Young Guns Now Leading Burger King

For most of its history, Burger King has  lagged well behind McDonald’s in the fast-food burger wars. This is a major reason why the company has had 21 chief executive in the 60 years since Burger King’s founding.
Now, the firm has decided to turn its management over to a younger generation of senior executives to try to turn things around — again.
As recently reported by Devin Leonard for Bloomberg Businessweek:
“Last summer, a trim guy with wavy brown hair, high cheekbones, and a broad smile could be found making Whoppers, working the drive-through window, and scrubbing bathrooms at a Burger King in Miami. His name was Daniel Schwartz. He learned to make a Whopper in less than 35 seconds and blended in well with his fellow employees, except for the fact that Schwartz had a guy with a video camera trailing him. ‘I cleaned about 15 toilets in the past two days,’ he boasted at one point, as if he’d just completed a marathon. Schwartz was justifiably pumped. That June he’d been named Burger King’s chief executive officer, with a $700,000 annual salary and a potential bonus of twice that. There was another reason for him to be exuberant: He was only 32 and on his way to becoming a star in the fast-food industry.”
“Making sure the fixtures in Burger King’s restrooms gleam is only one of Schwartz’s challenges. The chain has had six owners and suffered from years of neglect and strategic incoherence. Unlike his predecessors, Schwartz isn’t just competing with McDonald’s and Wendy’s. He has to keep customers from straying to trendy newcomers such as Chipotle Mexican Grill and Panera Bread. Their sales in the U.S. last year grew 17 percent and 12 percent, respectively, according to Technomic, a food industry consultant. Sales were essentially flat for Burger King and its two primary rivals.”
Click the image to read Schwartz’s plans.

Illustration by Kyle Platts

 

Posted in Career Useful Information, Careers in Retailing, Part 1: Overview/Planning, Part 2: Ownership, Strategy Mix, Online, Nontraditional, Part 5: Managing a Retail Business | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

The State of Digital and Personalization in Retailing

Conversant recently conducted a study involving retail marketing executives:
“The digital opportunities and challenges covered in the study varied from the current role that digital plays in marketing programs to the burgeoning interest and importance of personalized one-to-one marketing. For the retailer, this study provides a benchmark for today’s attitudes and efforts compared to those of a cross-section of other retail industry leaders.”
“In addition, retail is often the ‘first mover’ in digital when it comes to programs with a strong likelihood of ROI impact. Thus, these findings are very relevant to marketers outside of the retail/E-tail sector.”
The slideshow below highlights Conversant’s findings.

 

Posted in Global Retailing, Online Retailing, Part 2: Ownership, Strategy Mix, Online, Nontraditional, Part 3: Targeting Customers and Gathering Information, Social Media and Retailing, Technology in Retailing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

TJX: A Master of Off-Price Retailing

TJX Companies Inc. considers itself “a global, off-price, value retailer.” Its divisions include T.J. Maxx, Marshalls, HomeGoods, and Sierra Trading Post in the United States; Winners, HomeSense, and Marshalls in Canada; and T.K. Maxx in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Germany, and Poland, as well as HomeSense in the UK.
As Beth Kowitt reports for Fortune:
“Is T.J. Maxx the best retail store in the land? The off-price chain has built a fantastically loyal following. How have they done it? We got inside the playbook of parent company TJX. Its annual sales — now $27.4 billion, or more than those of Estée Lauder, Hilton Worldwide, and Hershey combined — have risen 50% over the past six years. Its profits have almost tripled, to $2.1 billion. Its shareholders have been the beneficiaries of 18 consecutive years of earnings-per-share growth. In its nearly-four-decade history, it has had only one year of negative same-store sales. And it does all this by selling blouses…pots and pans…and bedding, sunglasses, sriracha seasoning, yoga mats, and the occasional $1,250 Stella McCartney dress.”
Click the image to read about how TJX does it.

 
http://fortune.com/2014/07/24/t-j-maxx-the-best-retail-store/

Photo for Fortune by Sam Kaplan; photo illustration by Fortune

 

Posted in Global Retailing, Online Retailing, Part 1: Overview/Planning, Part 2: Ownership, Strategy Mix, Online, Nontraditional, Part 3: Targeting Customers and Gathering Information, Part 4: Store Location Planning, Part 5: Managing a Retail Business, Part 6: Merchandise Management and Pricing, Part 7: Communicating with the Customer, Part 8: Putting It All Together | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

IBM’s 2014 Online Retail Holiday Readiness Report

As online and multichannel retailers intensify their already-underway preparations for the 2014 holiday shopping season, they should take a look at a new report from IBM.
According to the IBM report:
“A prosperous 2014 holiday season appears to be in store for U.S. online retailers. Shopping on retail Web sites continues to grow at a double-digit pace. Average order value (AOV) and items per order both rose to record highs over the past year. Soaring usage of smartphones and tablets has made online shopping accessible to consumers anytime, anywhere.”
“Yet, the holiday season presents just as many risks as opportunities. Paths to purchase are more convoluted and unpredictable than ever as consumers interact through mobile devices, E-mail, advertising, and social media. Consumer attention as reflected in such metrics as average time on site and page views per session sank to new lows over the past 12 months. So did the overall conversion rate.”
Click the image to access the full IBM report about 2014 online holiday shopping.

