Retail Focus 7/13/18 – Walmart Tests C-Store Waters, Connecting With Customers in a New Old Way

After leading the show by discussing PepsiCo earnings and talking about what products the company will attempt to underscore in their shelf space, we look at how the altered tax code may be affecting retail development. Additionally, Walmart attempts a new c-store concept in the DFW area, and two retailers open new flagships in NYC. Our guest is Aaron Roy, Chief Product Officer at Bond, who discusses how retailers are turning to old-fashioned methods executed in a new way to connect with and retain customers.

Retail Focus 7/6/18 – Looking Back at the Stories of Three Retail Visionaries

With both hosts “opting outside”—to borrow a term from REI—for July 4th, we take a look back at three impactful interviews with retail visionaries. We begin our show by talking to Drew Ann Long, creator of Caroline’s Cart—the first-ever cart designed for the special needs population. Then, Dave Munson joins us to talk about the genesis of his company, Saddleback Leather. Finally, we catch up with grocery industry veteran Ron Rhodes, who discusses his companies’ efforts to compete with much larger competitors by beefing up his grocery’s digital game.

Retail Focus 6/29/18 – Party City Jumps Into Toys; Amazon’s Pharmacy Play; AI in Vegas

Another retailer attempts to take advantage of Toys “R” Us’ disappearance, as Party City announces intentions to open seasonal toy stores in the U.S. We discuss Amazon’s purchase of PillPack, and why it may not end the retail pharmacy industry as we know it after all; additionally, we talk The Container Store’s new experiment, and Bed Bath & Beyond earnings. Our guests are Justine Santa Cruz of Satisfi Labs and Wendy Albert of the Miracle Mile Shops in Las Vegas, who discuss a new social media-based technology initiative.

Retail Focus 6/22/18 – Kroger Excels; Court Rules on Sales Tax; July 4th Seasonal Outlook

We start with Kroger, who burst through even the most bullish of expectations in their earnings call this week. From there, we discuss the court ruling that opens the door for states to require e-commerce pureplays to collect sales tax, and Dollar General’s hiring and self-checkout initiatives. Finally, we use prior insight from Jake’s Fireworks Retail Director Jason Marietta to determine how robust seasonal sales might be for July 4th, and look ahead to a Sears Holdings pilot with Kmart.

Retail Focus 6/15/18 – RH Continues Turnaround, Legal Issues for Lidl, Kate Spade’s Impact

We begin with newly-rebranded RH, whose earnings impressed analysts as they continue their turnaround strategy. Grocer Lidl is back in the news--they’ll once again have to address legal issues after they allegedly left North Carolina developers at the altar. Before discussing back-to-school data, we’re joined by Chavie Lieber of Racked, who discusses Kate Spade’s lasting impact on fashion retail.

Retail Focus 6/8/18 – Duluth, Five Below, Ollie’s Grow Brick-and-Mortar; Vogue’s Impact on Retail

We cover three retailers in their growth phase this week, as Duluth Trading Company, Five Below, and Ollie’s Bargain Outlet reap rewards from new brick-and-mortar locations—at a cost. We discuss a new partnership to prevent fraud, and talk with Eliza Brooke, senior reporter at Racked, about Vogue’s impact on fashion and fashion retail sentiment in the United States.

Retail Focus 6/1/18 – DICK’S Soars on Earnings Beat; the State of the U.S. Grocery Industry

In another robust earnings week, we lead with DICK’S Sporting Goods’ beat on analyst expectations, despite lower same-store sales. From there we talk about Dollar Tree’s margins, another leadership change at GameStop, Michael Kors’ latest numbers, and a new initiative at Ulta Beauty.. Our interview guest is Marlo Cruz-Sands, VP/Head of Grocery at Cardlytics, who discusses their latest data on the grocery industry, including surprising numbers on customer retention.

Retail Focus 5/25/18 – More Off-Price Strength; Ellison Moves On; the “Other” Retail Holiday

We start our show with another amazing quarter from TJX before dissecting what Marvin Ellison’s move to Lowe’s means for the home improvement retailer (and JCP). After, we take another dive into auto parts retail initiatives with Advance Auto Parts, and glance at Kohl’s and their increasingly strong positioning among department stores. Our interview guest is the CEO of Webpals, Inbal Lavi, who discusses the retail holiday of which many U.S. companies may not be taking full advantage.

Retail Focus 5/19/18 – Weather Cools Numbers of Three Retailers; Mother’s Day Spending

Three retail giants—Home Depot, JC Penney, and Walmart—all release earnings numbers and all blame the weather in mixed results. We break down the calls and a new Seattle law that may affect multiple retailers (besides Amazon, that is). Our guest is Cardlytics CMO Dani Cushion, who uses their massive amount of data as a backdrop to discuss dynamics surrounding Mother’s Day spending in the U.S.

Retail Focus 5/12/18 – Walmart Ends Lyft, Uber Trials; Communication in the Retail Workplace

After discussing Fossil’s ambivalent earnings, we dive into Walmart’s decision to conclude the last-mile trial partnerships with Lyft and Uber, and what it could mean for the likes of Postmates. We also talk beer market share and its impact on retail shelf space, and Papa John’s most recent quarter. Our interview guest is Stephen Wakeling of Phobio, who discusses best communication practices in today’s retail workplace.

Retail Focus 5/4/18 – A Splinter at Lumber Liquidators; Sending a Product to Retail Stores

We start with Lumber Liquidators’ less-than-impressive earnings, and discuss their continued company renovations—from there, it’s Yum!, and talking CVS after they hit a front store sales mark for only the second time in the past four years. Our interview guests are Michael Houlihan and Bonnie Harvey, founders of Barefoot Wine and authors of the New York Times bestseller The Barefoot Spirit (, who talk about the sometimes hidden process behind distributing and selling product to retail stores.

