Join us for VISIONS Summit NYC Β - June 11
Episode 120
August 9, 2019

Meatless Mania

"I love you, you love me, Barney's filing bank-rupt-cy!" PLUS: who is the vegan-curious Subway customer? Listen now!

<iframe height="52px" width="100%" frameborder="no" scrolling="no" seamless src=""></iframe>

this episode sponsored by

🎢"I love you, you love me, Barney's filing bank-rupt-cy!" PLUS: who is the vegan-curious Subway customer? Listen now!

Main Takeaways:

  • Vice President of Global E-Commerce and Customer Experience at e.l.f Cosmetics, Ingrid Millman, is co-hosting with Brian and Phillip this week.
  • Barneys New York has filed for bankruptcy but does this spell the end for the high-end department store model?
  • The perception of luxury is shifting with younger generations and brands that don't change with the times will eventually phase out.
  • AriZona Iced Tea has partnered with a cannabis brand and the pairing could be a benchmark for the future of cannabis retail.

Barneys Is Bankrupt: Tough Times for High-End Department Stores:

  • Barneys New York has filed for bankruptcy (no Phillip, not the dinosaur) Β and Ingrid captures up all of our inner feelings by saying that the Sex and the City characters within all of us are saddened by the news.
  • Brian has surprisingly never seen Sex and the City, so Ingrid makes him take a Buzzfeed quiz which yields surprising results.
  • There is a rapid expansion of markets that don't make sense for the Barneys brand that has succeeded at being a single store in New York.
  • Ingrid states that it is a tough time for high-end department stores and brings up how other big names in high-end department stores (like Henri Bendel) have been closing.

Discovery on Instagram: Are Department Stores Dead?:

  • Brian rebuttals by saying there have been many luxury stores that have been very successful in taking their business online.
  • "The department store was traditionally the place where discovery happened, but now discovery happens on Instagram."
  • With the advent of social media and the tailoring of advertisements that accompanies it, Instagram knows more about you than a department store ever would.
  • Brian guesses that Barneys Warehouse could have been a contributing factor in Barneys' demise because a lot of what Barneys sold was sold at a discount at Barneys Warehouse.

The Cannibalization of High-End Pricing: What is the Cost of Discounting?:

  • Phillip points out that the concept of doubling down on your high-end inventory before you make the addition of discount products to your brand has never been talked about on the show before.
  • A recent article mentioned that the Nordstrom family wants to increase its ownership of Nordstrom beyond 50% as a result of their plummeting sales.
  • There are a lot of luxury brands that cannibalize their full price sales by selling through discount outlets such as Nordstrom Rack.
  • Phillip states that casualization in the workplace and a shift in the perception of luxury are contributing factors to the failing high-end department model.

The Flash Sale Model: Disillusionment Through Discount:

  • Ingrid attributes the financial recession around 2008 as the advent of flash sale type brands such as Giltand these discounted luxury goods removed some of the enchantment that was associated with luxury goods.
  • The older generations are typically buying the traditionally high-end brands and if those brands do not take notice of the buying habits of younger consumers, they will being to age out.
  • Phillip identifies Barneys as a cultural icon that he would have previously considered too big to fail, but it will have to change dramatically to stay around.
  • Brian points out the continuing trend of brands that are struggling even though they are trying to innovate such as Walgreens having to close hundreds of stores.

The Competitive Edge: Battling Against Giants:

  • CVS has announced a paid offering called Carepass that promises discounts, free shipping, and prescription delivery for about half the price of Amazon Prime. (Funny how this announcement lines up with Walgreen's announcing their store closings...)
  • Brian predicts that we will begin to see more offerings like this from different brands popping up to compete with Amazon.
  • Disney+, ESPN+, and Hulu will be bundled for $12.99 and Phillip points out that we've come full circle and are back to where we started: with basic cable.
  • Phillip is excited to try something aside from Netflix because he only watches The Office.

Mountains of Digital Waste: The Ruins of Digital Civilization:

  • Ingrid is very into all of the cooking shows on Netflix such as The Great British Bakeoff, Chef's Table, and The Final Table.
  • Brian states that he wishes you could just buy the equipment that was being shown on the cooking shows while watching. (Or the shoes right off of Carrie's feet. RIght, Brian?)
  • Streaming Service Linear Commerce is the ability to purchase products directly from digital media as it is being displayed in various programs.
  • Phillip recently heard about "the mountains of digital waste" we create that we use for a moment and then never again, but it will exist forever in data houses that require fossil fuels to be powered.

Recycle Commerce: Single-Use Plastics As Sustainable Currency?:

  • Brian gets excited about being able to swap plastic bottles for a train ticket in Rome as part of a 12-month program called "Ricicli + Viaggi," or Recycle + Travel that aims to reduce the usage of single-use plastics.
  • Ingrid has a conspiracy theory and is worried that this program will have an opposite effect and make people buy more plastic bottles because they will be able to use them to get train tickets.
  • S'well recently announced food storage containers and Phillip thinks that they are really pretty.
  • Brian loves the idea of sustainable currency and wonders why we can't factor other things in such as adding a carbon offset value to everything we purchase. (Credit to Phillip for that idea.)

