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On December 14, 2015, CO commented on Hermès: The ultimate luxury company :

Thank you, NMA, for this insightful post. You summarized very well the operating model of Hermès regarding its supply chain, innovation, and human capital management. I understand that you were limited to the most important differentiation factors of Hermès. However, I wonder how Hermès’ brand strategy as 2nd most valuable luxury brand translates into its operations of brand building, advertising, and marketing? E.g. how did it change over time, how much is it influenced by metiers and/or regions?

On December 14, 2015, CO commented on Aldi – driving transformation of the UK grocery industry :

Very interesting article! I like your summary about how private labels, less SKUs, store cost savings and an efficient distribution help Aldi to compete against the traditional grocery store chains.

Is Lidl positioned similar to Aldi in the UK? For me, it has – unlike Aldi – a very low-quality stigma.

In my opinion, the trend towards cheap food in many European countries is worrying, as it comes at the expense of suppliers, farmers, and animals. Is there a British grocery store chain occupying the “Whole Foods niche”?

I think in France and Austria, grocers succeeded in defending their market share against discounters in recent years (but had to accept a permanent margin erosion)? Do you know what the difference is between the grocery store chains in these countries and the UK?

On December 14, 2015, CO commented on Swissair – meltdown of a national icon :

I agree – a very interesting situation and article; especially since I used the airline twice a week for 1.5 years.

As to Spencer’s comment: I was also very surprised about the choice of acquisitions they have taken; low-cost carriers didn’t fit into their overall strategy in the first place. Besides that, do you have an explanation why they didn’t/couldn’t unlock synergies?

Also, why did Swissair anticipate so many negative consequences from not being part of the European Union and did react with such a drastic strategic shift? I feel most other Swiss companies with high international exposure weren’t that anxious and had more of a wait-and-see approach.

I wonder if it was right to pump so much public money into Swiss, especially since it is now a 100% subsidiary of Lufthansa? What is the government’s stand on it today? Why do many countries still subsidize national airlines heavily?