Retail Focus 4/27/18 – Another Robust Quarter at Sherwin-Williams; Amazon Earnings

We begin our show by once again looking at the state of the U.S. toy industry, this time through the lens of Hasbro, whose earnings showed immediate impact from Toys “R” Us closures. All is well at Sherwin-Williams, who despite reduced guidance once again saw a retail sales surge in their latest quarter. We discuss why more discretionary income is potentially a bad thing for rent-to-own retailer Aaron’s. And, we take a quick look at Amazon’s earnings—they broke right before the podcast recorded, and showcased record profits for the diverse company.

Retail Focus 4/20/18 – Positive March U.S. Retail Numbers; Pier 1 Attempts to Correct Course

The U.S. Census Bureau released retail sales numbers for March, and we discuss why they might be even rosier than most suggest. Not as rosy? Pier 1 Imports, whose disappointing fourth quarter earnings come alongside their annual investor day—we talk about their new initiatives to attempt to right the ship. Meanwhile, e-commerce native Brandless plans a pop-up store, and courts weigh sales tax collection by online retailers.

Retail Focus 4/13/18 – Bed Bath & Beyond Takes a Hit; Barnes & Noble’s Casual Dining Efforts

Bed Bath & Beyond takes it on the chin, as analysts find issue with their less-than-stellar fourth quarter. We discuss Walmart’s newest last-mile partnership, a new meatless burger at White Castle, and HOM Furniture’s concept and expansion plans. Our interview guest is Whitney Filloon, Eater Senior Associate Editor, who dives into Barnes & Noble’s recent efforts to use casual dining to bring traffic back to their struggling brick-and-mortar stores.

Retail Focus 4/6/18 – Ace Hardware’s Annual Report; INDOCHINO’s Growth Through Showrooms

Ace Hardware releases their annual report, and we comb through the big takeaways from the convenience home improvement operator. Additionally, we talk Sprouts’ endeavor into two new markets, Ollie’s earnings, and CBL’s plan to replace a Sears location in one of their properties. Our interview guest is Drew Green, CEO of INDOCHINO, who discusses his menswear company’s growth and continued foray into retail showrooms.

Retail Focus 3/30/18 – Big News in Retail Real Estate; Grocery Landscape Shifts in Southeast U.S.

GGP accepts what many see as a lower-end bid from Brookfield, altering the Class-A retail real estate landscape in the U.S. Also, Walgreens continues to struggle in front-of-store, as pharmacy sales pick up, Southeastern Grocers makes their bankruptcy official, and Lululemon beats estimates amid growing demand for women’s exercise apparel. Our interview guests discuss major changes in thrift retail, including what Goodwill is doing to boost e-commerce sales. We’re brought to you by the Internet Retailer Conference and Exhibition; visit and use the promo code RETAIL18 to get 10% off IRCE 2018 conference passes.

Retail Focus 3/23/18 – Big Announcements at Shoptalk; Evaluating Retail Social Media

A trio of companies—Walmart, Target, and Macy’s among others—make big announcements at Shoptalk, while FedEx earnings give us further insight on the 2017 holiday shopping season. Also, Five Below accelerates growth plans while boosting their bottom line. Our interview guests are Mark Lange and Jean-Francois Carton of, who discuss methods by which retailers can evaluate their social media presence. We’re brought to you by the Internet Retailer Conference and Exhibition; visit and use the promo code RETAIL18 to get 10% off IRCE 2018 conference passes.

Retail Focus 3/16/18 – Party City’s Growth; Big Lots' Margins Expand; American Manufacturing & Retail

We begin with a pair of earnings calls—despite same-store sales declines, Big Lots sees margin growth, and Party City continues to see success in both their retail and manufacturing segments. Additionally, we look at Express’ plan to convert full-line stores to outlets and Ikea’s idea to assemble customer satisfaction. Our interview guest is Racked Senior Editor Meredith Haggerty, who joins us to talk about her piece connecting U.S. manufacturing with fashion retail. We’re brought to you by the Internet Retailer Conference and Exhibition; visit and use the promo code RETAIL18 to get 10% off IRCE 2018 conference passes.

Retail Focus 3/9/18 – Target Earnings; Toys “R” Us Rumors; Advanced Stats & Staffing in Retail

We start with positive moves from Target released in their latest earnings call—even if the market doesn’t see them as such. Our news section is rounded out with discussion of rumors that Toys “R” Us may exit the U.S., the Walking Company’s bankruptcy, and Walmart meal kits. Our interview guest is Percolata Founder & CEO Greg Tanaka, who discusses how use of advanced analytics in retail can help companies to more accurately schedule employees. We’re brought to you by the Internet Retailer Conference and Exhibition; visit and use the promo code RETAIL18 to get 10% off IRCE 2018 conference passes.

Retail Focus 3/3/18 – Kohl’s & Aldi Team Up; Lowe’s Initiatives; Kiosks in Retail

We lead our podcast with the news that captured headlines this week: that Kohl’s is partnering with Aldi to fill vacant real estate in reorganized stores. We’ll also discuss new initiatives from Lowe’s (and their earnings), a new material debut from Crocs, and Best Buy’s planned closure of their mobile stores (and lease issues that might make it a less-than-smooth process). Our interview dives into innovations surrounding in-store kiosks in retail. We’re brought to you by the Internet Retailer Conference and Exhibition; visit and use the promo code RETAIL18 to get 10% off IRCE 2018 conference passes.