Weed and Iced Tea: The Pairing You Never New You Wanted:

Beyond Meat: Major Food Chains Are Exploring Meatless Options:

  • Subway is going to be testing out plant-based Meatball Marinara sandwiches at select locations.
  • Subway is not alone in their shift towards meatless options as Del Taco, Burger King, Tim Hortons, and Little Caesar's are all going to have Beyond Meat or Impossible Burger options.
  • Ingrid brings up that there are tons of people that are interested in reducing the amount of meat they consume or going meatless but they live in areas where those options are not readily available. (Brian lovingly dubs these areas "Meatless Deserts".)
  • Phillip brings up a Twitter thread from Charlie Bilello that chronicles the rise of Beyond Meat and the numbers are incredibly indicative towards the success of meatless products.
  • Both Brian and Ingrid share some love for Oatly and how their marketing is making oat milk look like the coolest thing ever.

Brands Mentioned in this Episode:

As always: We want to hear what our listeners think! Where do you see the high-end department store model in five years? Is cannabis a sustainable business model when it comes to partnering with non-cannabis brands?

Have any questions or comments about the show? Let us know on, or reach out to us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or LinkedIn. We love hearing from our listeners!

Retail Tech is moving fast, but Future Commerce is moving faster.

Download MP3 (46.1 MB)


Ingrid: [00:00:00] Welcome to Future Commerce, the podcast about cutting edge and next generation commerce. I'm Ingrid.‍

Phillip: [00:00:05] I'm Phillip.‍

Brian: [00:00:06] And I'm Brian. And today, we've got a lot of cool stuff ahead. So much stuff, for instance, Barneys is bankrupt, but Arizona Iced Tea is getting into weed.‍

Ingrid: [00:00:22] All is right in the world.‍

Phillip: [00:00:25] So Barney's like the purple dinosaur? Is that what we're talking about?‍

Brian: [00:00:30] No. This is the perfect like contrast that we have this week where we have a true iconic, like so iconic, high end fashion retailer, luxury fashion retailer that's hit Chapter 11. And...‍

Ingrid: [00:00:50] Ugh.‍

Brian: [00:00:52] I know. It's sad. I want to hear Ingrid's take here on this. But that's contrasted with the lowest of low end brand expanding their product offering.‍

Phillip: [00:01:04] Yeah. [00:01:05] An iced tea for [00:01:08] twenty five years and counting. Yeah. Yeah, yeah, yeah. There is a whole other story there around the Arizona thing but I don't want to... We'll get to... We'll get to it. We'll get to it.‍

Brian: [00:01:21] Well...‍

Phillip: [00:01:21] Barney's. Hot takes.‍

Brian: [00:01:23] Yeah, let's start with Barneys. Good call. Ingrid, what does this mean to you?‍

Ingrid: [00:01:27] The Sex and the City character inside each and every one of us is a little bit sadder today. Phil, which Sex and the City character are you?‍

Phillip: [00:01:41] I think everybody wants to be a Samantha. Which is what I was saying. I think I'm a Carrie. You said that I was...‍

Ingrid: [00:01:51] No, everyone wants to be a Carrie

‍Phillip: [00:01:53] Is that true?

Ingrid: [00:01:54] Yeah, I think so. Samantha is... I dig that you want to be Samantha. I think she's the coolest. I mean, hands down. But like, everyone wants to be the Carrie.

‍Brian: [00:02:06] You guys are crazy. I don't even know...‍

Phillip: [00:02:09] Who are you, Brian?‍

Brian: [00:02:10] I don't know. I don't watch Sex and the City.‍

Ingrid: [00:02:13] We know how to find out. Here we go. BuzzFeed... Which Sex and the City character...?‍

Brian: [00:02:21] Did you just google a BuzzFeed article about...?‍

Ingrid: [00:02:24] I sure did. Yeah. Yeah. I mean, we gotta find out.‍

Phillip: [00:02:28] This is what Future Commerce has come to is we're doing quizzes from BuzzFeed live on the show.‍

Brian: [00:02:32] This is how Ingrid opens the show. ‍

Phillip: [00:02:32] I love it. This is great youthful energy. Youthful energy. That's what I said.‍

Ingrid: [00:02:40] I love it. Okay. So we're going to we're going to do just a couple of these real quick.‍

Brian: [00:02:45] Wait we're really doing this? We're going to really actually...‍

Ingrid: [00:02:47] Oh yeah. Right now at live on the podcast.

‍Brian: [00:02:48] Oh, my gosh.‍

Phillip: [00:02:49] I'm gonna call it. I think. Brian is Samantha. But I'm just getting on the record.‍

Ingrid: [00:02:56] OK. I'm going to go with Charlotte on Brian.‍

Phillip: [00:03:00] Oh. OK. I could see that.‍

Brian: [00:03:01] I have no idea what you're talking about right now.‍

Ingrid: [00:03:03] Brian. Brian. Brian. You met a new guy. How do you introduce him to your friends? 1)This is Mike, my boyfriend. 2)This is Mike. Mike, meet the girls. 3)You don't introduce new guys to your friends. 4)Ladies, this is Mike. He's a doctor.‍

Brian: [00:03:22] None of the above.‍

Phillip: [00:03:24] That's not an option, Brian. Brian, play the game.‍

Ingrid: [00:03:27] Yeah. Play the game.‍

Brian: [00:03:30] Fine. I pick 2. ‍

Ingrid: [00:03:31] "This is Mike. Meet the girls." Great. Fabulous. Next, it's 6 p.m.. What are you doing? 1)Winks. Still at work. (I mean, it's BuzzFeed.) OK, it's still at work. 2)Getting a pedicure, 3)Working out.

