In this episode:

Wendy Liebmann talks with Matthew Liebmann, Chief Innovation & Data Officer at Vista Group about the role of physical experiences in addressing the increasingly disturbing societal issues of loneliness.

They discuss:

  • Loneliness and the decline of socialization prior to the pandemic, and its continuing impact across populations
  • The opportunities that retail and movie theaters have to create in-person occasions to socialize – and differentiate themselves from competition at the same time
  • How to get beyond demographic proxies to understand peoples’ tastes, preferences, and behaviors to build more personalized interactions
  • How to build new habits of engagement in-store and through other physical experiences
  • The role the employees can play when technology and digital tools free them up to interact rather than transact with shoppers
Don’t miss upcoming episodes, stay up-to-date by visiting the WSL Shopper Insights Library, or our Podcast page.

Wendy  00:09

Hello, everyone. I’m Wendy Liebmann, CEO and chief shopper at WSL Strategic Retail and this is Future Shop. Here I talk to innovators disruptors, iconoclast and big thinkers, who are shaking up the future of retail, and lots of other things. A couple of episodes ago, Candace and I were talking about our latest shopper research entitled The Next Wellness Frontier. And I know from the responses I got from many of you that you were as shocked as we were by the data that showed that 40% of Americans said that they were dealing with anxiety and depression. Even more so Generation Z, younger shoppers where that number increased to nearly six out of 10. Everyone revealed that it was stress and loneliness that were barriers to living a healthy life. It’s very disturbing. This is not new news to us, We’ve seen that situation grow more dire over the last five or six years in our research as technology and the changing nature of our communities have impacted everyday lives. And this is way before the word COVID was even in our lexicon. Even as the pandemic locked us all away and made it even more difficult, lonely, we had begun to ask ourselves a WSL,what’s the role of retail in all of this? And how could it alleviate the situation of loneliness? I mean, for many of you, you’ll remember as we came through this pandemic, that actually it was often everyday stores that was some of the few places where we actually could engage with other people. And so that’s the question we ask ourselves, what is the role of the physical experience, retail and other things that could help us through loneliness? My guest today actually brings a very unique perspective on this topic. He is the Chief Innovation and Data Officer at Vista Group, the global leader in software and data analytics solutions for the movie industry. The company supports theaters and movie distributors around the world. As it happens, he is a loyal listener to this podcast, and when he heard Candace and me talking, he reached out to talk about how movie theaters like retail could be places where people could come together to address their aloneness and sense of disenfranchisement. My guest is Matthew Liebmann. Oh, and for full disclosure, he is my dear nephew. By way of background, Matthew has a very global perspective, he grew up in Australia. He began his career in New York at WSL, where he learned to be a passionate student of retail, after which he moved back to Australia to work in media and entertainment consulting at PricewaterhouseCoopers PWC. Then later to move to a division of VISTA in Los Angeles, and then to global VISTA headquarters in New Zealand where he is today. So after all that drumroll, good morning, Matthew, welcome to Future Shop.

Matthew  02:58

Good morning, Wendy. Thank you. It’s nice to be speaking instead of just listening to it for a change.

Wendy  03:03

It’s a thrill to have you here and fond memories of days when you helped us think about how to become an internet driven company at WSL, many years ago. What was it about Candace, and my conversation about loneliness that actually caught your attention? And that the application of that for the innovation work you’re doing today?

