PROFILE

David Slavick

Co-Founder & Partner, Ascendant Loyalty

David Slavick is a multi-channel retail marketing expert leveraging data insight to drive strategic planning, communications/ offer management, customer loyalty program design, in-depth analytic skills, highly accountable execution and operational components. David has led large teams in the development and sustained innovation for CRM/Loyalty programs while at Accenture Interactive/Digital Retail, FTD Companies, Sears Holdings and American Eagle Outfitters.

Specialties: Assessing technology infrastructure and gaps to solve for limitations and constraints in 1:1 relationship marketing. Strategic planning and analysis to drive incremental profitable return on investment from valued customer segments. Deliver practical recommendations that are actionable based on extensive experience in the CRM/Loyalty discipline. Lead with Six Sigma project management discipline in order to meet/exceed timelines/expectations.

Ascendant Loyalty, LLC

Loyalty marketing experts laser-focused on helping consumer-focused, middle-market companies efficiently and effectively improve customer retention.

We strategically pinpoint unique opportunities and customize a loyalty product/service solution to precisely meet your needs. No more. No less.

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  • Posted on: 01/27/2022

    Will Americans go to Lowe’s to buy dog food?

    Absolutely brilliant. It optimizes the productivity of the Lowe's Home Improvement store on a per square foot basis and it provides convenience for the Lowe's shopper. Visit a Menard's, Fleet Farm, Tractor Supply -- their pet and animal merchandising strategy is spot on and many times that is exactly why I visit the store -- for pet food, bird food and many other categories that Petco stocks. Extending the productivity and attraction of the primary store (Lowe's) and expanding the Petco footprint is a solid win as I guarantee you Petco examined where they are under penetrated and Lowe's being deeper East of the Mississippi is a solid real estate expansion strategy.
  • Posted on: 01/26/2022

    Will private labels help rapid delivery firms reach profitability?

    Gene, so true. I went with B&J vs. super premium. Today, in Chicago, if anyone is paying attention as a shopper, a 1/2 gallon of Breyer's ice cream is $6.50. That is stupid expensive when if you have any price recall it could have gone for 2 for $6 a year plus ago. Small pack ice cream made with real high quality cream and popular taste ingredients -- Heath, Oreo, Butterfinger type flavors -- can win and generate a following. Delivery to home of unique items that match health preferences -- now you are talking. Low sodium? Low added sugar? Carve out segments that would appreciate that type of specifics in the shopping list, plus home delivery and a solid price/value relationship. At Jewel here in Chicago, for whatever reason the buyer (Albertsons) thinks one 1/2 gallon brand that is low sugar in one flavor -- vanilla satisfies their customer base. Nope, not at all and if you ask them to add more and perhaps cut back on slow moving brands in the frozen aisle, forget about it.
  • Posted on: 01/26/2022

    Will private labels help rapid delivery firms reach profitability?

    You got to be willing to try in order to buy. If the quality of the product combined with price is attractive, I can see it fostering continuity of purchase. As shared, finding that right balance of speed to delivery, product choice, price and reasonable fees is a tough combination. The items need to be unique, special enough that they foster preference -- if the ice cream is as good as Ben & Jerry's: winner. If closer to Dean's: pack it up and go home.
  • Posted on: 01/25/2022

    Will 2022 be the year of trading down at retail?

    Basket size will be smaller. Buying in bulk is not a new trend, Costco Sam's Club and BJ's are doing just fine. Prices go up because operating costs have skyrocketed. For all those who push for $15 minimum wage no surprise that overhead expense goes up and there remain significant shortages in many sectors -- food, restaurants and other public service industries. Making tradeoffs to buy private label goods in grocery environment benefits the grocer, not the buyer given better margin on goods sold. I'm not buying Signature chunk pineapple squares vs. Dole anytime soon for my honey pineapple chicken recipe!
  • Posted on: 01/24/2022

    Are perks the secret to associate job retention at retail?

    Showing appreciation and having recognition, reward as well as rich benefits for your employees is essential to business success. Nike is brilliant at it. Living a healthy lifestyle and offering rich savings at the company store is a given. You have access to your own personal trainer who can also advise you on healthy eating habits based on your own unique profile/needs. You can walk away from your desk anytime to go work out, run, play soccer, basketball and more. Having been on-site at HQ, there is no better example of a company showing love for its associates and doing all they can to retain them.
  • Posted on: 01/21/2022

    Amazon says first clothing store will be a fashion and technological revelation

    For once an American based retail concept leverages advanced technology to connect the customer with seamless precision. I've always been frustrated with how slow retailers have been to adopt solutions that are available in order to test/learn and eventually roll out to the masses. Personally, I despise shopping in-store and try on rooms. But this experience is a surefire winner so long as the fashion remains on trend and the price/value is compelling.
  • Posted on: 01/20/2022

