No time for news? We’ve got you covered. Welcome to the Retail Rundown, your go-to weekly podcast where RETHINK Retail teams up with industry experts to deliver the top trending news stories in retail.

October 26, 2020: Retailers prepare for ‘shipaggedon,’ Buy now, pay later services on the rise, holiday mall predictions.

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Hosted by Julia Raymond

Written and produced by Gabriella Bock

Edited by Trenton Waller

 

TRANSCRIPTION

Julia Raymond:
Hi everyone, and welcome to the show. Today, we’re joined by two of our RETHINK Retail advisors, Carol Spieckerman and Ricardo Belmar.

Julia Raymond:
Carol Spieckerman is an expert on global retail trajectories and transmedia brand platforms. She’s an author and contributor to leading media outlets, such as NPR, Reuters, and Forbes.

Julia Raymond:
Ricardo is a Top 10 influencer at NRF’s annual event, a featured RetailWire BrainTrust member and former Association Director for ICX. He was named Social Media Mayor by RIS News and as a contributor for Retail Customer Experience. Carol and Ricardo, thanks for joining the show today.

Carol Spieckerman:
It’s a pleasure to be here.

Ricardo Belmar:
Happy to be here.

Julia Raymond:
Well, let’s talk about the holiday shopping season. Retailers are preparing for an unusual one. Delivery services are bracing for what the New York Times and Wall Street Journal are referring to as shipageddon. And side note, shout out to our friends at the Retailgeek podcast for coining that term. Major delivery carriers, such as UPS and FedEx told some of their shippers they’ve already reached most of their capacity.

Julia Raymond:
Meanwhile, industry analysts are predicting that holiday shoppers could see delivery delays up to two weeks or more. And some retailers are already experiencing major delays and the US apparel retailer, H&M, is seeing processing times up to 14 business days, while reviews on Trustpilot revealed some customers are waiting up to four weeks for their parcels to arrive.

Julia Raymond:
Ricardo, I will pass this one to you first, especially because you just had a viral LinkedIn post about it. Is there anything retailers can do to help alleviate or prepare for the stress put on shipping carriers this season?

Ricardo Belmar:
Yeah, so this is really becoming a hot topic, I think. If you think about, how did we get there, right? Like everything else in 2020, that’s been completely thrown off-kilter. We’ve got the word from the shippers like FedEx, UPS, even though they’re increasing their capacity, I think they’ve claimed something like 10%, I saw recent announcements, UPS has hired another 100,000 people. FedEx has a 70,000 person hiring search to try to grow capacity.

Ricardo Belmar:
But really, what’s happened, we’ve had what used to be a 15% annual increase in e-commerce, now is suddenly in the 30 to 40% range, depending on which quarter you look at for 2020, thanks to the pandemic. And then, if you think about the usual holiday shopping surge on top of that, that’s where we hear from analysts that there are anywhere from five to seven million packages at risk. So it’s kind of like this funnel-shaped constraint where you’ve got so much more going in and the capacity had to get out the other end without experiencing a lot of delays. So I kind of look at this as maybe a handful of different types or buckets of retail players and what they can do.

Ricardo Belmar:
So the first, maybe most obvious one, if you’re a retailer whose name starts with Amazon and you’re freshly coming off of Prime Day, you’re probably thinking you’re somewhat immune to this, because you’ve got your own built out logistics empire. And more importantly, you’ve got an ability to, somewhat dynamically, adjust your distribution and fulfillment capacity. At least, more rapidly maybe than the rest of the industry. So you probably feel better about it, but I will say that even during Prime Day, anecdotally, I heard it from a lot of people I’ve talked to, that they saw a lot of varying shipping times during the two Prime Days where they’d see an item, particularly on the second day, where it would suddenly not look like it was true one or two day prime shipping, that it was going to take longer. But then they ended up receiving things earlier than expected, so it seemed like even Amazon was trying to temper expectations there.

Ricardo Belmar:
So then you’ve got another group that I’ll talk to, is sort of the typical omnichannel retailer. Whether you love or hate that term, but I think it works in this case, because we’re talking really about mass merchandisers, the big box guys. This is where you look at folks like Target and Best Buy, who this year would probably offer the masterclass on how to execute good omnichannel retailing from a consumer perspective. But they’ve really turned stores into this kind of magical release valve, thanks to buy online, pickup in-store and turning on curbside pickup.