Matthew  03:24

Yeah. So when I heard her, I guess what I took away is that this is a wide reaching thing that has societal and his health, and it has commercial implications. I kind of thought that loneliness was something that only impacted particular niches, mainly the elderly. And I’m not saying that diminishes it, but I thought we were talking about a subset of the population. And I figured that younger people might experience loneliness from time to time, but that can be fixed with a hug or a beer with a mate. So when I heard what you and Candace were talking about, being me, I needed to do a little bit of research. It’s truly frightening. The Census Bureau found that the average American spent six and a half hours with friends between 2010 and 2013, that was pretty standard. In 2014, things started to change. And strangely, that’s when smartphones hit mass penetration more than 50% penetration, and by 2019, so we’re now talking pre pandemic, the average person in America was down to four hours, so to drop two and a half hours, and then the pandemic hit, and it’s dropped to two hours in 45 minutes spent with close friends and family. So that’s 60% off. And it’s particularly hitting younger people, the average American teens spending 11 hours less with friends per week and 12 hours more alone. And so what I started thinking about is that unless we as a species snap out of it, or were snapped out of it by something, this state is probably not going to be transitory. Pew Research found in August that 35% of Americans say that participating in a big group, going out socializing in person is less important than before. And this can be reflected globally. You know, Britain and Japan have Ministers for Loneliness. And so I know now it’s a bit trivial to try and distill all of that down to my industry. But for cinemas, it dawned on me that this loneliness pandemic could be existential, you know, a slower burn than COVID. But possibly as impactful over time. Because if you’re spending three and three quarter hours less with friends per week on average, and movies have typically been a leading out of home collective experience, movies have to be in the firing line. I mean, three and three quarter hours is enough time to go and see Avatar 2 or a normal length movie with a friend before or after it. So, you know, my soapbox speech, which you and I’ve talked about a lot is that exhibitors need to focus on the holistic experience that needs to be anchored by the movie, but it’s also what the exhibitors can’t control, they get what they’re given by the studios, but they can look after the service from the start. And the state of the facilities in you know, in the simplest terms, courtesy and cleanliness, but I’m not sure courtesy, cleanliness, and movies are sufficient enough to attract large swathes of population back if they find it in person socialization, less important. So that’s what got my brain ticking,

Wendy  05:59

I think about my experience during the pandemic. And it was the people in my local grocery store that I actually got to see that I was so excited to see all the time. But what really bothered me was it was the younger people who weren’t going to schoo,l who weren’t seeing family and friends who were so locked away. And that this became and felt even then as a longitudinal view of what our life was going to be like. And then I began to think, what are those physical places, spaces, communities that people can now draw upon to comfortably change this trend? We put everything on COVID over this last few years, everything’s Oh, well, before COVID? Well, this was, as you said, you know, up to 2014. That was when we did a piece of research that began to identify this issue of stress, this issue of so much time at the computer on the phone, texting. So I think it’s a new learned behavior that we really have to build. And how do we shift that?  It felt to me in some ways that you had a preview of all of this, because movie attendance seemed to decline somewhat, and people were streaming everything, right. And then when you’re in the sort of exhibitor space, you’re building unique environments where people could come and have a nice glass of wine and a comfortable chair and all of those things. But is that enough to get people out of their houses in this day and age and building new habits of engagement? Look,

Matthew  07:31

I think that’s the big challenge. And it’s an analogy. I’m not sure I’ve landed properly yet. But you talk about kids stuck at home, all of us stuck at home, you know, you’re great aunt to a 17 and 14 year old. They managed to stay engaged with their friends by screen. The analogy I’m not sure I’m landing is it feels like a lost limb. You know, if you lose an arm or a leg, you can compensate. You can get through life, you can be productive. It’s just not in the flow it was before. And I think there’s a lot of that compensation, people aren’t realizing what they’ve lost, or other muscles or disciplines have strengthened around what we really need. Because it’s no longer there. It was taken away from us and we haven’t got it back yet. I think when you talk about learned behaviors, we need to relearn what is most important in our DNA. We had

Wendy  08:15

a very well-known neurologist at our big business and well symposium just before the pandemic, Dr. Gayatri Devi and she talked about the notion of we are part of tribes. That’s how we’ve grown up, you know, we’re very tribal. And when we get isolated from the tribe, and we’re not protected by the tribe, the community, then not good things happen. We’ve had a lot of conversation with her to discuss issues around socialization. So to your point, when we think about what it is that will engage us again, it is existential, as we all look at our very mundane industries of shops and movie theaters, cinemas, what does that look like? I will say we’re seeing here retailers adding not services per se, but occasions so we’ve seen retailers like Central Market in Texas bring in a Mummy and Me Blooms and Tea, so come and help arrange flowers for Mother’s Day or a happy hour kind of come in to the grocery store at five and get a beer. Those sorts of things. Are you seeing that as both in the cinema movie area and or in other retail you see around the world

