In this episode:

Our own Wendy Liebmann and Paco Underhill, founder of Envirosell, the behavioral research company, discuss how retail must respond faster to social change if it is to keep up with shoppers.

Wendy and Paco discuss:

  • What shoppers expect now from retailers and brands
  • What made a good store a decade ago does not work today
  • How supply chain innovation opens the doors for curation, personalization, and localization
  • Why internet shopping needs to “be beaten up”
  • How effective leadership is about being on the “selling floor”
  • Examples of best – and worst — retail experiences

Wendy  00:08
Hello, I’m Wendy Liebmann. I’m the CEO and Chief Shopper of WSL Strategic Retail and this is Future Shop. This is where I have a fast and furious, and occasionally controversial, conversation with leaders in retail, marketing and digital about the future of retail. Today, my guest is a very, very dear friend Paco Underhill. He is the founder and former CEO of Envirosell, the leading behavioral research and consulting company he founded in 1986. You’ll hear about the future of shopping and why retailers need to hurry up and keep up. Welcome Paco, lovely to have you here.

Paco  00:51
Wendy, it’s a pleasure to see you. In just the screen.

Wendy  00:58
Indeed, I give you a virtual hug. How are you? And where are you?

Paco  01:04
I am in Madison, Connecticut, where I have a home. I commute into New York City periodically. But I am here working on my new book which, as of 20 minutes ago, the publication date has just been moved up. It’s called “How We Eat”.

Wendy  01:31
While I knew it will be three words because Paco only writes books… I didn’t get to say he has written the quintessential text and treatise on “How We Buy”. And he’s written “Call of The Mall” and “What Women Want”, which offended me because how can he know what women want.  But they’re all three words. So I’m not surprised that the new one is just that.

Paco  01:55
It’s called “Why We Buy” not what we buy

Wendy  01:58
Oh, sorry, “Why We Buy”.  Let me just set this up. Because many of you know Paco, if you don’t know him, you’ve read his books. As I said, you know, this sort of quintessential treatise on shopping. He is a passionate follower of the shopper. And we come together because our focus is so much around the sort of sentiment and mindset of the shoppers. And his, when he created Envirosell, was all about actually what they’re doing, how they’re doing it in minute detail, and then understanding why they do it. So we’re like the sort of yin and yang of the passionate shopper advocate.  Here we are two decades since you wrote that transformative text, “Why We Buy, The Science of Shopping” to great fanfare and absolutely deserved success.  I just spent the last week rereading is a decade later.  You updated it in 2009.  You know, over that time since then, much has changed. You know, the internet, which you talked about, has really transformed many things. We’ve had a global financial meltdown, the world has flattened with access to information, we’ve stormed capitals, gone to Mars, oh, and had a pandemic. So despite all that, or in spite of all of that, it strikes me that in many ways, the physical retail or the outward facing shopper experience hasn’t actually changed very much. Is that just my bizarre Australian upside down point of view? Or do you agree with that?

