RetailCraft - digital retail, ecommerce and brands - Retail Podcast
RetailCraft 31 - ”Glass-box brands” - Provenance.org and Kingfisher PLC

RetailCraft 31 - ”Glass-box brands” - Provenance.org and Kingfisher PLC

March 30, 2022

Provenance provides a framework for retailers and brands to assess, monitor and communicate their sustainability, and this has progressed from a technology play (developing data and blockchain services) into "sustainability marketing technology". We go behind the scenes with Jessi Baker, the founder and CEO, and along the way discuss the challenges of implementation, how brands are adapting to and embracing transparency, and the direction of travel in making sustainably supply chains easy and relevant for the consumer. Jessi mentioned the phrase "glass-box brands", succinctly describing the radical transparency and scrutiny under which modern businesses now operate.

Sienne Veit is the Group Digital Product and Platform Director for Kingfisher PLC, owners of Screwfix, B&Q, Castorama and others in a £13bn turnover powerhouse in the "homes" and DIY sectors across Europe. Sienne tracks the idea of a "product" and how the aim is to "create joyful things" that increase not only increased sales but also enhance the experience of interacting with the brand, solving consumer problems. She repeats the concept when she describes how the combination of data science and engineering can 'make meaning and create joy' - surely a rallying cry for our times!

Join us in the studio for this informative, wide-ranging and clear discussion on key themes in modern retail: data, transparency, technology and the consumer's experience.

 

All of our podcasts now have a full transcript and notes available - check out the episode page on https://internetretailing.net/retailcraft-retail-podcasts/retailcraft-retail-podcasts

Run time: 54 minutes

INFORMATION:

Jessi Baker MBE: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jessibaker/ 

Sienne Veit: https://www.linkedin.com/in/sienneveit/ 

Jamie Merrick: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jamiemerrick/ 

Ian Jindal: www.linkedin.com/in/ianjindal/  and www.twitter.com/ianjindal 

 

Recorded and engineered at Spiritland Studios, UK.

Episode photo credit: Ian Jindal (https://www.instagram.com/ianjindal

RetailCraft 30 - ”Crisp in, Crisp out?” - Pepsico and Marks and Spencer

RetailCraft 30 - ”Crisp in, Crisp out?” - Pepsico and Marks and Spencer

March 15, 2022

Two major brands discuss innovation, digital, delivery and retail. We hear from Ali Holmes, Senior Ecommerce Director at Pepsico Europe, and Megan Ludlow, Innovation Partnership at Marks & Spencer.

We mentioned that Ali had featured on the cover of InternetRetailing Magazine back in 2012 and you can see that edition here: https://internetretailing.net/magazine/internetretailing---july-2012-volume-6-issue-5

All of our podcasts now have a full transcript and notes available - check out the episode page on https://internetretailing.net/retailcraft-retail-podcasts/retailcraft-retail-podcasts

Run time: 53 minutes

INFORMATION:

Ali Holmes: https://www.linkedin.com/in/aliholmes/ 

Megan Ludlow: https://www.linkedin.com/in/megan-ludlow/ 

Jamie Merrick: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jamiemerrick/ 

Ian Jindal: www.linkedin.com/in/ianjindal/  and www.twitter.com/ianjindal 

 

Recorded and engineered at Spiritland Studios, UK.

Episode photo credit: Ian Jindal (https://www.instagram.com/ianjindal

RetailCraft 29 - ”By no means stereotypical” - logistics, cannabis, data, pivots…

RetailCraft 29 - ”By no means stereotypical” - logistics, cannabis, data, pivots…

January 31, 2022

As we return to the studio, this is a conversation full of surprises, of twists, turns and revelations, and it's one of those serendipitous discussions that just leave you thinking "wow".

We hear from Claire Bottle, the new-ish CEO of the UK Warehousing Association. Claire covers the serendipity that led from a secretarial role to a logistics leader, with the mentoring she received and how she now looks to create opportunities and training within the industry.

Gavin's journey goes from Facebook to establishing a cannabis store, via Tesco and arrives at digital health data. It's a track that blends bravery with analysis, clarity and flexibility.

Both of these journeys share one thread - that they defy our expectations. Claire comments that her path is "by no means stereotypical" while Gavin notes several times that the commercial realities today and in the future and "different to our mental model".

This is a podcast full of opinion-changing insights and rather than spoiling the surprises now, I'll just remind our listeners that a full transcript with notes and links is available via https://internetretailing.net/retailcraft-retail-podcasts

More information on the UKWA here (https://www.ukwa.org.uk/) and on AltaFlora here (https://www.altaflora.co/).

