omicron threatens to mess retail up

    This article seems curiously Quebecentric ... hard to know if they're a pioneer or just an outlier. Anyway, as with pretty much everything else in life, the "responsibility" of retailers is to follow the laws and regulations which are imposed upon them, which I think most have done, and will continue to do ... however grudgingly.
  • Posted on: 01/03/2022

    Is Aldi about more than just low prices?

    To me, the question is: should we view Aldi's growth as a new entrant, or just an expansion (of an existing and successful retailer)?? The latter, of course is unremarkable; the former much less so. The issue really is how much experience can transfer from Germany (and, to a lesser degree how quickly can they recognize what doesn't, and adjust accordingly). So far so good. But they're still at the early stage where - much like 'Trader Joe's - they can put smallness to an advantage by developing a cult following. The big challenge will be when expansion demands they take on trappings of a conventional grocer; that field is very competitive (he deadpans).
  • Posted on: 01/03/2022

    Hy-Vee creates its own armed security squad to deter crime

    Solution? No. Are they helpful? It depends on the situation. Traditionally security guards were associated w/ valuables (banks and jewelery stores); so the association was positive (security = expensive) Here, though, I think the association is a negative one (security = high-crime) So while it may be successful at deterring theft, it may also deter shoppers. And the armament notwithstanding, it's about really don't want to be shooting people for boosting toothpaste.
  • Posted on: 12/30/2021

    Are in-person trade shows safe (enough)?

    I guess the alternate take on this is I'd rather risk death than miss a Trade Show ... What devotion!
  • Posted on: 12/30/2021

    Are in-person trade shows safe (enough)?

    11%? The Poll results don't bode well.
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