‍Phillip: [00:03:44] Brian's working at 6:00 p.m... Shut up, Brian. I know you. You're working at 6pm. Moving on. ‍

Ingrid: [00:03:48] OK. Moving on. Where is their ideal vacation? 1)New York City 2)Los Angeles 3)London 4)Paris.‍

Brian: [00:03:55] Paris.‍

Ingrid: [00:03:55] OK. Choose a drink. 1)Cosmopolitan 2)Vodka tonic 3)Scotch on the rocks 4)Water‍

Brian: [00:04:00] Scotch on the rocks.‍

Phillip: [00:04:04] Drum roll...‍

Ingrid: [00:04:08] You are Miranda! ‍

Brian: [00:04:08] I freaked you all out. I totally...‍

Phillip: [00:04:11] He was to invested the whole way through.‍

Ingrid: [00:04:15] I'm taking a screen grab of this result, so that I can send it to you guys, and we can put it on social media and explain that Brian is indeed a Miranda. And that is so sad.‍

Phillip: [00:04:25] It won't be in the show.

‍Brian: [00:04:27] Gosh.‍

Phillip: [00:04:28] Oh, my gosh.

‍Brian: [00:04:30] What have I done to myself?

Phillip: [00:04:33] Ok. All right. So we went through all that to say, you know, there is...‍

Brian: [00:04:38] Bye bye, Barneys.‍

Phillip: [00:04:39] There is nostalgia around Barneys troubles. But I think that there is probably another story here where it looks like someone might swoop in and give them a second chance at life.‍

Ingrid: [00:04:53] I hope so. That would make me happy.‍

Brian: [00:04:58] It's gonna happen. It has to happen. It's too iconic. I mean, if someone's going to swoop in and save Kmart, someone's going to swoop in and save Barneys.‍

Ingrid: [00:05:06] Although [00:05:07] Net-a-Porter [00:05:07] is sitting in the corner, just tapping its foot, waiting for them to exit, stage left.‍

Phillip: [00:05:13] Right. There is an interesting Twitter thread around how Barney's got itself into trouble, which we will link up in the show notes. I think that there was sort of a rapid expansion in markets that don't really make sense for Barneys, as a brand. The idea was around this particular Twitter thread, which I'm trying to source as we speak, but being in Las Vegas and in Seattle, probably not on brand, being a single store or a small chain in New York makes a lot of sense for a brand like Barneys. And maybe that's what we see is them sort of refocus. So might be interesting.‍

Ingrid: [00:06:01] Yeah. No, that's a good point. I think that the only... I have a small counter point in that you see the other model is like Bergdorf, which was bought out by Neiman Marcus. But they were not doing great. Still, I don't think they're doing particularly great. And then Henri Bendel, also a really sad New York casualty of a high end department store. Just it's tough times for high end department stores.‍

Phillip: [00:06:28] I think, having been to the department store of the future now. I went to SHOWFIELDS, and so now I'm an expert on all things modern and direct to consumer, and I think department stores in general maybe are just not a modern category. It's gonna be something that's really tough to lure people into.‍

Ingrid: [00:06:53] Yeah. Challenging. I know what Brian's going to say. Brian's going to bring up Nordstrom. Ready, three, two, one... Nordstrom.‍

Brian: [00:06:58] No. {laughter} Nice try. Nice call. I should have brought up Nordstrom, but I was gonna bring up actually direct to consumer, luxury direct to consumer, I feel like is killing it. There are too many luxury stores that have done a great job of building out their own brick and mortar and online presences. I don't think that it was at the level that it is now, you know, 20 years ago. And so that seems like part of it. I also feel like...‍

Phillip: [00:07:31] No, no, no. Don't move off that. You just blew my mind. I think you're right. The reason... So if you want the Future Commerce take, my take is the department store at one point in time, culturally, was the place that discovery happened, and discovery now happens in Instagram. You don't need a department store to go and be wowed about all the things that you didn't know that existed in the world, or to find competitors to certain types of products and get to see them next to each other and compare and contrast them, or find a fragrance that you didn't know that existed. All of those things are being given to you by influencers and by brands who are paying top dollar to be in your feed. And they're being curated for you because they actually, Instagram knows more about you than Bergdorf ever would.‍

Ingrid: [00:08:24] That's right. That's such a brilliant point. Totally.‍

Phillip: [00:08:28] Yeah. So Instagram is the new department store. And I think, Brian, you're 100% right. Director to consumer is the new department store, but it's just happening in other platforms. That's what it is.‍

Brian: [00:08:39] Right. And I think there's also a discount angle to this. I think that Barneys may have caused themselves some trouble with Barneys warehouse because Barneys was such an iconic high end brand for so long, and I know Warehouse has been around for a long time, but I think that a lot more stuff moved to Warehouse more quickly than maybe it used to. And I think consumers caught on, and I've definitely shopped at, but I've never shopped at Barneys. Because I think that they introduced a lot of their house brands... There's a lot of what they have that you can get at a discount now. You don't have to pay full price. And the level of margins that they're running... I just I think that there's... I think that all of luxury is facing a bit of a problem.‍

Ingrid: [00:09:33] Yeah. I actually think the warehouse model and the discounted model is almost necessary for these high end retailers to stay alive, but I think where Barneys may have gone wrong is they only invested and only really pushed their warehouse and discounted brands, and they almost like ignored their big, flagship, full price, luxury market, and I think that's maybe like... If you're going to go do the discount route, you have to like triple down on your main product offering, or else that is going to be what you turn into, and then as a luxury brand, it's just kind of like kiss of death.‍