Paco  03:34
No. Wendy, I think part of what we are perceiving is there is a dichotomy between what are the biological constants.  And what are the things that have governed how we’ve shopped, almost, you know, since the Middle Ages. Uou were five foot two, I’m six foot five when I stand up straight, but we exist within the same ratio of ergometrics. We know that 90% of us are right are right-handed. We know that our eyes age in the same way. We know that historically we tend to move in very prescribed groups. We move alone, we move with a friend, we move as part of a couple we move as part of a family.  All those things have stayed relatively the same. But what we also know is that retail is the dipstick of social change. And just as we know that what made a good store in 2010, and what makes a good store in 2020-21, there are some very real differences to them.  And those differences I would summarize in five different places. First is our access to information, and that the connection between our eyes and our brains continues to evolve, the way we see. Second is the evolution of gender. And I maintain and this was something I go back to “What Women Want”, which I thought was being a straight, balding, nerdy guy talking about women. But being able to do it from the stand standpoint, not so much of social justice, but simple economics. What we know is that birth control has been the most seminal event, since we tamed fire. And that has liberated women to be completely different in terms of how they access consumption. Historically, you know, we sold women food, apparel, and beauty. Today, I could look at the broader world of technology and go, there is a direct connection, whether you’re at a telecom, in Shanghai, a telecom in Tokyo, a telecom in Dubai, or a telecom in Albany, New York, between the number of women working on the floor and the success of the store.  Because women buy technology not just for themselves, but for their children and for their parents, that you know, whether we’re talking about tech, or we’re talking about cars, or we’re talking about whatever, and whether it’s the way we do it in a physical world, or even how we do it in a cyber world, that making our world female friendly, tends to be important for all of us. The third issue is the issue of time. And that time, no matter how we deal with it is in a state of acceleration, and particularly in a post pandemic world, that all of us are multitasking, particularly women with children. And that has been a very acute issue across the world of retail. And has retail responded to it?  No where near as well as they should. The fourth issue, which is one that I again, both you and I is know is very poignant is what is global and what is local, I can be selling the exact same things in Austin, Texas, or  El Paso, Texas, which, relatively speaking are not that far apart. But the mindset that the consumer brings, and often the way in which they physically interact with it, if they’re physically interacting with it, shifts. And part of what our challenge in the world retail, but also our challenge as researchers is to be able to understand that the final issue, which is the role of money. And in a pre-pandemic world, I would point out that the overwhelming majority of wealth today is in the hands of people who acquired it in the course of their own lifetimes. And that all the retail industries that were based in selling to an aristocracy, all the luxury goods marketers, have had a certain challenge in being able to respond because often they have to provide an education before, they get to a sale. S o I can go this T-shirt at Walmart costs $2 a unit and this T-shirt at Selfridges or at Chanel costs $42.  And what is the difference, and the difference isn’t in price, the differences in the quality of construction, the nature of the of the material itself, the way it feels on your body, and all those things make for a very interesting world. So I think getting back to your point is that yes, there are things in retail that are going to stay the same. And they are based on those biological constants. And that part of our challenge, again, is to separate those things off, or to understand how they fit into all the things that are changing. And, you know, retail is the dipstick of social change, which is part of what I think draws both of us to our professions, which is that we like looking, seeing and processing.

Wendy  09:41
Yeah. And I think about that within the context, you’ve talked about a number of things here. The one that sticks with me at the moment is that whole notion of time and, I think four or five years ago now How America Shops® research we saw that about six out of 10 women said they wanted to get their shopping done quickly, so they had time for other things. And in doing that, some of those other things could have been shopping, you know.  But it’s the things that they wanted to get off their list, so that they had times for the things they chose to do. And within that, one of the things with one of our retail clients and you know, that you and I both worked with over time, was we said they will buy anything anywhere. And that felt like a contradiction to our client who said, “Yes, but there’s, they’re busy, they’re busy. We’re, you know, working moms, they want to get everything under one roof”. And we said, actually, not, they will get it wherever they happen to be, because it’s most efficient, and their sense of time is not your sense of time. So as we talk about time in this post-pandemic, world, that feels to me like there are so many tenors to that, whether it was you know, the use of e-commerce, whether it’s the way we design, the store, or the packaging, or the all of those sorts of things that trade-off of doing certain things fast, so I can do other things?

Paco  11:06
Well, well, first of all, let’s recognize something, Wendy is, is that time changes as we age at our access to goods change as we age. If I look at the patterns of consumption, once we reach somewhere between age 35 and 40, almost 80% of our weekly purchases are the same thing. I mean, we’ve decided on the kind of mustard, we’ve decided on the kind of milk we’ve decided on the dog food that works best, we’ve decided on the laundry soap that we prefer, why do we have to go to a store to get those staples.  We know that there’s a younger consumer who’s still making some of those decisions, and settling into what makes it.  You and I know, for example, in the world of hair color, that if I’m my 20 year old step, daughter, hair color is about experimentation.

Wendy  12:07
I must love her, okay.

