September 23, 2019: Walmart’s Delivery Unlimited, Gap-Old Navy breakup, Gen-Z shopping habits

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TRANSCRIPTION

Julia Raymond:
Our guests today include Paula Rosenblum and Bob Phibbs. Paula is a top industry analyst and managing partner and co-founder of Retail Systems Research. Paula also serves on the RETHINK Retail Advisory Council.

Julia Raymond:
Bob, also known as the Retail Doctor, is an internationally recognized business strategist, speaker and brick- and-mortar expert. Paula, Bob, thank you both for joining today.

Paula Rosenblum:
My pleasure.

Bob Phibbs:
Thanks for having us.

Julia Raymond:
Of course. The first retailer we’re going to look at today is Walmart. They’re back in the news this week after announcing the expansion of its Delivery Unlimited program. It’s rolling out nationwide this Fall and similar to Amazon Prime, customers have the option to pay a yearly fee of $98 or a monthly fee of $12.95 in exchange for unlimited Walmart grocery home delivery for various produce, meat, dairy, and bakery items along with the pantry staples, consumables, and select general merch.

Julia Raymond:
The program supports Walmart’s existing grocery pickup services and clears the way for a future in home delivery service. Bob, considering that 82% of US households have an Amazon Prime membership, do you think it’s possible for Walmart to saturate the market by 2025?

Bob Phibbs:
Well, that’s a good question. What you call saturate for one thing, but look, I think we have to get out of this. It’s either or. Customers are shopping in multiple channels through multiple means and frankly, at $100 for a year.

Bob Phibbs:
I think an awful lot of consumers could certainly afford that. The one that I was surprised is I didn’t see anything about Target’s partnership with Shipt and how that is affecting everything. Those three players are certainly in the battle against everybody else. Would you agree Paula?

Paula Rosenblum:
I would. I will say that this is where having local stores really does work to both Walmart and Target’s advantage. I confess I use a lot of grocery home delivery and when Whole Foods was still with Instacart, I really preferred using them because I like their products.

Paula Rosenblum:
However, now you can only get them through Amazon and it becomes embarrassing because they don’t have, they don’t take it from the store anymore. They take it from some warehouse about 20 minutes away and being in Miami, they have to be pretty careful about insulating everything.

Paula Rosenblum:
Frankly, it’s embarrassing. I mean, I got a loaf of bread with two huge blocks of dry ice around it. It becomes ecologically unfeasible for me. I really like Walmart’s chances. I don’t know what market saturation looks like.

Paula Rosenblum:
I know that $98 a year for anything I want to get and if I just forgot to buy three things last time and I can get them free delivery with that, that’s really great for me if that’s what they’re going to do.

Paula Rosenblum:
Overall, I really like what Walmart’s doing and I really like what Target’s doing because they’re leveraging their actual stores.

Julia Raymond:
Yes, this is a place where Amazon I think has some competition with the grocery market and the increasing need for convenience and I think some consumers might eventually try to choose between one or the other.

Julia Raymond:
If Walmart gets to a point where they have more products, more third party sellers and they can deliver similar products to Amazon for most categories, then people might make the switch.

Paula Rosenblum:
I guess there’s one other thing I wanted to mention and that is the software that they use. The way they allow and one of my issues with Instacart, and it’s really there. Well, I tried to use Target once and I got overwhelmed.

Paula Rosenblum:
It’s some degree of personalization. Some degree of recommendation. For example, I would like to be able to say, “I don’t eat meat, I don’t eat poultry, I eat some fish, but mostly I’m a vegetarian.” And that would help really limit a lot of the options that are shown to me.

Paula Rosenblum:
Instacart tries to let me know what I’ve bought before, but their software is a little buggy and things drop off and come on randomly and their substitutes are not very good.

Paula Rosenblum:
I would like to see, I think that the market just gets bigger if you can add more personalization to it.

Julia Raymond:
Definitely.