Ricardo Belmar:
Like Target, for example, really relying on ship from store to distribute inventory and then kind of optimize that. So if you’re in that bucket, you’re just going to keep doing more of the same and you’re hoping that you can spread the wealth, so to speak. So that, rather than trying to really push everything into FedEx or UPS, you may be spinning up some other 3PLs to help with this and some other carriers, but you’re going to try to rely a lot on pushing people to take advantage of that in-store pickup and curbside, so you can just avoid shipping altogether.

Ricardo Belmar:
Then, the next group to talk about is really more of your typical online pure plays, where you either don’t have stores or you don’t have a large store network. So you really are normally pretty dependent on UPS and FedEx and in a normal year, you would probably be talking to them already to try to lock in some extra capacity. And I’ve again, anecdotally heard from multiple retailers now, who are saying that the response they’re getting is, “We don’t want your extra volume this year. Thank you very much.”

Ricardo Belmar:
So where does that leave you? So again, you kind of have to go to plan B, if you will, and start looking at other 3PLs and other providers, to see where else can you take this extra volume that you’ve got. And so, I think there’s an opportunity there for some innovation. There are some new 3PL and 4PL providers out there. Some examples I can think of, folks like ShipHero or ShipBob, who are trying to manage sort of a network of partners for distribution and fulfillment to try to spread this out. So if you’re stuck in this mode, where you can’t get that extra capacity from your primary shipper, whether it’s UPS or FedEx, you’re going to want to start talking to some of these other organizations and see if that helps.

Ricardo Belmar:
And then, I think, the last group, which maybe is the most interesting one to talk about, are more the smaller, medium size retailers, indie retailers. These could be folks who primarily sell on the Shopify platform or maybe they’re eBay sellers or Etsy. What do you do if you’re in this group? Most likely you’ve been relying on the post office as your primary means of shipping. And I see a lot of debate on this, as to whether people think that if that’s your primary shipper, you’re either worse or better off than if you rely on FedEx or UPS. So I think, maybe there is an ongoing debate there.

Ricardo Belmar:
I tend to be in the camp that, I think, you’re more in need of having a backup plan, if US Post Office is usually your primary shipment means. So again, more reasons to branch out and try to find other fulfillment networks. Now, if you’re on the Shopify’s platform, you hopefully have been applying to use Shopify’s fulfillment network, which really acts kind of like as an overarching 4PL and managing other distribution networks, as they don’t really have the distribution center assets there, but I think that’s the plan that this group of retailers is going to have to pursue.

Ricardo Belmar:
You don’t have the ability to rely on a curbside pickup option or in-store pickup. You have to ship things, so you need to branch out and rely on as many different fulfillment networks as you can to get your products out there. So where does that leave you then is, things we’ve been hearing a lot of people talking about, is convincing your customers to shop early. And so, of course, we were all just before we were recording, talking to each other, “Have you started your holiday shopping?” And more and more people have asked that, around me are saying, “No, I haven’t really thought about it yet.” Or someone will say, “Well, it’s only October.” And so, that’s counter to what retailers, especially this year, want.

Ricardo Belmar:
And it’s not necessarily a new thing. I think, every year, we all see and comment how, “Oh, look, I walked into my favorite store and I already see the holiday decorations out and it’s not even Halloween.” And people had a tendency to shake their hands at why is this coming earlier and earlier? Well, now there’s an incentive, at least from the retailer’s point of view and it may require some education. I’ve even seen examples on Twitter of people posting letters from the CEO of a retailer to their customers and in practical sense, almost begging them to please shop early and warning them that if you don’t shop early, you may regret it.

Julia Raymond:
Absolutely. Good points, Ricardo, I like how you broke it down by the way, based on kind of what segment of retailer you are and the customers you’re serving.

Julia Raymond:
Carol, have you been hearing things that Ricardo touched on about partnering with 3PLs and thinking about getting your customers shopping early?

Carol Spieckerman:
Oh yeah, definitely. And it’s obviously a really intentional effort on the part of retailers. Amazon definitely fired the starting gun early on the promotions and events this year, but what’s different is that several other major retailers decided to ride in their wake and join them in starting those promotions early. So I think that is going to help spread things out and alleviate some of the tension, which is not to say this isn’t going to be a stress test for everybody. But retailers too, I think, it’s sort of echoing what Ricardo was saying, is that retailers are learning that they have to take a portfolio approach to this. That they can’t just pick a couple of options and hope they work out. So you see retailers, even like 7-Eleven, forging multiple partnerships with third parties like Grubhub and Instacart and Uber.

