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: 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.
  • Posted on: 02/08/2021

    Nordstrom is determined to get closer to its customers

    You are making a great point. I have always been amazed by Nordstrom's obsession with adjusting their service and product offering to their customer needs -- and their readiness to experiment and gradually get better based on their learnings.
  • Posted on: 02/05/2021

    The retail apocalypse didn’t happen last year, despite the coverage

    Regardless of whether "apocalypse" is the appropriate word last year forced many retailers to make decisions that they were hoping to avoid and close down stores that they were hoping they could rescue. Last year was like a storm that knocks down weak trees: some of them may have collapsed without the storm.
  • Posted on: 02/01/2021

    Walmart sets its sights on becoming a top-10 ad platform

    It will be interesting to find out how Walmart will position itself on the trade-off between ad efficiency through micro-targeting and respect for their customers' privacy. Another question is whether (and how) Walmart will share its revenue from online advertising with their customers (e.g. "Enable us to track you online in exchange for larger promotions"-type of offer).
  • Posted on: 01/28/2021

    A digital first approach is essential to retail success

    You are making a great point Dave! One of the most expensive assets to build online is brand awareness -- for which brick-and-mortar retailers are naturally ahead, thanks to their physical branded stores. Retailers that make the transition to online-only soon realize how valuable their brick-and-mortar roots were -- and how expensive the life of a pure online player is.
  • Posted on: 01/25/2021

    Will Godiva’s stores ever come back from the pandemic?

    You are marking great points, Phil. An additional value-added of physical stores is their contribution to brand awareness. Running an e-commerce website together with physical stores is one thing, because e-commerce benefits greatly from the stores' halo effect; running the same website without support from stores triggers very different economics.
  • Posted on: 01/20/2021

    NRF 2021: Are retailers stronger having made it this far into the pandemic?

    You are making great points Bob. For many small retailers the real test has not come yet though: have they accumulated enough cash in Q4 2020 to make it through the end of the 2021 summer?
  • Posted on: 01/18/2021

    Walmart’s CEO details his journey to racial awareness

    This is definitely a step in the right direction. The current diversity situation at Walmart is not ideal. The largest "minority" with 51% of the US population (i.e. Women) represents 55% of non-management employees but only 31% of their officers, according to Walmart's FY21 mid-year Culture, Diversity, and Inclusion report. Lack of diversity is not only about unconscious biases, it is also about adjusting hiring/evaluation/promotion methods to take into account the realities of each minority.
  • Posted on: 01/15/2021

    Would a Not-Amazon.ca-like effort help indy retailers compete with the online giant?

    Independent retailers are amazing: they resisted the rise of department stores in the 1800s and of big box retailers in the 1900s -- among others thanks to their adaptability and focus on a very specific, local community. Internet is a tough nut to crack though because it has created a giant shopping mall where being heard is challenging and expensive. Many had no or a sub-par website moving into the pandemic and, just like big box retailers 10 years ago, are struggling to define their online strategy. They still hold a key advantage that this initiative might be able to leverage though: they are much closer to their local customer than Amazon will ever be, both from a physical and from a marketing perspective. The next few years will be extremely insightful.
  • Posted on: 01/11/2021

    Retailers give customers refunds and tell them to keep items

    Great point Gene! We had exactly the same thought when our online sales of handcrafted chocolates took off several years ago. We couldn't accept returns (who would buy fine chocolates returned by another customer)? We had the exact same fear as you describe: what would prevent the customers who have just got chocolates for free, to do it again indefinitely? The reality is: none of our loyal customers did. What we noticed is, the tiny minority of customers who want to cheat the system and complain just to get free products are often annoyingly transparent about it. Their orders therefore become easy to identify and to handle separately.
  • Posted on: 01/07/2021

    Are local retailers ready to flex their omnichannel muscles?

    Great point Katie, I totally agree with you. The question is: how will local retailers remain competitive in the long run? A small retailer's main competitive advantage is often its location and physical visibility within the local community. When consumer behaviors shift online, small retailers lose part of their competitor edge - and now have to compete with much larger brands from across the country, with much larger marketing budgets. The shift to online will force many local retailers to refine who their core customer is, and which specific problem they solve for them.
  • Posted on: 01/05/2021

    Albertsons ditching in-house drivers to deliver online orders

    I agree. The impact on brand experience may be even more significant during a peak period. If the number of peak orders is such that some have to be prioritized over others, a third-party provider may focus on the most profitable orders for them (e.g. orders delivered to customers living close to each other) -- which may not necessarily be the best customers from Albertsons' point of view. The risk is that a key element in the customer experience may be sub-optimal for some of the best customers.

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