Brian: [00:10:22] Yeah, right. All of a sudden the luxury brand itself is not necessary. You can get everything, or not everything but, a large enough selection discounted. Why would you ever shop full price?‍

Phillip: [00:10:34] There's another thing to be said that, we're only talking about that right now? I don't think this has ever come up on the show before. I think it's a salient point. But the only reason that we're talking about that is because of the bankruptcy story, because it's not an interesting... It's not a data point that we care about otherwise. And we would be talking about Nordstrom Rack if it were Nordstrom. But that's not the Nordstrom story right now. So we're not talking about that right now.‍

Brian: [00:11:04] It might be the Nordstrom story right now. Nordstrom's, you know, it's not been their best few years, so...‍

Phillip: [00:11:12] I mean, there was a story this week, I think it's been drowned out by the Barneys news, that the founding family's looking to increase their ownership beyond 50%, again, to take it back in house.‍

Ingrid: [00:11:25] They've been trying to do that for years.‍

Phillip: [00:11:27] Yeah.

‍Brian: [00:11:28] Yeah.‍

Phillip: [00:11:30] Anyway.‍

Brian: [00:11:31] I think there is a bigger story here. We have talked about the cannibalization of high end pricing before a little bit. But I do think there is a bigger story here. I think this is true, not just for department stores, but also I think there's a lot of luxury brands, and a few of them come to mind, some jeans companies, that really cannibalized their full price sales with selling through Nordstrom Rack and other places. And maybe they couldn't even control it necessarily. But I do think that the discount side of high end retail has been a big problem, for sure.‍

Phillip: [00:12:08] There are two other market factors, too. Ingrid, I wonder what you think about this. There's a casualisation of the workplace, which I think is at play.‍

Ingrid: [00:12:16] Absolutely.‍

Phillip: [00:12:18] Where you have.. Maureen Sullivan, who's the COO of Rent the Runway, was at Commerce Next last week. She was just talking about how the average woman in the workplace used to spend 3% of her income on clothing. But now with casualisation, she actually buys separates. And so her spend has gone up to 6%, which is not the same sort of a level of spend that a man would spend. So separates has actually caused a tax. Where she might wear a dress, you know, in years past or something, it's this really interesting dynamic. I wonder if just that skew alone moves the needle for Neiman, Nordstrom, Barneys, and the like. And I think the other thing that might be at play is luxury is different now.‍

Ingrid: [00:13:11] Yes.

‍Phillip: [00:13:12] People my age who have been in the workforce for 17, 18 years and have disposable income to start buying premium, are buying sneakers. They're they're buying streetwear, and they're spending money on experiences. And they're not buying... They're not trying to to find somebody who has a Birkin bag. And that's what... It's all shifted and it shifted, you know, in a way that nobody really expected in these categories.‍

Ingrid: [00:13:41] Yeah, I think that's such a valid point. I mean, both points. But, I'll speak to the latter point first. So when we're thinking about the timeline of the uptick in discounted brands or luxury coming in at a discount, you know, you think about the financial recession, right? In like 2008 to like 2012, and all of that time in between. And then even there after, that's when we started seeing like Gilt Groupe come out and all of these flash sales.‍

Phillip: [00:14:15] Β [00:14:17]Rest in peace.‍

Ingrid: [00:14:17] Β [00:14:17]Rest in peace, right.

‍Ingrid: [00:14:18] And then all of the other big luxury brands had to sit up and take notice and people just didn't have the same level of luxury. And then all of the people who are now getting to a place where they have much more disposable income. You know, our generation is not as enchanted with it as it as they once were, and certainly not in the same way. So even if you're spending, you're certainly spending money on nice things, but they're sneakers, they're streetwear. But then, so that's that one side of the market. But then you still have the traditional, older generation who's like 55 and up, who are still buying really the old style designer clothes. But you don't want to like age and die with your consumer. And so brands that are ahead of their time, so like Balenciaga, and all of the... Or Louis Vuitton...‍

Phillip: [00:15:18] For sure.‍

Ingrid: [00:15:18] And all the brands that have embraced hip hop culture and seen A$AP Rocky as a form of inspiration and our dressing... LVMH taking up with Rihanna, like all of these people really are just the next generation of luxury tastemakers, and are actually the current generation of luxury tastemakers. But our generation is paying much more attention to that. And I think the luxury stores and department stores and brands who are sitting up and taking notice of that are just really cashing in. But the ones that were so slow to to move and see the times and are still going for that older consumer because it's just safe and comfortable... Those are the ones that are going to age out continuously.‍

Brian: [00:16:05] That's an interesting point. That's a really interesting point.‍

Phillip: [00:16:09] This might be the strangest pace to a show ever that I'm getting chills after we just had a whole Sex and the City bit. But that was... This is good because anybody can go back and look at financials, and that's just not what we do. I am interested because I just identify with Barneys as sort of like a cultural icon and, you know, I don't know, too big to fail. It's one of those sort of... Barneys will be around. I don't think Barneys is going anywhere. Barney's, as we know it right now, is going to have to change dramatically. But it's an interesting thing.‍