We also noted in passing that Gavin had featured on the cover of InternetRetailing Magazine - here's an archive link to that issue, from 2011! https://internetretailing.net/magazine/internetretailing---november-2011-volume-6-issue-1 

Run time: 47 minutes

INFORMATION:

Claire Bottle: https://www.linkedin.com/in/clarebottlefcilt/ 

Gavin Sathianathan: https://www.linkedin.com/in/gavinsathianathan/ 

Jamie Merrick: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jamiemerrick/ 

Ian Jindal: www.linkedin.com/in/ianjindal/  and www.twitter.com/ianjindal 

 

Recorded and engineered at Spiritland Studios, UK.

Episode photo credit: Ian Jindal (https://www.instagram.com/ianjindal

RetailCraft 28 - ”Unlearning, to relearn” - Greg Duce of Reckitt

RetailCraft 28 - ”Unlearning, to relearn” - Greg Duce of Reckitt

December 30, 2021

Reckitt Benckiser Group PLC is a British multinational consumer goods company. Formed some 200 years ago it is a stalwart of the FTSE100 and turns over some £14bn (2020). It owns some global powerhouse brands in the health/hygiene/nutrition space, many of which are part of the fabric of UK society - Durex, Dettol, Airwick, Clearasil, Nurofen...

In this episode we spend time with Greg Duce, Area Ecommerce Director, Europe, Australia and New Zealand at Reckitt and it's a privileged look behind the brands at the realities of moving direct to consumer, embracing digital and maintaining values.

We were struck in chatting with Greg at the focus upon people and skills development, the need to move rapidly yet without losing track of the brand values. Greg articulated with great clarity that the transition to digital-first (without leaving behind the successful, multi-billion legacy) requires the ability to see multiple things at the same time - and to act for now and the future at the same time. Greg talks about the need to "win today and win tomorrow', and how this requires the simultaneous adoption of two competing maxims: the first is the mantra of "fewer, bigger, better" investments (using Reckitt's scale), while at the same time placing "bets everywhere to see what sticks" (because you have to recognise that new competitors are not limited to the legacy competitors). This 'duality' is at the heart of the digital approach - a flexibility of mind and approach that is worthy of a chapter or two by Von Clauswitz or Sun Tzu! 

The full transcript is available via https://internetretailing.net/retailcraft-retail-podcasts/retailcraft-retail-podcasts

 

Run time: 47 minutes

INFORMATION:

Greg Duce: https://www.linkedin.com/in/greg-duce-1888897/ 

Jamie Merrick: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jamiemerrick/ 

Ian Jindal: www.linkedin.com/in/ianjindal/  and www.twitter.com/ianjindal 

 

Recorded and engineered at Spiritland Studios, UK.

Episode photo credit: Ian Jindal (https://www.instagram.com/ianjindal

RetailCraft 27 - ”Attainable and Sustainable” - Vanessa Barboni Hallik of Another Tomorrow

RetailCraft 27 - ”Attainable and Sustainable” - Vanessa Barboni Hallik of Another Tomorrow

December 13, 2021

Another Tomorrow (www.anothertomorrow.co) is a startup that blends luxury with sustainability. It is interesting because it has digital 'baked into' the DNA - from traceability and sourcing through selling and a second life for products. The founder, Vanessa Barboni Hallik, bring a mixture of passion, flair and analytical insight to the fashion industry and has positioned Another Tomorrow at the intersection of design, sustainability and technology.

Vanessa was kind enough to meet with me in her Bleeker Street store in New York, and brought the brand, its story and direction of travel to life. 

We recorded at 7am but the film crew and leaf-blowers were out in force as they prepared for the day's filming of the Sex and the City series reboot. It was all happening, but nothing interrupted our conversation and the team at Spiritland cleaned the audio wonderfully! 

This interview is full of important insights on sourcing, culture, traceability, how to grow while maintaining focus, and remaining a 'point of discovery' for your customers.

The full transcript is available via https://internetretailing.net/retailcraft-retail-podcasts/retailcraft-retail-podcasts

 

Run time: 32 minutes

INFORMATION:

Vanessa Barboni Hallik: https://www.linkedin.com/in/vanessabarbonihallik 

Ian Jindal: www.linkedin.com/in/ianjindal/  and www.twitter.com/ianjindal 

 

Recorded remotely in Another Tomorrow's Bleeker Street, New York store, and engineers by Spiritland Studios, UK.

