Drink Like a Lady Podcast

Season 3 Episode 1: Where are the Growth Opportunities Post-Pandemic

January 20, 2021 Joya Dass Season 3 Episode 1
Drink Like a Lady Podcast
Season 3 Episode 1: Where are the Growth Opportunities Post-Pandemic
Show Notes Transcript

Welcome back to Season 3 of Drink Like a Lady. 

With the pandemic,  our personal lives were disrupted.  The way we do business was disrupted. Business models, products and services, team building and culture building were scrutinized in a way we haven't seen in 10 years.

Companies that weren't early adopters of technology --now are. More are obsessed with analytics in order to learn about their customer.

In today's episode, we are looking  at the companies that pivoted successfully in 2020. 

1. Grocery Stores Became Dark Fulfillment Centers

In the effort to better serve customers AND to protect employees , a number of grocery stores are banning customers from entering and instead transforming the stores into DARK stores, or order fulfillment centers.

Whole Foods (for one) converted stores in both Los Angeles and New York, and Kroger and Eagle have done the same with multiple locations.

Dark Stores allow grocers to fill pickup and delivery orders much more quickly than using fulfillment centers further from customers.

2. Restaurants Entered the Grocery Market

Many restaurant chains, including Panera, California Pizza Kitchen and Subway, have begun selling fresh groceries  such as : eggs, fresh vegetables, meat, and even liquor to pick up alongside their restaurant orders. They have access to fresh produce and need a revenue stream anyway.

3. Retailers Ramped Up Curbside Pickup

As customers were barred from shopping in-store, retailers brought merchandise to the curb. It was a way to move inventory, keep customers, and be safe.  Retailers such as DSW, Best Buy, Staples, Macy’s, Kohl’s created "PickUp Stations"where customers could pick up  items with low risk.

4. Hotels offer “day rates” for remote workers.

Red Roof Inn started offering day rates for folks to work remotely for as low as $29.00 a day at some locations.  You can't beat a fast internet connection and a quiet place to work, plus hotels needed the revenue.

5. Fitness Companies Move Workouts Online

Folks don't have to go a physical gym to work out and be healthy.  Online classes in yoga, Pilates, weight training, aerobics blew up during the pandemic.

The successful pivots had these traits in common:

  • Agile mindset. The companies pivoted quickly. Strong leadership prevailed.
  • Acceptance that consumer demands were changing. The way we buy products and services will never be the same.
  • Acceptance that personal and business life is different now too.

Drink Like A Lady Podcast with Kathie De-Chirico Stuart & Joya Dass Season #3 Ep 1


Speaker 1 (00:01):

Hello? Hello. I am kicking off season three of the drink, like a lady podcast, or we are talking about matters that are important to women getting a seat at the bar and getting a seat in the boardroom. I'll be joined very shortly with my partner in crime. Uh, Kathy DeCicco Stewart, who is a business strategist, and we are going to be talking today about where are the growth opportunities in 2021? And of course we have to harken back to what we learned in 2020 in order to be able to really suss out where the opportunity lies in the coming year. So we're really excited to see all of you. I see methadone [inaudible] orthodontics has just joined us. SWAT has just joined us and I'm waiting for my partner in crime, Cathy to Checo Stewart to join us, you know, 2020, we can't talk about this enough.

Speaker 1 (00:53):

There's so many tectonic plates that shifted in the last year. One of them was the fact that we had to pivot very quickly. There were some that did it very, very well. There are others that may be stagnated because they couldn't think about pivoting quickly. The second piece is to really think about, and I'm going to add Kathy here. This is a little bit of management that goes on when you have to do these lives. Here she is. Uh, the second piece is that consumer demand has vastly changed. What we wanted pre COVID is very different than what we want. Now, Kathy, how are you? Happy new year, happy new year to you too. Have a great video, you know, just readjusting every day into what our new normal is. I think it's wonderful that we're kicking off our podcast on the very day that, uh, it is inauguration day and the tectonic plates are shifting in Washington.

