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Lantz Starratt

COO, Retail for the People
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  • Posted on: 11/06/2019

    Food halls drive mall traffic, not clothing sales

    Food concepts are interesting, there’s no doubt about that. But they are not interesting enough to draw the masses to a mall property. The fact that food concepts are being used as the driving force to a property’s tenants seems just backwards to me. For property owners and landlords, their biggest draw is having the ability to adapt with the times and not be stuck in the same thinking that has put their peers under. As Millennials and Gen-X’ers search to have that instagrammable moment, if you are still stuck on “what’s an Instagram? Eh, we do things the ole fashioned way 'round here” then I am sorry, but you are not wanting to be a successful landlord then. Because these are no longer just social media platforms, but your marketing channels to connect with your largest consumer bases. Like others have said it is the compelling, the exciting, the exclusive, the partnerships, the Veblen goods, the eclectic, the creative, the experiences that tell a story that is unique and actually worth repeating is what customers seek out. The shift online was not really a retail apocalypse, good physical retail is very much alive and well. However, how many times have you gone into a store just to take a picture of the label or tag and then Google it as you walk out, ultimately finding that same item online? I’ve done it. We all have. Retailers have one of the hardest missions there is and that’s to capture our attention spans. One of the greatest things to witness and get to be a part of is the market now as we are in the middle of this evolving retail industry. Are food concepts the answer to drive foot traffic to clothing retailers in a mall property? I’m not convinced so, but only time will tell us in a bigger and clearer picture.
  • Posted on: 10/23/2019

    Best Buy is ready for Christmas with free next-day deliveries for almost everyone

    I am just glad that I may now not ever have to step foot in an actual Walmart again. But in all reality, the speed of delivery is critical now more than ever to e-commerce sales performance, as is the price. The availability of free next-day delivery will surely mean an uptick in top-line revenue for Best Buy during the Christmas season. On a more lighthearted note -- our tech focused society has quickly become a "right now society." We must have it right now! Pretty soon we will want drones to pick items off the production line at the manufacturer and supersonic jet them to us from Taiwan to our doorstep in eight hours or less, or we will unfollow them on Instagram. Just sayin'.
  • Posted on: 10/23/2019

    Best Buy is ready for Christmas with free next-day deliveries for almost everyone

    Couldn't agree more
  • Posted on: 10/23/2019

    Nearly half of online fashion shoppers say social media inspired their last purchase

    Social media plays such a large role in our lives. In a society that is dominated by what products Apple just released, and what celebrities are endorsing what brands, people place a huge emphasis on one another's opinion and style. People want to replicate what they like. Social media takes word of mouth and amplifies it to the masses. Americans still love their stores. When more than half of the population of shoppers still want to go to the physical store to shop, the social media campaign should always be supporting that; And in large part they do. I don't think that many retailers are looking at social media as a separate channel, when almost all organizations have some roles geared towards social media. Smart experiential retail is using social media's quick and strong influence to sway customers every-which-way they can. Retailers should of course take advantage of it, but be cautious of the ROI on such practices (as mentioned previously in regards to tracking ROI). It is fascinating though the different routes people use for discovery of a product. Social media is a valuable tool/best influencer as are customer reviews and testimonials. Brands that are not providing photos, video, and now even transparency of their pricing are vastly behind the curve.
  • Posted on: 10/23/2019

    Will Barneys find success setting up shops inside Saks Fifth Avenue?

    Shop-in-shops can be a successful model if their execution makes sense on both sides, but for Barneys to exist within Saks may just cause confusion and I see this strategy poised to go sideways. I think a lot of younger shoppers do not really even differentiate between some of the staple luxury stores like Saks, Barneys, Bergdorf, or Neiman. Some of the folks going in Saks would have also shopped in Barneys, but now they really will not be able to differentiate between the two since both are massive department stores offering a wide variety of product. The path for Barneys to capitalize on its equity may very will be teaming with a stronger luxury name everyone respects (in NYC anyway), but I am skeptical this is the silver bullet. How is it a long-term strategy? For starters, Barneys has always been the "hipper" retailer because they feature some of the "unusual," but when they started selling $1,100 bongs it was the beginning of the end for them. The high-end head shop concept was a failed attempt at some sort of connection to its perceived youthful customers, but they should have just focused on being themselves and quit trying to prove they are something they are not. Hopefully their online presence can keep them alive, but I am afraid this could be just another misfire for old Barneys!
  • Posted on: 10/04/2019

    Will Simon Property and Rue Gilt disrupt the online value shopping market?

    Ha! Rich I was thinking the same thing. I thought maybe they had taken a Chinese proverb about competing against one’s self too literally or something? Who knows, but nonetheless an interesting strategy.
  • Posted on: 10/04/2019

    Should companies have to pay you to use your personal data?

