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Very interesting read Lauren, thank you! I agree with your suggestions to BA and also think that BA can assist independent brewers to try innovative methods that can potentially reduce their water usage. That being said, however I believe only large companies like AB inBev are well positioned to shift towards more sustainable practices and innovation as they simply have the financial sources and the massive scale advantage. Therefore unfortunately, I think small independent beer producers will increasingly have to price their products higher resulting in a much larger premium beer segment or to exit the market altogether.

On December 1, 2017, BAO commented on Nestle: Greening the Supply Chain :

I think it is very encouraging for big corporations like Nestle to advocate for climate change and importance of sustainability. Surely their efforts across the supply chain contribute to the battle against climate change. However I agree with the point you raised that greenwashing creates a sense of ingenuity and takes away from the effectiveness of these sustainability efforts for more conscious customers. That being said, I think environmentally conscious customers are unfortunately still a minority among all customers and hence greenwashing might not be that negative for the brand after all. I also agree that defending environmental sustainability and then offering products that hurts health sustainability seems almost deceitful. Yes I still appreciate Nestle’s efforts but in order for me to consider them as a sustainability focused company, they need to adopt sustainability philosophy in all aspects of the business: packaging, supply chain, product composition etc. Pepsi’s “Performance with Purpose” initiative is a very good example of that.

On December 1, 2017, BAO commented on Can Macy’s Stay Competitive? :

Very interesting article, thank you!

I think for giant retailers like Macy’s, omnichannel is the future. In today’s era, it is impossible for retailers to remain competitive without any online presence. In a typical customer’s shopping journey, there are many touch points with the retailer and an online presence increases the number of and returns from those touch points. Similarly physical stores too create many touch points and enables customers to make a purchase. Therefore in order to be successful, retailers need to carefully and strategically combine both online and offline channels. I don’t believe a giant retailer like Macy’s can ever be a pure online player, as brick and mortar is in their DNA and they still have many customers who shop in store (in reality, even many of the omnichannel customers make the final purchase in store). And actually their large store portfolio can be a very strong asset if they use it in sync with the online channel. The idea of store pick-ups and using store inventories to serve online customers have proved effective for retailers and I believe Macy’s can push this forward and shift its focus from brick and mortar to an effective combination of online and offline.

On December 1, 2017, BAO commented on Rent the Runway: A Trendsetter Behind the Scenes Too :

I am a new RTR customer and as I was reading your article, I was fascinated by the structured and heavily automated supply chain behind the scenes. I think up until now, RTR has done a great job of ensuring convenience and speed to its customers: such as the effective & easy mobile app to timely and clean-products delivery and backup options. But like all the other online apparel companies, it has the ultimate challenge that customers are not able to see and try the garments before they actually receive it. This is actually even more important for RTR customers because they usually wear those garments in special occasions and they surely wouldn’t be happy if the garment doesn’t fit or is damaged. To tackle this problem, RTR website asks customers to put in their size information and it then shows the top reviews from women with similar shapes. Since the size info is very limited and most people don’t have a regular size, I think having a couple of big physical stores and or investing in virtual fitting rooms can be very effective.

On December 1, 2017, BAO commented on Cuba Libre: Airbnb’s Approach to Diplomacy in Cuba :

Great article Open Sesame, thank you! I really like and appreciate Airbnb’s goal regarding facilitating understanding across cultural boundaries and given the complicated history between the two countries, Cuba seems like a great fit to this goal. However I don’t think Airbnb has much power if US government keeps on blocking visitors to Cuba. Of course, Airbnb can work harder to overcome this and attract people to Cuba but unless people in the USA are willing to take the risks and insist on going to Cuba, I see their power in this situation fairly limited. And based on the information you provided regarding how drastically they had to change their operating model (e.g. payments etc.) in Cuba, I question whether it makes sense for Airbnb to keep pushing there…

On December 1, 2017, BAO commented on US Isolationism Takes Flight to Ground Bombardier :

Very interesting read Judy, thank you!

I think from a company standpoint, given their recent financial difficulties, it would not be realistic to assume Bombardier can actually expand its supply chain to USA. Also, given how US government sided with Boeing, I think there is a substiantial risk that they might make this potential expansion relatively difficult and even more expensive for Bombardier. Because I think Boeing’s stance in this issue is not only related to the fact that Bombardier received government support, I think there is a genuine (and rightfully so) concern about losing market share to Bombardier. I agree with Marc D in that Bombardier actually poses a great competition to manufacturers like Boeing and Airbus as it offers a product that the two dominant players don’t and hence it can address an untapped demand in the market.

Going forward, I expect US government to remain its position in this matter as they don’t really have a strong incentive for not doing so. But it will be interesting to see if Bombardier will gain further demand in the US market despite its higher prices. If they do, I wonder if Boeing will respond by changing their classical offering and go into smaller planes segment.