Speaker 1 (01:47):

I very much agree with you. I, I feel a lot of joy. I really do so for Ashika and for the folks that are joining us here today, I was saying that we're talking about growth. And certainly we learned a ton from 2020, and there were three areas that I wanted to highlight. But then the real reason that we're doing the episode, one of our podcasts for 2021 is that we want to talk about where the growth opportunities are this year, but in order to do a quick look back in the rear view mirror, what we learned from companies last year is that there were certain ones that pivoted very well, and it was not only up here, but in the way that they conducted business, that's very true joy. And that it wasn't just about the thought. It was also about how to create momentum and action right away.

Speaker 1 (02:34):

Yeah. And then number two was consumer demands. What people wanted pre COVID is very different than what people want post COVID and what they deem important. It's extremely important. And you can even take a look at your own personal shifts and you can actually take a look at where that may, uh, create new ideas for you. And then the third thing that has changed fundamentally from 2020 is that personal and business life. Again, what we deem important there and what is a reality has changed drastically. I talk every week with all my members and the real estate people keep talking about the fact that people now need rooms. They don't want the open floor plan gone are the days of the Soho loft, where you can see from end to end. Everybody needs to have a room. Everybody needs to have privacy, but that's just like one way to describe what we mean by personal and business. Life has changed. You know,

Speaker 2 (03:27):

Also what's really important here is the minute you accept the change is inevitable. You then can actually embrace what you can create. Other than that, what happens is you put your force up against that.

Speaker 1 (03:40):

Well, you've, uh, put together an amazing list of examples to review and what we can look at in the way of opportunities for 2021. So I'm going to tee you up to the first one, which is the grocery stores and become dark fulfillment centers. What are you noticing

Speaker 2 (03:54):

What's really important is, and we know this really in the very beginning stage where people could not go out or there wasn't the whole idea of even the stores being as accessible, um, to individuals, they said, I still have inventory. I still need to create, um, you know, some kind of profit and loss, that's their responsibility. So a lot of the stores, the grocery stores in particular knew that they were essential items, a lot of the, you know, meats and vegetables, et cetera. And we're going to talk about this in another shift. Um, they, that people would still be coming in, but what they did do in terms of looking at what they can do is they, they created some of their stores. I call them dark stores, they darkened them down and they actually have personal shoppers go in. So they weren't amongst the others. You can see that this happened with Kroger. This happened with whole foods and another, um, store called Eagle, which I'm not familiar with, but I know the other two very well.

Speaker 1 (04:48):

And then this really what we're talking to, or what we're speaking to is there's a different employment market that has cropped up as a result. When I go to Wegmans, you know, we moved to Brooklyn over the course of the pandemic. And if you go into Wegmans, it's first of all, it's the size of a football field, but the entire store is filled, not with people like me. It's shoppers who are fulfilling Instacart orders. So it's interesting that this whole economy has grown up around the fact that people are not in the stores, but they're empowering others to go in and do the shopping for them.

Speaker 2 (05:19):

A lot of these ancillaries, um, businesses that have come up based on this, COVID based on all of these new, um, possibilities that we're going to talk about.

Speaker 1 (05:28):

So for those of you that are just joining us, we're talking about and identifying the growth opportunities who's employing in 2021. And the first was the grocery stores that have essentially gone dark, but there's a whole economy of other kinds of employees that have been empowered to be able to help keep them running. And we were talking about that. The second is restaurants entering the grocery market.

Speaker 2 (05:50):

Isn't that a great way to segue in from what we just finished up and what occurred was that restaurants can still get, they can still get fresh meats. And all of that and individuals were now saying to themselves, what can I do with my, my inventory once again? And how can I help individuals? And it's a smaller scale. So they went out and they started selling the product, um, to anyone, you know, who had ordered it online. And, uh, that has also become a very well ingratiated way to keep their business going and also to help the supply chain

Speaker 1 (06:24):

And some of the high-end Mara high-end restaurants like Daniel and Le Bernadin avail, availed the public of their volts of really exquisite wine. That's not quite the same as getting potatoes, but if you're trying to create an occasion at home, that was definitely a growth area for restaurants to be able to unload some of these vintages that they probably wouldn't have ever been consumed otherwise.

