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Craig Sundstrom

CFO, Weisner Steel
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  • Posted on: 07/01/2022

    Should more retailers aim for their customers’ funny bones?

    Funny you should ask this. (See? It's notso hard!) I suppose (lack of) "data insights" is an issue, but mostly in the sense that people don't understand enough what (other) people don't find funny ... or really what offends them. So there is a reluctance to making mistakes; and although that may be disappointing, perhaps it's for the best. Even Flo wore out her welcome eventually.
  • Posted on: 07/01/2022

    Is H-E-B’s e-grocery playbook a primer for taking on Amazon?

    Could it be that being a highly successful retailer outside of online increases one's chance of success online? Or more likely, how could it not? Matt offered precious few details of their playbook, so it's hard to say what if any applicability it has to others. My recommendation to anyone would be to study all successful retailers, but don't expect to (blindly) copy any of them.
  • Posted on: 06/30/2022

    Should investors be worried after RH lowered its forecast for the second time this month?

    I don't see the two issues as being really related; that is, the long-term model could be either wonderful or terrible, and it wouldn't have much to do with their performance over the next year (the same could be said for practically any company on earth). The relationship between home sales and RH I could see going either way: people might redecorate when they move, and thus the positive correlation would lead to negative results; OTOH not being able to move might encourage people to put more effort into upgrading where they are now.
  • Posted on: 06/29/2022

    Retail workers want the right to defend themselves

    This seems a little misleading: typically associates are terminated for unnecessarily engaging with criminals, not "defending themselves"; that is to say it's actually a safety measure to discourage ill-considered heroics (whether/not that's the proper response is of course open to debate). Like every other issue retail faces, security and safety are permanent challenges.
  • Posted on: 06/29/2022

    Will a gas tax holiday drive retail in the right direction?

    Please: pure theatrics ... at their worst.
  • Posted on: 06/28/2022

    Can in-store coffee add pep to retail sales?

    My feeling is this is likely an example of spurious correlation: people who drink a lot of coffee are probably different from non-drinkers in many ways ... coffee or not. And this study seems to ignore all the potential negatives (like spilled coffee spoiling merchandise). If a large store like Target wants to have a coffee bar fine ... whatever the impact on other spending at least they'll have the coffee sales themselves; other retailers not so much. Concentrate on your product, not becoming a substitute barista.
  • Posted on: 06/27/2022

    Are mall shoppers hungry for in-stock data?

    My prediction is that people will make use of it, but (often) ignore the results; that is to say, even if something is shown as out-of-stock people will check anyway, "just to be sure" (the bigger problem will be false positives -- if that's the term -- leading to disappointment). So I would predict the usefulness of this is paradoxical terms: often used, but yet not really "useful."
  • Posted on: 06/27/2022

    Kellogg thinks it makes more sense apart than together

    I question the use of the word "conglomerate" here; it was something of a fad in the '60s and '70s for businesses to acquire completely unrelated businesses (e.g. Coca-Cola acquired Columbia Pictures ... nowthat was a conglomerate). But a cereal and a snacks business? I would call it a "dry packaged foods" manufacturer more than a conglomerate. The point of all this semantics is how logical I view a breakup: there very well may be synergies in marketing, research or logistics that argue against a breakup; only those intimate with the company's operations can know for sure.
  • Posted on: 06/23/2022

    Will ‘coopetition’ enable retailers to profitably deliver online orders?

    People of the same trade seldom meet together, even for merriment and diversion, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the publick, or in some contrivance to raise prices - Adam Smith I don't doubt there are many advantages to aggregation; my concern is with how the information is shared to make this possible: I certainly don't have any trouble with shipping companies receiving generalized info about destinations and consolidating shipments (it's hard to believe that doesn't occur already), but I have a great deal of concern about retailers sharing that info among themselves. So definitely a "devil in the details" situation, rather than an absolute "yes" or "no."
  • Posted on: 06/23/2022

    Do mental illness and retail entrepreneurship go hand-in-hand?

    I don't have any trouble at all thinking there's a correlation between some traits -- it's no accident that we have phrases like "a crazy level of attention to detail" -- but ... what do we do with that knowledge? If someone's behavior is disruptive or harmful, either to themselves, their family or others, I don't think it makes much difference that they're 283% as likely to be the next [insert famous entrepreneur here] -- or whatever ... their behavior is harmful.
  • Posted on: 06/21/2022

    Uber Eats ships big city meals nationwide

    This is one of those "prove me wrong" moments: between getting what is essentially day old food -- and likely paying enormously for it -- and not having the actual restaurant experience, personally I can't imagine having any interest in this.
  • Posted on: 06/20/2022

    Where are retailers on the Juneteenth learning curve?

    Although it should, of course, be a cause of celebration for everyone, I suspect it will for a long time be seen as some kind of special interest holiday; and while this is sad in a way, it also allows people who want to celebrate it to do so without the intrusion of commercialization. As for the recommendation to merchants, it's a quandary: do too little, and you'll be accused of insensitivity; do too much, and accused of exploitation.
  • Posted on: 06/17/2022

    Ultra-fast delivery may burn out or fade away

    I wouldn't cry for the investment bankers, Dave: I'm sure they actually made billion$ on all this.
  • Posted on: 06/17/2022

    Ultra-fast delivery may burn out or fade away

    In the spirit of the topic, let's get right to the point: the whole concept is ludicrous; get tube of toothpaste in 30...20...no 15 minutes, and pay some token fee for the delivery (or nothing at all) ... what could be wrong with that? I think in a few years we'll be asking "how could people ever think this made any sense?"
  • Posted on: 06/17/2022

    Does Amazon need a great Prime Day now more than ever?

    Success eventually begets unrealistic assumptions -- I hesitate to call it "pressure" -- and this may be the year that underperformance happens; or not. I'm not fond of contrived "events," and honestly my impulsive reaction is to ask what I would ask an adult (who every year makes a big event over their birthday): "aren't you a little big for this?"
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