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: 06/20/2022

    Kroger CEO says customers are ‘rethinking their shopping’ habits

    Thanks, Mark. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, however I anticipate things getting worse as we head into the back half of the year and expect a very challenging holiday season for retailers and suppliers.
  • Posted on: 06/20/2022

    Kroger CEO says customers are ‘rethinking their shopping’ habits

    Although looking at past similar inflationary periods could be instructive, I personally believe we are navigating new waters. Never before in most people's lifetimes has there been such a perfect storm of a health crisis, supply chain woes, record inflation, and raging global unrest. Consumers are genuinely -- and rightly so -- concerned and adjusting their spending accordingly. Here are a few things I am observing:
    1. Value shopping (private label, discount stores, and "trading down");
    2. Coupon and savings emphasis (gas perks, loyalty points, and cents off);
    3. Menu choices (item substitutions, more frequent but smaller shopping trips);
    4. Prevention/selfcare (health and wellness is a real concern and staying healthy is paramount).
    Prices for food at home — a category which includes groceries — rose 11.9 percent during May year-over-year, according to the Consumer Price Index. This is untenable for the majority of today's shoppers.
  • Posted on: 06/17/2022

    Ultra-fast delivery may burn out or fade away

    This phenomenon reminds me of a famous quote often attributed to Henry Ford, "If you asked consumers what they wanted they would say faster horses." Consumer demand for faster delivery was perhaps at a fever pitch during the height of the pandemic. However the reality is, how fast is fast enough? Undoubtedly there is a point of diminishing return and zero-sum gain. Here are four factors that I personally believe trump speed every day:
    1. Accuracy of order (deliver the stuff I truly ordered);
    2. Timeliness of delivery (get it to me when you promised);
    3. Consistent experience (remain reliable and predictable);
    4. Affordability (I'm not going to pay extra to save a few minutes).
    So does consumer sentiment put a pause on ultra-fast delivery? Yes. Does this suggest companies need to reprioritize what is most important to consumers? Absolutely!
  • Posted on: 06/16/2022

    Should analytics drive category planning?

    You're so right, Ron. It is not either/or, it is AND!
  • Posted on: 06/16/2022

    Should analytics drive category planning?

    Analytics are important -- vitally important! However there is instinct that must be applied to any category planning, assortment rationale, and shopper experience that cannot be delivered through AI or advanced analytics. I have said that if you don't view it through "merchant eyes," then it's possible the "merchant dies."
  • Posted on: 06/13/2022

    Food prices are going up, up, up. Inflation is tough, tough, tough.

    Unfortunately, concerns of mental health are top of mind for me. Our nation has already been reeling from the effects of the pandemic coupled with the instability of regions across the globe and at our border. Now add the hard-hitting inflationary issues causing pain at the pump and greatly-diminished spending power. Specifically, what can grocers do?
    1. First and foremost, show empathy!
    2. Offer "real" value.
    3. Sharpen inventories to attempt to reduce costs and pass on savings.
    4. Get creative and innovate like never before.
  • Posted on: 06/09/2022

    Is Franchise Group’s plan for Kohl’s a retail disaster in the making?

    Unless Franchise Group has some magic formula or special powers, I'm not sure that they are the ideal turnaround partner for Kohl's. Does Kohl's need help? Yes. Is a franchise model or some play on real estate a feasible path forward? Maybe. Am I confident that Franchise Group is the best fit? Likely not.
  • Posted on: 05/31/2022

    Why are retailers struggling so hard to balance inventory?

    Excess inventories come as no surprise. Three factors likely contributed to this situation and there will be at least two key outcomes. This is by no means exhaustive, but not until we regain balance will a solid foundation be restored. The only advice I can offer to retailers is buckle in, weather the stormy ride, and learn from these lessons so they are not repeated in the future. Contributing factors:
    • Pandemic buying frenzy - precipitated by supply chain pressures, retailers amassed inventory basically accepting anything and everything that was available;
    • Workforce and logistic issues - moving products from warehouses to shelves is a monumental task when faced with labor shortages and rising transportation costs;
    • Consumer behavior shifts (although this gets "credited" or "blamed" far too often) - omnichannel retail (AKA omnichoice) has required retailers to carry inventory in different places, different channels, and be supported by different last-mile delivery.
    Key outcomes:
    • Consumers will win; markdowns and deeply-discounted merchandise will soon cascade across the retail landscape -- sales will go up/profits will go down;
    • Retailers will lose; as a result of this flood of unintended overstock finding its way to shelves across America, retailers should not expect a strong holiday season (consumers will gravitate to the value purchases -- especially in light of the inflationary challenges we face).
  • Posted on: 05/23/2022

    Amazon tests same-day delivery from malls

    Malls are often well-located and definitely under-performing as retail destinations. Makes total sense to me. If anyone can crack the code and improve last-mile delivery from malls, it will be Amazon.
  • Posted on: 05/20/2022

    Will smart shopping carts transform the shopping experience at Albertsons?

    Good idea? Yes. Game changer? No. I agree with others who have said that getting the core right, creating excitement in the space, and improving the overall experience should be job number one.
  • Posted on: 05/19/2022

    Are executive departures at Kohl’s a sign of things to come?

    Kohl's continues to search to re-establish its identity and relevance in a highly competitive market. The board pressure has placed additional pressure on the operation to right the ship -- but the waters are choppy and difficult to navigate. We've all seen examples of companies restructuring their leadership in hopes of finding the winning combination that will calm the waters and help the organization return to improved sales performance. Unfortunately, many forget to look at their reflection in the mirror and answer the all-important question, "Who am I?" Before rushing to fill these newly-vacated positions, I would advise Kohl's to define in which direction it intends to sail. Only then will its identity and relevance be restored.
  • Posted on: 05/19/2022

    Is the retail sky falling?

    Just as airplanes take off into the headwinds because it helps to achieve "wheels up" faster, the multitude of pressure that retailers face will be a catalyst to making necessary changes for them not only to survive, but thrive in the face of adversity. We are already seeing measures being taken (some out of supply chain or workforce necessity) to optimize inventories, incorporate technology, and improve customer interactions. The two factors that I feel will have the greatest impact are:
    1. Inflation (consumers are just now beginning to fully realize the pain at the gas pump, grocery aisles, and general cost of living). This will cause additional pull back on spending which is not good for retailers unless they creatively find ways to meet consumers at their point of pain.
    2. Workforce. Simply put, there are not enough people with a willingness to fill the amassing gaps across the retail supply chain. This is a powder keg with no magic pill.
  • Posted on: 05/16/2022

    Are smaller retailers getting crushed by the supply chain mess?

    This recent Forbes article underscores the benefits of local sourcing and other supply chain ideas for small business.
  • Posted on: 05/16/2022

    Are smaller retailers getting crushed by the supply chain mess?

    Agreed, Richard.
  • Posted on: 05/16/2022

    Are smaller retailers getting crushed by the supply chain mess?

    Vying for product availability against the bigger retailers when it comes to nationally-recognized name brands has indeed become a challenge for most. Although distributors are doing their best to level the playing field and manage the availability of key items, this all comes at a cost. Looking at the situation from a glass half full perspective, smaller retailers remain better positioned and more nimble to manage local supply chains and niche products. This competitive advantage must not be overlooked nor underestimated in light of continued supply chain pressure. My advice is to create gateways of local products and encourage consumers to become familiar with the advantages of doing so.

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