Episode photo credit: Ian Jindal (https://www.instagram.com/ianjindal

RetailCraft 26 - ”Let‘s get comfy” - Constanze Freienstein of Lands‘ End

RetailCraft 26 - ”Let‘s get comfy” - Constanze Freienstein of Lands‘ End

October 11, 2021

In the digital studio for this episode we followed the path of comfortable word-at-home wear to one of the original pioneers of relaxed clothing - none other than Lands' End, with their strapline of "Let's get comfy".

Initially visible in the UK via their catalogues and direct to consumer advertising, we hear from Constanze Freienstein, Managing Director, Europe, about the digital growth of the brand.

We touch upon product development via sustainability, cashmere, social engagement and the 'comfort fund' - how the whole team work for inclusion and social good.

You can see more about Lands' End's sustainability approach here: https://www.landsend.co.uk/Resources/co/Sustainability.html

Constanze was recently interviewed by Chloe Rigby on InternetRetailing (https://internetretailing.net/interviews/interview-how-lands-end-helped-customers-get-comfy-online-in-a-challenging-year) and there's a case study on Lands' End in the 2021 RetailX European Top1000 (https://internetretailing.net/top500-reports/annual-reports/the-2021-retailx-europe-top1000)

 

Run time: 34 minutes

INFORMATION:

Constanze Freienstein: https://www.linkedin.com/in/constanze-freienstein-6194752/ 

Ian Jindal: www.linkedin.com/in/ianjindal/  and www.twitter.com/ianjindal 

Jamie Merrick: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jamiemerrick/ 

Recorded remotely and at Spiritland Studios, UK.

Episode photo credit: Ian Jindal (https://www.instagram.com/ianjindal

RetailCraft 25 - “Never the same again” - Stephen Langford of Marks and Spencer

RetailCraft 25 - “Never the same again” - Stephen Langford of Marks and Spencer

July 28, 2021

After a number of attempts with our online studio system, we managed at last to catch up with Stephen Langford, Director of Ecommerce at Marks & Spencer. We appreciated his patience as we tried to connect and we benefitted from a wide-ranging discussion with him about e-commerce and the changes at the heart of M&S - an organisation that's simultaneously a permanent innovator and a national institution.

We trace Stephen's background - starting at Tesco, M&S, George, Asda... and now back to M&S. A 'boomerang' as he calls it!

Digital is clearly at the heart of the transformation plans at M&S, with support from the board, CEO and Chair. We learn how this process of renewal and focus is a step beyond the transformation around a decade ago, where M&S launched their 'dot com' commitment, and signalled their capability with a major platform, investment in a cutting edge DC and a talented team. It was the fruit of this work that saw M&S featuring in the RXUK Elite rankings of the Top500. However, Stephen notes that time and technology move on and that a new, renewed phase is underway. He cites the internal mantra of progress - "never the same again" - in recognition that as the world changes so do the capabilities and approaches necessary for success.

Along the way we touch on COVID, skills, projects, selling other brands and the M&S customer.

 

 

Run time: 26 minutes

INFORMATION:

Stephen Langford: https://www.linkedin.com/in/stephen-langford-b388113/  

Ian Jindalwww.linkedin.com/in/ianjindal/ and www.twitter.com/ianjindal

Jamie Merrick: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jamiemerrick/

Recorded remotely and at Spiritland Studios, UK.

Episode photo credit: Ian Jindal (https://www.instagram.com/ianjindal

RetailCraft 24 - “Partners are a key part of our strategy” - Chris Conway of the Coop

RetailCraft 24 - “Partners are a key part of our strategy” - Chris Conway of the Coop

March 22, 2021

Our first episode of 2021 continues our Grocery theme, with this in-depth and wide-ranging conversation with Chris Conway, eCommerce Director at the Coop.

We had recently interviewed Chris for our Grocery Innovation Report (https://internetretailing.net/groceryinnovation2021) and couldn't wait to bring his insights to life on the podcast. Sadly, the gremlins of the internet decided we'd had too easy a run over the last year and so it took several attempts, many disconnections, much patience and a fair wind to get this episode on 'tape'. Massive thanks to Chris for his humour and perseverance! Jamie and I were desperate to ensure that we (re)covered the same topics so that nothing was lost!

