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    Published on: February 19, 2020

    by Kevin Coupe

    The Washington Post recounts the sad story of the Petersfield Bookshop in Hampshire County, England, which on January 14 had the worst day in its 102-year history.

    The store - which specializes in antique and collectible books - didn't sell anything.  Not one thing.

    Clerk Robert Sansom, saddened to think that the store might have reached the end of the line, referred to it as his "tumbleweed" day, and went on Twitter to write about it.  "We think think this maybe the first time ever," he wrote, adding (perhaps a little desperately), "We know its miserable out but if you'd like to help us out please find our Abebooks offering below, all at 25% off at the moment…."

    That was January 14.  January 15 was a little different.

    According to the Post, "Sansom’s tweet went viral and was retweeted by author Neil Gaiman to his 2.8 million followers, prompting thousands of people to inundate the shop’s website with orders … For the past two weeks, Sansom, his co-workers and a small band of volunteers in Petersfield — population 14,372 — have spent 14 hours a day frantically filling hundreds of orders and mailing them to customers around the world."

    (One of Gaiman's novels, as a matter of interest, is called "Stardust" … which he clearly decided to sprinkle on the Petersfield Bookshop.)

    In addition to fulfilling orders, Sansom has been going online to that Gaiman and all the other folks who have been placing orders.  And, he wants to send an Eye-Opening message to the more than 21,000 Twitter followers that the Petersfield Bookshop now has:

    “Please, go and find your local indie bookshops, new and secondhand, and buy real books from them. If you don't, they will just close and disappear.

    “You won’t even notice to start with,” he adds, “and then you will. And it will be too late.”

    Published on: February 19, 2020

    Walmart said yesterday that its Q4 "was not our best," in the words of CEO Doug McMillon.

    The retailer said that total revenue for the period was up 2.1 percent, or $2.9 billion, to $141.67 billion, on US same-store sales that were up 1.9 percent and US e-commerce sales that were up 35 percent.

    Net income for the quarter was $ 4.14 billion, up 12.3 percent from $3.68 billion during the same period a year ago.

    For the fiscal year, Walmart reported total revenue of $523.9 billion, up 1.9 percent from $514.4 billion the previous year, and e-commerce sales for the year were up 37 percent.

    In a statement, CFO Brett Biggs said: “The fourth quarter started and ended strong with solid sales growth through Cyber Monday and in January. In the few weeks before Christmas, we experienced some softness in a few general merchandise categories in our U.S. stores. However, Walmart U.S. grocery sales and eCommerce sales were strong throughout the quarter. Sam’s Club performed well, including solid results in eCommerce. We experienced softness in some key international markets, as well as in Chile, where unrest led to disruption in the majority of our stores. Walmex, China and Flipkart all had a solid quarter.

    "The holiday season delivered positive transaction growth and underlying expense leverage was strong for the quarter. However, it wasn’t as good as expected due to lower sales volumes and some pressure related to associate scheduling. We understand the factors that affected our results and are developing plans to address them. We remain confident in our business strategy and our ability to deliver value and convenience for our customers through an integrated omnichannel offering across the globe."

    In its story, the Miami Herald notes that "it was the shortest holiday shopping season since 2013, leaving retailers scrambling to figure out how to get people thinking about the holidays sooner. The ongoing trade war with China has raised costs for most and now, a new virus in China is hitting a huge customer base as well as manufacturing facilities and supply chains.

    "The challenges come on the back of a slew of bankruptcies as retailers attempt to satisfy a customer who has gone increasingly online, one who demands speedy delivery and returns."

    KC's View:
     

    The spread of the coronavirus in China is putting new stresses on Walmart, even as it says - for the moment - that it is not adjusting its financial projections because of it.  The Washington Postnotes that Walmart, in addition to adjusting its hours and staffing policies in China, where it has more than 400 stores, is shifting its inventory "to focus on fresh food and necessities instead of toys and apparel."  And, the fact that China is "largely on lockdown" has meant that "residents have become increasingly reliant on the company for home delivery of groceries and other supplies."

    This could be a harbinger of the future in other places if the coronavirus continues to spread;   retailers have to be ready to respond.  And, ironically, Walmart's expanded focus on health care products and services could also help it navigate the challenges of the near future.