Brian: [00:16:53] Well, and also, I mean, this is part of the larger trend we've been seeing. I mean, this is actually, this is not the beginning of the retail apocalypse. This is the continuation. This is I mean, maybe Barneys is just, you know, another one that's... I think we've made some good points. But I think that there's just a continued trend around retailers that are struggling in general, ones that didn't innovate, but even ones that did like Walgreens. Walgreens has been doing some pretty interesting stuff. And they were closing 200 stores in the U.S. and they just closed 200 stores in the U.K., or they announced it prior. Walgreens is one of those you know, it's one of those brands that I feel like we've talked about a few times on the show as doing some interesting innovative things and being where the customer is. And yet even they have too much of a footprint and they've got a contract.‍

Phillip: [00:17:53] Yeah.‍

Brian: [00:17:54] So.‍

Phillip: [00:17:55] But you notice when when they announce it, it's like they're waiting for the Barneys news and for [00:18:01] tariffs [00:18:02] and this contraction has, I think, already happened. And the way that it's being released or being timed is so that it doesn't have a broader effect on the economy. It's like it's timed on the day that the Dow has the worst single day in 2019. It's timed. We're going to see more of this news, but it's always going to be timed conveniently for when it's going to have the least amount of economic impact or, you know, to the to shareholders, too. So if you're going to time the announcement of a contraction and Walgreens/Boots, then you're gonna do that, you know... ‍

Brian: [00:18:37] Wait you're saying that they had preplanned to wait until the Dow was down, and then?‍

Phillip: [00:18:42] Yes, 100% Yes.‍

Brian: [00:18:45] OK. Interesting.‍

Phillip: [00:18:45] 100 percent. Emphatically. Yes.‍

Ingrid: [00:18:46] Yes. I think I agree with you on that.‍

Phillip: [00:18:51] Yeah. And I think we see more of that than we all realize, and we only can... It's hard to recognize because unfortunately in the United States of America, you know, we lock children up and then when we're not locking them up at our borders, you know, we shoot them at garlic festivals. But that's a whole other thing. We just we have such a pace of news and bad news that this can get out of our system in 24 hours. The Walgreens thing, I'm ashamed to say, didn't even show up on my radar until it was in the show notes because that's how the news cycle works. Yeah. And and it's it's. Yeah. Anyway, sorry. We should probably not go there on this show. But you're right, it's less than 3% of the 10,000 locations in the United States, it's you know, it's such a small number.

‍Brian: [00:19:47] It's interesting that CVS also announced their subscription service, or like their version of Amazon Prime, the same week as well. Did you see that? CVS announced a paid offering where you get free shipping and a variety of other benefits that come along with it. It's like free one day or two day shipping, free pharmacy, free med shipping and a few other benefits, some discounts and things like that. And it's like half the price of Amazon.‍

Ingrid: [00:20:23] Interesting. ‍

Phillip: [00:20:25] I really want to try to be excited about that, but I can't possibly muster it.‍

Ingrid: [00:20:29] {laughter}‍

Brian: [00:20:30] No, no, no, no. I'm not that excited about it. It's just interesting that, you know, we're seeing these kinds of announcements all at the same time. I'm not excited about it at all. I think that we're going to see more of these kinds of offerings pop up all over the place and for good reason. I think that, you know, as we predicted earlier this year, Amazon's feeling the heat this year. And retailers and brands have enough technology at their fingertips to sort of compete with Amazon now. And so I'm OK with CVS doing something like this. Is it exciting to me? Not really. Is it going to be successful? Probably not. But it's cool to see people start to make their way into things like this.‍

Phillip: [00:21:14] When everybody has Amazon Prime, nobody has Amazon Prime. And here's a segue for you. And when everybody has a streaming service, nobody has streaming service, because that's effectively what... Disney Plus is going to be bundled with Hulu and ESPN Plus for $12.99 a month. It's basic cable again, everybody that's capable.‍

Brian: [00:21:38] It's cable. You have Netflix, Amazon and then this crazy Disney bundle, and it's basically cable.‍

Phillip: [00:21:44] If only they could like wrap that all up into one convenient fee and put it in a box that I can just plug into my TV. {laughter} The wire is changed, but we're right back to where we started.‍

Ingrid: [00:21:56] I know it's just that's how they work. It's how they operate. They just take every little thing and they eat it up and then they sell it in this huge, wild bundle that no one's going to care about. I'm trying to think of the household that all of those things... I mean, I guess it's like...‍

Brian: [00:22:13] Mine.‍

Ingrid: [00:22:15] Oh, OK. Well, that's one out of three is good sample set.‍

Brian: [00:22:24] Yeah, we have Hulu. I would love ESPN Plus and Disney Plus would be awesome.‍

Phillip: [00:22:30] I'm definitely going Disney Plus if just for the Marvel content. Also, I'm like very tempted to want to see what life is like without Netflix. I've had it for 12 some years.‍

Brian: [00:22:43] Me too.‍

Phillip: [00:22:44] And I only watch The Office. I say it every episode. They're losing The Office anyway, so you should just cancel it.‍

Ingrid: [00:22:50] So I can't live without Netflix.

