This week we take on the question of whether we are on the cusp of a retail disruptor apocalypse, with the help of return guest Daniel McCarthy, Assistant Professor of Marketing at Emory University’s Goizueta School of Business and leading expert on customer-based corporate valuation.
Before Dan joins us we briefly review the similarities between the first wave of online brands that subsequently melted down (remember Pets.com?) and what we’ve seen with the latest crop of digitally native brands (Warby Parker, Allibirds, Stitch Fix, TheRealReal, et al ) that have seen their valuations collapse and continue to struggle to get on a glide path to profitability.
Then Dan joins us to help dissect the underlying (and often challenging) unit economics of these fast growing brands, with a particular focus on Wayfair and Warby Parker. In addition to helping us understand how to better understand the relationship between customer acquisition costs and lifetime value, we learn about “CACulations” and the dangers of “spending up the wazoo.”
But we open with a review of the biggest news of the week, which revealed that the holiday season was not so merry and bright when it came to actually making much money. Target shared some curbside enthusiasm, while delivering pretty tepid results. Best Buy and Macy’s lost ground, while warning about a difficult road ahead. Kohl’s was exactly the train wreck we’ve been predicting. We wrap up with hot takes on Nordstrom bailing on Canada, Hanna Andersen’s cleverly named resale entry, and Walmart’s doubling down on same day delivery.
We’re headed to Las Vegas in March for another edition of Shoptalk. Retailers and brands can get a Shoptalk ticket for a reduced rate of just $1950 rate here using our special discount code RBREMARK1950.
Daniel McCarthy is an Assistant Professor of Marketing at Emory University’s Goizueta School of Business. His research specialty is the application of leading-edge statistical methodology to contemporary empirical marketing problems. His research interests include customer-based corporate valuation, which he popularized, customer lifetime value, limited data problems, data privacy, and the marketing/finance interface. He is also actively researching the causal effect of actions and events on customer purchase behavior. His research has been accepted and published in top-tier academic journals, including Marketing Science, the Journal of Marketing Research, and the Journal of Marketing. His work has won numerous research awards, including the Lehmann, MSI Clayton, Gary Lillien Practice Prize, and MSI Young Scholar, and been a finalist for many others, including the Paul Green, Hunt/Maynard, MSI/Root awards. His work has been featured in major media outlets such as the Harvard Business Review, Wall Street Journal, FT, Fortune, Barronís, Inc Magazine, the Economist, and CNBC.
Steve Dennis is an advisor, keynote speaker and author on strategic growth and business innovation. You can learn more about Steve on his website. The expanded and revised edition of his bestselling book Remarkable Retail: How To Win & Keep Customers in the Age of Disruption is now available at Amazon or just about anywhere else books are sold. Steve regularly shares his insights in his role as a Forbes senior contributor and on Twitter and LinkedIn. You can also check out his speaker “sizzle” reel here.
Michael LeBlanc is the Founder & President of M.E. LeBlanc & Company Inc and a Senior Advisor to Retail Council of Canada as part of his advisory and consulting practice. He brings 25+ years of brand/retail/marketing & eCommerce leadership experience, and has been on the front lines of retail industry change for his entire career. Michael is the producer and host of a network of leading podcasts including Canada’s top retail industry podcast, The Voice of Retail, plus Global eCommerce Leaders podcast, and The Food Professor with Dr. Sylvain Charlebois. You can learn more about Michael here or on LinkedIn.
Be sure and check out Michael’s latest venture for fun and influencer riches – Last Request Barbecue, his YouTube BBQ cooking channel!
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