PROFILE

Jeff Weidauer

Principal, SSR Retail LLC

Jeff Weidauer is currently a marketing and strategy consultant, working with retailers and their suppliers to develop targeted go-to-market strategies.

Prior to that he was Vice President of Marketing & Strategy for Vestcom International, Inc., responsible for marketing, strategy, intellectual property, product management, and M&A activity. Jeff has been involved in retail food and drug for over three decades, beginning his career in San Diego with Lucky Stores, advancing through numerous roles, including store and category management functions, along with corporate advertising and marketing for Albertsons and Supervalu.

To learn more, visit: ssrretail.com

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  • Posted on: 06/05/2020

    Should Amazon, Walmart, others be held liable for workers sickened by COVID-19?

    Legislation to limit liability sounds good in theory, but it's not really practical to execute fairly. The broad disparity of working environments and unknowns create a formidable legal landscape. We all look at Walmart or Amazon, but what about the local retailer that imposes unrealistic expectations on workers, causing real harm? Should they all be protected with the same umbrella?
  • Posted on: 06/03/2020

    Is the future of retailing going dark?

    As online shopping expands, dark stores are an option. But retailers need to take a holistic view before committing to any single solution. Other concerns, e.g., inventory management and automation, need to be sorted out first. Third-party shopping services like Instacart will continue to shop open stores, which will impact consumer shopping experiences. Online and offline will continue to meld as shoppers determine what works best for them. Addressing any of these will take time, and consumers will continue to morph and change habits. Be aware and ready to pivot.
  • Posted on: 06/02/2020

    Do retailers need to go beyond ‘reopening playbooks’?

    The focus so far has been on optics: hand sanitizer, floor decals, a clerk wiping down carts. The measures have no teeth, and stores are forced to decide what to enforce and how to enforce it. Customers are ready to get back to normal and will quickly forget the hardships, but the risk remains and retailers will be held accountable over the long term.
  • Posted on: 05/29/2020

    Is purposeful giving an answer to retail’s inventory glut?

    The good will value alone should be worth it from the business perspective. Couple that with the fact that it's the right thing to do and it should be an easy decision.
  • Posted on: 05/28/2020

    Retailers focus on making safe spaces for customers and associates

    The biggest safety variable is shopper compliance. Most stores aren't willing to enact a "no mask, no service" policy, although that would be a way to stand out and make a clear statement about protecting shoppers and workers. Beyond that, more needs to be done aside from a clerk wiping down carts. What happened to Amazon's UV robot?
  • Posted on: 05/27/2020

    Are store brands set for a big growth spurt?

    The growth of private label has been slow but steady since plain wrap products set absurdly low expectations for store brands. The 2008 recession jump-started consumer interest and private brands have finally escaped the stigma of low quality at a low price. Now it's up to retailers to make the commitment to invest in creating quality products that deliver strong value and capture consumer loyalty.
  • Posted on: 05/26/2020

    Should Apple and other stores require shopper temperature checks?

    Temperature checks are not a reliable indicator of illness; many who are infected show no symptoms. On the other hand, less than 20 percent of shoppers are confident that retailers are providing a safe shopping environment. Bottom line: it's mostly window dressing, but it's probably necessary window dressing for now.
  • Posted on: 05/22/2020

    Can influencers connect during a pandemic?

    Relying on influencers to promote your product is risky at the best of times. Right now, we're all trying to find the right path, and influencers are no exception. As with any marketing tactic, when times and consumer expectations change, tactics must adapt. We will see many existing influencers go away, and new ones who are more in tune with the current realities take over. Marketers need to stay alert and watch for these changes.
  • Posted on: 05/21/2020

    Bob Mariano has plans to create a great ‘next-gen’ grocery store

    Given Bob's past success, I certainly wouldn't bet against him. His experience, passion, and ability to create a food theater should serve him well. I suspect he will incorporate unique solutions to address distancing concerns as well. Looking forward to seeing the new store.
  • Posted on: 05/21/2020

    Was the $3.3 billion Walmart spent on Jet.com worth it?

    Walmart's investment in Jet.com was a smart one for all the reasons given. As an added bonus, Walmart took Jet.com off the market as a competitor. I think a lot of Walmart's success in the current crisis has been due to lessons learned from Jet.com.
  • Posted on: 05/19/2020

    Is Amazon about to buy J.C. Penney?

    Outside of the physical store space that could be gotten for cheap and converted to local distribution, J.C. Penney has no assets of value to Amazon or anyone else. The brand has declined into irrelevance and there are no unique differentiators as with Sears' Die Hard or Craftsman.
  • Posted on: 05/18/2020

    The new normal will look a lot like the old normal

    Some valid points. For #2, we've gained years of experience and growth in a couple of months - let's keep pushing it to make it a better experience. I hope you're wrong about #3, but time will tell. The next time a contract discussion comes up we will see how much companies really value those workers.
  • Posted on: 05/15/2020

    How can brands support shuttered independent retailers?

    I applaud the effort from the brands to support their independent retail partners. A mutual support system between national brands and local retailers makes a lot of sense. It will be interesting to see if these programs continue and evolve once stores re-open.
  • Posted on: 05/15/2020

    Are Amazon’s at-cost face shields an act of goodwill or predatory behavior?

    Anything Amazon does can be seen as predatory depending on the lens one uses. The effort here is for the greater good, although it will certainly have long-term benefits for Amazon.
  • Posted on: 05/14/2020

    Should grocers keep paying their associates like heroes?

    Kroger and its peers knew the pay increase was temporary, yet didn't communicate an end date up front to manage expectations. In addition, the crisis is far from over, so removing hazard pay now raises many questions about how much these companies actually care about their frontline workers. The lack of transparency and poor communication is turning what was a PR coup into a PR disaster, and much of the good will earned has been lost. Other companies need to take note.

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