Bob Phibbs:
I would just add in though that Amazon and Walmart are not two of the most revered companies in America. I think a lot of people have a very bad taste on Walmart. I think we’re learning an awful lot about Amazon that there is a ugly side to it.

Bob Phibbs:
I think you have to factor in that this is not a done deal for either of these two companies. I think the PR, they’re trying to spin everything is still at odds with what people’s perceptions have been of both of these retailers.

Julia Raymond:
I agree. I will say I read a Bloomberg article just last month and it was basically talking about how Amazon constantly scans for the products on other platforms and it basically penalizes any sellers on their platform who are offering the same products for lower prices elsewhere.

Julia Raymond:
Say it’s Walmart.com and they’ll alert that company selling the products and say, “Hey, we’re going to make it harder to discover and purchase your product because your price is not competitive on our platform.”

Bob Phibbs:
The Wall Street Journal article this week since we’re talking about the week in review about how they have adjusted their algorithms and so that it is really only going to be showing their products and their brands and how that all fits in.

Bob Phibbs:
I think at some point, people are going to say that’s not really my decision that I’m willing to keep giving over to somebody and what I want and the brands that I want, again, I think the narrative from a few years ago that it’s just going to be these two big blockbusters that are going to be duking it out.

Bob Phibbs:
I think Target certainly is a strong one, but I don’t know that the winner is necessarily going to be the big boys. I think it’s going to be a lot of other players underneath.

Paula Rosenblum:
I mean I have to say though before we move on to anything else we’re going to talk about, I have to say that Walmart has been making some impressive moves at least from my point of view and as someone who didn’t love them much, I’m starting to really warm up to them because I think they’ve been, since Doug McMillon took over, they’ve been trying to be a little bit of a better karma company and Amazon on the flip side feels like they are determined to become the bad karma company between the HQ to debacle and lowering the what do you call it? The hourly wages for their in store workers at Whole Foods.

Julia Raymond:
Sure.

Paula Rosenblum:
I don’t ever write Walmart off anymore. I thought Walmart had hit the top of their market and I don’t think they have anymore. I think they have head room and to Bob’s point, Target has a really good opportunity. Definitely.

Julia Raymond:
Target does. They’re just maybe not covered as frequently because they’re a smaller player somewhat in comparison, but it is interesting to see how their partnership with Shipt will keep getting better and I think the user experience is probably pretty solid on their platform.

Paula Rosenblum:
Yeah, they’re also pretty bullish on buy online and pick up in store and that’s I believe that on their last earnings call, their CEO talked about the incremental revenue associated with that and that it was really good.

Paula Rosenblum:
I mean, we know that Walmart says it gets double the basket size which is one reason they’re rolling it out to the rest of the country, but target also is reporting just an enormous boost in sales because of the way they’re doing this.

Julia Raymond:
Interesting. I didn’t know that. That’s great.

Julia Raymond:
Okay, we’ll move on to Gap and Old Navy. Breakups are never easy or cheap and the latest news from the Gap, Old Navy separation shows an expensive road ahead. Gap and its sub-brands, that’s Banana Republic, Athletica, Janie & Jack and Hill City.

Julia Raymond:
We’ll take a step back from regional malls in order to find itself likely settling in e-commerce. Meanwhile, Old Navy, now single and ready to spend has set its 10 billion dollar sales goal on nearly doubling its physical stores.

Julia Raymond:
Obviously, there are some differences between Gap and Old Navy that just can’t be figured out. Paula, why do you think these legacy brands can’t make it work?

Paula Rosenblum:
Well, I don’t know how they … I don’t know the transaction associated with the breakup. I don’t know if Gap was just looking for some money to be honest with you and so they spun it off for that reason.

Paula Rosenblum:
There’s some pieces … I don’t know. Bob, do you know or is there a big financial benefit to Gap for this?

Bob Phibbs:
I think the goal was that they thought cutting Old Navy loose would raise their profile and certainly be able to get more people excited about it since I’m being attached to the Gap, I think and a lot of people thought was a losing situation.