Carol Spieckerman:
So I think this portfolio approach is one positive step, as well, to where they’ll have more places to move and groove depending on how things shake out. But really, I boil it down to three main elements that I think the retailers need to take into consideration and the first is awareness. Here, as retail watchers, we’re very aware of what retailers are doing, because we look at it every day. But a lot of times shoppers are confused, they don’t know which options retailers are offering and if a shopper doesn’t know that you have a partnership with Instacart, for example, you might as well not have it. So you need to be able to market those capabilities and make sure that the awareness is there.

Carol Spieckerman:
And then secondly, transparency. More than anything retailers have to be really clear and honest about what they can and can’t accomplish, both from a digital sort of algorithmic-driven perspective to where you are literally given a delivery date and it sticks or whatever that looks like. But the disappointment factor increases exponentially when shoppers feel like they were hit without warning. So it’s one thing to disappoint a customer, but it’s another to sort of break a lot of promises. And I think that’s something that retailers are going to have to really think about, is transparency and notifications.

Carol Spieckerman:
And then that ties into the third aspect, which is agility. And the term that Ricardo used, I think, is really appropriate here, dynamic adjustment. So as things start off early, the positive possibility there, is that retailers will have more runway to react and to steer customers into other options. So retailers have tons of options at their disposal, but the clock is going to continue to be ticking. So they need to have that time to direct customers to alternatives and in a very timely manner, before the clock runs out. So I think retailers’ ability to steer customers to those curbside and in-store pickup options, where essentially the shopper is doing the last mile delivery themselves, are a much better option. But that takes a lot of agility and they’re going to have to be able to turn on a dime and say, “No, you’re not going to be able to get this option, but let me take you over here where this can happen.”

Carol Spieckerman:
But you look at retailers like Target, as Ricardo mentioned, that have really been focusing on this and not just making it an accidental, make it up as you go along, proposition. I mean, their pickup and drive up services alone this year have grown more than $1.6 billion, with a B. So that’s a huge shift and it also exemplifies, I think, their ability to steer customers into these options that make more sense and that take pressure off of the overall system.

Julia Raymond:
Carol, I love the three points you made. I think, did I get this right? Awareness, transparency and agility?

Carol Spieckerman:
Yes.

Julia Raymond:
And I wanted to touch on transparency, because you said it’s super important, especially with the holidays, to not disappoint your consumer. And I was speaking with someone just yesterday who said they’re considering like digital insurance in a sense.

Julia Raymond:
So if you know that customers’ items are delayed, sending them something that says, “Hey, we know it’s delayed, we’re sorry. Here is a virtual gift you can give to the person and then here’s a discount.” Or something that offsets that disappointment. Do you guys agree with that approach?

Carol Spieckerman:
Yeah, I think it shows goodwill and good intentions and anything in that direction is positive. If anything, somewhat over communicating and continuing to present options. I think that’s what keeps bubbling up in this whole conversation, is the need for diversified portfolio approaches and then the need to present options.

Carol Spieckerman:
And then that way, that the shopper feels like they’re in control, it isn’t pass or fail. Yes or no, or it made it, or it didn’t, it’s here are the options that we have and then that kind of goes back to the awareness and the agility pieces that we just talked about. You have to make sure that they’re aware of what their options are. And the overarching goal is to keep those customers playing on your platform and not hopping off to somebody else’s.

Ricardo Belmar:
I have to agree. I think that over-communicating is definitely the key on this one. It’s really like a moment where retailers are going to have to take a page out of their crisis management playbook and treat this like, even as it were, a bigger crisis than they may or may not experience.

Ricardo Belmar:
The consumers want to know what’s happening, so if you do have the ability to know that something is going to be delayed or whatever stage it’s in, you absolutely need to over-communicate it to the customer to make them feel like you’re on top of things. The last thing you want your customers to think is that things are out of control on your end, because that’s going to cause them to not want to shop with you in the future.

Carol Spieckerman:
Yeah, and the good news is that so many of these convenience options that retailers were cooking up before COVID, drive through, curbside, home delivery, site to store, now those have translated into becoming safety enablers. So they became really relevant as COVID cranked up.

Carol Spieckerman:
Well, now we have a third aspect of that, which is speed. So the same capabilities now address three separate motivations. Convenience, safety, and potentially now, speed, if retailers play it right and they, again, have that runway and that agility to steer customers into those options that work, and that still gets something to them on time, before the clock runs out.