    Published on: February 19, 2020

    From The Atlantic:

    "The news of Fairway Market’s second foray into bankruptcy, this time with the threat that stores could be liquidated to pay off the unsustainable debt hanging over the grocery chain, dismayed its legions of loyal Manhattan customers. Fairway’s New York City stores draw an eclectic crowd of shoppers: local residents, professors and students at schools from the City University of New York to Columbia University, and others seeking its fresh-baked breads, unusual cheeses, and wide range of international foods. Upscale and idiosyncratic, with its humble roots still evident, Fairway is emblematic of the city in which it has become a storied institution. But, fatefully, it is also emblematic of the way private-equity investors - including Fairway’s former owner Sterling Investment Partners - have hastened the fall of brick-and-mortar stores caught in the so-called retail apocalypse."

    It is a familiar story in the retail business.  A retail chain has been around for a long time, and has relatively low debt.  It also tends to own a lot of real estate.  Private equity steps in, and offers ownership a chance at a big check.

    The Atlantic goes on:

    "The low debt means that private-equity firms can acquire retail chains by putting up very little of their own money and can take on high levels of debt that the company, not the investors who own it, must ultimately repay. The real estate gives investors an opportunity to sell off some of it and pocket the proceeds, leaving the stores to pay rent on properties they once owned. Especially attractive to private-equity owners is the high cash flow in retail operations. Private-equity owners have not been shy about putting their hands in the till to pay themselves exorbitant dividends.

    "Unfortunately, private-equity owners are far more accustomed to taking money out of retailers than to putting money into them, and the hollowed-out chains they own are ill-equipped to meet today’s competitive challenges. Brick-and-mortar stores need to invest in e-commerce, same-day delivery, and the technologies and logistics that success in retail now requires. While all traditional retail faces these challenges, chains owned by private equity make up a disproportionate share of businesses that have failed. This record is not just a product of markets; it’s a matter of morality as well. Private-equity firms profit as the companies they own tumble into bankruptcy."

    The Atlantic suggests that "if private-equity firms cannot be socially responsible stewards of capital, then Congress will need to act. One possible reform would involve fully taxing the advisory and other fees that private-equity investors extract from the companies they own. Another potential reform would impose restrictions on dividends paid out in the two years following a buyout."  Perhaps, the story posits, private equity should be required to "bear some of the liability for a company’s debt when the buyout ends in bankruptcy," since it has positioned itself to make so much money when things go well and even, apparently, when things do not.

    This is not to say that all private equity is bad:  "Private-equity firms claim that they make their money turning troubled companies around, and some do. But all too often, these investors buy healthy companies and use their superior access to borrowed money as a method of harvesting profits on their investments from the companies they acquire. Having made their money, they then move on, and the fate of employees in hollowed-out companies is no concern of theirs."

    The story is here.

    KC's View:

    The piece is well-written and totally worth reading … though you have to have a strong stomach, because it'll make you sick.

    Does the phrase "made out like a bandit" sound familiar?  It seems appropriate in this case, because as the original private equity group that took over Fairway, Sterling  Investment Partners, expanded the company, loading it up with even more debt and putting it in a position where it could not compete economically as the market got tougher, it was feathering its own nest with fees and dividends of more than $80 million.  It almost didn't matter how Fairway did - Sterling seems to have done just fine.

    (I was curious, and so I went on Sterling's website and - no surprise - there seems to be no mention of its Fairway misadventures.  One thing that did surprise me was that there seems to be no relationship between Sterling Investment Partners and Sterling Equities … which is the New York firm that owns the New York Mets, and is doing its level best to mismanage the franchise into obscurity and oblivion.  I figured that they almost had to be connected…)

    Published on: February 19, 2020

    Fascinating piece in the Wall Street Journal about the impact of ride-hailing services such as Uber and Lyft on major metropolitan areas - instead of reducing traffic congestion in places like New York, Chicago and San Francisco, they've actually increased it.

    Which is why officials in these cities, the story says, are imposing new fees on Lyft and Uber rides, and regulators in other cities are considering the same approach.

    Here's how the Journal reports it out:

    "The app makers initially thought their technology would create seamless trips, with four strangers forsaking their own cars for a shared ride. Cutting-edge algorithms, they believed, would steer behavior through pricing and route-matching, letting drivers spend little time between trips. Riders leaving their cars at home would then increasingly hop on buses, bikes or walk in a gridlock-easing ripple effect.