Bob Phibbs:
It’s like cutting your losses. Kind of like VF did with cutting North Face and I can’t think of other brands and then they would decide to just work on Lee and Wrangler. I think it’s that same general idea to let the better brand run, but having said that, their comps were also down in the first quarter.

Bob Phibbs:
They suddenly are not the darlings that I think they were when they first announced this many months ago.

Paula Rosenblum:
One thing I would say is having read stories about their plants, store roll-outs. I would say they haven’t learned much from the mothership and that is that overexpansion is bad. I mean long, long ago I started talking about how Gap … What happens is if you sign up for a mall, they’ll generally give you radius restrictions.

Paula Rosenblum:
Let’s say you can’t have a store within X number of miles of our mall. In fact, retailers as they’re building their chains, they create their own internal radius restrictions in a sense and they say, “Well, we can do all right if we’re within X number of miles from each other. If we get closer than that, we’re going to cannibalize ourselves and it’s not really a useful thing.”

Paula Rosenblum:
What happened is as Gap was under pressure to grow, grow, grow, grow, grow, they kept busting through their own internal radius restrictions if you will, and they added way too many stores and I believe in the last five or six years they’ve cut them by two-thirds if I remember the number correctly, that there were two big slugs and a couple of smaller slugs.

Paula Rosenblum:
I worry that that Old Navy is about to do the same thing, that they’re going to over commit to stores because they’ve announced, like you said, they’re single and they’re ready to spend and doubling their physical stores. I’m not sure why they’re doing that and I wouldn’t think it was a good idea.

Bob Phibbs:
I don’t trust Gap, I don’t trust Gap to save my life. I think that 800 stores is outrageous. I don’t think, it’s like Amazon drone delivery whenever that came out five years ago, it’s going to be here tomorrow and I think it’s the same PR company telling us that look at all the hope we have.

Bob Phibbs:
It doesn’t make sense. I mean Forever 21 is on the verge of declaring bankruptcy. You look at, was it H&M not that long ago, a year ago, whatever, it had four billion dollars worth of unsold merch. They compete in the same category as Old Navy.

Julia Raymond:
But that’s surprising, right? Because it’s fast fashion, right, and it’s valued.

Bob Phibbs:
This whole fast fashion, everything, Oracle and NetSuite we did a survey and that this recently in this last January and Gen Z and millennial customers are starting to look at quality and so I think the tide is turning for just old, cheaply built products that are disposable.

Bob Phibbs:
There’s a whole ecological thing to it, there’s a social consciousness to it, it doesn’t speak to that market and yet, typical Gap fashion. Well, we know better. I don’t think our [Pac 00:12:52] knows better. I mean, they still have 40% off sales every weekend saying this weekend only.

Paula Rosenblum:
That’s their going in number in the holiday season is 40% off. It is.

Bob Phibbs:
That’s right.

Paula Rosenblum:
It is. It went from 30 to 40 at Old Navy.

Bob Phibbs:
They don’t know who their customer is. I think someone had surfaced, “Oh, well Old Navy is going to go to underserved, poorer communities.” Okay, but why? I mean …

Paula Rosenblum:
Yes, exactly.

Bob Phibbs:
The amount to your point earlier there Julia, the amount of the breakup is significant. It’s something like 700 million to Gap at a company that can’t afford to keep their flagship open in New York city, but it’s just following Sears and bad retailing down the same path that there was a compelling reason if they were like a Lululemon who I think certainly understands who their customer is, realized, “Wow, we haven’t had men in our stores. Let’s figure that one out.”

Bob Phibbs:
They went back to the market, they did it, they opened that beautiful space in Chicago with restaurants and all these other things. They understand. I don’t think anyone that we’ve seen at Gap has done it. They’ve been through a host of merchandising and VPs and they still haven’t figured it out so why would you believe that Old Navy is now going to be able to make a run of adding this enormous amount of retail at a time when Penney’s and a lot of other companies are having distressed sales because they have too much inventory. Why wouldn’t I be attracted to the higher discount of something that might be a little better as these stores go out of business?