Paco  12:09
Whereas for many women, once they reach age 40, hair color is about a staple: this is what I’ve decided on. And the emotional relationship that they have with the product is very, very different. But we also know that in terms of shopping, time comes in three distinct forms, it comes in real time, it comes in perceived time, and it comes in some combination of the two. I can walk into my local supermarket, and just get everything I want really efficiently. And then I have to stand in line to get through the register. And it means that it pollutes my entire trip. But we also know in the context of that working woman, that her ability to access goods in the moments that she has is a really critical one. But Wendy, part of what we also know is that we are on the cusp of having smart homes and smart kitchens that are not just about what’s in our refrigerator but are calculating what’s in our refrigerator, what’s in our cabinets.  It isn’t about our Alexa, you know, what do I need. It’s about somebody giving me a shopping list three times a week and going “Can I order it?”. And I think part of what we’re looking at is that there are some things that we are going to need to see, we’re going to need to process, we are going to need to be able to evaluate. And those are the things that we don’t buy every week. I am horrified when I look at how online, there are so many categories of goods that are distinctly unfriendly to the shopping process. And this is this is something that you and I are going to work on for the next 10 years.  Because we deserve better. And the world of internet shopping here, frankly, deserves to get beaten up badly.

Wendy  14:16
That whole concept of how we’ve sort of glorified shopping online as the savior of the world is stunning to me because when I think about this notion of sort of shopping via the algorithm, it is so antithetical to both easy, fast, useful shopping that you raised it in “Why We Buy”, because you talked about sort of ecommerce or the internet sort of filling in the rivulets, so where the gaps were and sort of filling in the holes. And I think that’s what that’s become. It’s very efficient. It’s helpful. I don’t think about it – click here, but it’s not shopper centric. And that’s what disturbs me. And I think, to your point, that’s where the opportunity arrives. Hello, Amazon?.

Paco  15:06
Well, I think part of what is very, very shocking about the digital world is that there is built into it often is a certain degree of arrogance. And they don’t realize that the that one of the differences between the analog and the digital world of how fast digital can fail, when somebody comes up with a better alternative.

Wendy  15:32
So what do you think then, let’s leap to that for a minute, here we have Amazon, the Walmart of the 21st century or the second half of the 20th century, who is now approaching physical retail, from Books, to Go, to Fresh, to obviously Whole Foods, why, why now?  Why bother? What’s your sense of that? And as, as our CPG, or our retail clients think about competing, what do we have to do? What are we missing here?

Paco  16:09
You know, Wendy, one of the things that both of us know, having, having spent, you know, 35 years in the world of retail, is that retail is about birth, life, death, and compost. And at the moment, we have quite a bit of compost. And we are looking for better ways of doing it. And one of the challenges that we face is that the global merchants can deal with global products, but they can’t deal with local products. Okay. And that, whether I’m talking about the acquisition of goods, or I’m talking about climate, or I’m talking about the recognition that, you know, as a follower of fashion trends, is the dresses that fly off the shelf in Dallas, nobody wears in Philadelphia, and that we are watching across social media, the things that bubble up from the street, and the things that are pushed down from the global giants. And part of what we know is that the global giants get some things really, really right, and they get some things really, really wrong. And those opportunities for us to be able to get back to ways in which we reorganize differently. And we present our goods differently. And we present systems differently. For example, what if our apparel stores started segmenting by size? So that you had an apparel store that specialize in size 10 through 14. And part of what we’re talking about is a different curatorial experience. Part of what we’re talking about is the recognition of uniforms. How do I build a wardrobe that is interchangeable, knowing that what I wear Monday through Friday, and what I wear on Saturday nights are based on completely different criteria? I think this is one of the wonderful things about the broader world in which we are interacting with now is that five years from now, we are going to have some new players out there who are going to give us a sense of challenge and are going to challenge the sense of leadership. If you look at the top 10 list in terms of retail, from every decade, going back to 1960, every decade, we’ve had change. Is that going to somehow shift?  The answer is, I think some of the players are going to be there. And no one is predicting that Amazon and Jeff are going to end out on the street being penniless. But we do know that what they’ve done, they have done well. And they’ve been able to play it by a different set of rules. And those rules for Amazon and those rules are going to shift. And we’re going to have some new players out there.