    "That utopia hasn’t come to pass.

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    "Most users take their own private Lyfts and Ubers, shunning pooling even though it costs them more. Rather than the apps becoming a model of algorithm-driven efficiency, drivers in major cities cruise for fares without passengers an estimated 40% of the time.

    "Multiple studies show that Uber and Lyft have pulled people away from buses, subways and walking, and that the apps add to the overall amount of driving in the U.S."

    The Journal goes on:

    "The reversal of ride-hailing from would-be traffic hero to congestion villain is the sort of unintended consequence that has become a recurring feature of Silicon Valley disruption. Companies seeking rapid growth by reinventing the way we do things are delivering solutions that sometimes create their own problems.

    "Facebook Inc. set out to help connect people with each other, but also contributed to the spread of division and disinformation. E-cigarette company Juul Labs Inc. said it could reduce cigarette smoking, but fueled a crisis of teen vaping. Encrypted messaging apps designed to foster online privacy have become favorite communication tools of criminals."

    You can read the entire story here.

    Published on: February 19, 2020

    WeWork has had its problems lately, and Fast Company enumerates them this way:  "a failed IPO, the departure of founder Adam Neumann, a plan to divest many of its non-essential businesses, and a scramble to install a CEO who can right the ship."

    But what is working, apparently, is "a work space/incubator hybrid aimed at cultivating startups in the food industry by offering an R&D kitchen as well as merchandising, a lab and office space, and special programming to help them grow."

    Despite all of WeWork's issues, its Food Labs venture "has managed to buck the odds," Fast Company writes.  "Over the last year, it has amassed a membership of more than 400 entrepreneurs (starting at $300 per month) across locations in three cities: New York, San Francisco, and Austin. Food Labs is part of WeWork’s larger Labs initiative, which has grown to more than 4,600 memberships in 19 countries.

    "Though modest, if it scales, this could be exactly what the company needs to remake itself in the aftermath of a disastrous 2019."

    KC's View:

    I think this is sort of brilliant.  There is so much action taking place in the food development sector, and WeWork is so much in need of a additional action, that it seems like a match made in heaven.

    Watch for this initiative to be expanded, and for WeWork to get really aggressive about marketing it.

    Published on: February 19, 2020

    KCRA-TV News has a story about a new report from the Silicon Valley Bank Financial Group, entitled "The State of U.S. Wine Industry 2020," which suggests that US wine prices "could reach the lowest in 20 years," and could last until 2023.

    Part of the issue is an abundance of grapes.  Part of the problem is a millennial generation that has not embraced wine drinking, leading to even more of an over-supply.  

    While the current state of wine affairs is not said to be a good thing for vintners and farmers, there could be a silver lining - if really good wine gets less expensive, that could prove ton be the gateway that will attract more young adults, getting them to try wine and expand their palates.

    And that would be a good thing.

    KC's View:

    For everybody.  Because if the millennial generation doesn't want to drink good wine, I'm happy to do my part.  Life's too short to do anything else.

    Published on: February 19, 2020

    The Washington Post reports about how fast food chain Sweetgreen is going to begin offering a new new Tingly Sweet Potato and Kelp Bowl for a limited time, which Briana Warner, CEO of Atlantic Sea Farms, will provide the opportunity "on a national scale, to raise the awareness of seaweed, an ingredient that has the potential to improve the health of our oceans, our bodies and even the finances of Maine lobstermen."

    Here's how the Post frames the story:

    "Often relegated to Asian salads and soups, or even ice cream (where an extract is used as a thickener in some commercial brands), seaweed has been a common, if relatively specialized, ingredient in American life. With its 104 locations from New York to Los Angeles, and with the support of restaurateur and chef David Chang, who helped develop the kelp bowl, Sweetgreen will give seaweed its biggest stage since the 2000s, when chefs began incorporating nori into dishes outside the sushi tradition. The kelp bowl debuts Thursday at Sweetgreens coast to coast and will be available until March 26."

    There is an interesting climate change angle to the story:  "Atlantic Sea Farms is working with lobstermen to diversify their income streams before climate change potentially strips them of their ability to make a living from their current fishery. Growing kelp has been an ideal solution, Warner said. Lobstermen can use the same boats, and much of the same equipment, to grow and harvest seaweed in the months between lobster seasons."