Paula Rosenblum:
Well, and to your earlier point, the fast fashion and the cheap fashion business is oversaturated. We live in this, it’s amazing for a smart world and smart people, we consistently seem to want to believe that markets are infinite and they’re not.

Paula Rosenblum:
The fast fashion market is kind of at the moment capped out. That’s why H&M had trouble. That’s why Forever 21 is having trouble is that there’s only so much, and it is only so big of a market for anybody and that market size may flex depending on fashion like if you think of PacSun at some point, surfer gear was really trendy and so they over … They expanded to meet that need.

Paula Rosenblum:
It stopped being trendy and they had to compress themselves back down again, but this is worse than that. This is the presumption that it’s all waiting for me, darling. No, it’s not.

Julia Raymond:
Right.

Bob Phibbs:
I would have to add it and I know it’s a little off topic, but the same with secondhand and rental clothing. I think we are in for a huge wake up call, Macy’s and J. C. Penney that the way forward is being a middleman for a leftover garage sale items that there’s a demand for when their recession does come and we know it’s coming, I just don’t see how this makes any sense either, but that’s another day.

Julia Raymond:
Yeah. Perhaps we could go into that for hours, but I agree and I think that even though Old Navy put up the same positive, same store sales for at least the past three years, which they talked about I believe in their investor presentation, it’s just like Paula said, “Can they really expect that same kind of return by doubling their physical presence when a lot of other value brands are closing their doors?” I don’t know.

Paula Rosenblum:
Well, the other question we don’t know the answer to is what or maybe we do and that’s just not showing anywhere. I’m seeing it is how profitable are they? How profitable can you be when an average clothing margin is 50% and you’re running 40% off?

Julia Raymond:
Mm-hmm (affirmative). That’s a good point as well. We’ll have to look into that. I don’t know if I’ve come across that either. Okay. Paula, Bob, any last comments before we go to the last news topic? No?

Paula Rosenblum:
No, everyone is going to hate us I think what this is done, but I think we’re both being realists, you know what I mean?

Julia Raymond:
Yeah.

Paula Rosenblum:
Rather than being futurists, we’re being realists and I think that retail needs more realists around it.

Bob Phibbs:
Oh, I just think that we don’t buy the PR because Paula and I are in the same world. We are basically merchants. We understand that there’s an infinite way that you can slice the onion, but at some point, it’s still not holding together.

Bob Phibbs:
If there was, I think there would be more people who would be rallying behind it and saying, “This is great.” I hear more head scratching, the same thing just to go back to Amazon and the Whole Foods workers cutting the benefits at this company that had this whole ethos and saying, “Oh, it’s really not much different.” Well, you do enough of those and people start saying, “You’re not my brand anymore.”

Paula Rosenblum:
Right. Exactly. Exactly.

Julia Raymond:
A new survey was just released by A.T. Kearney and it shows that 81% of 14 to 24 year olds, so that’s Gen Z consumers prefer brick-and-mortar as their channel for shopping and they also found out that Gen Z is reportedly stressed out by the constant connection they feel to digital with their mobile phones and it’s possible there may be a correlation between their preference to shop in store to mental health.

Julia Raymond:
They get to take a step back and shop and be a little bit disconnected while they’re browsing physical items in the store. Bob, what do you think about these findings? Should retailers think carefully before they incorporate a lot of digital elements within their stores?

Bob Phibbs:
Well, that’s funny because again, going back to our survey we did with Oracle and NetSuite about at this point nine months ago, we found the same thing that more than two and five Gen Z and millennial customers plan on doing more shopping in physical stores and while nearly all retailers believe VR is getting increased traffic or some of other AI, less than 12% of actual people and shoppers thought that that was going to add to it.