 

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Posted in Part 1: Overview/Planning, Part 2: Ownership, Strategy Mix, Online, Nontraditional, Part 3: Targeting Customers and Gathering Information, Part 5: Managing a Retail Business, Part 6: Merchandise Management and Pricing, Part 7: Communicating with the Customer, Part 8: Putting It All Together | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Self-Branding for Personal and Career Success

Recently, I did a full-length radio interview with Dr. Suzanne Phillips for her CoSozo Psych Up Show  on the topic of self-branding for personal and career success. In this interview, the discussion goes far beyond the concept of self-branding for career success, the subject of earlier posts at this blog.
Self-branding is relevant for every role in which we engage — family member, friend, boss, employee, etc. And (1) our persona varies for each role and (2) we need to understand how others perceive us in these various roles. If we are not perceived as we would like, maybe we need to sharpen our messages and/or change our behavior.
If you have a few minutes (48 overall :-) ), then click on the play button.
 
http://www.cosozo.com/sites/default/files/radio/audio/full/pu0039_podcast.mp3

 

Posted in Career Useful Information, Careers in Retailing, Part 1: Overview/Planning, Part 2: Ownership, Strategy Mix, Online, Nontraditional, Part 5: Managing a Retail Business | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Amazon Battles On

As the world’s largest book seller and online merchant, Amazon is never afraid to flex its muscles with regard to its suppliers. So, this question comes into play: Is Amazon acting as an advocate for lower consumer prices (as the retailer claims) OR is Amazon an unrestrained bully trying to increase its margins at the expense of its content providers (as critics claim)?
WHAT IS YOUR CONCLUSION?
For several months, Amazon has been  battling with publisher Hachette. Consider this observation in Catey Hill’s report for MarketWatch:
“Amazon and book behemoth Hachette — along with some publishers’ groups and writers — are at one another’s throats, in a fight that’s escalated just within the past week. Amazon, which accounts for about 60% of the digital-book market, wants to use its market power to get Hachette to lower E-book prices, while Hachette says that this is ‘punitive,’ hurts authors and bookstores, and doesn’t take into account the costs — like royalties, marketing and expenses — that go into creating books. Hachette also notes that 80% of its books are already selling online for $9.99 or less, which is the price at which Amazon hopes to sell many of its E-books. For its part, Amazon has used its leverage against Hachette by delaying shipping and stopping pre-orders on some Hachette books.”
Now, Amazon has also decided to do battle with the Walt Disney Co., another behemoth content provider. Consider this observation in Greg Bensinger’s report for the Wall Street Journal:
“When Amazon.com Inc. wants to fight, it turns to a familiar playbook. The latest to feel the Seattle retailer’s sting is Walt Disney Co. Amazon isn’t accepting pre-orders of forthcoming Disney DVD and Blu-ray titles including Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Maleficent. As Amazon continues its well-publicized battle with Hachette over E-book costs, it has now engaged in a battle with Disney. It is the same tactic Amazon has employed in a bitter four-month spat with Hachette Book Group over E-book pricing. To press its point, Amazon suspended pre-orders for physical copies of many Hachette titles and lengthened shipping times or pared discounts for others. The tactics underscore Amazon’s unusual sway in E-commerce, where it is by far the dominant player, particularly for books and media.”
Click the image to see a Wall Street Journal video on this battle.

Photo by Associated Press

 

Posted in Online Retailing, Part 2: Ownership, Strategy Mix, Online, Nontraditional, Part 3: Targeting Customers and Gathering Information, Part 5: Managing a Retail Business, Part 6: Merchandise Management and Pricing, Part 7: Communicating with the Customer | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Multichannel Merchant’s New Study of Global E-Commerce

Due to its growing importance, we have posted several times about the changing face of global E-commerce (see, for example, 1, 2, 3).
According to Mike O’Brien, writing for Multichannel Merchant (MCM):
“If you’re a merchant and you’re not engaged in global E-commerce, you’re
missing out on a massive opportunity. Trends like slower growth in domestic
E-commerce relative to other countries and increased Web site traffic from non-U.S.
IP addresses are clear signals that legions of ready and willing online buyers await
across the globe.”
“While the opportunity is clearly there, a number of obstacles need to be addressed,
and engaging with solution partners experienced in cross-border trade is often a
wise course of action. Overall, merchants need to enter global E-commerce with a
clear plan and strategy in place, starting slowly and building on successes.”
Click the image to read MCM’s “Outlook 2014: Global E-Commerce Opportunity Beckons — But Do Your Preparation.”

 

 

Posted in Global Retailing, Online Retailing, Part 2: Ownership, Strategy Mix, Online, Nontraditional, Part 3: Targeting Customers and Gathering Information, Part 6: Merchandise Management and Pricing, Part 7: Communicating with the Customer | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment