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Peter Smith

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  • Posted on: 04/30/2021

    Shipt and its gig workers deal with phishing attacks

    Kudos to Shipt for reimbursing the aggrieved workers, but in any evolving technology there is bound to be scams/phishing. Let's hope the company takes meaningful steps (beyond emails) to safeguard against future abuse. The technology is not going anywhere and gig workers are, for good and/or bad, becoming essential to our commerce experience.
  • Posted on: 04/29/2021

    Will retailers be rewarded for giving ex-cons a second chance?

    Even if one parks the moral argument (and is there any doubt that everyone should be given an opportunity to put past mistakes behind them - especially so when they have served their sentences?), surely companies would not want to deny themselves access to tens of millions of people who could become/might now be productive members of society. People who might effusively embrace the opportunity to get their lives back on track with meaningful work, engagement, and the support a professional community. With respect to recidivism, aren't we part of the problem if society denies ex-cons the opportunity to course correct their lives?
  • Posted on: 04/26/2021

    Will stock ownership work as a loyalty program perk?

    It's a very interesting model and it would be all the more so if we knew what the sample size was from Columbia. Other than anticipated customer resistance to linking their bank account information (have there been studies on that?), there would seem to be little downside. That said, brand performance and execution will, I suspect, always be the reason customers stay loyal or shop elsewhere, and disappointing customers on that end likely won't be saved by ownership of fractions of a stock.
  • Posted on: 04/23/2021

    Will Americans go shopping for dressier clothes as the COVID-19 threat is reduced?

    There has been a years' long trend to more pragmatic dress. From my own perspective, that meant fewer suits and more jeans — but still with a nice shirt, jacket and dress shoes. Nordstrom was, and might still be, the best example of that. As I get back to visiting customers, I expect to dress the same way. The sizes might just be a little bigger — yikes!
  • Posted on: 04/22/2021

    Are associates better than influencers for shopping livestreams?

    There are clearly going to be occasions where "influencers" make sense -- how could there not be in a Kardashian world? (Sigh.) But I believe customers will be responsive to sales associates as long as the deliverable has a base level of professionalism. That means sales associates who have a comfort level in front of camera, with good body language and who are articulate and informed. It also means the lighting and audio need to be professional so that it doesn't distract from the message.
  • Posted on: 04/21/2021

    Lululemon to pilot ‘Like New’ clothing test

    As a long-time lover of antique markets and re-sale shops, I love the idea. If the sustainability or eco-friendly angle gives license to consumers to more readily frequent Lululemon, Nike or non-branded stores to spend money all the better.
  • Posted on: 04/16/2021

    Are DTC brands still primed for growth?

    What can sometimes gets lost in the DTC conversation is the need for an integrated and seamless experience for the customer. They shop where and when they want - and that clearly works both online to bricks and bricks to online. So the only thing better than a great online experience is a consistent online and bricks experience. What should never get lost, however, is the significant advantage for brands executing DTC to control the brand experience for the end-consumer. It is no accident that more brands are reclaiming that right (critical to survival) in the face of indifferent end-user experiences with many bricks partners.
  • Posted on: 04/15/2021

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

    A very positive move by a company not revered for its human relations. Let's hope the Bentonville winds blow towards Seattle.
  • Posted on: 04/14/2021

    Is e-grocery killing or inspiring impulse buys?

    Rod Martin wrote in The Psychology of Humor, "In a study, 94 percent of respondents identified themselves as having an above-average sense of humor." It is a good reminder to be very wary of what consumers say they want, or what they believe motivates them. Whether it is true that impulse purchases are aided or hindered because of e-grocery remains to be seen. What this survey of one will conclude is my household is growing tired of nonsensical substitutions from well-intentioned professional shoppers and we are looking forward to getting back to store visits for ourselves.
  • Posted on: 04/12/2021

    Amazon’s Prime Day is coming earlier and possibly twice

    I shudder to think that Amazon (if they sneeze, retailers get a cold) might turn anticipation of head-winds due to post-vaccination travel and/or live sports, music, events etc., into a thing. Doing so feels a bit like the stock equivalent of "timing the market," as opposed to execution of fundamentals and elevating the consumer experience.
  • Posted on: 04/12/2021

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

    Gap's challenge would seem to be one of relevance and, by default, sustainability. That said, anything that reduces customer friction (and delays in receiving goods certainly qualifies as friction) has to be good for business.
  • Posted on: 04/08/2021

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

    No surprise that Best Buy is jumping on the "annuity" bandwagon. Amazon Prime has blazed that trail and the concept is now becoming ubiquitous. The success, or lack thereof, will ultimately be determined by the value proposition to their customers and that feels like it ought to be somewhere north of what has thus far been revealed.
  • Posted on: 04/07/2021

    Will shelf scanning robots put an end to out-of-stocks?

    Can robots give a bald man a haircut?
  • Posted on: 04/07/2021

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

    Joining the club matters, and it is easier to rationalize premium prices if the club (read brand) feels more exclusive. Would a Porsche 918 Spyder be as aspirational if more people drove them? Would shoppers pay $2500 for a Gucci bag if every other person carried one? What seems to be changing is the very definition of luxury branding itself - and LVMH is perfectly positioned to traverse that somewhat blurry line with its recent acquisition of Tiffany & Co. In the 1980s, Tiffany had eight or nine stores in the U.S. and was seen as an exclusive club. You had to live or visit a major city to find a store and the experience was by its very nature exclusive. Today, Tiffany has more than 100 stores throughout the U.S. and its model has evolved to be much more accessible. While the definition of luxury brands will likely change with the evolution of retail itself, what is less vague is that luxury brands will need to articulate a clear sense of what they want to be lest they risk descent into irrelevance by trying to be all things to all people.
  • Posted on: 04/06/2021

    What will 80,000 closed stores mean for America’s retailers?

    I have loved Phil Wahba's (Fortune Magazine) tweet from a couple of years back that retail isn't dead, only sh***y retail is. I am very optimistic about bricks retail as long as it's not sh***y. Mark is correct, we are over-built in retail malls in the US and the correction may have been accelerated by the pandemic, but we all knew that it was coming and it won't slow anytime soon. That said, it is more Darwin than online. To know that 86% of all sales in a pandemic year came form bricks is testament to the value of a great retail experience. So, the question for retailers is...is it?
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