Wendy  19:19
Yeah. And it is interesting. It’s sort of like the Walmart analogy. You know, in the beginning, people were horrified by Walmart, they were afraid, they didn’t know how to compete, and then little by little people learn to compete in their own way. What was the you know, everyday low price, the right product, the right price right now kind of mentality. And the same even in the e-commerce space. I won’t suggest that people have competed directly and efficiently the same way that Amazon has, but I find it intriguing that, you know, when you think about traditional retail and the traditional bookstore, having put them out of business, then they came back and created a traditional bookstore in many ways. So I find it interesting to watch that journey as they sort of move back into that space. And whether it’s a Fesh or Go — I love Go because it’s my favorite I just loved. I feel like I’ve stolen the merchandise, as I walk in and out in two seconds, but it’s more gaming for me.  So as we think about these pieces, as we think about retail, and that localization, we’ve seen it in a lot of our How America Shops® research, this desire, and this sort of sentiment about I’m willing to pay more, not from maybe four out of 10 of the population who say to us I’m willing to pay more, for things that are local for sustainable, clean. Now, it’s a sentiment, it’s not that they ultimately will, but it is a mindset. And it’s especially a mindset, an even greater mindset of younger shoppers, that notion of local, that notion of my store, that special store. You talked about local then how does that, how do we think about that when we live in a world of very big retailers and very big brands still?

Paco  21:13
Okay. I think Wendy part of what we’re processing here is that there is a smarter consumer out there. And that smarter consumer has access to information via their phones. hey can move through a supermarket, and they have access to and part of what the choice people are doing is where do I spend my money? And where do I put my prioritie?. And the priorities that used to be behind 20th century brands don’t exist in the same way that they used to. That you can have a very well to do family that does a large part of their commodity shopping at Costco, and has Kirkland dishwasher soap, whatever, the hell with the Procter & Gamble product, the hell with the Unilever, whatever they’re there, there are certain things where I know, having read my Consumer Reports magazine, that a smart consumer doesn’t have to pay lots of money to be able to get quality products. Okay. On the other hand, we also know that all of those big merchants can’t deal with small suppliers, because the small suppliers are not in a position to fulfill the orders that they need to fill.  So if I’m Walmart, the only place I can buy from is people who are big enough to be able to do the container or the 15, or the 25, or the 30 containers full of stuff. And therefore, part of what the differentiation is going on here is where is that choice made? We also know that in our post-pan world, that many of us are making choices about our housing, it was the choice of what we spent our money on. It isn’t as if in a post-pan world everyybody stopped spending, it was the choice of what we spent money on you.  You go to a Tractor Supply or a Home Depot, or tried to find a contractor to do floors, or do plumbing, and you have a tough time doing… You try and get a new washing machine today, and it is hard to do it.  But that said, I mean, one of the things that we love about retail and the world of shopping, is it is a reflection, often of the changes in us.  And I think one of the things I’m very hopeful on is it in our post-pandemic world, that all of us start learning how to become better consumers. And that is as we talk about being better consumers that we start to ask for things.

Wendy  24:44
So hold that thought for a moment. If you want to know more about how we can help you navigate this new retail world. Come along, go to our website at you’ll find our latest How America Shops® research, you can sign up for our next virtual Retail Safari®, where we take you on a tour of best-in-class retail around the world. And there’s our free newsletters and so much more. And of course, we always love new clients. So join us. Anyway, now let’s get back to our conversation with Paco.

The challenge for large manufacturers and large retailers is being sensitive enough to those conversations that we’re starting to hear in all our workers, you are in yours, where there is that level of noise, particularly younger shoppers, but as much from older shoppers who say exactly what you said, I want to spend here, I don’t want to spend here. So give it to me the way I want, as opposed to those retailers and manufacturers who still think they have control, which is always stunning to me, you and I 35 years later of starting our businesses.

