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.

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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.
  • Posted on: 08/03/2020

    How is Tractor Supply acing the pandemic?

    TSC's secret is keeping the customer at the heart of their business. That's not really a secret, but few businesses practice it with the dedication of Tractor Supply.
  • Posted on: 07/31/2020

    Nov. 2021: How should retail plan for a return to normal?

    An 18-month horizon is realistic for now. If things improve sooner, great. Planning for anything less than that is to ignore reality.
  • Posted on: 07/30/2020

    What didn’t Jeff Bezos know and when didn’t he know it?

    Jeff Bezos has jumped the shark. This one-time entrepreneur has joined the ranks of untrustworthy company execs who deceive and obfuscate to protect the bottom line, all while claiming ignorance of his company's misdeeds.
  • Posted on: 07/29/2020

    Retailers hunt for spare change

    Any business can create a relevant incentive to get customers to bring in and use coins. This is a chance to get employees together, find a creative approach, and execute. No need to overthink it.
  • Posted on: 07/28/2020

    Has retail adaptation become more about survival than competitive edge?

    We won't get back to anything approaching a normal life until a vaccine is available. Until then most businesses are focused on surviving the downturn - being here post-pandemic is the competitive advantage.
  • Posted on: 07/24/2020

    Should online marketplaces be required to verify third-party sellers for safety’s sake?

    So far the world of ecommerce has been the Wild Wild West, and that's gotten worse as the pandemic has taken hold. Sellers should absolutely be held accountable for the wares they offer -- but that's only a start. The retail industry needs to do better than "caveat emptor" for online shoppers.
  • Posted on: 07/23/2020

    Is there a path to profitable grocery delivery?

    Profitable delivery has been hampered from the outset by consumer expectations of cheap or free delivery. Supermarkets have spent the past 30 years pushing more of the labor burden onto shoppers. The two sides are clashing as shoppers expect free delivery while retailers don’t have the technology to overcome the logistical challenges and reduce cost to serve.
  • Posted on: 07/22/2020

    How can retailers cope with anxiety about the future?

    We are all struggling with the uncertainty of COVID-19 and the lack of control we feel. These are good tips to help get through this time. I would also recommend making a point of engaging with employees and recognizing their concerns.
  • Posted on: 07/21/2020

    Will wholesaling change L.L.Bean for the better?

    The decision to go wholesale is counter to what most iconic brands (e.g., Nike) are doing. It’s far more likely that the L.L.Bean brand will suffer. Being in Staples stores next to Jansport will increase distribution, but dilute the brand overall. L.L.Bean has strong roots in DTC and might be better served by sticking with that.
  • Posted on: 07/20/2020

    How will digital transform trade shows?

    The transition of trade shows to digital is long overdue. Much like the shift of retail to online, now that the door has opened it will stay open. The focus will be on a smaller but more engaged audience -- targeted vs. mass. One-to-one engagement was always the goal -- digital will make reaching the right person more efficient.
  • Posted on: 07/17/2020

    Is retail’s contactless future here now?

    Contactless payment has been available for several years, but retailers have been slow to offer it because the investment offered little upside for them in terms of data capture or labor savings. But consumer demand is now making contactless the method of choice, and it will quickly switch from a point of difference to an expectation.
  • Posted on: 07/16/2020

    How murky has COVID-19 made retail data?

    COVID-19 has made all the predictive models obsolete - that much is obvious. But what's less apparent is the long-term impact. It will be months or more before shopping behaviors stabilize, which means that all the data being collected now is of limited value. The status quo is out as an option, and there is no new normal yet. AI models themselves will likely need recalibration. The one upside is that COVID-19 resets everything to zero, so retailers that have stayed away from analytics and modeling have time to get into the game - if they act quickly.
  • Posted on: 07/14/2020

    Will battery power energize retailing performance?

    As technology has continued to push into the physical retail space, powering it has been one limiting factor. The real barrier to broad deployment has been the technology's lack of effectiveness. While adding AC drops is expensive once a store is built, adding them during construction is much more cost effective. That hasn't been done because most of the in-store tools like ESLs or end cap video displays don't deliver benefits over time.
  • Posted on: 07/13/2020

    Will Boomers and Gen X keep shopping online post-pandemic?

    The determining factor of post-COVID-19 shopping habits will be experience as opposed to age. While Boomers were slow to adapt to online, they did so as it became necessary. But the sudden influx of new online shoppers meant that the experience for many was poor - that impression is more likely to influence behavior than anything else.
  • Posted on: 07/10/2020

    Is consumer arrogance driving word-of-mouth recommendations?

    The underlying problem is that word-of-mouth marketing can and will still be driven by companies. As every medium becomes a marketing medium, authenticity and transparency will suffer. Ultimately that will only undermine already declining consumer trust in all messaging.

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