We hear about the Coop's response to COVID and how their existing plans were accelerated by the pandemic. Chris paints a clear picture of the values at the centre of the business, as well as key behaviours like partnership, openness and flexibility that have created an opportunity for the Coop's food business. Following on from our interview with Chris Poad of Tesco we can see that the Coop's path started in a different place and follows a different trajectory - yet equally innovative and illustrating why the UK's grocery sector is so varied and dynamic.

In conversation we cover their roll-out with Deliveroo and other local distribution partners, their blending working and hyper-local approach, the injunction from the CEO to be the "Transformer in Chief" and how partnership is a way of doing business.

 

Run time: 39 minutes

INFORMATION:

Chris Conway: https://www.linkedin.com/in/chris-conway-76ba2b19/ 

Ian Jindalwww.linkedin.com/in/ianjindal/ and www.twitter.com/ianjindal

Jamie Merrick: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jamiemerrick/

Recorded remotely and at Spiritland Studios, UK.

Episode photo credit: Ian Jindal (https://www.instagram.com/p/CLGv5-JpCSU/

RetailCraft 23 - “Bring a smile to customers’ faces” - Pepsico Europe and Whittards of Chelsea

RetailCraft 23 - “Bring a smile to customers’ faces” - Pepsico Europe and Whittards of Chelsea

December 21, 2020

For our final episode of 2020 we 'beam into' the studio Rui Francisco of PepsiCo Europe and Dan Mahoney from Whittards of Chelsea. Rui and Dan remind us of a passion for products that bring a smile to customers' faces and their growing direct-to-consumer activities.

Rui is up first. He's the European Ecommerce Director for PepsiCo, and we hear from him about their pan-European team, the moves to selling direct, not to mention his own interesting career path to ecommerce.

From a global brand's regional team, we then chat with Dan about how a British heritage brand is operating globally and direct to consumer. Dan has extensive experience in ecommerce, but in his role as Customer Director at Whittards it's fascinating to hear of his own learning journey about tea and coffee, and how the lockdowns have increased their customer focus and digital activities.

Our thanks to Dan and Rui for sharing their experiences with us, and they bring to a close our 2020 podcasts. We look forward to picking up in 2021 but until then we wish all our listeners happy trading.

🎄 

Run time: 55 minutes

INFORMATION:

Rui Francisco: https://www.linkedin.com/in/rui-francisco/ 

Dan Mahoney: https://www.linkedin.com/in/mahoneydaniel/ 

Ian Jindalwww.linkedin.com/in/ianjindal/ and www.twitter.com/ianjindal

Jamie Merrick: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jamiemerrick/

Recorded remotely and at Spiritland Studios, UK.

Episode photo credit: Ian Jindal.

RetailCraft 22 - “Circuitboards and Sofas” - Guy Magrath of RS Components and Graham Wilson of Sofology

RetailCraft 22 - “Circuitboards and Sofas” - Guy Magrath of RS Components and Graham Wilson of Sofology

December 9, 2020

Tales of transformation in the studio today. First up a conversation with Guy Magrath, recently Chief Digital Officer at Electrocomponents PLC (better known in the UK as the owners of RS Components, purveyors os millions of plugs, bulbs, suppliers for makers and menders around the world).

Guy talks us through many years of change and progress at this global, complex business, culminating in his 5 steps that are very persuasive indeed.

Along the way we pay tribute to the makers of the world, and a moving example is that of Ben Ryan who set out to create a new type of prosthetic arm for his 10-day old son. You can read Ben's story here: https://uk.rs-online.com/web/generalDisplay.html?id=fortheinspired/customer-ambionics and see the video story here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UOBVuy2FxoA

Graham Wilson joins us from Sofology, the specialist sellers of Sofas. Selling sofas at the best of times can be a challenge, with lead times, checking colour and seating options, envisioning the sofas in your own home... Graham takes us through some of the digital innovations underway that are enhancing the selling and service propositions and giving the stores a dynamic role during the lockdown(s).

 

Our thanks to Chris for giving us so much time, and we'll pick up with him again post-Christmas to see how the peak-upon-peak of trading turned out.

 

Run time: 55 minutes

INFORMATION:

Guy Magrath: https://www.linkedin.com/in/guy-magrath-ned/ 

Graham Wilson: https://www.linkedin.com/in/graham-wilson-b854594/ 

Ian Jindalwww.linkedin.com/in/ianjindal/ and www.twitter.com/ianjindal

Jamie Merrick: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jamiemerrick/

Recorded remotely and at Spiritland Studios, UK.

Episode photo credit: Ian Jindal.

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