Paco  26:07
Well, you know, Wendy, if I were if I were Procter & Gamble, now, I would have a program where I would go out to the broader universe and say, fill out this questionnaire about how you do your washing.  Fill out this, give us a water sample. Let us pick a custom designed laundry soap that will work best for the machine that you use, the kind of washing that you do, and the water that you have in your home. And I can kiss the retail store goodbye, because it is shipped directly to me. And it doesn’t mean that Procter &Gamble is doing an infinite variety of versions of Tide, but let’s call it maybe 10. Okay. And they deal with the hardness or the softness, whether I’m doing diapers or I’m not, you know, whether I wash only in cold water or whatever. And that becomes what are avid

Wendy  27:18
Yeah, and those things and we’ve seen it no allow work, the desire for people without going back to that notion of time to get things off their list that they don’t have to think about anymore. And that ability to solve a problem as opposed to, you know, we keep talking now about solutions as opposed to category management. You know that because category management feels like many of those other retail propositions, how can I organize my store the way I want to organize it, not the way you want to shop it, and those sort of tenors of the way retail has been needing to shift, that’s why I said at the very beginning, in some ways, I feel like I just arrived from Australia, and walked into a store and it looks like the same as it always looked. I know it doesn’t in real life. But there are so many things that have changed in my life and in your life. And in your kid’s life, that retail and brands feel like they’re very slow to catch up on. So within that context, if you think about the pandemic, you know, we’ve talked about everybody talks about it was an acceleration of many things that were in place. Some people talk about as a seismic shift other over some, in our world, at WSL, talk about it as an aberration in many ways, this moment in time, where, you know, this thing happened to us in terrible ways, but it just forced other things to happen. That you know, how do you see it? I mean, where do we come out at the end of this if I’m the Procter & Gambles of this world, if I’m the Walmarts, the Targets, the Publix, the CVS, the Selfridges (my favorite store in the world), how do… what are the two or three things I really need to have in my mind’s eye now?

Paco  29:08
Okay. I think, you know, Wendy, there, there, there was a flippant line that I have used. Going back to very early in, in my career, that I would walk into a store, I would walk into a branch bank, and I’d find the desk farthest away from the front door. And that’s where the person in charge set could walk into an office building and go, that the desk or the office that’s farthest away in terms of distance from the front door is where the CEO set and one of the things, I’m very adamant now is that management needs to get closer to the front door, okay. And they need to stop staring into their spreadsheets, staring into their whatever, listening to the Wall Street and they need to spend a little time walking, talking, and listening to who their customers are. And I am reminded of the line that my Israeli technology friends have always said, which is “Battles are won, when generals get to the front,” okay.  And I think for modern management, that challenge of getting to the front is going to be a really critical one. And that we know having done surveys of essential workers, that the institutions where management is seen and felt by the workers on the floor are places that are doing well, and workers are happier. But there are so many institutions out there where the frontline employees are really unhappy about what’s going on and are really unhappy about how clueless management is about what those processes are.

Wendy  31:04
Yeah, and I do think one of the things that struck me through the pandemic is that it’s not just we talk about essential workers, but I think about the best experiences I’ve had at retail have been exactly those, were the people feel valued, you know, stocking the shelves, checking us out, you know, the people in the grocery stores, I mean, some of my best experience, the only people I saw for a long time, whether, you know, that was the grocery retailer that I go to in New Jersey, and this wonderful experience of people who were engaged, and the then manager of the store was always stacking the shelves with everybody else, you know,

Paco  31:41
I have a store I’ve been interacting with here in Connecticut, that is an orange, Connecticut, and it’s called the Indian farmer’s market. And it is a supermarket designed for a specific ethnic community. And they have found farms, where with green greenhouses, where they are growing the right vegetables, okay. And it is remarkable to be able to go into something which is focused, okay. And there are an incredible assortment of fresh vegetables that all come as they tell you within a 25-mile radius of where the supermarket is, there’s a hallah meat counter, which does a wonderful job. There is a curated collection of foods, but there’s also a curated collection of laundry soap and whatever. And the fastest month technologically sophisticated checkout, I have seen in any supermarket. Shame on you Kroger, Walmart, whatever, not having been able to get to that point. But here, I’m looking at that merchant and going man, this is a great example of a 21st century solution.

