A weekly podcast with the latest e-commerce news and events. Episode 295 is a recap of Walmart and Target earnings for Q2 2022, as well as USDC July retail data
Episode 295 is a breakdown of Walmart and Target Q2 earnings, as well as the US Department of Commerce retail sales data for July.
Episode 295 of the Jason & Scot show was recorded on Thursday August 18, 2022.
[0:23] Welcome to the Jason and Scot show,
this is episode 295 being recorded on Thursday August 18th 2022 I’m your host Jason retailgeek Goldberg and as usual I’m here with your co-host Scot Wingo.
[0:38] Hey Jason and welcome back Jason Scott showed listeners Jason how you doing how you been traveling a lot lately.
[0:46] I have I have it’s been interesting to spend so much time at the airport’s they’ve been quite busy lately.
[0:54] Yeah yep the there’s cancellations it’s total chaos at airports so hopefully now that we’re in back-to-school season that’ll slow down a little bit.
[1:03] Knock on Woods October is a busy Commerce trade show month so I’ll be on the road almost of October hopefully visiting some listeners but hopefully yeah travels a little smoother hopefully I can get some better seats on the airplane I’m a little bitter at the.
[1:19] Yeah you have like 20 million miles and they’re putting your life back in steerage.
[1:24] That’s a slightly milder version of that is true.
[1:29] Cool and then I guess the big question is we’ve got two new series kicking off are you going to do Game of Thrones or Lord of the Rings or both.
[1:39] I’m super excited about both I’m actually some people know I had knee surgery earlier in the year I’m actually contemplating getting the surgery on my other knee so I have an excuse just stay at home for a while a month and watch them both.
[1:55] Yeah and then let’s see the well ready to jump into some news.
[2:02] I’m super excited to.
[2:03] Cool well it wouldn’t be a Jason Scott show without.
[2:08] Amazon news new your margin is there opportunity.
[2:21] Yes there is some Amazon news I wanted to just chat about with youth the 16th of August Amazon surprised both
Wall Street and a bit and third-party sellers a lot with their first-ever peak season surge pricing for fulfillment by Amazon are commonly known as FBA
so the way this is going to work is they’ve put out the dates October 15th through January 14th of 23
third-party sellers that you use fbar going to have a new fee and I hope you’re sitting down it is 35 cents per item.
[2:57] Now you may be saying to yourself Scott that’s pretty small is that going to really move the needle and one of our friends of the show Colin Sebastian he actually did the math on this.
So it turns out that last holiday if you look at the third party sell units sold during that period you had two point seven two two point eight billion you have a midpoint of 2.75 billion.
He took that approximated in 34 so that went through yeah if ba you multiply that out and you get about 700 million dollars just drops right out of that 35 cents.
So that is the power of an Amazon scale is a seemingly tiny little.
Surcharge can be a big number so it’s going to be interesting and you know that will be pure profit because the Amazon is not doing anything differently really.
And then in the press release they basically said our expenses are reaching New Heights and it’s making it harder for the company to absorb cost and they have to pass some of those on.
But we still love our third-party sellers did you would you think about this video.
[4:01] Yeah well I’m guessing third-party Sellers and investors didn’t react exactly the same to that news.
[4:07] Yes investors were happy third-party sellers it’s kind of one of those things it’s kind of tricky because you can’t complain too much because it feels like 35 cents but you know if you’re a seller selling couple of thousand items a day through F be a it’s going to be material and I think,
at the end of the day all this gets passed on to the consumers and that causes inflation which we’re going to talk about a good bit on Today Show.
[4:30] Yeah it’s a,
it’s interesting it’s kind of a mixed bag because well I feel like it is true that Amazon hasn’t charged a true surge charge before the
you know they change their terms and conditions all the time and that you know they’ll like they’ll narrow the window under which you can keep stuff in,
in the warehouse before you start getting extra fees they’ll make you take more stuff back they’ll take less stuff and those all kind of.
Have the effect of making F be a more expensive for some sellers.
Well the 35 cents probably isn’t a deal-breaker it is a good reminder to all these third-party sellers that your your kind of a digital sharecropper in the Amazon Echo System and what
you know the two things that I think are most interesting are this kicks in in October,
strong rumors that Amazon’s going to try a second prime day in October so this could be insult to injury.