    KC's View:

    One of the interesting things about this effort by Sweetgreen is that follows a previous deal that it made with chef Dan Barber to use products from his Row 7 seed company (which we wrote about on MNB in a different context last week - he's now going to be selling to Wegmans).  I like companies the engage in this kind of experimentation and collaboration - it moves the ball forward, and that's always a good thing.

    Published on: February 19, 2020

    …with brief, occasional, italicized and sometimes gratuitous commentary…

    •  From Engadget:

    "Blue Apron has been struggling in recent years, and that's leading the company to consider some extreme options. The online meal kit service has revealed that it's looking at "strategic alternatives" that include a merger, raising funds, offloading assets or selling the company outright. It warned that there was no guarantee anything would happen, but this is the kind of language companies frequently use when they're running out of options … Recent subscriber data explains just why Blue Apron is exploring mergers and sales. The company's customers dropped from about 557,000 at the end of 2018 to 351,000 a year later -- that's a drop of nearly 37 percent in the space of a year. Orders dropped by nearly a third, too."

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    •  White Castle announced yesterday that it will add a new menu item - a dairy-free alternative to cheddar cheese - that now can be aded to any slider, including the plant-based, meatless Impossible Slider that it introduced in 2018.

    Dairy-free, meat-free, and taste-free.  Sounds like the beginning of a new ad campaign … though not necessarily one that would send me scurrying over to White Castle.  I learned this the hard way - eating a White Castle Impossible Slider that was as tasteless as its regular sliders, and that still managed to have the unfortunate impact on my digestive system.  Maybe they can market the thing as a cleanse…



    •  Fortune is out with its annual "Best Companies To Work For" list, and Wegmans - as always - is near the top of the list, ranked third.

    Hilton has been named number one this year, and Ultimate Software is number two;  the rest of the top 10 is rounded out, in order, by Cisco, Workday, Salesforce, Edward Jones, Stryker, American Express, and Kimpton.

    Other retailers on the list include  Publix (#39), REI (#60), Nuggett Market (#79), and Sheetz (#80).

    Published on: February 19, 2020

    by Kevin Coupe

    In some ways it sort of surprises me that this is just the seventh day of the rebooted MNB;  it feels like it has been a lot longer than that.  I appreciate the fact that you continue to send me emails, and it is reassuring that the tenor has changed from the first day - when you were justifiably upset with one of the ways in which the site had been changed - to now, when the emails are largely positive.

    The biggest issue that many of you have stems from the fact that while you are dedicated MNB readers, you don't always read the site each day.  Lots of you save the emails for a day or two and then revisit them by clicking on what you think seem like interesting articles.  The problem is that if you you are reading Tuesday's email on Friday, and you click on the third story in Tuesday's email, it takes you to the third story appearing on Friday.

    We are endeavoring to fix the problem now - it apparently is not as easy to fix it as to explain it - but I can tell you this.  If you go to the archives, you can always see the stories from previous day, and we're going to quickly provide a way to shortcut from every email to the archives.  (I cannot be more detailed than that.  I know how to read and write, but I have no idea how to read and write code.)

    We're also going to play with the fonts a bit to make them more readable … and will tweak things where we can to make the site and archives as intuitive and responsive as possible.

    I know that change is hard for all of us, but I continue to believe that the rebooting of the site to make it more dynamic for mobile - the single biggest thing for which readers clamored - is worth the growing aches and pains.

    I hope you feel that way, too.  As much as MNB is my site, the overwhelming sentiment that I get from emails, text messages and live encounters is that you believe MNB is your site, too.  I appreciate that, I respect it, and I will continue to do my best every day to live up to your expectations.

    Published on: February 19, 2020

    Yesterday MNB took note of a Wall Street Journal report about the continuing problems affecting self-checkout lanes at retail, which are becoming more used even as their issues become more pronounced.  But here's the thing in the story that really got my Irish up:

    Terrance Thomas said he accidentally walked out of a Kroger with a case of bottled water he didn’t scan. “I was like, ‘I’m not going to turn around,’ ” the 30-year-old Houston resident said. “ ‘I’m just going to take it.’ ”

    Now he intentionally mis-scans items, he said. “I’m not filling up a basket with T-bone steaks,” Mr. Thomas said. “I’m going to steal some kale or vegetables.” He enters the code for a less-expensive vegetable or smaller quantity, he said. He reasons that self-checkouts are annoying for shoppers and that “this is restorative justice” because of his own views about these companies’ practices.

