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Craig Sundstrom

CFO, Weisner Steel
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  • Posted on: 04/15/2021

    What will going to mostly full-time staff mean for Walmart’s stores?

    And what is it now? (The press release provides the answer: 53% ... so it's not much of a change.) The more interesting issue, methinks, is whether this is coming about from converting part timers to full timers, or rather from eliminating their positions (i.e. a larger fraction of a smaller total); based on the numbers provided, it sounds like it's mostly the former but in the long run, I have to think it will be the latter, as automation and technology continue to take a toll on low skilled jobs ... even at Walmart.
  • Posted on: 04/15/2021

    How should grocers decide which SKUs to bring back?

    L(ast)O(ut)F(irst)I(n)..I like it (Quick Bob, file for a trademark! :) )
  • Posted on: 04/15/2021

    How should grocers decide which SKUs to bring back?

    I imagine most of us are thinking along similar lines: during the past year, either producers stopped making or retailers stop carrying a lot of marginal lines -- some of them what might be called "heritage products" -- profits didn't drop, so why bring them back? Whatever adjustments end up being made to this "rationalization" process will be bottom driven: consumers will complain to retailers, who in turn will communicate to manufacturers -- although increasingly this communication is done directly -- that this-or-that product is missed. Whether or not it pulls a Houdini and reappears will largely depend on how much communication occurs.
  • Posted on: 04/14/2021

    Is e-grocery killing or inspiring impulse buys?

    Impulse buying is driven by exposure, so it's going to depend on what whatever site someone is using displays (i.e. lot's of pop-up or sidebars on enticing items, then it might happen). But assuredly less of the traditional types of impulse buys.
  • Posted on: 04/14/2021

    Can own brand credit cards drive loyalty for Instacart and DoorDash?

    If the various incentive programs were restricted to (only) card holders, then it might have some advantage; but of course that's not likely to be the case. So, no, I don't really think it's a great idea.
  • Posted on: 04/13/2021

    Will Bed Bath & Beyond’s new ad help change how consumers see the retailer?

    Unsurprisingly "home" is the "in" word right now -- one lender telling us it's "everything" and the ad does pretty well at giving us the warm fuzzies; but maybe a little TOO fuzzy. Will it send people shopping at BBBY ... or just shopping in general? We'll just have to see, and while I wouldn't call the spot bad, I wouldn't say it was particularly impressive either ... sort of a "term project"-level generic effort.
  • Posted on: 04/13/2021

    Toms finds one-for-one charitable model doesn’t add up for its business

    Hard to donate money if you don't have any. I'm not a big fan of profit-donating plans -- why not return them to shareholders to decide for themselves where they should go? But whatever one thinks of them, most businesses are too complex for some predetermined formula (and certainly an astronomical share like this) Good intentions are no substitute for good management.
  • Posted on: 04/12/2021

    Will faster deliveries prove to be a valuable loyalty perk for Gap?

    A rewards program that offers a zero-sum outcome where "prioritizing" one group of people would seem to come at the expense of everyone else, needs to be marketed carefully to avoid alienating casual customers. Or alternately, it needs to be restricted to a small group -- unlike, say, the term "flagship," which has become so overused as to be almost meaningless -- so as to not become an operational liability. Rewards programs are a frequent topic here on RW, and my sense is that we're generally not impressed with them: either too difficult to redeem on one hand, or a collection of "what-should-be-standard-policies-anyway" on the other.
  • Posted on: 04/12/2021

    Why are McDonald’s restaurants leaving Walmart stores?

    The first question was answered within the post, and if it's really the case of a double whammy of reduced (foot) traffic in both Walmart and Mc Donald's -- and by extension, I would think, any fast food restaurant -- perhaps the areas should just be repurposed. I don't think we're really talking about a lot of space here, are we? OTOH perhaps other forces are at work (could this be a result of WM's efforts to upgrade its image?); we're really guessing blindly without more information about the specific stores affected.
  • Posted on: 04/09/2021

    Is Levi’s poised to become a consumer-direct powerhouse?

    I'd be cautious about the analogy to Nike: the latter has somewhat of a cult following, and while Levi's is certainly popular, I don't think it has -- or will have -- that level of devotion. The main problem is technology: Nike can claim to make not just a better shoe, but a different one; Levi's can offer only the former. But of course that's no small thing: Levi's has an excellent reputation and commands a premium price, so the potential for DTC seems high ... just not quite AS high.
  • Posted on: 04/09/2021

    Will Google Maps bring a new dimension to the in-store experience?

    People wandering around crowded aisles staring down at their phones: what could go wrong? I'm a little unclear on what this function provides (in the context of "the in-store shopping experience"): does it tell me where they moved the pickles, or if they're out of bread (again!)? That would be great, but of course the data would need to be updated constantly to be of use. The examples given impress me as being like a lot of what tech offers: a high "gee whiz" factor, which tells more about how clever the developers are, than how practical something is. I guess I'd have to actually see it in use to judge.
  • Posted on: 04/08/2021

    Will Best Buy’s customers love its new service and savings plan?

    You mean I can pay (almost) $200/yr for something that I would traditionally have paid ... zero for? Well sign me up! Sorry: no. It's pretty well known that most membership or warranty or "extended ... (whatever)" plans are a cash-cow for the seller, which usually equates to charging richly for something that will seldom be used. And I think that's the case here, unlike, say, "Prime" or a Costco membership, which is (or at least can be) used a lot, I don't think a typical BB customer makes enough purchases to justify the cost ... not THIS cost, anyway.
  • Posted on: 04/08/2021

    Amazon’s CEO Bezos comes out in support of national infrastructure bill

    I think I would give a lot more credit to Interstate Highways of the Eisenhower (and subsequent) administration(s), than the New Deal. If your business is dependent on a post office or airport built in 1935, it's probably not long for the world.
  • Posted on: 04/08/2021

    Amazon’s CEO Bezos comes out in support of national infrastructure bill

    Am I surprised that someone who sells things over the internet and then delivers them over public highways would support increasing spending on broadband and roads? Or that he would support paying for that with increased corp taxes ... of which his company seems to pay very little? Now THERE'S a tough question! All proposals -- at least all complex ones -- are a mixture of good ideas and bad, hopefully we'll end up with more of the former than the latter.
  • Posted on: 04/07/2021

    Can the luxury industry be inclusive and exclusive at the same time?

    The underlying assumption here seems to be that those who sell (and design and market) something should or at least do look like those who buy it. It's a dubious premise at best and increasingly irrelevant as the wealthy become more, well ... diverse.
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