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On November 20, 2016, SHK commented on Not on Target: A Retail Giant Struggles to Remain Relevant :

Interesting post on Target! I agree that Target still has a long way to go before it can compete effectively against rivals. Jason Goldberger, the Chief Digital Officer, recently left the company amidst lagging online growth relative to peers. The company will either need to grow through significant investment in digital or follow the strategy of Walmart, which recently acquired for $3.3 billion [1]. For now, it looks like the company is increasing its investment in capital projects, which is projected to be $2 billion in 2017 [2]. It will be interesting to see how these changes impact the business.


On November 20, 2016, SHK commented on Tesco: A digital transformation :

Thanks for a great post! It’s interesting to see how advanced Tesco is compared to US grocery retailers, especially with its online delivery platform. I think the biggest advantage for Tesco here is the data they have been able to collect with its loyalty program. I agree with Katherine that the next step is creating personalized communication at the customer level to enhance the customer experience and increase traffic in stores. My concern here is Tesco’s ability to retain strong margins. Grocery retailers already face low margins, and I’m curious to know how these investments have impacted its performance.

On November 20, 2016, SHK commented on Domino’s: Pizza Giant, or Tech Startup? :

Thanks for a great post! While these technological innovations may help boost Domino’s returns in the short-term, I’m concerned about the long-term impact on the company. In my opinion, initiatives such as the DRU are short-term ploys that make customers curious enough to order a pizza. However, as you mentioned in your post, their pizza still ranks low in terms of preferences. Updating technology will only have short-term benefits if nothing is done to your underlying product. It’s also unclear how much drones will be regulated in the US, so I would be cautious with the amount of investment in this business unit.

Thanks for a great post! I’m also curious about the operational impacts of these initiatives. With over 150,000 employees, what was the implementation plan for this digital overhaul in all of its stores? Additionally, I recently read that Amazon is expected to surpass Macy’s as the largest apparel in the US next year through initiatives such as launching its own private label brands [1]. I’m curious to know how Macy’s plans to react to this threat. With the recent decision to close over 100 stores, are more store closures in sight for Macy’s? [2]


On November 20, 2016, SHK commented on Schlumberger: Innovating in a Low Price Environment :

Thanks for a great post! In a commodities business like oil & gas, it’s important for companies to continuously innovate and stay ahead of the curve. With oil prices bottoming out, Schlumberger is in a great position with its digital overhaul. I found it interesting that Schlumberger has also strengthened its innovation during this downturn with the acquisitions of companies such as Cameron and Omron Oilfield and Marine. The company has positioned itself with a suite of technology products. It will be interesting to see how successful the company is with the integration of these businesses and the impact these acquisitions have on existing operations.

On November 7, 2016, SHK commented on Chipotle’s Guacapocolypse :

I agree with the comments above. Chipotle’s brand emphasizes “food with integrity,” and it needs to defend its non-GMO stance. The issue is that the company held itself accountable to certain high standards, and it hasn’t been able to meet them. It’s a crucial time for the company to take a more public stance on its sustainability efforts rather than focusing on offering free burritos. The company should consider publishing a Sustainability Report to market some of the efforts mentioned above in Katherine’s post. Additionally, I think the company should create an independent committee to focus on its food and sustainability practices.

On November 7, 2016, SHK commented on The Climate Change Opportunity for Deloitte Consulting :

This is a really interesting article that shows how climate change can have a positive impact on an industry! It’s a great time for Deloitte to focus its efforts on sustainability consulting as the threat of climate change intensifies and regulation in the industry is changing the market landscape. With consulting practices racing to the top to be the market leader in sustainability advising, I agree with VCG that it will be difficult to find the talent to keep up with the need for these consultants. I think Deloitte will have to rely more on acquiring boutique consulting practices that already specialize in the space. This will not only give Deloitte access to talent, but it will also help give Deloitte first-mover advantage.

On November 7, 2016, SHK commented on Starbucks: the Arabica challenge :

It’s great to hear that Starbucks is coming to the forefront and developing innovative solutions to address climate change. The company’s efforts to partner with farmers and test coffee-growing practices will likely have a long-term, sustainable impact in the future. However, I also think there are quick wins the company can employ within its retail locations. For example, I recently read an article that Starbucks has been using misleading recycling claims, and that cups are actually not recyclable. The store likely uses billions of cups per year, and the company should work to make cups that contain recycled content. Additionally, the company should also encourage greater use of consumers bringing their own reusable mugs to retail locations.

On November 7, 2016, SHK commented on Hershey’s Profits May Melt as the Earth Warms :

Thanks for sharing Nancy! Interesting post on a major player in the industry and what they are doing to remain competitive. It’s scary to think that these issues will be happening as soon as 2030. Additionally, the impact on the environment as well as the lives of millions of farmers in the industry is devastating. Do you know what the company is doing to find new cropping areas? Additionally, have they done anything to develop alternative cropping strategies?

Also, I’m curious to see the role Hershey’s plays as a new CEO takes over in 2017.

On November 7, 2016, SHK commented on United’s Climate Change Challenge (642 Words) :

Interesting post on how a key player in the airline industry is approaching climate change. While I agree that United has little incentive to change and climate change is a controversial issue that can inhibit progress, I’m surprised more hasn’t been done in an industry that plays such a large role in the problem. While the cost may be high for companies to become more eco-friendly, many companies have taken greater ownership in seeking innovative solutions to lower their carbon footprint.

I’m curious to learn if United has received shareholder pressure to change its practices and play a larger role in the conversation. While these changes will likely flow down to the consumer in terms of more expensive ticket prices, I believe United should be more involved in the discussion, particularly if it wants to protect its brand image. I’m also curious to learn more about how other airlines are contributing to the conversation.