Dave Wendland

Vice President, Strategic RelationsHamacher Resource Group

Bringing more than 25 years marketing and business development experience to the organization, Dave is responsible for strategic, partner development, and trade relations activities for the organization. In addition he works closely with the company’s marketing, business development, and national account teams to strengthen client relationships and enhance product value. Dave is also the primary architect and leader of the company’s Collaborative Strategy Sessions conducted on behalf of clients looking to extend their market reach, discover new opportunities, or plan future products.

Recognized for his retail expertise, Dave’s insights and forward-thinking make him a sought-after speaker and author. Delivering more than 20 presentations each year and authoring more than 50 articles and blogs, his passion for helping organizations realize their potential is evident.

Dave joined Hamacher in 1992 after having operated a California-based marketing firm. Dave graduated from the University of Wisconsin – Whitewater with a Communications and Marketing degree.

Other Links from Dave Wendland:

Behind the Shelf (blog)

Dave Wendland is a 25+ year veteran of the consumer packaged goods industry and is passionate about optimizing the consumer experience across the retail supply chain. He is a member of HRG's senior management team and owners group. Dave is also a sought-after speaker for industry conferences and corporate events.
  • Posted on: 05/28/2020

    Retailers focus on making safe spaces for customers and associates

    You're spot on, Phil. Reducing the amount of time spent in the aisles is the new normal. Remember when we used to want to create an experience that encouraged shoppers to stay longer? Seems like yesterday. Never going back.
  • Posted on: 05/28/2020

    Retailers focus on making safe spaces for customers and associates

    At a minimum, I believe there are three areas that must be addressed for a successful reopening: 1.) communication; 2.) safety; and 3.) space. Communicate what is being done within the physical operation, on behalf of associates, across the supply chain and for the benefit of shoppers. Emphasize safety from the parking lot to the checkout. Protect associates (make them part of the solution!), place sanitizer throughout the aisles, and post placards sharing the steps taken. Rearrange space to allow easier passage (wider aisles, lower fixtures, one-way aisles if necessary, and eliminated congestion zones), place barriers where face-to-face communication occurs, and promote convenience across every category.
  • Posted on: 05/21/2020

    Is Kohl’s a stronger retailer as it reopens stores?

    With the chain headquartered in our company's backyard, I am a HUGE fan of Kohl's and the efforts it has taken in recent years to remain competitive and certainly throughout the abnormalities brought about by COVID-19. That said, I'm hard-pressed to imagine any predominantly brick-and-mortar retailer -- even Kohl's -- emerging "stronger" as business returns to whatever normal looks like. The good news is that Kohl's does have loyal, consistent customers, a fairly robust e-commerce business, it has benefited from its relationship with Amazon, and its locations are not largely mall-based (e.g., J.C. Penney-esque). The bad news is that shopping has changed forever and this requires Kohl's to consistently demonstrate that it has taken care of its associates, protected shoppers, and created a safe shopping environment. Overall, I'm bullish on Kohl's ability to pivot its operation and remain a survivor.
  • Posted on: 05/19/2020

    Is Amazon about to buy J.C. Penney?

    You're absolutely right, Stephen. The J.C. Penney nameplate would only create a shadow from which Amazon could not brightly emerge.
  • Posted on: 05/19/2020

    Is Amazon about to buy J.C. Penney?

    Strategically, this would thrust Amazon into the brick-and-mortar world and I'm confident in their ability to transform the experience to blend online/in-store strategies. From a financial standpoint, I believe Amazon could negotiate a favorable proposition and this may be the only possible pathway for J.C. Penney's survival (although it would no longer be your grandmother's J.C. Penney).
  • Posted on: 05/18/2020

    What’s J.C. Penney’s next move?

    Admittedly the pandemic did not help Jill Soltau's turnaround plans and the already beleaguered department store space needed more than a shift in strategy. That said, presuming lenders consent to the July 15 deadline, J.C. Penney still faces an uphill battle. Store closures must continue, revamping assortments is essential, and re-examining both the value proposition and mall-anchored accessibility vital. Even if the business plan is found acceptable, the challenges for Ms. Soltau and her team are many and mounting by the day.
  • Posted on: 05/11/2020

    Is the coronavirus pandemic sparking a meal kits comeback?