Matthew  09:25

A little bit. I think your market the US is more developed in that sense. Cinemas have been adding full restaurants and bars and therefore is as you mentioned, they’ve started delivering meals to your seat dinner and a movie becomes dinner in a movie. And they’re putting entertainment centers around the premises. So they’re adding bowling lanes and video games and laser tags. But you know the motivation has been about getting more of a share of wallet from people when they go out to see a movie, but haven’t traditionally spent it with the exhibitor. But if you’re looking to establish a community and an antidote for isolation, I think there are additional needs to solve rather than just activity by share of wallet. And as you say, you talk about occasion, I think it’s about trying to define what the cinema going occasion is and understand what triggers it in the first place. Because it’s not always about the content itself. So if you say, what social need or occasion is it fulfilling? What means if we’ve even self care? Is it fulfilling? Then you start to reconsider the use of the space? And how you take advantage of that as a communal venue, not just for people to come together? But how do you use that place for people who come alone and still want some sort of connection? Even if it’s not even verbal interaction just being around other people? And then that’s the building. But what’s the service operating model? You know, how do the cinema team members engage with guests? And what role do they play in facilitating connections? Especially since a lot of the transactional stuff’s becoming more and more automated? So where can the humans elevate the experience? And you know, you talk about Public Lands and Nikes not so bad here.  They do Run Clubs, and Central Market and so on. I think that cinema should at least be able to play as effectively in that space, but they haven’t yet. Typically, the examples are coloring sheets on an old plastic table for kids to color in in the foyer or tea and a bicky for an oldie at 10am weekday session. And that’s considered social. I think that’s too rudimentary for what’s going on. Now, I don’t think that builds a genuine community. But I do feel that cinemas are a venue that, you know, if Public Lands can do it, if Central Market can do it, surely a destination that has been created for a communal entertainment experience, has the ingredients to do it as effectively.

Wendy  11:45

And also, because what you just talked about was the automation of so much part of the cinema where the people were there, right, they had to go in and I had to get the ticket, I had to get my popcorn, I have to have my whatever I had to go up the escalator, I had to show my ticket. So all of that now where it seems logical that that would be automated, then where do you bring the people to play so that you are engaged in some way that is, you know, like, you and I are looking at each other. But in a more intimate way. I always wondered, you know, I’ve had this notion, I mean, book clubs have become such a huge thing around the world. And I was talking to one of our team, who found a book club virtually during the pandemic, and has since kept in touch with physically some of those people. Now they’re friends, and they go out and do things in real time, in addition to having a book club, and I always wondered, why is there not a movie club? Come on, let’s all go and see the whenever. So do people try those things, and I just missed all of that.

Matthew  12:42

I haven’t heard of it, I would think being me movie going beyond my habit, I’d like to think I’d been invited to one if they existed. The other thing is you look at the number of theaters that have large foyers in common spaces, and they’re often dark, you know, there’s a secondary concession stand or a secondary bar that is not staffed and the lights are out. And there really are labor constraints in our industry at the moment as we emerge from the pandemic. So this isn’t about scattering money around. But there are venues for people to gather after. And you know, one of the things about movies, one of the historical advantages is it’s a great first date place, because two hours of the date is taken up and you got something to talk about afterwards. Surely some of those spaces can be used after for people who wanted the communal experience. And even those who went alone to just mill around a little bit by additional food and beverage, the venues that have the restaurants and bars can start to commercialize that and you create a connection whilst generating revenue, without throwing too many expenses at it, like your book club example.

Wendy  13:37

Yeah, I really do think that too, because I just look around at the spaces, whether it’s movie theaters here, whether it’s retail spaces here big or small. And also here where retailers are talking a lot about shrinking merchandise mix because people don’t want as much or they’re buying online, and they’re picking up in store and all of the above. So what are we doing with these spaces? Right? What are we doing when I walk into a Walmart, beyond the quick food in and out kind of thing to tell people to come along, bring a kid make a costume for Halloween? All of those things that we’re not really engaging in? And I think in the movie space, you know, I think about those movies that have become those places that people would dress up and go and see like Star Wars people would dress up for Star Wars.

Matthew  14:23

Yeah, I’m hoping to see a lot of blue people in theaters coming up in the next couple of weeks. And all the kids who dressed in suits for Minions, the young gentle minions

Wendy  14:30

is it that we lack the imagination, like retail was all about real estate. Okay, more stores, more stores in this country at least? Is it the industries that we are in yours and ours? We just lacked the imagination to think beyond what this could be.

