Michelle Czarniak

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On December 1, 2017, Michelle Czarniak commented on Whole Foods Market: Feeling a Bit… Under the Weather? :

Marissa, well done, and great topic. The two questions you posed reminded reminded me a lot of our IKEA case. As companies continue to grow and expand resources and infrastructure, inevitably, the impact on the environment also grows. I was surprised by the quote from John Mackey downplaying the gravity of climate change, which does not seem to align with all the measures that Whole Foods takes to be environmentally friendly. On the other hand, I am a little skeptical by the impact that these sustainability measures that IKEA and WFM make. While I do agree that other less thoughtful or careful measures would render more damage to the environment, the damage to waste creation, forrest clearing, air pollution, and global warming is still increasing as these companies continue to grow. We debated the authenticity of IKEA’s motives and intent, and I think the same can be considered for WFM. In order to minimize bad press or image, both companies need to continue to pursue and promote these types of measures in order to show consumers, competitors, and public regulation agencies that they are at least trying to do what they can to do the right thing.

On December 1, 2017, Michelle Czarniak commented on Delhi, my grandmother cannot breathe! :

Wow, what an interesting read! I traveled to Delhi earlier this year, and I was amazed by the number of cars on the road, whether personal vehicles or taxi cabs. I was also amazed at the number of trucks and transport vehicles on the highways around Delhi. And while the latter may not be as equally prevalent in the city (just an observation from my limited time in the city), I think that they also exacerbate the situation. When I lived in Seoul, there was sometimes a haze in the air, which was dubbed “yellow dust” or “yellow sand.” While some was due to pollution drift from China, there is also significant contribution from coal plants, an excessive amount of cars on the road, and industrial plants. [1] As the pollution expands beyond Delhi and into other cities, I think there will be a increased need to focus on measures to encourage clean economic development. India is a bustling emerging market, and I think that investing in companies that make clean emission cars would be a great opportunity for not just India, but also other countries in Southeast Asia. Expanding Delhi’s transportation network, focused on clean technology, would indeed require heavy capital investment in infrastructure and take time to innovate and build, but I think this is also a way to decrease the volume of traffic on the streets in the long term. Perhaps enacting a tax to own a high pollution emitting private vehicle in Delhi would also limit the number of private cars on the road and encourage more people to use more accessible transportation.

On December 1, 2017, Michelle Czarniak commented on Will Cash Always Be King? What Does It Mean for ATMs? :

I loved your topic, Pranay. I have been really surprised to see how quickly many developed and western countries are switching to a cashless system. The majority of the times that I have pulled out cash from an ATM have been as a traveler to foreign countries or when paying for goods at small mom and pop shops (US included) or in a rare taxi cab. I think that the demand and need for ATM’s in developing nations will continue, as transactions in many parts of the world are still based on cash. Additionally, international travelers may not be able to complete some transactions with cards because of the lack integration in types of banking and POS equipment, rendering cash necessary to complete the sale. I agree with many comments above and your thoughts on investing in technology since NCR needs to think about how to innovate and remain a player in the business world as developing nations become more sophisticated and digital.

On December 1, 2017, Michelle Czarniak commented on CVS Health: Can It Disrupt the Health Care Sector and Beat Amazon? :

Very insightful read, and I was surprised to learn about the size of CVS Health. I thought Leigh had an interesting comment about anti-trust issues, and I wonder if this could create any delays in approval of the CVS Health-AETNA merger, creating a window of larger opportunity for Amazon to swoop in. I was not surprised to hear that Amazon recently gained regulatory approval to be a wholesale prescription drug distributor in parts of the US, and this concerns me. Because Amazon has the existing infrastructure to quickly penetrate the market of prescription drug delivery without any major capital investments, CVS is smart to gear up with defensive measures to address this challenge and competitor through venture for same day delivery of prescriptions. Another challenge that CVS will have to endure is the high cost and the time it may take to bring the service up to speed, and it’s now entering the delivery part of the supply chain.

On December 1, 2017, Michelle Czarniak commented on Will On-Demand Food Delivery Kill the Chipotle Burrito Line? :

Nice job Jessica, and entertaining read! I think the partnership with Postmates is a step in the right direction towards going digital, but I do worry about decreases to in-store dining. As more and more consumers turn to online ordering and apps for delivery, the convenience allows consumers to either grab and go or time the delivery of their order to when they’re going to be home for dinner or even have food delivery to a favorite hang-out with friends. Because burrito’s are small, compact, and can be eaten without a fork or nice, it does not necessitate eating in a restaurant. Additionally, while ordering in the restaurant does allow the consumer the opportunity to customize their meal in real-time, the dine-in experience is nothing to write home about.
This reminded me of the small Domino’s restaurant down the street from my apartment, and I think Chipotle could also benefit from piloting a small restaurant that focuses on processing orders for pick-ups, delivery, and a handful of diners. This could cut costs by relieving pressure from the second “make-line” and managing lower fixed costs stores with lower labor costs.

On November 28, 2017, Michelle Czarniak commented on RE/MAX: How to Stay Relevant in the Age of Digitization :

Excellent read, and thank you for writing about a topic that many of us can relate to as (hopeful) homeowners and perpetual renters. I think you’re spot on that RE/MAX needs to justify the value they bring to the seller, but I’m not sure add-on services may be the most effective. As a first-time seller who might not have any exposure to what services a realtor provides, I would probably guess that the commission is an “all-in” type of fee that covers any service the realtor needs to provide to sell my property. However, by unbundling services like staging, open houses, and detailed home valuations, I would feel like I was being nickel-and-dimed by the agency and question what service they actually do provide. With MLS data now available at the fingertips of both buyers and sellers through the internet, companies like Redfin will inevitably replace human labor with digital interface. Like your allusion to travel agents! RE/MAX might be best served by acquiring the competition that will eventually lead to their demise.