Bob Phibbs:
I think it’s confirming this idea that people go in … Look, people go into a store to feel they matter and people who feel they matter buy more. It’s that simple. If your ideas, we’re going to put up a virtual head that’s going to answer people’s questions remotely and that’s going to be it, or you think you’re bringing the, we’re going to bring game by having an Instagram feed in our stores and all these other bells and whistles at the end of the day and I’m sure Paula would agree it’s about converting and adding on. That’s all any retailer should be giving a damn about right now.

Bob Phibbs:
Enough people are walking into your stores right now to make up the difference and lower traffic, but because of one other statistics that we got out of our survey with Oracle and NetSuite, more than half of consumers are feeling stressed, anxious, alone, overwhelmed or confused in the store and only 39% of consumers feel confident going into a retail store today.

Bob Phibbs:
What does that tell us? The ideas of endless lines and that’s the oldest trick in the book, right Paula? We’ll just add more lines and look how much better sales will be. It’s like no, unless it converts, you didn’t know who your shopper was and you’re trying throw as much stuff at the wall and now you make it electronic and digital and you have buzzwords around it, but at the end of the day, you’re not converting and if you’re not converting, it’s usually because people don’t feel anything when they walk in and they feel worse going in because they were confused, overwhelmed and my last point is how many sales retailers that should have been yours walked out your door today. That’s what should keep you up at night.

Paula Rosenblum:
Yeah, I don’t disagree at all. I think there’s several things worth noting. If you’re an apparel retailer, you really want the customer to come to the store because as returns become a proxy for a dressing room and returns are really expensive.

Paula Rosenblum:
I mean, you get a return rate of 7% or 8% in a store if you’re bad and you get a return rate of 30% online If you’re good, and the difference is that you can’t touch it, you can’t feel it, you can’t see it.

Paula Rosenblum:
Now, along with that is what I call the big ask and the big ask is to have employees that stay longer than they used to stay that we have a retention plan, that we have a living wage and the reason for that is that you want these people to stay now.

Paula Rosenblum:
You want them to stay so that they know the product, so that they can engage with consumers and they can engage in value added activities. Why this is a big ask is that for years you hear retailers be moaning the high rate of in store turnover.

Paula Rosenblum:
The dirty little secret behind that is that the entire retail model is built around the presumption of a transient workforce who you never have to pay fringe benefits to or raises to because they leave fast enough which keeps your payroll at a particular percent of sales and now even though everyone says, “Oh my God, my turnover is so high.”

Paula Rosenblum:
It’s kind of by design. It’s just been around so long, they’re not even aware of it anymore. Now you’ve got this issue where you need to have engaged in store employees to work with these people who are basically as you said alone or lonely connected to their devices, not wanting to talk to a talking head on a screen, but actually wanting to work with somebody and how do you do that and make your store a destination instead of just loaded with products that you’ve bought from who knows where and whatever, I’m placing very, very safe bets.

Paula Rosenblum:
I don’t want to minimize what we’re asking retailers to do because it’s a lot. They actually have to sit down and figure out how do I optimize non-selling activities with technology so that I can free up employees to actually do something in the store.

Paula Rosenblum:
I mean, one example I’ll use is when Hubert Joly first to Best Buy. He took the security guy at the door who I guess was there to prevent shrink and said, “This guy is now on the selling floor, and I’m sure they did something else to prevent shrink because the shrink didn’t go through the roof, what did go through the roof as their numbers started getting better and better and better and better as they created a better in store customer experience.”

Paula Rosenblum:
That’s the challenge is how do we find a way to … How do we find the low-hanging fruit and high-hanging fruit that’s wasting employees time so that we can nurture them, so that we can work with them and we can get them to stay so that they can engage with customers.

Bob Phibbs:
I would add on that, that to your point of all the merchandise you have in your store, let’s be honest, it’s all private label now because that’s the tricky thing. Yet, you’re using all the premium brands to try to get the people in the store and you’re hiring Gen Z and millennials who don’t have money to buy a thousand dollar purse or something and you don’t train them and the baby boomers come in because from a generation of, “Damn it, I’m 60 years old, I want to buy that thousand dollars purse.”

