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Craig Sundstrom

CFO, Weisner Steel
  • Posted on: 10/15/2021

    Just how casual will wardrobes become?

    My story is just the opposite: I was flying back from Europe, and was wearing a suit (I guess so I wouldn't have to pack it). A fellow passenger approached me for a drink, apparently mistaking me for a steward ... I was fifteen years old.
  • Posted on: 10/15/2021

    Just how casual will wardrobes become?

    Politicians and bankers will continue to wear business wear.... Cathy, I think you just gave it a death sentence! :)
  • Posted on: 10/15/2021

    Just how casual will wardrobes become?

    Hmmm: 6% of the voters work for Nordstrom. No, seriously, if I were a retailer dependent on dress ... work ... let's just call it "nice" clothing, I'd be worried about my future. I'm sure,confident hoping it has a future, but it's hard to believe it's going to be what it once was (talk of "resurgence in wardrobes" comes from people who either have a vested interest -- no pun intended -- in seeing that or are delusional). I don't think the pandemic has much to do with it -- though it certainly didn't help -- as we've been on a downward path for a long time.
  • Posted on: 10/15/2021

    Meal kit maker seeks to scale ‘pay what you want’ pricing strategy

    Well it finally happened (at least as of when I'm writing this): 100% of voters are in agreement. Voter fraud? I doubt it: some ideas that sound like they just won't work are ... well ... unworkable.
  • Posted on: 10/15/2021

    Are brands about to take over the produce department?

    I'm skeptical of the survey results (a marketing firm concluding brands are important ... really?) so let's approach it from a more fundamentals approach: quality/consistency and packaging. Produce isn't manufactured, obviously, so even a brand that buys from a certain farm or producer is still going to have some variability in product, which complicates expectations and messaging. If your apples are smaller and/or less sweet than they were last week, is that a defect? Has the brand changed or is it just a random fluctuation? Secondly, most produce is sold in bulk; unless suppliers actually begin to package their product -- which would seem to be wasteful (and 180° from current sustainability goals) -- branding would need to be accomplished in store, with signs and separate displays. A certain amount of confusion would seem inevitable, and maintenance from the store would be higher. Still, it's not a crazy idea: I buy a certain brand of cherry tomatoes, and grapes are sold packaged (even if I don't really care what brand I buy). And many raised products -- like eggs and bacon -- that were once sold in bulk as commodities are now branded.
  • Posted on: 10/14/2021

    Wawa goes big on self checkout tech

    Speaking of (from the other thread on Theranos) "too good to be true": I don't really see "Scan-n-go" (and its ilk) ever really catching on ... I just think it's too lacking in control to prevent shoplifting and other forms of fraud. Am I being unduly pessimistic? Probably, but "think twice, adopt once..."
  • Posted on: 10/14/2021

    What lessons should retailers take from the Theranos fraud debacle?

    What vetting process? The fact that a Chief Financial Officer seems to have been the lead contact for considering the adoption of (what purported to be) medical technology tells us all too well the thinking that went on here ... or really the lack of it. The lesson is obvious: if retailers want to play doctor, they will have the same responsibilities. Period.
  • Posted on: 10/13/2021

    Stores? Kroger don’t need no stinking stores

    This is where I really miss Tony O knocking some sense into our heads bringing the perspective of someone who actually runs a (grocery) store. I would call this interesting, and it may prove profitable, but those of us who think grocery will remain overwhelmingly store-based aren't going to foresee this as ever grabbing a large market share. Even beyond the actual sales, a sizable number of stores provides crucial name recognition ... no small matter when someone is sitting at the keyboard asking "who do I order from?" And last -- but by no means least -- everyone in Florida goes up against Publix, the ne plus ultra of markets.
  • Posted on: 10/12/2021

    Should retailers set time guarantees for curbside delivery?

    Don't promise what you can't deliver ... in this case literally! Unrealistic time frames are an open invitation to either frustrated customers or massive amounts of credit given out (or both). Far better to set reasonable expectations -- with few conditions -- and perhaps some kind of compensation for clear breakdowns; a "promise" of as little as 30 minutes seems particularly useless as it doesn't really assure you of anything: i.e. or as long as...,which is likely more important.
  • Posted on: 10/12/2021

    Should advertisers delete Facebook?

    There's never been much doubt what Facebook is all about. But advertisers use it because it's effective (or more to the point, they use it because they think it's effective). Until, or really "unless" that changes, the question is moot.
  • Posted on: 10/08/2021

    Should retailers be looking to leverage free return shipping?

    Hard to disagree: a company that has a persistent problem of returns due to "quality is lower than expected" has a lot more to worry about than how the returns are handled.
  • Posted on: 10/08/2021

    Should retailers be looking to leverage free return shipping?

    Hmm ... thought it was pretty universally agreed that returns were a horror story that should be minimized as much as possible, not "leveraged." So here's a radical idea: free returns should be available as a last resort (wrong item, damaged, etc)...let's stop giving stuff away (especially expensive stuff).
  • Posted on: 10/08/2021

    Will Wrangler make an authentic connection with Millennials and Gen Z?

    What is Wrangler's heritage? Candidly, to most of us I think it's always been "the jeans you buy if you aren't buying Levis." I'm not sure how that would be communicated in an ad, nor am I sure it should be, since you're allowing your competition to define you (Avis' success at self-deprecation notwithstanding). Back to the ad: I wasn't impressed: bunch of seemingly unrelated images, bunch of words (blah, blah, blah) ... found it neither informative nor even entertaining. Should they care? Am I in the target group? (I guess that depends on how large the plus is in "40+").
  • Posted on: 10/07/2021

    Will retailers win now and lose later with long-term shipping contracts?

    I believe the many of us who voted "nay" are assuming the contracts will reflect current conditions, and that the conditions will actually improve; hence you'll be locked into a worse than I'd get now situation. But obviously it depends on the terms of the contract; and there's a value in certainty ... knowing that if worse comes to worst ... well it won't actually be worst(i.e. no shipping ability at all).
  • Posted on: 10/06/2021

    Is Home Depot’s deal with Walmart a sign of bigger things to come?

    Let's not get ahead of ourselves: no, I don't see a merger. OTC, I envision just the opposite: the delivery service is successful -- being used by more and more companies, becomes an operation unto itself, and Home Depot decides to spin it off.
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