PROFILE

Xavier Lederer

Business Growth Coach, Founder & CEO of Ambrose Growth

I work with mid-market CEOs and business owners who are frustrated because their business is not growing as fast as they want. As a business growth coach I help them identify and remove growth roadblocks, so that they can grow faster and with less pain.

I leverage my experience over the last 20 years as a high-impact, action-oriented entrepreneurial executive with successful track record of delivering profitable growth in retail, e-commerce, consumer goods, food, and energy:

  • Turned around a food business to deliver +10% growth within 6 months.
  • Grew a stagnant $70M ecommerce/franchise category +70% in 2 years.
  • Increased sales of an energy retailer +25% to $100M in 2 years.

Key characteristics:

  • End-to-end leadership from strategy development to company-wide execution in a multi-channel environment, including e-commerce, retail, key accounts/B2B, call center, direct mail, and other non-traditional sales channels.
  • Recognized as a creative and tenacious problem-solving change agent, driving change through vision, teamwork, performance management, and people development. Experienced leader of cross-functional teams, creating effective bridges across the organization.
  • Skilled at improving organizational effectiveness through talent development/coaching and team restructuring.
  • Full P&L responsibility and executive team leadership experience.
  • Able to team up with a visionary founder, who needs help to structure the business in order to fulfill their vision. Low ego, collaborative leadership style, calm under pressure, strong prioritization and strategy development skills, knows when to be assertive or accommodating.

To learn more, visit: ambrosegrowth.com

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  • Posted on: 09/01/2021

    Ending prices that end in 99 cents

    This is a very insightful finding. It would be interesting to find out the effect of the price difference (99 cents vs. $1) on volume though. Most retailers set "charm pricing" primarily to increase volume, not to motivate upgrades.
  • Posted on: 05/17/2021

    Whole Foods goes all-in on centralized buying

    You are making a great point Suresh. Additionally, there will probably be an impact on many food start-ups: Whole Foods has often been considered the gateway to retail -- first locally, then regionally. A venture capitalist told me once: "If a food start-up can't get into Whole Foods, I don't even want to meet with them!" It looks like these innovative companies may need to find another avenue to grow their business in their early days.
  • Posted on: 05/03/2021

    DoorDash tries tiered commission structure to deal with restaurants’ complaints

    One could argue that DoorDash offers an inexpensive way to opportunistically expand a restaurant business, without any fixed cost: you don't need to pay a driver, you don't need to build a website, you don't even need to pay a photographer to take pictures of your dishes. Especially with Covid, restaurants need all possible options to increase their revenue. The new lower tier makes it even easier to test it out.
  • Posted on: 04/26/2021

    What will greater access to Amazon’s customers mean for marketplace sellers?

    You are making a great point Yogesh! Right now the relationship between brands and their customers on Amazon is purely transactional. It will be interesting to see whether this change is sufficient to create some kind of conversation between brands and their customers -- even though the initial MYCE setup seems to favor one-way conversations only.
  • Posted on: 04/20/2021

    Are pop-up shops the answer to getting reluctant shoppers back into stores?

    You are making a great point Mark. A pop-up is a great way to test a new geography indeed. In the current context, it will be complex to predict which malls/shopping streets will recover and which ones won't. In this uncertain retail environment pop-ups can clearly help filter out bad locations that look promising at first sight, at a relatively low cost -- and therefore reduce the risk while speeding up retail expansion.
  • Posted on: 04/07/2021

    Amazon goes shopping at the mall

    You are making a great point; it is not clear how a building designed for shopping can be turned into an efficient warehouse. Think of the need for loading docks that need to be at a certain height from the ground outside, but at floor level on the inside, the need for same-level floor (without stairs, elevators, second floor...), ceiling height requirements.... Unless the goal is simply to eliminate the current buildings and design something new.
  • Posted on: 04/01/2021

    Can Google become a legit alternative to Amazon for sellers (and buyers)?