Bob Phibbs:
They’re met with a kid who doesn’t care or better yet, they actually feel worse because now they’re looked down on because somehow they’re not conscious consumers or something and you have a whole generation war as well as the only thing they can sell is what’s on sale, hence Gap and some of the other ones, meaning premium items sit, so the premium items sit and now every retailer should be worried about what happens to the top end of my market.

Bob Phibbs:
That’s what balances those every day low prices or those loss leaders and that’s to your point Paula, it is a wake up call because what else are you going to do? There’s always somebody cheaper now whether in a physical store or online, price lever doesn’t work, it’s broken and you now have a group of people who are working in retail who can’t afford the merch, selling to people who want it and without training, of course, I’m a retail sales trainer, so that’s probably my bend, but it’s the only thing that matters.

Bob Phibbs:
Conversions and add-ons and it’s a direct result of how much you value your employees and associates.

Paula Rosenblum:
I’m going to give you the flip side of that as well and I’ve had this experience a few times. I am nothing if not a casual dresser. I mean, I am just as casual as they come and I also have expensive taste particularly when it comes to handbags, jewelry, and cars.

Paula Rosenblum:
Each one of those circumstances, I have been blown off in a retail environment because there was a presumption I couldn’t afford what they were selling and they were way wrong.

Paula Rosenblum:
I mean, I will never, and I’ll name it because I don’t care. I’ll never buy an Audi because I was treated when I went to their store. I happen to have a BMW that I kept for 15 years because you don’t drive a stick shift in Miami and I had bought it in Boston before I moved.

Paula Rosenblum:
I came up, the guy looked at my license, he looked at my registration, saw that I had at the time a 12-year-old BMW and said, “You must be wanting to look at the used cars.”

Julia Raymond:
Wow.

Paula Rosenblum:
Yeah, exactly. I said, “Well, I’ll take your car for a drive. Actually, no …” Of course then, I had to tell him because I’m a car aficionado. I had to tell them all the things that were wrong with his vehicle and then I just left.

Bob Phibbs:
I just bought a new Audi, I just got the Q8. It’s awesome.

Paula Rosenblum:
Well, Q8 is big, I was looking at a convertible, A3, A4, I forgot which.

Bob Phibbs:
But that goes back to bad, that’s just goes back to bad training again and I think there’s a whole gender thing going on there. Right. I mean, the Auto industry is not exactly the pinnacle of customer experience, right?

Paula Rosenblum:
Right. Well, but when you’re buying a $50,000 car, I had a much better experience buying from Mercedes quite honestly, but moving on from there, I go up to Bal Harbor and I get snubbed here and there, going into … I’m not going to name the store, but looking at me askance because I wanted my ring fixed.

Paula Rosenblum:
It was a very high end ring and the handbags, I don’t do badly. I buy them online now. I don’t have that issue, but I really have had the experience of probably a poorly trained person who judges and in Miami, you should never judge books by their cover because nobody dresses normally here. They don’t. Just the old people do, you know?

Bob Phibbs:
Yeah, but who does, I mean, Mark Zuckerberg could walk into a store in his flip flops beat up jeans and this hoodie and people would treat him pretty badly too. We are in this age of dismissing people and I think that’s what makes retail such a great thing is it teaches, it normalizes people.

Bob Phibbs:
You have to like them before they’re going to like you. It’s the opposite of social media and that’s what makes community and that’s what makes the world a better place and I truly believe that that because retail has been monitored by the bean counters for so long and so much training has gone and so much passion about meeting another person, being curious about them, that it becomes a stale environment and ultimately as a community, we’re worse off because nothing got us over that, it’s about someone other than you.

