Lia Prendergast

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On December 14, 2015, Lia Prendergast commented on Deliveroo: Michelin-starred dining at home :

I used Deliveroo in London and agree that it has potential. What I struggle with, though, is the concept of “Michelin-starred dining at home”. Frankly, I go to a Michelin starred restaurant because the food is served to me hot, and fresh, and the ambience is probably great too. It just doesn’t taste the same (e.g., as warm) by the time it gets to your living room in a cardboard box, having been biked across the neighborhood. When Deliveroo first launched it mainly had higher-end restaurants in my area and I couldn’t justify paying full price for what was not a “Michelin star experience”.

I feel like the growth will end up coming from lower and mid-range restaurants rather than high-end (unless there is a sufficient supply of price insensitive office employees working late…)

On December 14, 2015, Lia Prendergast commented on UNIQLO: What’s behind the low-cost high-quality casual wears? :

@ MRI, interesting what you say about competing with North Face, Patagonia etc.. I visited a Uniqlo yesterday with the hope of picking up ski gloves and ski socks, and they had nothing to offer. It seems like an obvious adjacent category for them to move into but I can’t see much evidence of it in their stores so far.

On December 14, 2015, Lia Prendergast commented on Instacart: Changing the game for groceries :

Great post! I can’t help but think that the reason Instacart has been so successful in the US is that the large grocers just don’t have the infrastructure yet to fulfil online orders quickly and effectively. Building out that back-end takes time, and of course investment. I have no doubt that online grocery will continue to grow, and the grocers will be forced to react.

I just wonder how defensible the Instacard model really is. Can’t help but think that when the US catches up with more developed online grocery markets such as the UK, grocers such as Walmart, Trader Joes and Wholefoods will be offering quick, easy delivery at a low price… and Instacart will risk disintermediation.

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

I don’t think there’s a marked difference in quality perception between Aldi and Lidl in the UK – both have come out with a number of “premium” SKUs in recent years targeting middle class shoppers. And last month Lidl opened a “store of the future” in Rushden (UK) which had a number of elements targeting middle class shoppers (e.g., an expanded wine offer, a larger fresh section etc.). This suggests that as they grow they are considering two store formats – the traditional hard discount model, and a more upmarket model for middle-class areas. I’m sure that the new model will also have a ruthlessly efficient operating model.

It’s interesting what you say about the trend towards low priced food coming at the expense of farmers. What I saw when working in the industry is that the large supermarkets have “invested in price”, i.e., they take $$ and pump subsidize prices of key lines. Thus, not all price decreases actually flow through to the suppliers.

You’re right about France – Carrefour did a great job of keeping discounters at bay; discounters’ share never grew as much as in the UK. One of the things they did was introduce “discount ranges / aisles” in their stores that disincentivized switching.