Wendy  33:03
I think that’s the exciting piece, right? When we look around, we see some of those examples. And to your point, in some ways, I feel the pandemic has given a lot of senior executives lots of reason to stay at home, while their frontline workers, whatever category they’re in, have been, you know, manning the doors, and as I said, stacking or stocking the shelves, and dealing in most uncomfortable ways. And yet, I’ve seen some incredible innovation. I mean, we’re just sharing one of our latest Retail Rafaris®, retailers around the world who have been innovating in this moment in time from our you know, 20,000 square foot specialty beauty store in Sydney to a small sustainable retailer in the UK. You know, all of those things that and you just marvel at this glorious retail.  If people, if management, particularly takes a step forward as opposed to your point stays at the back.

Paco  34:05
I have another fashion merchant that I’ve been tracking called A’s boutique, who does almost all their work is done through social media. And they are prominent on Instagram whatever, and the physical store is simply a fulfillment center. And nobody walks in that door without knowing having a picture in their head about what it is specifically that they’re looking for. It’s really, it’s you know, it’s interesting because it also escapes rent.

Wendy  34:44
Yeah, well, there you go. That’s what we really need to get to you know, the economics of it, right. So you know, we’re sitting here, and you know, our audience are, again CPG companies, to some degree fashion companies, retailers of all different kinds, and around the world. You know, and there, my worry is that so many of them, if they’re in the ranks, their directors, their managers, and CEOs. What must they be thinking about now as they move forward? Are there one or two things that they just again, as I say, in their mind’s eye, that as they move forward into this brave new world (excuse that), how do they need to, you know, what’s the first question they have to ask themselves? Tomorrow?

Paco  35:35
I, first, is to understand the evolution of supply chain. Wendy, have you read the book called “The Box”, talking about the shipping container?


It was something written in 2010, or 2009. Right. But it is an amazing way of being able to look at what the evolution of shopping is and recognizing that one of the major innovations that you and I have witnessed is in supply chain management.  And I think that revolution is going to continue, because part of what that has done across many of the big boxes is let the boxes shrink. In that they don’t need to keep the same number of SKUs on the floor, or the volume of SKUs in a particular category, because they’re keeping track of it better. I think the other piece is, what it does, is it starts liberating space, within the structure of those physical stores to do a much more focused job of curating. And that is, I am so tired, that the stores that we visit are organized in the same way they’ve always been, and whether it’s about in in fashion, whether it’s you know, it’s organized by brand, as opposed to by size, or whether it’s a single issue, which I saw in Brazil, which is a store for people with allergies, and everything from furniture, to clothing, to medicines, to whatever, was all curated in the same place. And the irony is that if I walk into a Walmart, or a Target, that 80% of those products are on the floor, but they’re all in separate places, okay. And that the degree to which the nature of the store becomes eminently more dynamic I think is one of the things that we are looking for. And that degree is rooted in one of the things I have come to realize is one of the vulnerabilities particularly of American retail, which is that there’s a five-year depreciation schedule for people buying fixtures. Okay. If you go to the world of trade shows, you have fixturing, whatever that’s designed for two-year lifespan, and is designed to be able to collapse and expand, collapse, and expand. I could think of the Walmarts and Targets and the Krogers and the whatever — and there are parts of the store that are crying for seasonal or evolutionary change that makes the in-store shopping eminently more exciting. It means that I can find the things that I know I need 12 months a year, but there’s a curatorial space, where either it’s the introduction to new products, or it’s an introduction to holiday, or it’s an introduction to something else, that lets us be able to educate ourselves.