They could be asking third-party sellers to like,
load up the inventory and get ready for a second prime day and be charging them more so this actually could end up being even a little bigger than,
was forecasted than Colin forecasted have.
[5:44] Prime day ends up being a meaningful thing and then if you also remember earlier in the year Amazon launched check out with prime which was kind of a.
First move to making fulfillment by Amazon available to non Amazon sellers or at least sellers off of the Amazon platform and so it’s kind of interesting.
You know shortly after they they’re trying to make F be a more available there they’re making it more expensive.
[6:14] Yeah yeah the they’ve struggled with that because every time they’ve opened it up to people not selling on Amazon they have a surge of some kind and they have to kind of like pair that program back it’s happened like four or five times it’s crazy.
[6:28] And the flip side is of course the other carriers you’d be shipping through the other common carriers the holiday search these are quite common so this is not not going to feel like a typical or out of line when you compare it to UPS or FedEx.
[6:43] Yin haven’t most of them put on a fuel surcharge already like an even though fuel is going down there.
[6:47] There are there are surcharges on top of surcharges and you know some people feel like they haven’t turned off the surge charges for two years.
[6:55] Yeah yeah so it’s hard out there in e-commerce land from a cost perspective that’s for sure was there any Amazon news you found interesting.
[7:03] Yeah yeah I would actually bundle two pieces of news and column two sides of the coin,
the interesting Amazon test was revealed this company that monitors the Amazon App found a new feature,
it appears like it’s only been deployed to Amazon employees at this point,
but it’s basically a picture and video stream in the app so this is like the way that this is described as sort of like a tick tock like feature.
Inside of the Amazon app which is interesting.
Obviously in China a lot of people shop in the Chinese version of Tik-Tok which is called do Hyun.
A lot of people get interested in buying products through tick-tocking us they haven’t necessarily like.
Checked out on Tick Tock in huge quantities yet but it’s super interesting the Amazons kind of approach to social commerce,
is get content creators and influencers and sellers.
To create social content on Amazon’s platform so I’m twitch on Amazon live and now this new Tick-Tock feature it’s like Amazon’s not partnering with Tick-Tock Amazon’s trying to be tick-tock.
[8:20] And I said two sides of the same coin because I mentioned in earlier tests Amazon did was Amazon live where they tried to take really popular,
content creators that are calmer sea and entice them to create content on the Amazon platform and they’re they’re paying anywhere from like two to nine thousand dollars a month plus the.
The affiliate commissions to get people to produce content on Amazon live and it didn’t seem like content creators were super happy with those results,
they weren’t making a lot of money they were there was a lot of churn and now a bunch of this content creators that have moved off the platform are now organizing a boycott of Amazon,
because they feel like Amazon’s not treating their employees the way they would like so it just
reminds everyone that like man there’s this really interesting opportunity and you know side of the business around social commerce and kind of you know letting influencers and content creators
into your Echo System but then the flip side is they don’t always behave in the ways you you like and even more so when they’re they’re not on the payroll.
[9:30] Yeah yeah the influencers live by the influencer die by the influencer The Tick-Tock things interesting I don’t know,
I think it is reading a lot into it to call it Tick Tock but you know they’re definitely trying to figure out live streaming
one thing we haven’t talked about on the show in my world of Collectibles this Marketplace is really splashed onto the scene called whatnot and it’s a whole live stream for Collectibles and you know the
I think they’ve raised money around a three to four billion dollar valuation which would imply there gmv is pretty substantial I haven’t seen any reports
but it’s pretty pretty interesting it’s kind of an entertainment livestream like we see out of China but applied to Collectibles and I feel like that’s a pretty good category for for this format because you can do these
Pack openings and all these kinds of things and I’ve experimented with it and it’s pretty neat you can,
the streamers that can run auctions right in there and they can have kind of a three formats going at once they can kind of have a claim show
an auction and then like a little e-commerce slider store over on the side it’s a pretty interesting platform that if you’re interested in Collectibles go check it out
get started with collectible toys like these little Funko pops and then it’s moved into it’s got a vibrant
sports card non-sports card and then and I’ve seen a lot of activity around the comics category so that’s kind of an interesting new approach ahead and seen out there.
[10:59] Yeah you know the whole live streaming thing is super interesting and complicated the quick Reader’s Digest version.