Speaker 2 (06:48):

And you know, what was interesting is last year, um, when we celebrated our anniversary, um, it was in the middle of COVID. So we were like, how do we still make this special? So I set the dining room up and all this great music. Well, we went out to a local restaurant and they gave us some of these ingredients to create that experience. So if you don't, once again go, Oh my goodness, I can't celebrate, but you go, how do I celebrate? And how do I use the resources? It really becomes quite experiential

Speaker 1 (07:18):

For those of you that are just joining us. Cathy DeCicco Stewart. And I host a podcast every Wednesday at three o'clock called drink, like a lady. And this is designed to empower women to get a seat at the bar and to get a seat in the boardroom. And today we're talking about growth. We're talking about where are the growth opportunities? When we look in the rear view mirror of 2020, and where are they positioned to continue to grow in 2021. And first of all, we've talked about grocery stores and an entire economy growing up around the fulfillment of, of groceries and becoming fulfillment centers. The second is restaurants entering the grocery market because they really see an opportunity to still glean revenue without, uh, to kowtowing to the traditional model. And then the third one is curbside pickup. Kathy, let's talk about that one.

Speaker 2 (08:03):

Well, I'm sure all of us did that at the very beginning. It was, Oh, we're not, first of all, the stores were not open for at least what three months, three and a half months, but we still had this need and want because all of a sudden our whole life shifted, you know, with more pajamas, more slippers, I've got more slippers now than I ever wore. Um, and, but how did they still once again take advantage of what they had in inventory? And they said, okay, we're going to just go straight to a curbside pickup. It worked, it created a mentum. Now you've got a whole new service that was never there before. Once again, Macy's, Kohl's DSW best buy staples. Um, it was a way for them to also become very, and we're going to talk about this next week, customer service oriented. And that's how they, that,

Speaker 1 (08:47):

You know, uh, Brooklyn and is someplace where my sheets are from and Brooklyn and up until very recently is an e-commerce only, I could never go in and experience the linens. I just had to do a little hail Mary and hope for the best once they showed up on my front door, but I was walking around Brooklyn on Sunday, and I noticed that there was an actual physical brick and mortar, Brooklyn and store, which excited me because while I already have sheets from them, I could be open to the possibility of getting new sheets, but I walked in and it was a curbside pickup situation only. So while the store was there, it was probably an idea that was conceived of before COVID. So now you couldn't still go in and experience any of the fabrics, but you could look at them from afar. So I guess that's something

Speaker 2 (09:31):

It's one step forward, right? Yeah.

Speaker 1 (09:34):

Allison's joining us through cello is joining us. Manisha Gadara is joining us. Welcome everyone. We are on the drink, like a lady podcast talking today about growth opportunities in 2021. And number one was grocery stores and the entire economy that's grown up around them becoming dark fulfillment centers. Number two is restaurants entering the grocery market and really seeing an opportunity for commerce there. Number three is for retailers pivoting to curbside pickup. And I would wait your Cathy that it's forced people to be much more efficient when they're going to the store. And on the flip side for the stores to be more efficient when they're fulfilling their orders.

Speaker 2 (10:11):

Absolutely. I think individuals, what they've also done is they've been able to, um, pinpoint a store that is close to them. So that, that become a very localized. And then they say, what is it that I really want or really need? And whether or not that store has it, if not, it gets shipped to them as well. So lots of, uh, different, uh, uh, variants in terms of our own behavior

Speaker 1 (10:34):

And pre the event planner, she's just joined us. Welcome. You know, you might be thinking, well, I'm not in the grocery business, I'm in the event, planning business. Why do I w how does what you're sharing today? Joanne, Cathy benefit me how it benefits you is that I love reading about industries that are completely tangential to the vertical that I occupy. Cause you never know when there's an idea, a really good idea that's been executed well that you can transplant into your own business. So the next idea that we're talking about the next area of growth that we identify is hotels offering day rates for remote workers as another way to glean revenue.

Speaker 2 (11:09):

You know, this is one thing I haven't even looked at, but when I did my homework in terms of getting companies and some ideas together for us, I looked at this and I thought, well, this makes a lot of sense, especially for what you talked about in terms of now needing more occupied space for work. And doesn't it make sense if you think about it, when I used to travel on business, you go away. You're totally submersed in terms of your business and what you need to get done. And now you have that for day rates, which is very nominal. Yeah.