‍Phillip: [00:22:53] Really? So what are you watching on Netflix right now?‍

Brian: [00:22:57] Sex and the City. Obviously. ‍

Phillip: [00:23:02] It's not on Netflix.‍

Ingrid: [00:23:03] Yeah. You have to have HBO Go for that one. OK. What is on Netflix? I'm very into all of the cooking shows. Just can't get enough of them.‍

Phillip: [00:23:14] Great British Bake Off...‍

Ingrid: [00:23:15] All of them.‍

Phillip: [00:23:16] All of them.‍

Ingrid: [00:23:17] The one... Chef's table. I mean it's so good.‍

Phillip: [00:23:22] Alinea. Been to Alinea.‍

Ingrid: [00:23:25] Yeah. And there's the other one which is like the chefs that compete from all over the world. It's like the number one... I don't remember the name of it, but I'll get it for the show notes, but it's like a... There's like a great chef from, you know, Italy and China and Thailand, and they all compete against each other. It's just it's so good.‍

Brian: [00:23:46] Why can't you just buy the equipment that they're using on the show from the show?‍

Phillip: [00:23:51] Oh, this is the linear commerce Web Smith rant, right?

‍Brian: [00:23:56] Yeah, it's true. I agree with Web on this. Like, you should be able to just buy that equipment.‍

Phillip: [00:24:01] His original rant was like, "Why can't I just buy Stranger Things merchandise for my kids while I'm watching Stranger Things? Just let me click the button. Yeah, that's all I want.‍

Brian: [00:24:12] Not even click the button. Like just say I want to buy the knife on this...‍

Ingrid: [00:24:15] There's something so brilliant about that. And there's something also so Orwellian future capitalism.‍

Phillip: [00:24:23] Isn't it? Isn't it. ‍

Brian: [00:24:25] Oh my gosh.‍

Phillip: [00:24:26] It's creepy, but it's kind of like I would totally do it. 100 percent.‍

Ingrid: [00:24:31] I know, the cooking shows I think are the best application of that idea. That and like a fashion show.‍

Phillip: [00:24:39] If I'm watching a cooking show and they say, "And you can make this now, if you click this button from Hello Fresh, or whatever." Yes, Blue Apron? Give it time me. ‍

Ingrid: [00:24:49] Yes. Sign me up.‍

Brian: [00:24:49] Yeah man, and when you're weatching Sex and the City, you could just buy the shoes right off of Carrie's feet.‍

Ingrid: [00:24:54] Exactly. I hope Barneys is listening.‍

Phillip: [00:24:57] Wow, Brian, it's almost like you've actually seen the show. You're very good with faking.‍

Ingrid: [00:25:03] Barneys, we have a content strategy for you. ‍

Brian: [00:25:07] When are we going to talk about this Arizona Iced Tea weed thing?‍

Ingrid: [00:25:09] Oh, my God. Please now.

‍Phillip: [00:25:11] Hold on we'll get there. We can go there. But I want to add one other thing, which is the streaming service linear commerce idea. So, you know, sort of like civilizations are built on top of the ruins of other civilizations. Right? We don't have that anymore. Right? We don't just tear down cities and then literally build on the rubble. I heard an interesting anecdote from somebody recently about the mountains of digital waste that we create, the amount of like poor photography, gifs, screenshots, receipts, pictures of stuff that will never look at, videos of fireworks...‍

Ingrid: [00:25:58] All of these things exists in my phone as we speak.‍

Phillip: [00:26:02] But it's digital waste because it's useful for a moment and then never again. But it will exist forever. And we have to consume fossil fuels to power the data centers that will have to run for the rest of eternity to power the existence of that. And we are creating new virtual ruins of civilizations that are built on other civilizations by creating Disney Plus. And my rant is now done. ‍

Brian: [00:26:33] No, Disney Plus is the opposite of that. Disney plus is...‍

Phillip: [00:26:36] Well, Disney Plus is built... The only reason Disney Plus exists is because Netflix will die as a result of Disney Plus. And then we have a bunch of original programming that are ones and zeros that sit somewhere forever that are never gonna be watched of some Great British Baking Show. And then like, there's just like an entire universe of content that will go away because this thing is being created.‍

Brian: [00:26:57] I agree with you, although I think that Hulu, Disney Plus, and Netflix are sort of the opposite of what you're talking about, where we're all sharing one single, I mean obviously it's not a single, but yeah we're all sharing it instead of all like owning it and having it on our locals...‍

Phillip: [00:27:18] Fine, but there's a cloud server. There's a thing here that I'm saying. It's like we built something and now that thing will no longer exist at some point.‍

Brian: [00:27:24] Yeah, the digital waste idea, I agree with completely.‍

Phillip: [00:27:28] The Disney, Hulu, ESPN is a new version of something that already existed, which was a new version of something before. And I think that the planet is literally melting, literally melting, because of stuff like this. And I'm done.‍

Ingrid: [00:27:44] Oh, speaking of which, sustainable currency and practices. What a segue.‍

Brian: [00:27:52] Interesting topic there. The article about the people using plastic bottles to pay for train tickets in Rome.‍

Ingrid: [00:28:01] So weird.

Brian: [00:28:03] It's cool.‍

Ingrid: [00:28:05] Well, I mean, OK, so here's my my conspiracy theory on this. I think that there are definitely going to be people who use it the way that it's intended to be used, which is just to, you know... You pay for your train ticket with 30 empty bottles of, you know, plastic bottles. Awesome.‍

Brian: [00:28:28] Oh my gosh. Amazing.‍

Ingrid: [00:28:29] So you're getting to recycle. I'm a little bit worried that people are going to like buy more plastic bottles knowing that they can then reuse them. ‍

Phillip: [00:28:38] Then I can use them to ride the train later!‍

Ingrid: [00:28:40] It's going to increase the sales of plastic bottle.‍

Brian: [00:28:44] You're at the store and you're picking between glass and plastic and you're like, I think I'm going to go with the plastic.‍

Phillip: [00:28:51] Oh, my gosh you're so right.‍

Ingrid: [00:28:53] That's exactly the opposite of what you want people to do.