    I read that in the Journal, and responded:

    Who the hell thinks like that?  Who the hell acts like that?  And who the hell admits it to a newspaper and allows himself to be quoted by name?  This simply confirms my general belief that the fabric of society is breaking down, that the things that used to make people feel shame no longer do, and that a culture in which these things occur cannot sustain itself going forward.

    One MNB reader responded:

    Hey Kevin, spot on with your commentary on this!  How do we fix it?  What’s wrong with people?  What happened to our moral compass and conscience?  Just sad all the way around.

    Another MNB reader wrote:

    Terrance Thomas, age 30. That pretty much says it all to me. A Millennial! I am NOT surprised. As a 22-yr rider of Chicago’s METRA system, I see it every day!

    Each car has a number of bench seats marked “Handicapped / Seniors” and yet these seats are prized because they offer several things regular seating doesn’t. 1) space, to spread your legs, 2) convenience, near the door for a fast exit 3) space to text, because there’s more room to hold your arms up to hold your phone and type. So here I am, an old guy now, who’s gone through a heart attack, 2 knee surgeries (one only partially successful), and 2 foot surgeries and a chronic back pain sufferer. When I first started commuting, I went up top where there was more room and I rode to the end of the line, so it seemed more logical to be out of people’s way. But after my knee and foot surgeries, I couldn’t climb the little stairs anymore, and I started using the handicapped seating. And, and . . . I’m asthmatic now, too, and frequently I’m huffing and puffing when I sit down, only to have the “Space Invaders” stare at you with contempt because you’re “Eeeuuww, possibly in ill health.” You almost have to fight to get that seating! And it’s only a small percentage using it that are handicapped and/or senior. I’ve seen many seniors walk by to other seating simply because Millennial and Generation X are sitting there. It’s not because there’s a scarcity of other seating. I’ve sometimes gotten on early, which is my preference, in order to grab a seat, and 80% of the car will still be empty. Oh, and don’t even think about bothering a Conductor, they act like it’s not part of their job to be the “seating police.” (I’ve been told that, by someone in a union position who’s starting paying is $56,000 a year).

    So, it’s clearly posted! Do these same people go to the ball game or theatre and immediately think, “Oh let’s look for handicapped seating close up in front” instead of the regular seating. How rude. I never even thought of sitting in Handicapped seating until, well, I became Handicapped.

    And from MNB reader Andrea Meurer:

    Although I have never done it, I have often thought how easy it would be to lie, cheat and steal when it comes to the self checkout. How tempting it is to enter in the lower priced strawberries when I am actually purchasing the organic version or to ignore the heavy bag of dog food on the bottom of my cart and omit scanning it.

    My father-in-law, who successfully ran a chain of 15 bakery/deli/restaurants for many years once told me when I complained of a babysitter stealing money I had left out on the counter:  "That was your fault - if you tempt people by making it easy for them to lie, cheat and steal, you can only blame yourself when they do". 

    I hate to disagree with your father-in-law, but I do.  I don't care how easy someone makes it for me to lie, cheat or steal … if I do any of those things, it is my fault, not theirs.  They may not be all that bright in their actions, but that doesn't make them ethically or morally compromised.  It does make me both those things.

    Beyond the ethical issues created by self-checkout, there are also the problems pointed out by people like MNB reader Tim Callahan:

    CVS has added self check out in the Philadelphia area.  Now longer lines and more unhappy customers.

    Some points about this, if I may.

    I've always thought that self-checkout is about control, not speed.

    Retailers that used self-checkout as a way of cutting labor costs made a mistake, in my view.  Nothing wrong with self-checkout if you take some of those employee hours and devote them to having people on the floor interacting with customers, making sure there aren't out-of-stocks, etc.  But, no … some retailers think the way to go is to get rid of checkout people and use robots to detect out-of-stocks.  And then these same retailers wonder why the hell their shoppers prefer the "impersonal" experience of shopping online to coming into their stores.

    Finally, retailers will sometimes say that self-checkout is preferable because few checkout people ever added anything to the shopping experience … and they make that observation without any sense of irony or self-knowledge.  Maybe the answer is to hire and train people who do add to the shopping experience.