Speaker 1 (11:41):

A series of interior designers that are part of lady drinks. And one of them said to me, that pillows have gone by the wayside because they can become traps for all kinds of bacteria and germs. So now, as they're thinking where the pops of color are going to be in a hotel or a restaurant pillows are no longer going to be the place where they can park that color. So it's interesting that even those times, even those economies are starting to shift in a different way. And all of a sudden it's a season of wallpaper and magnetic wallpaper, believe it or not.

Speaker 2 (12:12):

Um,

Speaker 1 (12:12):

And then the final point and the final area that you see as an area of growth. And I certainly watched this area, explode is fitness companies moving their workouts online. I'm seeing individual mom and pop yoga teachers. Who've built an entire ecosystem for you to be able to work out with them remotely and be able to pay them remotely as well.

Speaker 2 (12:34):

This is it. This is absolutely for me. I think you can take this and you really can, can translate this to a lot of service businesses. This now means, you know, it's not someone going down to the local gym, but you can also now create this relationship from anywhere. So if you were very interested in, um, some of the celebrity workout, um, fitness, uh, advisers you'll you would do is you could then just tap right into them right off the bat. So this in and of itself is somewhere. I would suggest that our audience really take a look at and what they're doing and some of the best practices that are out there,

Speaker 1 (13:07):

You know, and the reason we're having this conversation today is that yes, we've just listed off six growth areas that we've identified by looking in the rear view mirror of 2020. One of them being the retailers have pivoted to curbside pickup. Hotels are now offering. We work essentially spaces for remote workers to be able to come in and hold meetings all well and good. But what are the lessons that you can glean from listening and learning about what other companies have done in their successful pivots and be able to put into your business. But Kathy, I'm curious, why did we want to talk about growth today before we leave our audience?

Speaker 2 (13:41):

You know, what I really think is that we are here to help create value for them and with them. And by, by actually helping point it out and directing them, we are allowing ourselves to say, we're part of your solutions. And one of the things that we're going to talk about next week, which I am absolutely adamant about is the, the idea of customer service and how that has changed over the past 11 months. And if you focus on customer service, you will have a competitive advantage over other people in your, um, in your world and your market. As my agent,

Speaker 1 (14:16):

Angela, once said, people remember how you made them feel, and that's going to always be the predominant way that you walk away. Um, she, those just joining us right now, she filled today on the drink, like a lady podcast. We're talking about ways to really look in the rear view mirror of 2020, see what we've learned and identify the areas of growth for 2021. And I want to recap them, Kathy, before we close here quickly, we've seen we've observed grocery stores become dark fulfillment centers, but it was still a way for them to get produce out the door and get some revenue in the door. Restaurants entered the grocery market. It was a way to some of the stuff that was going to go bad anyway, including their wine retailers, pivoted to providing curbside pickup. You could still get everything that you wanted, but I think it forced all parties to become more efficient. Hotels started offering day rates for remote workers and then fitness companies have moved all of their workouts online, which has become a huge micro economy. And you can do that if you have basically an internet connection and a phone,

Speaker 2 (15:16):

That's for sure. That's for sure. And, and love to do is know by mats and some weights. And you're off to a being fitness and no excuses.

Speaker 1 (15:24):

And we are focusing on customer service and the evolution of that in the last year into 2021 next week, when we meet at three o'clock Eastern time for drink like a lady, Kathy, any closing words on this inauguration day that you'd like to share,

Speaker 2 (15:38):

I will just say, um, I am just at peace today. I am I'm. So at peace, like you had said, what a great way for us to start our year with the new inauguration of our new presence.

Speaker 1 (15:51):

You're a business strategist. If anyone wants to work with you, what's the best way to get in touch with you. You can email me at Stewart,

Speaker 2 (15:58):

R T K a T H I [email protected] or directly. My phone number is six Oh nine nine three three seven 600. And I

Speaker 1 (16:09):

I'm currently filling for my next public speaking masterclass where we are learning the art of influence. This is for seven corporate women only. And you can email [email protected] and I will write you right back and share more details. All right, Kathy, we're going to wrap this up and I'll see you next week.

Speaker 2 (16:28):

Thank you as always stick here.