Julia Raymond:
All right, great comments, Carol and Ricardo. Moving onto our next hot topic. There’s been a lot of news around this lately, it’s buy now, pay later services and retail. So PayPal is launching its buy now, pay later service in the UK and that lets shoppers finance their purchases over three interest-free monthly installments. And this launch comes hot off the heels of their US rollout of its Pay in 4 product, just last month.

Julia Raymond:
PayPal’s new finance option mirrors point of sale finance providers such as Klarna, Afterpay and QuadPay. Afterpay announced earlier this month that its in-store offering is now available nationwide and the first retailers offering Afterpay in the US include Forever 21, Finish Line, JD Sports, Levi’s, Sketchers, as well as select few DSW stores. Buy now, pay later providers have seen tremendous growth in recent months as shoppers move online. Most of the leading BNPL providers have payment options embedded on retailers’ websites.

Julia Raymond:
Carol, I’ll pass this to you first, with flexible payment use on the rise, why do you think maybe luxury brands have been slower to catch on? Wouldn’t an installment plan help lower the barrier to entry?

Carol Spieckerman:
Well, it’s a big trend right now, there are a lot of players coming on the scene to take advantage of it, but right now, buy now, pay later has mostly had traction in the discount in the middle tier of retail. But you have to know that’s where most of the business is done, so it makes a lot of sense. So I would say that the luxury market is maybe nascent, but not necessarily reluctant. I don’t know that I would make that call yet, to say that they’re somehow actively resisting it. I think that luxury players are definitely going to get on board, if only because the payment platforms themselves are going to make sure that they do. In so many cases it’s the platforms that drive the growth and the adoption. And you look at a company like Afterpay, for example, I mean, they’re definitely aware of the opportunity and already starting to make inroads.

Carol Spieckerman:
They just had a deal, just sealed a deal you may have seen, to have naming rights for Fashion Week in Australia. So now, it’s Afterpay Fashion Week in Australia. And not just changing the name, they’re actually touting their involvement as a way for opportunities to recoup their investments in participating in the show and also facilitating that, see now, buy now movement that’s been at work in fashion for a while.

Carol Spieckerman:
So these companies are aware of the opportunity and their awareness and their thirst to get into those markets, I think, is going to drive the adoption. So I think the story’s evolving, luxury is going to come along slowly, but eventually, very much like luxury brands did in the digital space. They were slow to get there, with the exception of perhaps Burberry and a couple of others, but they got on board and a lot of it was driven by the platforms, the digital platforms, that welcomed them in and made it easy for them to do. So, I think the same dynamic will be at work here.

Julia Raymond:
That’s really interesting, that Afterpay is basically sponsoring or owning the rights for Fashion Week Australia. I wouldn’t have guessed that. It’s kind of like how McDonald’s will sponsor sports teams here, right? On their jerseys, so.

Carol Spieckerman:
But it certainly speaks to their intent, doesn’t it?

Julia Raymond:
Absolutely. Ricardo, what are your thoughts on buy now, pay later on the rise?

Ricardo Belmar:
Yeah, I’m going to take the view that in many new things that develop as a trend like this, luxury brands tend to be a little more cautious and maybe take a little bit more of a wait and see attitude. Partly because, in everything that true luxury brands do, they want to measure, what’s the impact to their brand? What is that going to say about them if they participate, if they take advantage of something and if they join a trend? So if you look at something like the buy now, pay later, although usage is definitely increasing, I mean, you see plenty of reports of all of these companies that are engaging in this and how successful they are becoming at getting retailers to buy on. But it’s also brought along with it, like a lot of these things in the financial areas always do, is questions about regulations and are there too many risks in people using these services?

Ricardo Belmar:
And even if it turns out that the answers aren’t all that terrible, at the end of the day, when you get to it, because those questions get raised, I think that causes luxury brands to pause a bit in their thinking and say, “Well, if there is a perceived risk that people who use these services get into financial problems, that it attracts regulators, do we want to be associated with that?” So I think those are valid questions that luxury brands will ask themselves.

Ricardo Belmar:
Then I think a second perspective, they probably have, I certainly see many brands taking this view. What makes them a luxury brand? In many cases, depending on the products in the category we’re talking about, part of the equation there is exclusivity. So if the purpose of these buy now, pay later payment methods is to expand the reach of who can own and buy these products, that actually may or may not be part of the luxury brand’s plan if that doesn’t align to the customer type and demographic that they’re targeting. So I think there are a lot of brand-related questions for luxury companies as to why or why not they might want to adopt these buy now, pay later strategies.