    This stuff isn't all that hard.  The retailers who don't get it are committing suicide, not falling victim to homicide.



    Yesterday we wrote that the U.S. Public Interest Research Group (PIRG) reports that, believing "consumers have a right to know about food recalls to protect their health from dangerous pathogens, chunks of metal, and undeclared allergens," a survey of "26 of the largest grocery stores in the United States to determine the efficacy of their policies and practices notifying consumers about food recalls" revealed that most were not getting the job done.

    FMI-The Food Industry Association begged to differ, arguing that "the food supply chain works within the regulatory framework and acts quickly to remove recalled product from shelves and notify shoppers. This is the most fundamental service grocers provide to maintain the trust of their customers."

    No offense to my friends at FMI, but I'm not buying it.

    I wrote:

    This is just anecdotal, but I do not think I have ever - EVER - received a notification from a supermarket chain with which I have done business about a recall.

    EVER.

    Also anecdotally, I would suggest that during various recent recalls - like of lettuce - while the product may have been pulled from the shelves, there was little if any signage in stores I visited explaining why the items were gone, and what the store knew about the situation.  And when the recalls were over, those items magically returned, but again without explanation or reassurance.

    Failing grades on this issue for most supermarket chains don't surprise me.  Most retailers I talk to about it think that being educational and informational puts them at risk if the facts change or new data becomes available, and so they'd rather say nothing.  And then they wonder why their relationship with the shopper can be put at risk by disruptive influences that understand the importance of making and maintaining such connections.

    There were those who disagreed with me. 

    One MNB reader wrote:

    PCC Community Markets and Costco send out emails to their members regarding recalls.

    From another reader:

    Wegmans always lets us know if we have a recalled product via our shoppers card purchase. Always!

    But not everybody.  Not by a long shot.



    On another subject, from MNB readerChris Grathwohl:

    Malls aren’t dying, they are just being re-purposed.

    In Cincinnati, the parking lot of one of the suffering-a-slow-death malls, (Forest Fair Mall, The Mills – it has changed names many times as it tried to extend its relevancy) is filled with Amazon Prime delivery vans.  It has become a distribution center.  Amazon has taken a brick and mortar building that they are accused of running out of business, and turned it for their own use.  The Evil Empire – a term once reserved for Wal-Mart – has struck another gold mine.  Centrally located, with easy access to highways and suburbs.  Plenty of cheap square footage, inside for product and outside for their vehicles.  Brilliant! 

    Another example of seeing beyond the obvious that has made Amazon successful.



    And finally, regarding Amazon's plans for its new supermarket chain, one MNB reader wrote:

    Can’t imagine what Amazon is going to do different that is not being done. Frankly their impact at Whole Foods is non-existent and savings at the checkout with Prime is nothing spectacular. HEB and others still offer more in Savings, Inventory, and Service! 

    Stores that specialize in Customer Service will always have longevity & loyal customers.

    Published on: February 19, 2020

    Digital strategies aren't just about creating alternatives to the bricks-and-mortar shopping experience.  Done effectively, they can actually bring people back to the store, while also eliminating customer anonymity, creating rich and actionable data, and deepen relationships between the store and consumer in a way that transcends the simple transaction.

    Our newest Retail Tomorrow podcast, which brings together a terrific panel of experts from a wide range of disciplines, was recorded at Google’s New York City offices during the recent National Retail Federation (NRF) Show.  Our guests:

    •  Matt Alexander, co-founder of Neighborhood Goods, an unusual and fascinating take on physical retailing with stores in Dallas and New York.

    •  Patrick Flanagan, senior vice president of digital marketing and strategy for Simon,  which has more than 200 properties in 37 states and Puerto Rico.

    •  Tom Furphy, CEO and Managing Director of Consumer Equity Partners, a member of the Retail Tomorrow podcast family and a regular contributor to "The Innovation Conversation" on MNB.

    •  And Jalna Silverstein, a leader in Ernst & Young’s Transaction Advisory Practice and its Real Estate, Consumer Experience and Retail Strategy.

    You can listen to the podcast here.
    '

    This Retail Tomorrow podcast is sponsored by the Global Market Development Center (GMDC).

    Pictured below are our panel members, from left:  The Content Guy, Matt Alexander, Tom Furphy, Patrick Flanagan, Jalna Silverstein.