In China live streaming is super popular and it was born on the e-commerce platform so taobao live which is like kind of the equivalent of Amazon or Ebay.
[11:18] Like launched a livestream video platform and they built a huge Commerce business and these influencers,
the Alibaba paid like we’re starting to sell like huge quantities there’s this dude Austin Lee who sells lipstick Who Sold over a billion dollars in a single day,
and over time in China the live streaming has moved off of the Retailer’s platforms onto the social media platforms like Dao Yuan and WeChat,
and so you look at China and you go oh my God live streams huge it’s the future it’s how all this stuff is getting sold I want to say it’s like 15 or 16 percent of all e-commerce sales in China,
but then here in the US has been a mixed bag there’s a bunch of use cases like you just described where it works really well there’s a bunch of Ed C lies streamers there’s a bunch of like small retail boutiques that live stream during the pandemic to great effect.
They’re doing really well you know Tick-Tock which is the same companies do you know.
Announced that they were delaying their live streaming feature in the US so they.
You know it’s not they’re not rushing it to Market Instagram had a live streaming Commerce feature which they just retired last week.
We’ve seen Walmart do some experiments in live-streaming we’ve seen Nordstrom do some experiments in live streaming it’s not clear.
[12:39] There’s a a mass-market huge opportunity for live streaming that the Amazon live streaming Pilots haven’t worked very well and so they’re both like there’s a bunch of niches and use cases where consumers really like it and you could see it working.
But it doesn’t seem like a slam dunk for any of the really big Commerce players that they just need to turn on this feature in the customers will come running so the.
Lot of debate amongst my clients at the moment you know is China just ahead of the US and does everybody have to get ready for live streaming or is the u.s. going to evolve differently than China as it often does.
[13:16] Yeah or like is it going to be one of those things where like we call talked about chat Commerce forever and it never really jumped jumped over you know it even though Facebook tried really hard to put Commerce and messenger and they hired the PayPal dude it just never really
really translated to the US who next.
[13:34] I know exactly so I yeah I’m not convinced the main way us consumers are shopping is ever likely to be live streaming but I do think it is.
An important solution to particular Discovery problems in the US so I think it’s part of the mix but I don’t think it’s that like,
magic Panacea that’s going to replace traditional e-commerce for example.
[13:55] Yeah well I know you are tingly all over and super excited because the US Department of Commerce data came out and you have done your number crunching and I know I’m eager to hear what you learned.
[14:08] Oh my God this week is like my leap year because you know US Department of Commerce data comes out every month so we always get excited about that but every three months,
the e-commerce data comes out so yesterday the the retail data came out and tomorrow the e-commerce data came out and you were like a should we wait till tomorrow and do one show and I might know there’s too much goodness here we need to shows one,
to talk about the retail data today and then we’ll do another one to talk about the e-commerce data after after that comes out.
[14:38] Yeah on Wall Street I think they have a double and a triple jinx this is kind of a triple witching I don’t know why they call it with you.
[14:45] I do yeah so July retail sales were up 8.2% versus 2021.
So that’s very healthy robust growth.
We’ve been talking about such big growth and with all these anomalies going on that like we’ve gone kind of used to it but just a reminder normal retail growth year over year,
for the last 30 years the median growth is 4.5% so 8.2% is almost twice as good as you’d.
And even more to the point year-to-date growth so January through June growth retail is up 8.9% so wit early twice what you would normally expect.
So that is super exciting the.
Wrinkle here is our friend inflation like every time I talk about this huge growth.
A bunch of people chime in and go yeah but it’s all inflation and for the last two years that we’ve had this enormous growth because of the pandemic and changes in purchase patterns all the economic stimulus all that stuff.
I keep looking at inflation and inflation is a small part of the growth but not a meaningful part and so I have to keep telling people
yeah information is in there but it’s not a huge deal well that changes this year,
so I mentioned year-to-date growth for this year’s 8.9% if you adjust for inflation your today growth is 0.5%.
[16:13] So that basically means all the growth we’re getting in 2022 so far is directly a result of inflation and that’s super interesting because,
20:21 was like the biggest year of retail growth in my lifetime and I jokingly told a lot of my friends and clients you know they should think about retiring because comping against that.
20:21 is gonna suck and then so far this year we’ve been comping quite well but it turns out the reason we’re comping well is not because,
consumer spending is like super robust and continuing but rather inflation has kind of filled in where that,
that consumer momentum is starting to wane so that is a big story that we need to watch for the rest of the year.
Again the actual.
[17:04] Hyper actor e-commerce.
Broad version of e-commerce called non store sales so for July they were up 18 percent versus last year.
The year-to-date there up about 12%,
I’ll be really interested to see what the quarterly number is tomorrow you know in kind of Q4 of last year there was all this exuberant some for spending in retail stores and e-commerce continued to grow,
but it’s rate of growth slowed down a lot so for one of the you know only times in my lifetime.
Brick-and-mortar retail grew faster than e-commerce and I have a feeling that we’re going to see Q2 of next year that’s Q 2 of this year tomorrow that that’s not going to be the case that we’re gonna returning to the normal trend of e-commerce growing.
Meaningfully faster than brick and mortar.
[18:01] We’re not going to no till tomorrow I can’t wait all-nighter.
[18:05] I will give you one other thing to tease based on the q1 data which came out three months ago we’ve seen that q1 data show up in a bunch of earnings calls and the most famous one is Shopify right so Shopify,
right before their earnings call they laid off like 10% of their Workforce and they said like.
Man you know there was all this e-commerce growth during the pandemic we hired all these people we got ready for all this stuff and then the e-commerce growth regressed to the mean.
Which toy surprised us we thought it would be more persistent and so we’ve got to lay off a bunch of people and cut a bunch of cops and they show this,
this famous graph of the quarterly e-commerce data showing this big spike the last couple months and it kind of Dipping back down to the trendline.
And I see that graph everywhere and the one thing I like to remind people about is regressing to the mean doesn’t mean e-commerce.
Didn’t grow it meant e-commerce grew as fast as it used to be growing which is quite fast so,
well Shopify weight off 10% of their people like I was screaming in the background e-commerce has grown 61% from 2022 2022 and it added four hundred and twelve billion dollars a year in space
it’s not like it’s not like there’s not a ton of growth there it’s just the growth that we’re used to seeing.
So it’ll be interesting to see what tomorrow brings.
[19:33] Yeah seems like a lot of the the inflation is really starting to Ripple through at this point and we’ve seen that show up at some retailers but it’s interesting to see it can work into the day-to-day with your.
[19:45] I know that that brings up a good point like we have several omni-channel retailers that reported earnings this this week and it’s a really mixed bag about.
Inflation indicators in their earnings calls and you know probably the biggest one is Walmart reported earnings two days ago and people
economists watch Walmart’s earnings reports really closely in a challenging economic time because.
They’re kind of the Bellwether for the American Consumer right like that they have the biggest chunk of consumer spending and they kind of as Walmart goes like the American economy goes so.
The as a reminder about a week before their earnings they low they significantly lowered their their earnings guidance for the rest of the year,
they said that they expect that that they expected their profitability to be considerably lower than they had previously.
[20:40] Giving guidance there earlier guidance was like zero to one percent growth.
And they reduced it to they think earnings are going to be 11 to 13 percent lower this year than they were last year.
Um so fast forward a week,
to their earnings and everyone was kind of braced for it being kind of a brutal quarter and it was a beat beat reiterate like,
they beat their earnings Target they beat the revenue Target and they stuck with their guidance that earnings are going to be a lot lower the second half of the year but.
Investors actually took that as good news they actually expected that that Walmart might have a miss and so the fact that.
Q2 sales and Q2 earnings were reasonably robust at Walmart was kind of positive news and to kind of put that in perspective.
U.s. comp retail sales for Walmart last quarter grew 6.5 percent so again normal retail growth is 4.5% so 6.5 is good e-commerce grew 12% and you can compare that with,
Amazon e-commerce grew seven percent the same quarter so obviously Walmart’s a lot smaller than Amazon but they’re the second largest e-commerce site,
in the US and they’re they’re drilling meaningfully faster than Amazon which is impressive they did.
You know we made a big deal about Amazon is breaking out their ad sales.
[22:04] Walmart didn’t quite go that far they said that their ad sales which is called Walmart connect grew 30% which is.
[22:12] I’m not faster rate of growth and Amazon’s ad sales are growing Amazon’s growing about 18% Walmart is growing at 30 but they didn’t tell us what the base was and and you know it’s certainly a way smaller base than Amazon so I’m not sure.
That growth on the much smaller base is huge news but it was interesting to see them talking about it Doug mcmillon and the CFO both John rainy both made.
You know a big deal about Walmart connecting being a big part the CFO joked about not being used to businesses with this kind of crazy margins before and.
Doug actually talked a lot about how Walmart connect is gaining huge traction internationally so they’re they’re able to sell the ads in in India and China and some of the other other markets that they plan.
[23:00] They were getting a lot of like why surface it now I don’t understand the so Amazon started revealing it because they’ve had to like the SEC said this has become a material part of your business you have to unpack it a bit but this seems like they,
decided to do any Mini.
[23:17] Yeah I think just because it’s a good number 30 percent growth sounds like a good number.
And it’s a yeah when when most of your news is about your earnings really being challenged talking about a super high margin part of your business.
Growing really fast I feel like just reflects well right like I’m not I’m not confident we’re going to see them report that number every quarter by the way.
Yeah so we’ll have to see how that goes but like to kind of,
summarize why they’re saying profits are likely to be much lower for the full 2022 essentially what Walmart is saying is they are seeing consumers change Behavior because of the recession,
and one of the big ways is they’re seeing consumers still spend a lot with Walmart but they’re shifting from.
[24:06] Wants to needs so they’re buying a lot less clothes and consumer electronics and a lot more food,
and the food in the essentials that Walmart sells are much lower margin,
then the home and apparel categories that they’re selling less of so the mix it Walmart is changing.
Um which is hurting their profitability but not necessarily their income,
and in fact they called out 11 funny anomaly of the income is in this High inflationary time,
a lot more High income consumer start shopping at Walmart so people that make over a hundred thousand dollars a year spend more at Walmart in a tough economy than they do in a,
really bullish economy and so they feel like they captured extra customers because of that that would have shop somewhere else but they’re buying this alone margin stuff,
and John rainy the CFO he specifically talked about how they’re seeing consumers make different purchase decisions that there.
[25:12] He called it a pronounced customer shift that people are trading down and he gave the specific example that we’re selling a lot less deli meats were selling a lot less beef and instead we’re selling a lot more hot dogs chicken and tuna,
and that you know even vegetable based proteins like beans are starting to sell a lot better in those are all signs of,
you know distress consumer that’s trying to make their food budget go further every week.
[25:39] So I would call that a mixed bag I feel like investors were thrilled that their earnings call wasn’t worse but you know.
I don’t I don’t feel like people saw Walmart’s earnings and said oh my gosh we’re out of the woods on the economy and things are going to be great for the second half of the year.
[25:58] So then we move to Target and and Target was kind of a Miss meat,
maintain right they miss their earnings pretty meaningfully so they the guy their expectation when 72 cents a share they came in at 39 cents a share so that’s a big,
drop it’s actually 90% less profit than they made this quarter last year,
so a huge drop in profitability they exactly hit the revenue Target which was 26 billion and their guidance kind of stayed the same that they’re expecting to grow.
Kind of in there two to four percent,
um growth rate which would be a typical year and they’re expecting six percent margins which would be significantly up from the 1.2 percent margins they got this quarter.
[26:50] Digital for them was up nine percent which is a lot slower growth rate than than Walmart and slower even than Amazon even though targets a lot smaller than then Amazon.
But what is interesting is.
Target basically talked about not seeing any inflationary changes to consumer spending they did not talk about their mixed changing dramatically they did not talk about like seeing their customer change a lot,
what they talked about is.
They had too much of the wrong inventory because of the supply chain disruptions last year and then being forced to deeply discount a lot of product and they took like a 1.5 billion dollar haircut on their inventory.
Um which they had warned us they were going to do but so what they’re saying is man we’re just having to sell a lot of this stuff cheaper and that’s it’s not necessarily because of inflation but more because.
We have the wrong stuff.
[27:51] That yeah got you think they had this supply chain problem and ended up with the stuff they ordered a year ago gosh when I open this door is.
[28:00] That for sure is true like they all ordered like Walmart you know said similar things that Walmart’s I think said if we had a magic wand we would make 1.5 billion dollars worth of our inventory just disappear.
Um and you know they all like.
Beefed up their orders around holiday and they you know they all went to these extraordinary expenses to get inventory they got inventory much more via much more expensive means you know from more expensive suppliers with more expensive Freight.
Um a lot of those costs are coming down right now freight costs are coming down shipping costs are coming down,
but you know a lot of that inventory rolled in and it you know it was the clothes they hope to sell for Christmas that you know is less appealing now.
I would argue people are also just buying less clothes right now like and I do think that’s partly because of the economy and inflation.
You know Target saying it’s not Walmart saying it is it’s possible they’re both right it’s you know Walmart has a lower income customer than Target and so it is possible that the.
The typical Walmart customers more affected by inflation and their behavior is changing more dramatically in the more affluent customer that shops at Target and Amazon,
um that their behavior is changing less as a result of inflation so I you know it’s not outside the realm of possibility that they’re both they’re both right from their.
[29:26] Nursing did in their warnings they both talked about apparel any more color on that.
[29:33] I mean again the the they’re seeing home slow down a lot which is interesting because you know people were overspending on home when they couldn’t travel you you’ve seen this in your business but like.
A lot of people are back to travel there’s a lot of Revenge travel people are also restaurants are having a moment restaurants are crushing grocery stores at the moment,
as you know everybody I’m not sure covid zup officially over but like everybody’s mentally of it over covid rushing back to restaurants and fun fact.
Inflation for restaurant food is much lower than inflation for grocery store food so it’s actually a better deal right.
So the food thing is weird the apparel thing is weird consumer electronics are really soft sales right now and they’re they’re actually.
They have this weird counter effect like that’s the one category that’s having deflation TVs or less expensive this year than they were last year.
And yet sales are still really soft I think Best Buy reports earnings tomorrow so that’ll probably be a challenge for them.
In the discretionary spending categories the one category that everyone has called out as an out performer is beauty.
And I think that’s this thing that we call affordable luxury that like you know when you’re not feeling great about your finances but you want to treat yourself like what you do is you buy the premium whip.
Instead of an expensive outfit or something like.
[30:57] Nursing yeah kind of a can still feel good about yourself but you spent a lot less than a whole new.
[31:03] Exactly I would argue that a better affordable luxuries to have someone do an amazing job detailing your car but that’s just me.
[31:09] Or a iced vanilla latte at Starbucks or 10.
[31:15] Yeah yeah absolutely that’s not that’s not an affordable luxury Scott that’s a necessity.
[31:22] Were there any other omni-channel you want to cover because I had a.
[31:26] Yeah yeah I think we probably spend enough time the Home Improvement guys did report it was kind of a in between Home Depot is decent their up
5.4% in their their comp sales which is kind of in between what we saw at Target and Walmart they talked about seeing their consumer business has slowed down and seeing their Pro businesses which is the contractors pick up
so I do think consumer spending on their homes is slowing down I don’t know where that pro-business is coming from at first glance so we’ll have to dive into that deeper but the housing market is all
topsy-turvy right now.
[32:04] Yes I think that this kind of ties into the,
bifurcation of the convenience already consumer in the more affluent and then the value of learning consumer that the pros being busy it was more Renovations are still going on at larger homes.
[32:21] Yep that makes sense.
[32:22] You know that that weird that like segment and maybe what’s happening is you maybe you’ve outgrown your house you thought you get a new one interest rates went up are like well if I put that money into a expansion or something,
you know that this may be a better use of proceeds than putting it towards paying the bank larger percentage I think that’s probably what’s going on there.
[32:44] No that makes total sense I’ll buy that yeah so then what’s the last tranche of earnings we want to talk about Scott.
[32:52] This was interesting because I was reading a couple articles and I saw you know Casper has a new CEO and and he came in and was basically saying,
hey it’s time to start stop losing money we need to be a profitable company,
so then I started wondering you know he had that cluster of sa cluster in a positive way we had a grouping of companies go public that we talk a lot about that we’re kind of in this,
some of them were not 100% digitally native vertical Brands but in this kind of cohort over the last 18 months of IPOs,
not 18 months calendar but with IPO windows open we had if you remember we had wish thread up Casper glossy a all birds.
Warby and purple and a couple others go public.
[33:39] So then I started poking around and it’s basically a bloodbath out there for that cohort of companies so you know Casper’s not doing very well.
I’m thredup which you would think would do really well in recession because people would look at more Consignment type
type of peril they had to do a pretty big layoff the 15% probably the most hit hard is wished which I’ve never 100% understood wished but
you know far be it for me too
to figure that out but you would think they would be doing well because they always had this super inexpensive stuff the trade-off was it took a while to get to you but if you needed like a phone little drone or
I think one of their biggest sellers is hair extensions
bridal gowns all kinds of stuff you wouldn’t really expect for that value or to Consumer you think during recession that would do really well,
their revenue is down 80 percent year over year so they are just basically coming unglued they did a Rebrand and their new brand is.
Bargains made fund discovery made easy which to be hence that maybe Discovery was a problem and now they’re trying to say hey we kind of.
[34:47] You came to us before and you couldn’t find what you’re looking for but now we fix that kind of has that that kind of vibe to the new branding.
One that’s popular with the ladies in my house is glossy a they had to do a 33% layoffs and I can understand this because we went on a New York trip and that’s one of the,
places we make a trach tube and the store was closed and this is just like.
[35:10] Four weeks ago so definitely post coded so that wasn’t good and I think I know what’s going on there,
Albert’s didn’t 8% layoffs were be they had a weird mixed message they were doing some layoffs and talking about their losses mounting but then they announced their opening 40 stores and that they think it makes economic sense it’s kind of like.
Yeah I didn’t feel like the best time to be doing that and they didn’t really say anything other than we think that this is a good use of capital.
We’ll see and then you know so Casper is doing pretty poorly and then purple who’s kind of a Casper clone if you will need to actually predate Casper’s they wouldn’t like that
being called a butt
yet another online mattress company their revenues down over 20% year-over-year I think during covid-19 we got new mattresses and now there’s kind of a
like a pull forward for that that that’s a huge problem so that whole cohort is not doing well and kind of
indexing much worse than kind of like what you saw in the data I want to ask you what if you think there’s do you have a theory of what’s going on with those guys.
[36:14] I do like I think the whole direct-to-consumer model,
I’m not saying it can’t work but it’s way more challenging than a lot of people.
Um gave it credit for right like the fundamental problem with the direct-to-consumer model
is customer acquisition right like there’s 240 million households in the US and getting them to know about you and be aware of you and want to buy your product is,
really hard right and if you’re a direct-to-consumer company with no organic awareness and no reason for people to discover you
the way you get people to find out about you is you buy ads right you buy that awareness and and all these d2c companies were.
Using digital ads you know mainly on Facebook 22 by audiences and so one thing we know is customer acquisition costs have gone up because of,
the Privacy changes in the less the lower efficacy of a lot of those those digital things.
[37:17] You know even on the old pricing every subsequent customer gets more expensive than the last one like the first customers you can buy are the cheapest,
but you know increasingly you have to bid higher and higher for an audience that’s slightly a lower propensity to buy your stuff and so as you grow as you scale,
it gets harder and harder to keep growing and so we’ve seen a ton of these d2c companies.
Grow really fast from zero to something and then hit a plateau and slow way down and we were seeing that before the pandemic we were seeing it during the pandemic,
some of these companies like we’re partly aided by the pandemic and so maybe it gave them a little extra Runway some of these companies like.
A way we’re probably hurt by the pandemic and had less less Runway but I think what we’re seeing is that.
That the pure direct-to-consumer model without some other way of cup of consumers,
cheaply making consumers aware of your products,
is really challenging so you’re seeing a bunch of these dtc’s open their own stores that’s the war be model you’re seeing a bunch of these dtc’s pivot to wholesale so glossy is moving into Ulta I think it is or it may be Sephora I apologize if I have it wrong,
um but they’re a bunch of these guys have moved into wholesale to get awareness.
[38:43] And you know that changes the whole margin structure and does all these things I think there’s a Warren Buffett quote,
they’re only when the tide goes out can you find out who’s not wearing a bathing suit and I feel like that’s that’s kind of the situation we’re in with these D disease is you know once we’ve come into a,
challenging economic model Market the.
The high cost of customer acquisition and the challenges with continuing the scale are really starting to be a parent for all these data see companies you buy that.
[39:15] I do and a lot of them in our you know in our world we think about cackle TV and you kind of get in your head yeah
it’s you know I’m growing X percent macaque LTD is three or four and you feel like that’s going to stay around forever right and then you hit
recessionary period which apparently this isn’t and
hit some headwinds or some chop and suddenly you know that no one’s buying that second mattress for that second pair of glasses or
you know whatever it is and then,
you know your whole economic model is built on this ratio of cacti LTD of three and suddenly it’s one and a half and if you don’t react quickly to that
and if you don’t have if all you have is paid mechanisms that are built on that that will ratio then you’re in the horns of a dilemma where you’re kind of like well I turn that off,
the the acquisition spigot I can’t grow Revenue but if I keep it on my my earnings are going to,
go to heck in a hand basket because I’m effectively my cup my kak My overall economic side business have changed very dramatically and there’s no way for me to.
To deal with that and because these guys have such a big chunk of their you know their their revenue from Paid media it doesn’t they don’t have a lot of degrees to Pivot on so another way of saying what you said but I agree is the short route.
[40:38] You know you reminded me one funny thing I think one of both of our favorite guests on the show Dan McCarthy.
You know he talks about like every time he gets to look at the finances for one of these d2c companies that they they wildly underestimate their CAC and overestimate their LTV that like
the math is also just flawed that like you know most most of these d2c companies feel like they’re going to have like incredible retention and keep the these customers re spending every year for a long time that their data doesn’t necessarily support so they
they overestimate their ltvs because
they don’t account for enough turn and then you know they all just treat their ad costs as their total kak and you know it’s customer acquisition cost it’s all the costs
to find that customer and get them to buy them and onboard it so all the customer service costs all the onboarding cost there’s a lot of extra
cost that should be in that cack number that a lot of first-time d2c CFOs don’t don’t tend to put in there so.
I thought that was a funny observation as well.
[41:44] Yeah and then a lot of times you know you’ll be like
let’s say 20 million and you’re just driving the business itself Google and you’re like well this is amazing and but then Google Google searches are a pretty finite
resource and at some point you kind of can get them all right so there’s only so many people that are typing in mattress everything and then then you’re like okay well I’ll do you know
I’ll do Facebook I’ll do this I’ll do what not and then as you do you Whittle away Google is always one of the most effective advertising venues because the consumers given you their intent so they’re at the bottom of the funnel,
so then as you walk up the top of the funnel your cat goes way up and then you can have infinite spin there at the top of the funnel but.
It doesn’t really change the metrics Downstream so then
that’s that scaling problem so all these guys get to 100 million and then and it really Falls over because because they can’t really get that incremental next dollar and if they do they’re kak LTV ratio goes way up because they’re spending so much more on,
paid media LTD is stable so yeah it’s a tough slog so I think reading between the lines when
when were be says we want to open up stores that I think they’re trying to
you know cough ironically go from a pure online to being in foot traffic and getting people there which is you know what they’re basically saying I think is that that may be cheaper than that next in Criminal
[43:11] 100% I wonder I when we’re all retired and we look back on this market like I do think there’s going to be a lot more d2c activity than we have today but I actually think most of it is going to look
more like Nike it’s going to look more like someone that was born as a wholesaler that created huge awareness affinity and love and eventually hit escape velocity where they didn’t need
that that wholesale model anymore and they were able to then go direct to Consumer and have a low customer acquisition cost and kind of growth hack
and I’ll bet you a lot more of the d2c brands that are dominant you know sort of 10 to 15 years down the road got there by
starting wholesale and transitioning to d2c rather than being born D to C which is just I think a tough value.
Scot that’s a lot for one show and you know we’ve already teased people about a subsequent show on e-commerce so I feel like we should try to wrap up is there anything else we didn’t cover that you were excited to talk about.
[44:19] Not just want to give you good luck tomorrow I hope all your data flows or columns line up your Tableau is humming and I look forward to hearing your analysis on what comes out of the day tomorrow.
[44:33] Awesome well my in-laws are visiting and they’re commuting home tomorrow so they promised they’re going to listen to Tonight Show in the car so I just want to give a shout-out sit to and Papa.
and with that it’s happen again we’ve used up our allotted time as always if this show for you some value if you’re going to be a little smarter around the virtual water cooler tomorrow,
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[45:08] Happy commercing!