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On December 14, 2015, TH commented on IKEA: High End Design for All :

Thanks for the write up Damon. Ikea has fascinated me for a while. Interesting how they have used their data insights as a competitive advantage. I’ve heard that they are also able to save a ton on logistical costs due to the shapes/sizes of their boxes – they are optimized for low-cost shipping and compatibility in truckloads. I also think that they’re presentation in stores is very important to increase demand. The approach to show how things would be used in a certain part of the house is a really unique and interesting set up that likely contributes to overall demand. Every time I go there, I am interested in all the people who are touching and experimenting with the displays. These seems like a vital part of their model too.

On December 14, 2015, TH commented on Redbox – “Disruptor” Finally Disrupted :

Will, really enjoyed the write up and analysis, thanks. I feel like I have personally made the shift from using Redbox more to using online streaming more. The main reason for me wasn’t purely convenience of streaming, but also earlier availability of movies. I’m not sure if this was a function of poor servicing by the local Redboxes near my home, or if there are different rules regarding the timing of releases for digital/hard copy, but there were a few occasions when I could rent something online that was not yet available at a Redbox near me. In either case, both would exacerbate the falling demand for physical DVD rentals that you highlighted. I also just checked out the stock and saw that it was at an all-time high in July 2015 before losing more than 50% of its value until now. Why do you think some investors missed this trend? Interested to see what strategy Redbox pursues now…

On December 14, 2015, TH commented on Chick-Fil-A: The Top-Performing Fast-Food Chain :

Thanks Mark. I think it will be interesting as well to see how the Chick-Fil-A does in NYC too.

On December 14, 2015, TH commented on Chick-Fil-A: The Top-Performing Fast-Food Chain :

Thanks Christine. I think you make an interesting point in regards to service time. I didn’t find anything about that on their site and from personal experience, it doesn’t seem like they push that too much. My guess is that as long as it’s not considerably longer than other places, customers probably won’t care that much about time, but will care more about quality and friendly service/atmosphere. Funny story about your colleague… I definitely know some die hard Chick-Fil-A fans too.

On December 14, 2015, TH commented on Chick-Fil-A: The Top-Performing Fast-Food Chain :

Thanks Sidharth. You do need to try it! There are a couple in the greater Boston area. Agree with your points above.

On December 14, 2015, TH commented on Chick-Fil-A: The Top-Performing Fast-Food Chain :

Yes, it is amazing. I didn’t know that they consider it a competitive advantage, but I buy it…commit to the employees and they will in turn commit to you and to customers.

On December 14, 2015, TH commented on EasyJet: Making Travel Easy and Affordable :

Very interesting model, thanks for writing this Alberto. My wife and I flew on EasyJet frequently when we lived in Europe. They seemed to have found a middle-ground between the real budget airlines such as RyanAir and the main carriers. I think it was really important to differentiate themselves from RyanAir by renting gates at primary airports instead of smaller more remote ones like RyanAir normally does. I can think of a few times when I personally bought EasyJet over RyanAir just because RyanAir flew out of remote airports that were hard to reach. Very impressive how they have been able to cut costs relative to competitors. I heard a talk a few months ago by the founder of an airline here in the US, called Beacon, and he said that all of the major US airlines had already cut costs down to essentially minimums and that they couldn’t have a competitive advantage over others by cutting costs. Interesting that in Europe it is different. Also interesting that the US doesn’t yet have real budget airlines. We have Southwest and others, but they are still a pretty penny compared to EasyJet RyanAir fares of 10 Euro (on occasion). I am still wondering about these things…