    NRF 2022: Nordstrom finds freedom in alternative wholesale pacts

    Don't have something overwhelming? Now there is some clear direction to the head of merchandising planning and analysis. Go so far, just don't mess up the brand. What does the brand stand for? At one point in time it was shoes, quality goods, uncluttered displays, outstanding customer service, high fashion especially in women's dresses and so on. Now we see an attempt to draw traffic and maximize profit or revenue on a per square foot basis during these challenging times. Be careful Nordstrom -- there is a brilliant history here, don't mess it up.
  • Posted on: 01/19/2022

    NRF 2022: Albertsons’ CEO sees frequency driving grocery loyalty

    I agree in that frequency is but one key measure of loyalty. A frequent shopper may be a heavy splitter and thus selectively buying at your store as well as others. Share of market is a much more important measure along with margin on goods sold. The key to grocery marketing and loyalty success is leveraging data, analytics and insights to influence depth of store shopping experience - in HBA, Rx, organics, baked goods, deli and more. Living in Chicago and shopping an Albertsons brand - Jewel - frequency is borne out of necessity and not preference. Come to Chicago and visit the stores, they are woefully inadequate!
  • Posted on: 01/19/2022

    Are retailers’ returns concerns coming to a holiday head?

    Take a negative and turn it into a positive. The customer is in control, not the retailer. Any attempts to establish controls that make it more difficult or expensive for the customer to process their return will risk loyalty, satisfaction and potentially repeat purchase. Put plans in place to acknowledge the return, thank the customer for their business, encourage feedback on the aspects associated with the purchase and reasons for the return and reinforce customer friendly return policies, especially if differentiated for reward program members within the tier/benefit structure.
  • Posted on: 01/19/2022

    Are retailers’ returns concerns coming to a holiday head?

    Neil, all outstanding ideas and suggestions!
  • Posted on: 01/18/2022

    NRF 2022: PepsiCo CEO sees bond-building moments amid pandemic

    Create bond building moments vs. see them. Everything is local when it comes to living your life and surviving the challenges of the pandemic. Sorry, but drinking Pepsi and eating Frito-Lay product doesn't exactly help support healthy eating habits. Consumers and employees alike want to align and have affinity with brands and stores that speak to them as individuals and respond to their needs. I'd prefer to see PepsiCo invest in urban neighborhoods that suffer from a lack of fruits, veggies and indeed full-service grocery locations.
  • Posted on: 01/14/2022

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

    When was Gap a cool brand to begin with? Coolness comes from brilliant fashion designers that are on top of trends which in many cases actually starts in APAC, not NA. Cool factor can be created from sports, music and fashion forward entertainment personalities wearing your goods. I'm sorry, but Kanye West is not a figure that confers a positive image on a brand, he is controversial and there are negative issues surrounding him including being named in a battery probe. Music talent creating their own line - that is a solid. Borrowing cool factor from a talent is fraught with issues and ultimately becomes a short-term bump and nothing more.
  • Posted on: 01/13/2022

    Big Lots has big expansion plans

    Big Lots has a very sharp team running CRM/Loyalty. This informs their real estate development team to find communities where customers of similar value can be found at strong sustainable levels. Given store closures over the past several years commercial developers will be hungry to acquire Big Lots as a valued client and in turn support their footprint with optimum street visibility plus plenty of parking. Putting it out there that you plan to expand by 500 is a signal to those who are listening that they need to pay attention and proactively reach out in support of their vision. No store will open without a strong prospect of success, the team at Big Lots is way too sharp to make that mistake. Future is very bright for a chain giving customers great value and selection.
  • Posted on: 01/13/2022

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

    What does the JCP brand stand for and why go there? At one point in time, our household always shopped the store because their boys' jeans were the perfect fit for our teenage son. Likewise, they did a great job of promoting by seasonal floorset and incentivizing traffic with effective direct mail. I had the honor and distinction to be on a panel with a JCP exec 20 years ago who said rewards, recognition and loyalty programs don't work at JCP. Questioned why, the answer was "we did Penney Points and the pilot failed." So, there you go, do a pilot it fails and of course never revisit or figure out what was essentially wrong with the program construct, fix the design and go back into the market with something that will work. Remember the days of Ellen Degeneres as spokesperson touting simplified pricing...$19 and you don't need a coupon vs. $18.99 and coupons used for every in-store purchase -- oh if you don't have one the associate will scan one for you out of the register drawer. The list goes on, but the new regime must lead with vision, strategy, data led merchandising planning and analysis, product that is fashion forward, associates trained to make the floor look neat and tidy and branding that encourages store or e-commerce traffic. Lastly, the JCP credit card issued by Synchrony Bank is an asset, leverage that relationship especially with customers/loyalty program members that represent 70% of sales on a good day.
  • Posted on: 01/13/2022

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

    Steve, you are correct. There is much to be learned and has been written about with respect to Sears Holdings which I still hold near and dear to my heart.

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