Wendy  39:04
So beyond the seasonal aisle or the power aisle or the whatever it feels when you were talking about the solution, which is the allergy store, right? You’re right. I mean I think about it, I need my waterproof mascara, right? Because it’s not just I need my Flonase or my, whatever, Claritin. I need all these other things that go together if I’m you know, I’m struggling with seasonal allergies or something. So, you know,

Paco  39:31
Wendy, when I was working for my Brazilian shopping mall clients, I got them to take a section of their parking lot as they went under construction and wired that for water and power. And part of what that meant is that the parking lot went from being a cost to being an opportunity. And I look at examples of that in in, you know my own view, you hear whether it’s at the local Simon Mall or it’s whatever and go, come on, guys, it’s time for you to look at the fact that the innovations in modern retail aren’t happening in North America. They’re happening in emerging markets, and shame on you.

Wendy  40:17
Yeah. Well, it’s interesting you say that because all our retail innovation work that we share, are showcasing and sharing these days and our Retail Safaris® that are all now virtual, you know, the examples are coming from everywhere from Mumbai, Sydney, London, you know, Tokyo, (I mean, it’s not an emerging market). But these places where there’s, there’s so much going on because of the different dynamics of the marketplace. And last thought, when you were talking about the box, I was thinking about shipping containers. And one of the best retail experiences I had was in New Zealand, where the shipping container had actually then become the store, right. So selling fabulous shoes. So it was sort of that that, you know, it got here because it was in a shipping container, it opened its doors, it now became a shoe store, selling the goods in the container. So it’s just those levels of innovation as opposed to the sort of cookie cutter commoditization. So we shouldn’t sound cynical because we are both still very passionate about shopping and shoppers and all those things, but I cannot thank you enough for doing this. It was just a joy to see you. It was a joy to actually read, “Why We Buy” again. It reminded me I had underscored many things in that in my on my iPad as I’ve looked at it again. So I thank you for that pleasure. I’m looking forward to reading “How We Eat, “Why We Eat”, “Where We Eat”…tell me what it’s called.

Paco 41:39
Something like that.

Wendy  41:41
Oh, you’re so rude. How can I preorder if it’s moving up, we all want to preorder this?

Paco  41:45
right. Oh, you just wait. You just wait. Okay.

Wendy  41:47
Okay. Now, I do have to say this as a last thought. Paco was the only person in the world who in his acknowledgments in “Why We Buy” called me a goddess, oh, my heavens, and I think in “What Women Want”, is that what it was called “What Women Want”, said, I was best groomed.  Now in another life, I would be insulted and say, “Excuse me, aren’t I the smartest person in the room?” But actually being called the Goddess is pretty fabulous. So my dear, I wish you well.  Thank you for joining me and I look forward to seeing you in person in our little local neighborhood very soon. So here’s the thing. As Paco noted, retail is the dipstick of social change. What made a good store in 2010 is not what makes a good store today. And yet many still organize their stores as they did a decade ago. Paco and I talked about the changing needs of women and the acute issue of their time, all heightened by the pandemic. You heard us talk about the role of money and what’s worth it to shoppers now. We discussed how the innovations in supply chain have enabled retailers to create a more curated, differentiated, and local offer, if only companies would recognize that’s what shoppers want now, and deliver it. Paco railed at the world of internet shopping. It deserves to be beaten up, he said, and I concur. He also challenged corporate executives not to sit at the back, but to get out front with their employees and their shoppers. And he suggested that those that win in the future will be companies where senior management does just that. In the end, we agree that shoppers are getting smarter about how they consume and what is worth spending money on now, and what that means for a better world.  Paco made it clear that what shoppers want in this new post-pandemic retail world is very different.  Retailers, there is no going back.  So that’s the thing, a compelling vision of what retail needs to be in the future from the man who wrote “Why We Buy”. Oh, Paco, I finally got it right. Thanks, everyone for listening. See you in the future.

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