‍Phillip: [00:28:55] I could buy at twenty five dollars S'well bottle, right? Or I could buy, you know, 30 pack for seven dollars of Dasani and then ride the train all week.‍

Ingrid: [00:29:08] Exactly. I'm not with it. I got a call up the Italian government and give them my two cents. {laughter}‍

Phillip: [00:29:13] By the way, as an aside S'well expanded category this week, they now do food storage containers, which I think is interesting.‍

Ingrid: [00:29:22] Oh that's great. I need a small food storage container. That's a logical step for them. Well done, S'well.‍

Phillip: [00:29:29] Isn't it? That's kind of cool. I used the first category expansion goes, it's also they're really pretty. They have clear containers, too, with like wood spots.‍

Brian: [00:29:36] Gosh, it's such a perfect segue to weed now. But I want to talk about...‍

Phillip: [00:29:40] Yeah. If you're going to do... Dude, yes. If you're going to keep something in that bottle, you can put your weed in it.‍

Brian: [00:29:48] Arizona is expanding their category... But I wanted to talk about sustainable currency for one second longer because...‍

Phillip: [00:29:53] You do this all the time.‍

Brian: [00:29:55] I know. I know. ‍

Phillip: [00:29:56] Just let it go, man. Nobody cares about sustainable currency. ‍

Brian: [00:29:59] But the idea of using something else as currency... Okay. Maybe the plastic bottle thing is bad. It's a bad idea because people can get around it or they start buying more plastic as a result. But why can't we maybe factor other things in, like wouldn't it be cool, and Phillip, I'm gonna credit you on this, but wouldn't it be cool if like every purchase you made had some sort of carbon offset or something like that? ‍

Phillip: [00:30:26] Yeah, right. Acorns. Acorns, but a carbon offset. That's what I want. Right.‍

Brian: [00:30:31] Exactly.‍

Phillip: [00:30:31] That was my thing. Yeah. You heard it here first. Someone go build that and send me a royalty. I love that. I want that. It's not a unique idea because I think once the planet finally does melt because of Disney plus, then we'll all... Then we'll have to revert to using things like, you know, our old C.D.s and New Kids on the Block tapes and whatever plastic we have laying around to, you know, actually barter and trade with each other. Bottle caps or something.‍

Ingrid: [00:31:06] Pogs.‍

Brian: [00:31:06] Pogs!‍

Ingrid: [00:31:06] Let's bring back Pogs! ‍

Brian: [00:31:12] Yes! ‍

Phillip: [00:31:12] Pogs! Now we have to explain to all the millennials what Pogs are. For a brief moment, the entire world lost their mind over these like little pieces of cardboard. That's it. That' the whole story.

‍Brian: [00:31:24] Wait, I'm a millenial, and I was all about Pogs. Maybe I was a late comer there.‍

Ingrid: [00:31:28] No, same. I think it's an early millennial... And then there was like, remember Slammers?‍

Brian: [00:31:34] Oh yeah. Slammers. ‍

Phillip: [00:31:34] Oh, gosh, I had so many Slammers. Let me tell you about my Slammers. lines on me.‍

Ingrid: [00:31:36] "You wanna see my Slammer collection?".‍

Brian: [00:31:39] Speaking of brands from the 1990s...‍

Phillip: [00:31:43] There it is! ‍

Ingrid: [00:31:45] Yes, perfect. Perfect.‍

Phillip: [00:31:45] {clapping} That was so good.‍

Brian: [00:31:51] There's this brand called Arizona Iced Tea, which you millennials and Gen Z probably don't remember anymore.‍

Phillip: [00:31:57] No, they still exist. ‍

Ingrid: [00:31:59] No, they're cool now.‍

Brian: [00:31:59] They're actually the largest... Actually, did you see the Arizona Iced Tea and Adidas collab?

‍Phillip: [00:32:08] Shut up. I was gonna talk about that. Yes, of course I did.‍

Ingrid: [00:32:11] I'm googling right now.‍

Brian: [00:32:12] They're so cool.‍

Phillip: [00:32:15] They're so cool. Yeah, but there was a whole problem with that. So they actually sold the shoes at a pop up in Soho for 99 cents, and they created such a crowd that the NYPD came and shut them down. And the shoes turned around from a 99 cent sale, and they started going for six, seven hundred dollars on StockX, like immediately. ‍

Ingrid: [00:32:37] That's incredible. They're so dope. They're actually really...‍

Phillip: [00:32:39] They're so dope. The Jasmine Tea, I would totally wear those.‍

Ingrid: [00:32:43] The Jasmine Tea! And that was the thing. OK. So the story here, someone's gotta just say it...‍

Brian: [00:32:48] Say it.‍

Phillip: [00:32:48] Yeah, do it. ‍

Ingrid: [00:32:48] that Arizona Iced Tea is getting into the weed business. Finally. I mean... {laughter} Who would have ever thought about that. What you've been waiting for. ‍

Phillip: [00:33:02] Everybody's been waiting for it. Β Finally, you don't have to just smoke your weed while drinking Arizona.‍