    Well articulated, Bethany. Couldn't agree more!
  • Posted on: 05/11/2020

    Is the coronavirus pandemic sparking a meal kits comeback?

    Yes, there has undoubtedly been a resurgence and interest in meal kits. Key survival factors, however, have not changed: 1.) quality ingredients; 2.) affordability; 3.) consistency; 4.) variety; and 5.) convenience. I believe this is not a fad and the "return to normal" will not look like the past. That said, meal kit options should continue to spark interest and growth. New competitors - as cited in this post (e.g., Panera, Taco Bell, and other restaurants and grocers) - will continue to emerge and vie for a share of spend. Agility, responsiveness, price, and ease will separate winners from losers.
  • Posted on: 04/30/2020

    What will retail look like if half of department stores close?

    You're spot on, Lee. We were already over-stored and alternatives to traditional department stores and malls have long been gaining dominance. Darwinism will prevail and only the mighty will survive. (By the way, for the weak, their demise was inevitable -- the circumstances we are facing simply accelerated the process.)
  • Posted on: 04/30/2020

    Will working remotely change how we communicate?

    Great input, Ben. The camera can indeed be a blessing or a curse. With that said, I find the "Brady Bunch"-esque view of each person's face and their workspace quite amusing. As more business adopt this as their new normal, I believe features and tools will become better understood (changing backgrounds, recording, screen sharing, whiteboarding, etc.). Most merely view the platform as a phone connection with a picture ... and that's barely scratching the surface to the power of this medium.
  • Posted on: 04/28/2020

    Will the new normal look a lot like the old normal?

    We are all creatures of habit and research suggests that, on average, it takes more than two months before a new behavior becomes automatic — 66 days to be exact. So surely the changes consumers (and associates) will encounter at retail (e.g., protective guards, wider - and perhaps one-way - aisles, screenings before entering, cashier-less checkout, new sanitation rule sets and protective clothing, to name a few) will take time to adjust to. However, new habits will be formed and soon the "new" normal will simply feel normal.
  • Posted on: 04/28/2020

    Will the new normal look a lot like the old normal?

    I agree 100 percent, Jeff, that flexibility and agility will be the most important organizational mantras coming out of COVID-19. And it is this ability to change and adapt that will prepare retailers and others across the supply chain to react in real time to the next pandemic or global market disruption.
  • Posted on: 04/23/2020

    Should grocers close their doors to customers for safety’s sake?

    My favorite quote states, “A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions.” (Oliver Wendell Holmes). The face of grocery will change forever as a result of this pandemic. And honestly, it's about time that out of necessity new approaches are introduced to care for associates, invite shoppers into a safe environment, manage "essential" inventory in an entirely reinvented way and, yes, incorporate technology as part of the solution. However, I disagree that online-only with curbside pickup will become the replacement for traditional grocery operations. Could I envision an innovative format to the likes of which we have never seen? Absolutely. I believe the best is yet to come!
  • Posted on: 04/22/2020

    Will virtual trade shows replace in-person events?

    There is a place for both virtual trade events and in-person conferences. Although I don't see in-person events completely going away, I foresee significant change to their purpose, their structure, and their value. It has also become undeniably apparent that virtual conferences, presentations, and certain meetings can definitely survive (and thrive) virtually. The other certainty that is becoming evident as a result of the circumstances we face, is travel IS NOT always necessary to have a productive meeting, exchange of ideas, or to advance a business relationship. I predict the face of travel and the intent and value of face-to-face meetings and conferences will come under increased scrutiny.
  • Posted on: 04/17/2020

    Can Neighborhood Goods’ platform help brands hurt by the pandemic?

    It is my prediction that creative partnerships will be key in the aftermath of this unprecedented time in retail. We are already seeing incredible ingenuity -- Hy-Vee's announcement of footwear pickup in its stores in partnership with DSW is one such example. I also applaud H-E-B's connection it has made with local restaurants to serve up their prepared meals through their store locations. For Neighborhood Goods, I see this platform as a terrific way to connect consumers with brands and displaced brands with new market opportunities. We may also see local products aligning more closely with retailers to support direct-to-consumer, curbside pick-up, etc. This shifting landscape requires brands and retailers to remain agile, inventive, and open to new ideas.

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