business news in context, analysis with attitude

Last week we wrote about the sale of eatZi’s, and remembered its high profile as well as some of its failed efforts. MNB user Paul Schlossberg of D/FW Consulting responded with the following email:

”Here is an example of inappropriate strategy and poor tactics based on exceptional early success at store #1. They never built and executed a replicable model.

“The Macy's site was dumb, and dumber. This was an error in location strategy - the concept never had a chance. Not locating closer to population centers (Zabar's as an example) doomed the store there. It forced them to end up with Macy's employees (and shoppers) as their prime customers...not a large enough draw for prime evening dinner hour purchasing. In New York at the end of the day, homeward bound commuters rush for the subway or commuter trains or buses. NYC retailing is a neighborhood business...building a monument was a mistake. That site was a zero from day one.

“The Long Island site, if I recall, didn't have a license to sell wine. Hence part of the successful formula was wiped away before they opened. Not bringing the full concept to that store doomed the location.

“The right strategy would have been to "conquer Dallas" first. Go read military strategy books like "The Art of War." They should have set up a network of satellite stores serviced from the main store with a limited selection and a (well-conceived) rotating menu. That would have established a model to be replicated in other markets. This formula could still be executed and might take them further down the path to success. .

“As and aside...I loved Eatzi's when it opened and went out of my way to go there. But HEB's Central Market is about one mile from my home. Eatzi's could have been in this area first. Can't remember who said it..."You want to be first, best, or different." They certainly should have been first and best - because at that time in many markets they would have been different.”
KC's View: