This is very interesting. I agree with Rahul that it ultimately depends on who they view as their end consumers: members or retail consumers. If it is the former, and to your point in the last paragraph, they could be viewed as “stuffing the channel” and artificially increasing sales – this is why Ackman shorted it in the first place. Another interesting facet of the HLF model revolves around their physical store presence. I haven’t done a ton of research, but I have read about some pretty sketchy “storefronts” and “seminars” put on my HLF members. Thanks for the post!
It’s interesting you say that. Richemont (luxury goods conglomerate) actually sold Net-A-Porter and merged it with Yoox (Italian e-tailer) earlier this year. Richemont seems, like you, to think that Net-a-Porter will benefit from the logistical expertise and physical synergies of a larger organization – and I agree.
Screw California, looks like Indiana beat them to the “farm-to-table” movement! In reality, it’s really impressive that Patachou was able to convey the importance of local and organic ingredients to diners in the Midwest. Also, your point about the scalability of a local/organic restaurant is an interesting and important one. It reminds me of the current Chipotle scandal: attempting to source a certain quality of ingredients locally around the entire US seems to require a lot of due diligence and upkeep. Patachou’s method of expansion seems to fit their operating model and capabilities – expanding to different modes of dining (i.e. food truck, caterer, consultancy) while staying in the same geographic area and (presumably) sourcing from the same farms. Thanks for the article, definitely going to check it out if I’m ever in the Indiana area!
This is awesome, Damola. Makes me want to visit one. I think it’s interesting that they see a high ROI on store up-keep, when it seems that so few competitors take this approach. I completely agree that a positive in-store experience increases loyalty and is also appropriate for the upscale market that they are targeting. Even some Whole Foods feel dingy to me. Let’s franchise these in SF, okay?