    Hi Lee, do you mind sharing any of the names of the economists you referenced above? Would love to delve deeper into different thoughts on this topic. Thanks!
  • Posted on: 10/04/2019

    Should companies have to pay you to use your personal data?

    Andrew Yang’s proposal brings up a lot of really great questions. However, to get it from a proposal to an actionable policy could be the difficult, if not impossible part. It brings into question the very definition of what “personal data” is as well as the parameters and price we pay as consumers of places like the internet. If the heavy hitters like Google, Facebook, etc. were forced to comply with a policy like what Yang proposes, our internet would be a very different place, perhaps a much better one. Perhaps not. Who is to know since things have been this way for so incredibly long. Has there ever been a time where personal data hasn’t been collected? Most of the technology these days is somehow pilfering data from consumers, and whether that is a good thing or a bad thing remains the biggest debate. Although, how a business can go about backing a policy like this without becoming a pariah is really the true question.
  • Posted on: 10/02/2019

    Foot Locker invests in streetwear e-commerce platform

    This move for Foot Locker can hopefully help them assert some dominance among the sneakerheads and gain some much needed traction. Albeit, they continue to gain footing (pun intended) and make strides (also intended) more recently with strategic positioning. As said above, brand image is going to undoubtedly be the most valuable return on their investment in this NTWRK platform move. It will be interesting to see moving forward the overall response and numbers. If there is one thing sneakerheads love, it is being able to participate in the latest drops. So, kudos to Foot Locker for this pivot and opening up an entire vast market share with a die hard following by setting its sights on the streetwear segment.
  • Posted on: 10/02/2019

    Do retail metrics need to be reinvented?

    Adrian, really love that you created a product that allows retailers to bring it all back around to what they really care about (Revenue). If an investor is calculating the intrinsic value of a business, it makes the most sense to look at not only look at your traditional metrics, but to evaluate the ROI. Things like loyalty and churn are equally crucial and it is important for Deloitte to make that distinction.
  • Posted on: 09/30/2019

    “Alexa, help me get a job at McDonald’s”

    I agree with Lee’s post. It’s pretty essential that the application is done correctly when it is pertaining to employment. When every part of the process is dissected down to the time you took to make sure there were no grammatical or spelling errors in your job application, I believe we still have a long way to go before we are to that place where this could be truly seamless. So I do not see it becoming a major hiring or recruiting tool. When I ask Alexa to tell me what song is in the latest Hyundai commercial and she comes back with a list of Hyundai dealerships that is fine. But when it is for your future job and you are asking a voice assistant to send your resume to the right position then there is bound to be some room for improvement. As far as McDonald's and them ascertaining a solid footing back in the world of fast food, just when everyone had seemed to forgotten their relevance. They come out with tuition assistance plans and voice assisted applications. Steve Easterbrook continues to have tricks up his sleeve.
  • Posted on: 09/06/2019

    Would you go to Walmart to see a doctor?

    Only 29% of the average American populace has emergency savings and with a number like that there continues to be a large number of people who face uncertainty when it comes to healthcare. Walmart moving into healthcare is a great business move and I would absolutely see a Walmart doctor. At competitive prices like that, they are guaranteeing themselves major profits. I think most people would agree that in everyday health, the deciding factor of where we go to receive services is based off of price or coverage. Once it goes from everyday services like physicals and eye exams to a more serious issue, the cost quickly becomes irrelevant. People want to see the best of the best. With that being said, Walmart as just a provider of non-emergency medicine seems like a really great move for them in a time where price and speed are king.
  • Posted on: 09/06/2019

    Will Jockey inspire brand loyalty with its very first pop-up shop?

    It’s nice to see Simon Properties leaning more into the world of pop-ups and evolving a little bit. Same can be said for Jockey. I wonder though if this is their shot back at real relevancy after their segment got so crowded with competition. With DTC taking so much of their market share it seems like a logical move for them, but I wonder if partnering with Simon is the right move? Did they really need Simon to help them reach Main Street America? I mean we are talking about one of the better known companies of the 20th century here. Jockey’s greatest asset in my opinion is their heritage and history. Like previously mentioned we have seen many companies that fell out of the spotlight coming back into play and relaunching, but the question is can they hang? You have your Duck Head’s and Eddie Bauer’s and the likes, that are great examples of this. I do however, think the Victoria Arlen is a great touch, it is a really great story and that is something consumers will undeniably connect with. But, I still am ambivalent on expectations of any major success on this first activation. I agree with the sentiment that they are taking the steps and heading in the right direction, if they do more pop-ups in the future I think they have just as well of a shot as any to asserting their dominance back in this space. It is about time, my question is where the heck have they been?
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