Julia Raymond:
I’ve interviewed a lot of luxury retailers for the series I’m doing and they all come back to that. What will it do to our brand? It’s impressive how much they bring up the brand compared to other retailers.

Ricardo Belmar:
Yeah, at the end of the day, luxury brands are just that, they’re all about the brand. And so they have to be very protective or they lose the luster of being a luxury brand, if they don’t protect it.

Carol Spieckerman:
What I find interesting though, and a real positive development in this space, is the focus on digital. You look at Walmart, that has once again this year, and it always becomes news every year, how much they back off of, or go back into layaway. This year they’re backing off of layaway. Not entirely, they’re just being more surgical about which stores are going to offer it.

Carol Spieckerman:
But I think that this whole conversation about how customers want to pay and in which tiers, is getting very interesting. But the big development is that Afterpay and all of these companies, their digital capabilities. I mean, they’re digital-first companies versus focusing on walking into a store, writing a check and making a physical payment, sort of that old school way of doing things. And when you think about the travel bans and the COVID challenges that tend to drive, the travel that tends to drive the luxury market, the fact that so many of these platforms are digitally based is positive for luxury brands, because it allows them to capture sales even when that travel, that used to drive their store traffic, isn’t happening.

Carol Spieckerman:
It’s a little convoluted, but I think luxury brands are certainly going to see the advantages to the exposure and the scale that they’re able to achieve through these platforms that has been curtailed through COVID, as fewer customers visit their stores. So the digital aspect is really going to be key to driving those partnerships.

Julia Raymond:
It’s just like many people would say luxury brands would never use Amazon as a platform, right? And now we’re seeing Oscar de la Renta and a few others doing that, so.

Carol Spieckerman:
Never say never.

Ricardo Belmar:
That’s right.

Julia Raymond:
Never say never.

Ricardo Belmar:
That’s right. Eventually, you have to go where your customer is.

Julia Raymond:
Absolutely. Well, let’s talk about malls. Malls, malls, malls. So people are beginning their holiday shopping earlier this season, but the traditional malls are trying just about everything to get shoppers through their doors. This is pretty interesting. So for example, the US Minnesota-based Maplewood Mall is trying to attract shoppers with their new petting zoo and augmented reality visits with Santa Claus. Another mall replaced its JC Penny with an indoor soccer field.

Julia Raymond:
But despite despite best efforts, only 45% of consumers, at least in the US, plan to go to a mall this season. That’s down from 64% last year. That’s according to the International Council of Shopping Centers survey released this month. Some malls, like the Mall of America and indoor shopping centers have introduced curbside pickups for tenants to share. Interestingly though, globally speaking, an Oracle survey released today, predicts that 58% of consumers will spend the same or more on holiday shopping than they did last year, so that’s actually a bit positive. Ricardo, I’ll pass this to you. What do you think about the prediction that fewer than 50% of shoppers will visit a mall this shopping season?

Ricardo Belmar:
One of the things I find interesting on this topic and it kind of relates to our earlier one about shipaggedon. So malls are really in an interesting position along with the mall-based retailers that are in there, and what’s fascinating to me with all of these surveys, even just in the couple that you referenced just now, while one’s more positive, one’s more negative, taken together they’re a little bit contradictory, right? So I think one of the things that happens here is when we look at surveys that are trying to gauge shopper intent, but they’re asking consumers, what do you plan to do? People always plan to do certain things, but they don’t always have the chance to execute on those plans. And so, I think, you kind of have to take all those kinds of surveys with a grain of salt, because they’re not that accurate, I think, oftentimes in predicting.

Ricardo Belmar:
So if you were to ask me, do I expect fewer people to go to malls? I’m inclined to say yes, partly because we still see this. When you look at measured foot traffic across brick and mortar retailer, in most stores, the foot traffic compared to last year is still down. Granted, we’re going into a holiday shopping season, but if you accept that that trend is going to continue and if you accept that that trend is because we’re in the middle of a pandemic, then to me, that says that people may aspire to go to the mall and to some extent, because maybe they want to go do more shopping, but will they, at the end of the day? Will they, either because they don’t feel safe doing it, or because they’re worried that too many people are going to be there and they don’t want to be in a crowd?