Matthew  14:46

I can talk more to cinema than retail and my feeling is that they haven’t needed to. And by that what I mean is we’ve come through the 90s to 2000s to now in a blockbuster era. So the movie sells things back in the day when I was a film programmer, film showed up as film, and the cans were dropped at the back door, and you put up Titanic and mix my metaphors “If you built it…”, or if you showed it, they’d come, then things started to change a little bit. And cinema responded with facility. So it’s putting gold class. So it’s putting recliners will get a bigger screen, now it’s 3D. And so they were relying on facility. And my challenge, I guess, to the industry now is, I have a slide I sometimes use and it starts with looking at a screen, and then I hit the button, it does a 180. And it starts looking at the people in the seats. And I think this is the new frontier, you know, before you can rely on the film and the facilities. Now you need to rely on the people. And maybe it’s not a lack of imagination, it’s a lack of necessity, that has now become necessary. And the minute you start looking at people, you do all sorts of things differently. And you differentiate yourself because everyone’s got the recliner, and everyone’s going to be showing Avatar, but the way you treat people, that’s going to be what makes somebody choose you over the theater down the road over the couch with Netflix over the restaurant or the bowling alley, wherever you spending your your limited entertainment time and money.

Wendy  16:06

It’s really interesting you said that because for those of you listening, Matthew has a podcast, we say doesn’t everybody, his is called “Behind the Screens”. One of the things that’s interesting about your podcast is that you talk about how the movies are doing the movies out there. Now how are they doing. Who’s going you know, how many people show up, how long it lasted, how much money data, which of course is always fascinating to me, it’s like the sales, right? But what’s really interesting is what you and Simon often talk about on that is actually who’s coming and who it appeals to. And that personalization, all of a sudden, to your point. I love that analogy of let’s flip the screen and look at the shopper, of course as you were trained to follow the shopper to see the future, that notion of looking at who’s there? Or who you might bring and what is their life like and how you might engage them. Who is coming and why do they want to be here? Or how can I encourage them to be here? Yeah,

Matthew  16:59

and going a step further. I mean, again, our industry hasn’t needed to do it, maybe until the last decade or so, it’s getting beyond demographic proxies. You know, what I like to say is I don’t care if you’re an 80 year old woman who’s coming to Transformers next summer, or a 15 year old boy who went and saw Miss Harris Goes to Paris, it’s how you spend your time and money that counts. And too often, I guess, general retail, but cinema included, goes on Miss Harris Goes to Paris is and old lady film and Transformers only by a young boy film.  That’s clumsy, everyone is different. You cannot judge the book by its cover. Looking at their tastes, preferences, behavior is so much more important than demographics. And that’s, I guess how I got into movies was around that sort of big data and analytics, and then treating them as individuals. And again, the seats and the film aren’t going to be enough. It’s the messaging and not just from the marketing, the emails, the SMS, the push notifications, I think there’s a final frontier that we haven’t quite hit, which is how to the theater teams, from the managers to the frontline kids in their first jobs interact with customers, especially since so much more of the transactional stuff’s being automatic, automatically generated to give a personal experience. And so back when I was in exhibition, one of the concepts we tried to introduce was one that we call the magic sentence. So you know, theaters have to run lean, like you can’t have a lot of stuff, but the queues are brutal. So how do you move the queues and when somebody comes to the front of the line, without slowing it down with a long War & Peace conversation, say are you going to Avatar? Did you see the re-release? I can’t believe how well it stood up. Do you like Twizzlers? That’s my favorite as well.  That one sentence of personalization can change the whole experience bit the person selling you the ticket. I think the person tearing the tickets a critical one. My epiphany with this actually was given to me when I went to the theater with the kids. And at the time, there must have been about four and eight. We went and saw one of the Despicable Me movies. And the person tearing tickets was barely older than the kids, you know, 16-17 years old, she completely ignored me, she bent over the kids and said you’re going to have the best time ever. One sentence. And as a parent, it changed my experience and the kids went in fizzing. I think we need to think about the human side of things. And if you do that, then who you’re hiring.  Because back in the day, you just needed a finger to push a keyboard to spit the tickets out. If it’s not transactional, the service model changes. And you need to recruit people who can bring themselves to work and have a spark of authenticity.  That then takes a step back to the recruiting and hiring model. You know, I was at a cinema chain where you do the big we call them cattle calls. Everyone would come in to get jobs especially for the holiday season. You would pick one person over another because they had that spark of joy or authenticity. Didn’t you throw them all into the same uniform and give them seven steps of service and beat out what made you choose one person over the other? It’s how do you unshackle each person, give them some autonomy tell them to bring themselves to work and give that element of human interaction around the automated efficiency to make getting out of the house more magical than sitting on the couch.