Bob Phibbs:
I think if we fix that which I think in a lot of retailers, again, go back to Lululemon, go back to Container Store, there’s several that do a great job of that. They are changing the way communities run, but that takes a big commitment.

Julia Raymond:
A huge commitment and then the human element I think is what we’re getting at and it’s just so important. Something that’s missing with a lot of retailers, but like Paula said, it takes so much time to change, to change training and get the technology where it needs to be to free up their time, but yeah, I had a personal experience two days ago where I was in a store, I was just picking up I think black tights and the employee just finished folding the jean display and she announced to her coworker who was 20 feet away, “No one come over here and touch these jeans. They’re not for sale.”

Julia Raymond:
Because she just finished folding them and I was like, “Wow.” There’s so much that needs to change and then the very next day I was in another store and I was clearly looking for something that wasn’t there, I was a little bit frustrated and there was a girl with a scanner and she walked right past me, didn’t ask if I need help. They’re enabled, they have the scanners in their hand, but they don’t notice the shoppers.

Bob Phibbs:
Well, but to your point, that’s where we’ve devolved is it’s task management. It’s moved this here inventory that pick the order to go online and those damn customers are, we just get rid of them, we’d be fine.

Bob Phibbs:
That’s what I don’t understand for at Nordstrom or a Neiman Marcus or some of the other luxury brands who have missed the mark of what great customer service is and complain how tough it is to have their job.

Bob Phibbs:
It’s like, “Damn it, elevate your shopping experience. Elevate what got you there because you’ve clearly forgotten it.” Somewhere down the line, you let that go and now you get stories like that because they shouldn’t, those people didn’t belong in retail to begin with.

Julia Raymond:
Mm-hmm (affirmative). Absolutely. Yeah. I think Gen Z will show us. A lot of them are still teenagers, but as their share of wallet grows, they’re going to probably be demanding more from retailers, from the employees who work there and that personal experience that allows them to get away from the constant connection with their phones. Any last comments Bob or Paula before we close out?

Paula Rosenblum:
No, I think this has been a really great conversation actually with two realists. I really like that.

Bob Phibbs:
Well, that’s very true. Paula and I, we do spar a few times on retail wire, but I think that ultimately, we come from the same place, which is we can do better than this and I think that’s what we’re saying and I think that’s what we see with, again, I go back to Target just because everybody poo-pooed them two years ago.

Bob Phibbs:
You’re putting seven million into brick and mortar stores, what are you thinking? Even Walmart, they put in 200 training centers around the nation a few years ago and the smart ones get it. For us to survive, we have to invest in the store.

Paula Rosenblum:
Yeah, I agree and the clickbait of retail. I’m going to say this because this is my plugs to this. The clickbait on the retail apocalypse, it’s a tired story. It may give you a click, but you’re not helping the industry. You’re not helping customers and you’re certainly not helping yourself because it’s not true.

Julia Raymond:
Definitely not true. I think we’ve seen that retail is not dying, it’s not going away, it’s just evolving, right? Right, right.

Paula Rosenblum:
People put out distorted sort of store closure numbers and presume that people are just going to eat it and say, yes, that’s true and it’s not.

Bob Phibbs:
Except they’ll be able to have drones delivering their turkey for thanksgiving.

Julia Raymond:
There’s a threshold though. It’s got to be a small turkey.

Bob Phibbs:
That’s right.

Paula Rosenblum:
No, no, it’s going to be really good because down in Miami, the vultures come to spend the winter. You could see-the drone coming along and the vulture just snapping the turkey out of it’s [crosstalk 00:33:24]

Julia Raymond:
It’s already cut for me. Perfect.

Bob Phibbs:
That’s right.

Julia Raymond:
Well, Bob, Paula, thank you so much for joining the show, I really enjoyed our discussion. I hope to have you again on soon.

Paula Rosenblum:
Our pleasure, my pleasure.

Bob Phibbs:
Absolutely. Thank you Julia. Thank you Paula.

Paula Rosenblum:
Thank you Bob, nice chat.