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Craig Sundstrom

CFO, Weisner Steel
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  • Posted on: 12/01/2022

    Will candy consumers recycle their wrappers?

    I think the poll left out the most obvious choice: they won't "respond" at all. Even if they knew it was recyclable -- a big "if," IMHO -- so much candy is consumed at places where it would be impossible to recycle, or at least difficult, I can't see this going anywhere. Maybe they should consider edible wrappers! :)
  • Posted on: 11/30/2022

    Claire’s sets up shops inside of Macy’s stores

    I've never been a teenage girl -- and I doubt I ever will be one! -- so my answer is based on perceptions gathered as I walked by, but that perception is this is something of a step down for Macy's (OTOH, it might make a great fit for JCP or Kohl's) At least here in California, where the stores have always been rather upscale. As might be guessed, I've not been overly impressed by Macy's partnerships with failing -- or failed -- retailers ... if Tiffany wants a slice of their floor(s) we can talk.
  • Posted on: 11/29/2022

    What does the promotional climate mean for off-pricers and resale?

    Cheap and new vs. cheap and used ... er "pre-owned." Just on similarity alone, I would say "off-price" has the bigger threat, but we're talking about shades of difference here: ultimately a reduction in spending affects everyone (even if the relative advantage shifts to low-cost providers).
  • Posted on: 11/29/2022

    Will Shoppable Shorts become a viral sensation for YouTube?

    I read the other day that the remote control was invented by someone who wanted to skip thru ads more easily; the world hasn't changed much since then, except perhaps "YouTube" ads are even more annoying than television (who thought it possible?). If others are like me, I don't see this going anywhere.
  • Posted on: 11/29/2022

    Amazon and Asda go head-to-head in RetailWire’s Christmas Commercial Challenge

    Amazon started well enough -- great 'stache, nice smile, and if it's one of those $500 "Etsy" globes we can understand why everyone wanted to protect it -- but three long weeks minutes later, I was "huh?" So, once again, the winner by default is the one I disliked the least (Asda). Honestly though, a full month into this I'm thinking "I guess we won't be getting anything good for Christmas." :(
  • Posted on: 11/28/2022

    Do boring leaders make for better business results?

    Competence matters. How it's packaged is but a detail.
  • Posted on: 11/28/2022

    Retailers are using newfound clout to put the squeeze on suppliers

    I don't know that I'd call it "newfound": the relationship between retailers and manufacturers -- and for smaller retailers add wholesalers into the mix -- has always been a dynamic one. The pandemic, and the related chaos of the recovery from it, has exaggerated the factors at play, but I don't see any of them as permanent changes (how different this scene looked a year ago!). Translation: few will need to worry about exploiting an advantage, they won't have much opportunity to do so.
  • Posted on: 11/28/2022

    Is being the low price leader critical to Amazon’s ongoing success?

    I don't know that price has ever been the primary reason (and it's really the perception of lowest price that drives people...not necessarily the same thing): price matters, of course, but it's one of a number of factors (reliability, ease of purchase, quality...). As for the results of the study itself, I'm a little bit surprised; I'm not going to question it formally, but I'd love to see a thoughtful critique of it
  • Posted on: 11/23/2022

    Black Friday is back as record number of Americans are expected to go shopping

    Every year we seem to have the "drama queen" equivalent of reversion to the mean: it will start out great, with glowing headlines and predictions, and then peter out, or start out slow -- with the accompanying panic -- but then have some late rally. Yet on average the end results are ... guess what: average. We're not likely to see a repeat of 1932.
  • Posted on: 11/23/2022

    Black Friday is back as record number of Americans are expected to go shopping

    Candidly the bigger question is "should we care?" Not in the usual sense that ascetics preach about the dangers of materialism, but rather does Black Friday itself have any predictive or sampling value (about the actual holiday season). I'm leaning firmly on the side of "no." OTOH, the headline grabbing potential is still vast!
  • Posted on: 11/23/2022

    Will a new shopping platform redefine the formula for AI-driven personalization?

    I think the whole concept of AI is overrated; yes it's an improvement -- or at least we hope it is -- over existing marketing techniques, but it's just that: an improvement, not some whole new world. No predictive tool is ever going to be perfect, at least not without being provided with so much personal information as to be intrusive.
  • Posted on: 11/23/2022

    Do digital coupons discriminate against those who can least afford it?

    Do digital coupons discriminate against people who ... don't have digital access? Gee, that's a tough one! Haven't we had this very same discussion one (or more) time(s) already? Yes, there should be some low tech alternative (at least for certain classes of items: I'm not concerned if a jeweler doesn't do so). But there's nothing new here: newspapers were once the main way of distributing coupons and that "discriminated" against those who couldn't, or at least didn't, buy newspapers. And there will always be someone who doesn't buy/have/dp something; 'do-gooder' groups would be far better spending their energies worrying about a trend that we've touched on here on RW occasionally that really is life-threatening: cash-free businesses ... if you think not getting $1 off your bag of Cheetos is a problem, imagine not being able to buy it at all.
  • Posted on: 11/22/2022

    How should Mary Dillon reimagine Foot Locker?

    I think she did an excellent job of making a stomach punch -- Nike's sales hoarding -- seem more like a glancing blow; I can almost believe it won't hurt. Almost. But the mention of increasing reliance on Adidas -- kind of an "out of the frying pan..." moment -- makes the point that for all the "customer centric" talk, those customers still buy brands, not commodities. Foot Locker's task is to make sure they sell enough brands to ensure diversity for customers, but also enough of each that they have leverage with manufacturers.
  • Posted on: 11/22/2022

    Will John Lewis or Publix win the RetailWire Christmas Commercial Challenge?

    That "Etsy" spot isn't looking half bad ... no, seriously, I was disappointed: Publix just didn't do anything for me -- being understated to the point of really no statement (it would have made a great phone ad) -- so Lewis wins by default; and that latter one wasn't bad, actually, but more of a PSA than a branding message ... which of course many will argue is exactly what a Christmas spot should be.
  • Posted on: 11/21/2022

    Will cracking down on serial returners solve retailers’ return problem?

    Why not both? While I wouldn't be surprised if there's some variant of the 80/20 rule in returns, there's no reason to ignore the rest. And how do we compare a person who buys $10K and returns $1000 with one who buys only $20, but returns all of it ?
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