Wendy  20:00

I think that’s so true. And I do remember I think it was a Disney occasion. So in spite of all Disney’s issues, right, when I think you were at Disney and telling somebody that you were going to bring the kids back and they said, oh, let’s do a little video for the kids. And there was one of the characters Minnie Mickey or something, saying on a video Hey, Max, hey, Lucy, can’t wait to see you. I remember Old Navy used to recruit the people who had terrible personalities, were stacking the shelves, persons were great personalities were up the front saying, Hey, how are you? How’s your day, you know, great sweater you’ve got on all of those things. And I think you’re right, it feels like it’s not that complicated. But you need to flip the screen. I love that analogy of let’s not look at it. Let’s flip it around and look at the shoppers look at the guests when you were talking about and all the data and analytic work you’ve done with movie Oh, and now as you look at innovation at VISTA, the insights, if you really look at things differently, are there if you get beyond the sort of obvious tropes of age, or even gender, or even location for that matter, and think about people’s passions, and what they love to do, and why they might come and who they’re with, all of those sorts of things. So I think it’s not rocket science, maybe it is, feels like there’s just much more opportunity there to be building a relationship, getting people to feel like they’re part of something, and not just running home to plug in and watch something alone, whether it’s a movie or anything else at this moment in time.

Matthew  21:33

And look for me, you mentioned streaming and screen time, I think it’s the screen times even more concerning for us as an industry because it gives kind of a facsimile of an interaction, you know, you give her a quick DM here, some FaceTime, a GIF, you feel like you’ve spent time with a friend, but it’s eroding all the muscles that are needed to get out of the house. One of the things that we used to see back in the day, is that people would show up to the movies more often than they do now with friends and family. And they’d look at the marquee and they go, Well, what are we going to see now or what’s about to start. And that, to me says that a good movie with great friends was enough to motivate the visit. But if people aren’t spending as much time with friends and family, or a happy to do it with a screen, then the movie has to shoulder more of the burden. Since the pandemic, that whole gathering, you need a mission, you need an objective. I’m more worried about the static screen, I’m more worried about watching TikTok or firing off text to a friend and what that does to making people complacent and sit on the couch.

Wendy  22:35

And I think that’s the retail issue as well. I think about has people order more online and pick up in store. One of the things that we’ve seen in that and we saw in it, doing some work for a retail client about five years ago, when they first started doing order online pick up in store was we began to see that people did that. And then they parked the car and went into the store and you’re like, wait a minute, what is that about? And we discovered two things. And we’ve been tracking that over the last four or five years. One is sometimes you forget something. So you go, Oh, gee, I forgot that. Now, how do I intercept that and make people help people remind them, you know, don’t forget. So now you’re a good neighbor. But the other is, they got all the basics off their list. Oh, I’ve got all the paper towels and toilet paper and diapers and milk and all that off my list. Now I’ve got time for things that I do want to spend time in. So now I could park the car. And I can go in and be in the sneaker aisle or I could be in the lipstick aisle or I could be in looking at the latest pasta or something, whatever recipes, whatever. So even thinking about that as a model for how is my journey different now. As you well know, we interviewed your colleague friend Damian Kernahan on the podcast a few months ago in terms of customer experience, and that talking about what the journey looks like now, and where you can engage people, and how do you think about it in different ways? How do you flip the screen and look at them rather than them looking at you can see I love that example. That that’s where the the differences. Now it’s not that people aren’t willing to come but maybe not for the same reason. Maybe not the same people. How do you create an occasion where people say, hey, thanks. And how do you tell the story? I think it’s the other part.

Matthew  24:19

Yeah. Well, the reason I first met Damian is I commissioned customer journey research for an exhibitor I worked for, and it’s amazing, or maybe not so amazing that you look at the whole flow from people learning about Avatar six months ago, I’ll use that as an example to this week. I’ve bought my tickets, and I know where I’m going and I’m planning dinner with the kids and it’s all about excitement. And then, you know, you go through that anticipation, and you crash down in what we call administration, which is as horrible as it sounds, and it’s injected in the middle of a movie going experience. And that’s the logistics. It’s the cleanliness, the courtesy, the lines, all the red tape, and if you could eliminate or at least minimize that. Then you’re you’re are overcoming the barriers, the speed bumps that in the past people might have accepted, but you talk about how a journey evolves, they don’t need to anymore. There are other seamless ways of spending your entertainment and leisure time. And it’s not even apples with apples. I’m not comparing watching a movie on the couch with one in the cinema. They aren’t equal, but people don’t make equal judgments. Some days you want an orange and some days you want to apple and if cinemas are the oranges, how do you make sure that that’s what people choose? More often than not, and you look at people and they want this spectrum, they want operational efficiency and effectiveness. I don’t want to line up for a ticket, I want to go and see the movie. But I also want some personal interaction. And then I think shifts to because depending on who you’re going with, depending on the time of day, depending on your mood, you might want interaction, or you might want to be left alone. And I think retailers, cinemas need to understand that spectrum and be painless, where it needs to be and injects some joyfulness in other ways, was looking after the basics, like cleanliness and courtesy and seats and screen and sound. So it’s that whole recipe.