    Small and mid-sized businesses need players like Google to find ways to successfully "mess with Amazon." It is difficult to build a sustainable business on Amazon as a seller: your products on Amazon are surrounded by your competitors (even on your product pages) you don't receive customer data (which makes it challenging to build a loyal customer base), and Amazon fees reduce your margins. On the other hand, developing your brand name to increase sales on your own website is costly and takes time. As a result, having Google (or any other player) develop a good alternative to Amazon would greatly help small and mid-sized companies.
  • Posted on: 03/24/2021

    Walmart uses brutal self-assessment in omnichannel turnaround strategy

    "What got you here won't get you there:" our past successes are often the biggest roadblocks to our future growth, because they blind us. It is great to see such a large company admit that course-correction is needed. The true source of humility and vulnerability is at the individual level though (and it is often painful), not at the company level. If Walmart's key leaders are genuinely admitting their flaws individually and as a leadership team, miracles can happen.
  • Posted on: 03/22/2021

    Will tech acquisitions enable Nike to drive personalization at scale?

    The use of data to personalize products and communication ("getting the right product in the right place at the right time") seems to create an obvious path towards direct-to-consumer, therefore bypassing 3rd-party retailers. And indeed Nike has been slashing the number of stores that sell their goods. But Nike alone can only get so much information about their customers. I wonder whether smart retailers could partner with Nike not just to sell their shoes but also, based on their wider relationship with their customers, to help enrich Nike's data and put it into a broader context -- therefore making them indispensable in Nike's data-driven strategy.
  • Posted on: 03/15/2021

    How much HQ space will disappear as hybrid work becomes a retailing thing?

    The shift towards work-from-home may generate an interesting paradigm shift: small and medium-sized businesses may be at an advantage over much larger businesses. So far, larger businesses in most industries had a clear competitive advantage because of economies of scale, but the complexity of organizing work from home increases exponentially with the number of people on staff. Small and mid-sized businesses, with their much shorter communication lines, might have a competitive advantage over larger businesses in this new work-from-home environment.
  • Posted on: 03/08/2021

    Wholesale curtailed. Is retail’s favorite model faltering?

    It is unclear to me how many brands could do a similar move. Nike's relationship with Amazon is a good example. In late 2019 Nike stopped selling directly on Amazon. Right now, almost 1.5 years later, there are still many Nike items available on Amazon, sold through 3-party sellers. The product description, images, and UX on Amazon are most probably not in line with Nike's brand guidelines -- but Nike can probably live with that because it is such a powerful brand: their customers know that they can expect better on Nike's website. And indeed: Nike.com's sales have surged last year, while sales of Nike's products on Amazon have declined. Making such a move successfully takes strong brand awareness and brand equity combined with superior website/app experience and experienced e-commerce logistics teams. How many brands have such strong assets to make a similar move?
  • Posted on: 03/05/2021

    Will Walmart make a sizable impact with its latest ‘Made in USA’ commitments?

    The rubber will meet the road for products for which "Buy American" will lead to price increases and negative customer reactions. How will senior leadership react? Will they back down or will they stay true to their principles?
  • Posted on: 03/03/2021

    Will a third-party marketplace step up and give Amazon a run for its money?

    You are making a great point Andrew. Retailers need to design their marketplace strategy with their customers in mind, not with Amazon in mind. A retailer that has carved out a differentiated market position attracts different customers with different needs and expectations on their marketplace - which makes some vendors more successful on this retailer's marketplace than on Amazon. This in turn will drive a virtuous circle of innovation on the vendor side to better serve the needs of the retailer's customers. In the end, the rules of the game have not changed; they have simply been transferred online.
  • Posted on: 02/19/2021

    Walmart gives workers a raise and weighs in on the minimum wage debate

    It is interesting to note that the article also mentions that Walmart's CEO "is not behind moving [the federal minimum wage] to $15 an hour." Increasing the average associate wage to $15/hour at Walmart may increase employee engagement, but it will also enable Walmart to be more selective about which associates they want in their stores. This advantage would disappear if their competitors were forced to offer the same wage if the federal minimum wage increases.
  • Posted on: 02/15/2021

    Are huge marketplace seller aggregators a good thing for Amazon and retail?

    You are making a great point: when they reach a certain size should aggregators set up their own platform? Amazon can help scale rapidly, but doesn't help create repeat business: aggregators don't have access to client information through Amazon (and therefore can't build any personal relationship with their clients), and they have to sell their products on pages surrounded by their competitors' products. Except if their competitive advantage is purely based on the lowest costs and prices, at some point aggregators will find it useful to set up their own branded sales channels.

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