Ricardo Belmar:
I think it causes more people to hold back. So they may respond to surveys saying, “Yeah, I’m going to go to a mall,” but I think they’re going to hold back to that. So of course then malls are going to do the kinds of things you described, make it more of a destination that people want to be in, besides the desire to go shopping. And I think it’s commendable, I think mall owners are starting to think more creatively for this. I think if it were a normal year, all of those techniques and methods would actually serve to increase foot traffic to the mall. But I think at this point, I just don’t know that making the mall a non-shopping destination is going to help you going into the holiday season to try to help those retailers increase sales.

Ricardo Belmar:
In my mind, what should malls be doing to help their retailers? They should be doing everything they can, to help those mall retailers with in-store pickup, curbside pickup, all of these things that help the retailer leverage the store footprint that more standalone retailers and all of our essential retailers throughout the year, have benefited from during the pandemic. These are all the things that we know consumers want now. Everyone has felt the convenience factor behind those, and they want to see more of it.

Ricardo Belmar:
So, in fact, one thing that kind of surprises me, we don’t hear malls talking about very much, with what we just talked about earlier with shipaggedon, and then the need for better distribution and fulfillment options. We hear this constant string of rumors of mall owners wanting to sell their vacant spots to Amazon, so that Amazon can build fulfillment centers there. Why aren’t malls talking to other retailers about this? Why aren’t we hearing more mall owners trying to come up with new plans to help the existing tenants they have with more distribution and fulfillment capability in those same vacant spots they have, that they know they’re not going to fill this season.

Ricardo Belmar:
They’re not going to expect to see new stores pop up there, so make use of the space and offer it to your existing retailers, so that they in turn can help fulfill customer orders. I think that’s where mall owners should probably be more so directing their efforts to, to really make a difference this season.

Carol Spieckerman:
Yeah, and I completely agree with what Ricardo just said, because so many of these tactics that they’re trying to deploy right now are really antithetical to the shift in consumer behavior, which is from browsing to intentional shopping. And you can’t force shoppers to want to browse when they’re making plans and saying, “How do I go to as few stores as possible and how do I get in and get out?”

Carol Spieckerman:
So that prioritization, as Ricardo alluded to, I think, is important for retailers to realistically say, “What do shoppers want and how can we facilitate that?” Rather than, how can we run counter to that and try to force them into behaviors that they don’t want to have. But the planning piece of it also too, talking about those best laid plans, it really ties back into what we talked about a second ago with agility. Retailers, if they’re agile enough and they see these trends taking shape, then they’ll have the ability, hopefully, to create promotions that are store-based to mitigate any issues that they’ve been having on the digital space.

Carol Spieckerman:
It’s a tall order, but I think that agility piece really comes in to where retailers can say, “Here’s how we’re going to steer shoppers into the stores, maybe at the 11th hour.” And it may even run counter to Ricardo’s point, to the plans, the best laid plans that they had made in terms of how they were going to shop. Maybe they had plans to shop digitally, but the retailer wasn’t transparent about their inability to deliver. And then, therefore, they shift their plans to physically go into a store. So I think those types of shifts and the agility of retailers to react to them and to expect and anticipate them is going to be a really big success factor for the holiday shopping season.

Ricardo Belmar:
Yeah, I think if there’s one lesson that everyone, from the mall owners to the retailers should take away from 2020 is agility.

Carol Spieckerman:
Yep.

Julia Raymond:
Absolutely. And I love the idea to help out retailers, mall-based retailers, with using that space for fulfillment. I don’t know why we don’t see more of that.

Julia Raymond:
Ricardo and Carol, it was great having you on the show. Before we log off, Carol, would you tell our listeners where they can find your podcast?

Carol Spieckerman:
Yeah, absolutely. It’s produced in partnership with MarketScale, so you can see the podcast on marketscale.com in their retail section. Also, I have a channel on my website at spieckermanretail.com under insights and podcast, and that’s where you can check out all the episodes. In fact, I just wrapped up my Eight Mistakes Suppliers Can’t Make series, which is very much geared towards supplier best practices. Suppliers of all stripes solutions, services, brands, products, and moving on to some really great interviews coming up, so thanks for asking about it.

Julia Raymond:
Absolutely and that sounds like something, everyone who listens to this podcast, should also check out. So thank you so much. Our advisors, Carol Spieckerman and Ricardo Belmar, for joining the show today.

Carol Spieckerman:
It was a pleasure to be with you, Julia and Ricardo.

Ricardo Belmar:
Thanks, Julia. Thanks, Carol. Always fun.