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On December 14, 2015, Pandanation commented on Shinola: Operating Model as Brand Asset :

In line with the above comment, could the diverse supplier base actually pose challenges as the company grows? Presumably, Shinola needs all its suppliers to supply the same quantity of their respective input to meet growing demand, but what happens if one supplier reaches capacity before another. Also, Shinola was founded and has taken off as Detroit too hit rock bottom and is rebuilding itself. As the economy in the city picks back up, is there a risk of labor costs increasing and turnover increasing? Shinola’s association with Detroit is also a large asset in the company’s operating model, but it is not one that the founder or anyone else can control – what happens if Detroit slips back into a recession or becomes so gentrified that it loses its “cool” appeal? What will happen to the brand equity and therefore the business?

On December 14, 2015, Pandanation commented on Allen Edmonds: An American Revolution :

I have to agree with the above comments regarding being wary of entering the clothing market. I’d be curious to understand if Allen Edmonds will try to go after a new consumer or leverage the existing customer base. Both customer bases present significant challenges that will require a superior product (there are a fair amount of other men’s clothing lines that are “made in America” or offer something unique) and significant investment (new suppliers, factories, distribution centers, etc.) to product. Additionally, the new customers will require significant investment to both acquire and then retain. This will likely take away from the profitability and focus on their core business, which they have just gotten back on track. It seems as though Allen Edmonds succeeded by being a first mover in this category at this price point offering a unique product that engaged emotionally with the customer. In my opinion, they are too late to the game for men’s apparel to replicate the business and should focus on their core business.

On December 14, 2015, Pandanation commented on Unilever: More Than a Just a Marketing Company :

Thanks Sinem! I would also be curious how Unilever plans to leverage this sustainability push to continue growing – are they banking on the fact that consumers will buy more of the product given the switch to sustainable packaging and production, or that they will attract new consumers? I’d also be curious what impact this initiative has on their profitability as a company. Shedding the under performing brands seems to be a step in the right direction, but in order for them to pursue sustainable growth, I presume their stockholders will also demand continued profitability. I will be very interested to see if other large CPG companies follow suit and shift their business models to mimic Unilever as well.

Super interesting business! I am curious what Peleton would say about the “atmosphere” which SoulCycle and FlyWheel cite as critical to the overall user experience. Although the classes you are watching on the tv are live and in the dark, what if you’re sitting in your house with the sun shining in and your kid running in and out? Are you going to get the same or even a similar experience, and if not, will you continue being a user?

Another concern would be the death of the other at-home workouts you cited above (Insanity, etc.) – what makes Peleton that much different other than the fact that cycling is trendy right now?

I hope that they can scale the business and grow to be in many households, but am curious how they will tackle these challenges.

On December 14, 2015, Pandanation commented on One Medical Group: Curing the process of healthcare delivery :

I am a One Medical convert and particularly appreciate the ease with which you can book an appointment and the limited wait time. However, I am curious to better understand how their model makes my healthcare costs cheaper (per the post)? For someone like me who maybe only visited the doctor 3-4 times in a year (assuming a $20 co-pay *4 = $80 / year), I am now paying $200 instead of the $80 I would have with another doctor. How does OneMedical value my aggravation and wait time and would they consider a tiered pricing model for less frequent visitors (like another comment mentions above)? Also, is this a family friendly business? More often than not, these young professionals that One Medical is capitalizing on now will eventually have families in the near future. I never noticed any kids in the offices I visited in the last four years, and wonder if this is a missed opportunity for them as they might lose customers once they have families and want a “one stop shop.”

On December 14, 2015, Pandanation commented on GNC – Supplementation Gone Wrong :

Do you believe that Vitamin Shoppe (GNC’s largest competitor) is suffering from similar shortcomings of large brick and mortar presence, low e-commerce penetration and lack of vertical integration? I would be curious how they are performing to understand if GNC’s recent stumble is an operating model issue or perhaps a management or other issue.

GNC also has a very high franchise rate, so I would be curious how their company owned stores are performing versus franchised stores – perhaps the company owned stores are providing more of an “experience” than the franchised stores and those are driving down their same store sales?

It seems like in the age of e-commerce, and the increasing trust associated with reviews and “experts”, that GNC has to more narrowly define its customer if it wants to maintain brick and mortar presence and perhaps cater to them with fewer, more experiential stores while growing their online presence and boosting those sales and adoption with Key Opinion Leaders.