Wendy  26:04

It’s interesting, because looking at retail over the Black Friday, you know, holiday shopping kickoff, which actually I think began last June to tell you the truth. But anyway, around right after Thanksgiving, there were two experiences I had in Walmart, which actually really intrigued me. One was was nothing to do with the staff initially in the store. It was an engagement with another shopper who was looking at this, you know, we were looking at puffer jackets. And it was a surprise, because actually, they were quite nice and Walmart, and they’ve been rolled back and $24.79 to $17.70. But wasn’t the price. But this woman was looking at them. And I was looking at them. And it was this sort of I said I think it’s great. And she said, yeah, that’s great. We did the hair thing. First, I love your hair color, I love your hair color. Then we got into this, and we spent five minutes picking which one was right for her and which one was right for me. And that was the beginning of the journey. The end of the journey was they have finally moved a lot of their checkout to self checkout. But finally got the right person managing the self checkout. So happy person helping people solve problems. I’m scanning, checking out and look at and saying to this woman, I can’t find my husband. I don’t know where he is. He’s probably in the old checkout line, because he only knows, you know, talk to somebody as you check out. She said, What does he look like? I said, he’s a yellow coat. So all of a sudden, she’s going looking for him. She said, I think I found him I think I found him. And it was just this little bit of personal engagement where people see you and engage with you whether it’s at the movie theater or in gigantic supercenter, that as we think about what is loneliness mean, and how to engage people in just very simple personal human ways. That seems to me like one of the things we all have to think about as we move through into this world. She says on her soapbox, of how do we help the world be a little less lonely, whether it’s in the movies, or it’s grocery shopping? So so last thought last question. Normally, I’d ask you favorite places to shop. But I’ll ask you the question. So what do you do when you feel a little lonely?

Matthew  28:09

Yeah, looking at it is going to movie. And it’s going with with zero and the kids or sometimes by myself, and I get to switch off and I get to sink into a story. And even though none of us are talking. I love having them next to me. I love you know, when the spidies showed up in No Way Home and the theater went nuts. And I’m looking left and right at the kids and they’re looking back, there’s a real connection. And it’s medically proven. You know, let me let me throw out because it’s me, I’m going to throw out one last bit of research to finish it up. There’s a major cinema chain in the UK called Vue. And they partnered with one of the major universities and they they strung a whole people up to heart monitors. And they found them when people watch the movie, whether they came in a group or came by themselves. Over time, their heart rates are synchronized. And what that’s proven to do is when you have that synchronization, you create social connectedness, it reduces loneliness, it reduces depression. And so I think I now know why, on a superficial level, I love a great story. And I love hanging out with friends and family, but the environment has been created to bring people back together. And so that’s where you’ll find me where I’m blue or not blue or have two and a half hours free.

Wendy  29:17

Okay, I can see that. All right, well, now of course I have to go back and see a movie on a big screen. Otherwise, I’ll just go shopping and see who else I can talk to about puffer jackets. Gold was my color of course we pick that out. I went gold.

Matthew  29:29

You can go David sounds like you might have been Big Bird and the big yellow coat being led over to you.

Wendy  29:34

He looked like Big Bird. But there is no doubt there was no difficulty in finding him. So all good. Oh, good. Well, as always lovely to see you. I can’t thank you enough for putting a perspective on this. I can’t thank you enough for all your big wonkiness and doing all your homework because it really does bring it all to life. And, and I think what we recognize here is this is a universal issue around the world that actually every day companies like retailers and cinemas, and all of those can actually have some impact on.  So that will be our mission for 2023 to reduce loneliness through shopping and moviegoing. How about that? 


Onward and upward.


onward and upward. Alright, well, thank you for this Matthew and I will see you soon. See you soon. Okay, cheers. So we’ve talked a lot about family and friends and community here and the role that retail can play and the need to come together to solve the issues of loneliness that are becoming absolutely endemic. So what better time than this to say thank you to you all. Thank you for listening, and to give you all a big virtual hug for the new year. See you in the future.

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