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

I've been part of all three corners in retail: operations, merchandising, and marketing. I like to bring innovative thinking leavened with a sense of perspective to today's fascinating world of retail.
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  • Posted on: 11/25/2020

    Can category management catch up to the omnichannel shift?

    Opportunity abounds in this new reality, and not just for category captains. Leadership is required to break out of the status quo and that might come from any CPG - not just those traditionally anointed as lead. While the tech and data tools are beneficial, old assumptions and practices need to be abandoned in order to get the benefit of those tools.
  • Posted on: 11/24/2020

    What will an ex Crate & Barrel CEO bring to her new job leading CVS Pharmacy?

    It's not hard to project that Ms. Montgomery will make online capabilities a core focus for CVS. Her challenge will be to drag the company out of its 1980s habits and into this century. With Amazon entering the Rx world there is no time to waste.
  • Posted on: 11/20/2020

    Walgreens reinvents its loyalty program, launches 30-minute pickup service

    So far the attempts by Walgreens to operate loyalty programs that provide value and create loyalty have fallen flat with customers. They have been too complex with minimal perceived value to the shopper. This latest salvo isn't likely to improve on that record.
  • Posted on: 11/17/2020

    Are retailers cutting their way to profitability or slowly bleeding to death?

    Closing stores doesn't have to be a bellwether for imminent disaster - but in most cases by the time the retailer decides to make the cuts it's too late to save the profitable locations. When store closures are made as a way to cut costs in a struggling company, marketing is typically cut as well. That's when the real problems start.
  • Posted on: 11/13/2020

    Should C-suite execs keep their opinions to themselves on store visits?

    When CEOs visit stores it should be to listen and learn. Give frontline folks a chance and they will offer insights of great value - but one misplaced comment from leadership will slam the door on open communication.
  • Posted on: 11/12/2020

    Will Amazon’s Dash Smart Shelf drive auto-replenishment from SMBs and consumers?

    This is an interesting experiment, but it's ultimately answering a question no one has asked. While Amazon continues to look for ways to automate ordering, consumers and businesses are resisting the push. Chalk it up to learning potential for the Big A.
  • Posted on: 11/11/2020

    What makes a great retail store manager?

    As someone who spent many years managing grocery stores I have a clear point of view on this. While it's become more complex since my days, being a retail store manager is still hard work: long hours, lots of interruptions, conflicting demands. Through all that the manager has to be aware, adept, available and, most of all, has to have built a team that is empowered to serve. Empathy, compassion, decisiveness, proactivity, responsibility - these are just a few of the skills needed to be successful.
  • Posted on: 11/10/2020

    Are grocers downplaying curbside pickup at their own expense?

    Most grocers still consider online shopping to be a short-term anomaly that will change post-pandemic. While some behaviors will change as consumers feel safe to go out, many won't as the online habits are now part of the daily routine. Grocers have to start thinking less about what's cost-efficient for them and more about what's going to appeal to their shoppers - or risk losing those shoppers altogether.
  • Posted on: 11/09/2020

    AI poses a leadership test for business

    Stories of people who got lost or worse while blindly following a GPS are common. The use of AI will put many companies at similar risk if the company lacks strong leadership and a clear sense of what AI is and is not. No algorithm can mimic empathy.
  • Posted on: 11/05/2020

    Did Gap just learn that no good tweet goes unpunished?

    Anytime you have to explain your tweet you know you're in trouble. For Gap - a company which isn't exactly an influencer - this could be the final nail.
  • Posted on: 11/02/2020

    Do online grocers have a transparency problem?

    Online shopping is here to stay and will be a significant factor for growth - this isn't a temporary change. But the online experience has to be well-sorted and allow the shopper to get all of the required info - switching stores is easier than ever, and laggards will continue to lose share if website functionality doesn't make the grade. The fact that no stores offer the ability to search by an attribute or ingredient shows how much work there is to be done.
  • Posted on: 10/27/2020

    Chipotle battles escalating delivery costs

    My first economics professor in college talked about TANSTAAFL: "There ain't no such thing as a free lunch." But as consumers we've been trained to expect free delivery - including for lunch. This is what has and will continue to burden the entire e-commerce model. It either needs to be solved, or expectations must be changed.
  • Posted on: 10/20/2020

    Will Panera’s climate-friendly labels spur sales?

    While I applaud the initiative Panera Bread is taking, the company is well ahead of the curve in terms of actual importance to consumers. Nevertheless, this is a good starting point and may lead to greater awareness and response at the consumer level.
  • Posted on: 10/16/2020

    Will Black Friday be the day customers buy IKEA’s environmental promise?

    It's clearly time to update Black Friday, and this is the year to do it. Too bad IKEA didn't see fit to offer this in the U.S., but hopefully next year we will see an even better offer to replace the tired rat-race of holiday shop-till-you-drop.
  • Posted on: 10/15/2020

    Has Rite Aid found the right prescription for growth?

    Rite Aid's competitors assumed the company was stuck in a downward spiral. Recent activity has proved otherwise; it remains viable and committed to growth. Once CVS and the Big W begin to react we will see how well those changes resonate over the long term.

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