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Scott Norris

Channel Development Manager
  • Posted on: 06/15/2021

    How can retailers best navigate supply chain turbulence?

    We're running out of paper, tagboard, and corrugated cardboard too - between the whipsaws of cleaning supplies/hygiene shortages, explosive growth in packaging needed for online shipments, and the climate-and-COVID-19-induced timber shortages, combined with the intentional closing of paper mills in the Before Times to constrict supply and raise prices. That's all a North American problem, and it won't resolve quickly; trees only grow so fast and the paper oligopoly isn't going to start building new capacity.
  • Posted on: 06/07/2021

    Will closing stores on Thanksgiving become the new retail tradition?

    We lost my brother-in-law to COVID and father-in-law to diabetes last year -- our takeaway is that time with family is precious and all too short. And we couldn't have Thanksgiving with either my wife's mom or my folks last year -- so no, there will be no Turkey Day shopping, and we'll delete any offers from merchants who make their staff come in then. Exuberance this summer will turn to realization that hundreds of thousands of families will have empty place settings at the holidays -- let's please treat the day with respect and not crassness.
  • Posted on: 06/03/2021

    Have flagships become obsolete?

    Starbucks' Reserve locations might be an exception, but even then just one per major region (Tokyo, Chicago, Milan, etc.). A nighttime walkaround video I watched from Tokyo during cherry-blossom season this year showed that location buzzing, even with masked patrons.
  • Posted on: 05/20/2021

    Will TikTok-driven customer traffic break Starbucks’ baristas?

    I love the concept of "master barista" -- Starbucks could run with this idea with community nominations driven through social sharing and work it up to a global reality TV type event like a Top Chef series. (Nominate your favorite barista and earn stars...) With high-scoring performances and beverages finding their way into seasonal promotional circulation, of course.
  • Posted on: 05/17/2021

    Whole Foods goes all-in on centralized buying

    For local producers moving as fast as they can to cover local demand, however, there are no scale improvements that can be realized from this arrangement -- only more demands to cut prices/increase promo contribution to match the national and overseas brands. Either you're putting local producers out of business/forcing consolidation, or pushing them into the arms of regional merchants who will be more effective at telling the story and connecting with local shoppers.
  • Posted on: 05/12/2021

    Will going low lift up Bed Bath & Beyond’s sales and profits?

    "Hits the bullseye" -- I see what you did there. :)
  • Posted on: 05/10/2021

    Can associate dress codes support in-store social distancing?

    Yeah, a bit awkward there. I would have used "intentional" or "standardized" instead - as I don't want someone in a sport coat and tie checking inventory for me at Target. Like Georganne said above, though, the Target staff should at least be in the same shade of red for brand consistency. (At the Kahului, Maui store, the company bought the staff matching Aloha shirts incorporating the Bullseye logo and Hawaiian iconography - now that's team spirit!)
  • Posted on: 05/07/2021

    Will store-hailing revolutionize grocery delivery?

    Riffing off your idea, Dave - you'd probably get critical mass with a mobile liquor delivery truck, with enough safeguards to ensure only registered and verified buyers could pick up, so that you could zero out frat houses and problematic neighborhoods.
  • Posted on: 05/06/2021

    Labor Department makes it tougher to classify gig workers as contractors

    Yes! And it would likely trigger a new wave of entrepreneurship to boot. Health care, child care, senior care, and retirement security are all constraints working against vigorous participation in the marketplace.
  • Posted on: 05/05/2021

    Remote work is rough on big retail districts

    We've certainly had a hard year in Minneapolis, but construction cranes are everywhere and the downtown residential property market is white-hot. Yes, the restaurants and merchants catering to the office-tower clientele have suffered, but just six blocks north the cafes, clubs, and grocers are vibrant and growing as the permanent population balloons. Working from home isn't bad when the office is minutes away, and the Guthrie and riverfront is minutes in the other direction! At this pace, by mid-decade even the central core will have transitioned into a 24-hour community instead of the open-for-lunch scene that it was for the last 40 years.
  • Posted on: 05/05/2021

    Is the future of retail being cooked up in a lab?

    Just like cars, the value of jewelry drops in half as soon as it walks out the door. Jewelry that retains or increases in value, like collectors' watches, involves far more design and craftsmanship (and a lot of sustained brand development over time) than the actual cost of the jewels incorporated - the worth comes from the story. As the story of misery and violence around mined diamonds continues to degrade, jewelers will change the story for their products to celebrate the ingenuity and creativity of "crafted" stones. In a generation the thought of using newly-mined diamonds will be as abhorrent as using ivory, but more jewelry will be sold than ever.
  • Posted on: 04/30/2021

    Shipt and its gig workers deal with phishing attacks

    Seems like there should be a secure, exclusive hardware connection involved here, instead of having contractors use their own phones. Phishing to steal contractors' wages is low-hanging fruit, but what about malware installations that could mess with inventory counts, enable fake orders, etc.?
  • Posted on: 04/28/2021

    Will immersive experiences revitalize U.S. malls?

    Rosedale in the Twin Cities is right now tearing down its south side and rebuilding with higher-density residential, senior-housing, hotel, and grocery. It's already a transit hub and has critical mass of restaurants/cinema. My only concern is they aren't aiming high enough (literally, they should be putting 20-story towers there instead of 5-story). But it will ensure a captive, car-free audience and earn more daily/weekly visits from the surrounding community.
  • Posted on: 04/26/2021

    Will stock ownership work as a loyalty program perk?

    I've been wondering if this concept to broaden share ownership and create beneficial liquidity might work instead in the form of a "sovereign wealth fund" built up by a state lottery, intended to invest in locally-headquartered companies. For instance, in Minnesota, our lottery funds build a dedicated environmental/cultural trust fund. I could picture buying a $2 ticket, scanning a barcode on it to register, and win or lose on that week's prize drawing, still building fractional value tied to the portfolio that I could cash out or pass to my heirs. Plus, it would help local firms grow and build employment. In short, why not make investing as easy and as fun as playing the lottery?
  • Posted on: 04/21/2021

    Can West Elm tap influencer buzz?

    We Gen Xers watched "Trading Spaces" and "This Old House" all those years ago, have our magazine subscriptions now, and our tastes are set. Pinterest and Google image search get us quickly to what we're interested in for kitchen remodels, exterior updates, etc., and "we've got a guy" in the vintage/restored furniture market who can get us the real quality stuff cheaper than what West Elm is pushing. Guess it's nice to be old and invisible because keeping up with all the social channels is too much work!
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