Ingrid: [00:33:06] Yeah.‍

Phillip: [00:33:07] You can just. Yeah.‍

Ingrid: [00:33:08] But my first reaction is like I'm really hoping that they use that iconic branding because it is so good. Particularly the jasmine green tea.‍

Phillip: [00:33:18] Well, there's... Arizona is nothing if not the brand. And yeah, I agree. I wonder who's behind this. I haven't read the story. We will be having Chelsea Clement, who is director of e-commerce at Green Growth Brands. She'll be on the show pretty soon. And oh, this is with Dixie Brands, a Denver based cannabis company. So, yeah. But you're seeing a lot of sort of interesting collaborations with what I would call like nostalgia brands in this space. So Green Growth Brands recently partnered in the CBD vertical with Abercrombie and Fitch and American Eagle, which I consider to be sort of I mean, they've been around for a long time, but to me they're a nostalgia brand. ‍

Brian: [00:34:08] I would put them in the nostalgia category, at this point. Especially, Β Abercrombie. I feel like American Eagle's maybe sort of kept some sort of relevance. Abercrombie is just straight throwback.

‍Phillip: [00:34:22] Right.‍

Ingrid: [00:34:22] Oh, my God. That smell of the store. It doesn't leave the soul.‍

Phillip: [00:34:27] Yeah, it's super interesting.‍

Brian: [00:34:32] I feel like Abercrombie could go full weed. They should just go full weed.‍

Ingrid: [00:34:39] Yeah, I mean, I think it's better than the models move. Like those creepy young people they used to put in front of the stores.‍

Phillip: [00:34:47] Oh yeah.‍

Ingrid: [00:34:48] Yeah. Go weed, Abercrombie. I'm down. ‍

Brian: [00:34:50] That was terrible. Terrible. ‍

Phillip: [00:34:53] This is fantastic. ‍

Brian: [00:34:53] So I think, this is just as interesting. Like this is gonna be such a big category. If you've got Arizona Iced Tea, which is in stores everywhere, everywhere, and then they're making a play into actual weed, not just CBD.‍

Phillip: [00:35:08] Right. THC.‍

Brian: [00:35:09] Straight up THC.‍

Phillip: [00:35:11] Not CBD. THC, right.

‍Brian: [00:35:12] If they're making a play into that, I feel like it's kind of a little bit of a landmark. This is kind of interesting because I haven't seen any brands that are sold at Kroger getting into this. This is a big deal.‍

Phillip: [00:35:29] Yeah.‍

Ingrid: [00:35:30] Fair point.‍

Phillip: [00:35:31] I think this is just the beginning, man. {laughter} "Dude, there's too there's such an opportunity here." It's crazy. You know who... Speaking of things that you eat while your high, Subway is going meatless. So if you wanted to be vegan... That is an interesting... By the way, this is a really interesting cross-section. I want to see the Venn diagram of people who say, "I would really eat at Subway more if I weren't vegan." {laughter}‍

Brian: [00:36:13] What about the veggie sandwich, man?‍

Phillip: [00:36:16] I don't know, dude. I feel like vegans, are... First of all, vegans, that's just like, I don't know, they are probably buying food elsewhere that they don't have to go to Subway for any good reason. But apparently they're not alone. Subway is one of many. Del Taco, Burger King, Tim Horton's, which Tim Horton's has meat? I thought they did doughnuts. And Little Caesars. They're all going meatless. They're all signing on to Impossible or Beyond Meat or something like that. ‍

Ingrid: [00:36:54] I think this is so cool. I'm so into this.‍

Phillip: [00:36:54] It is the coolest. It is. I love this trend.‍

Ingrid: [00:36:58] And one thing I will say about the like, you know, vegans and where they prefer to shop, like, I think you have a totally valid point. There is just like a very broad... There's so many people who would consider going vegan or vegetarian or even just reducing the amount of meat that they eat who live in places that those options just aren't really available. And so there are just long stretches of miles and miles in this country that don't have any Whole Foods or a place that, you know, you would think a vegan person might go. Or even like a Trader Joe's.‍

Brian: [00:37:37] Meatless Deserts.‍

Ingrid: [00:37:37] Meatless desserts. {laughter} So this is cool. And so, I think it's offering... So my husband's a musician, has toured all over the country and is a vegetarian, or goes into pescatarian, and all the different types of eating, we adjust and try. But he had a real serious problem when he was on the road because of just the options available. I think this is so cool.‍

Brian: [00:38:08] I do, too.‍

Phillip: [00:38:09] I love it, too.‍

Brian: [00:38:10] And even vegans need convenience food.‍

Ingrid: [00:38:13] Yeah.‍

Brian: [00:38:14] I think this is really cool.‍

Phillip: [00:38:16] Really? No, I'm just kidding. Yes, they do. ‍

Brian: [00:38:17] Yeah. Yeah. I guess it hasn't been available. I love this. I think it's awesome that this is becoming more widespread, and it's obviously done well. Look at the stock price Beyond Meat. This is crazy. This is crazy.‍

Phillip: [00:38:32] Well, that's a whole other story.‍

Brian: [00:38:34] We haven't talked about this at all, and we should've talked about this. ‍

Phillip: [00:38:34] I know. I actually wanted to work it in because there was an incredible... I'm like a connoisseur of Twitter threads. There was an incredible Twitter thread about the market cap of Beyond Meat, have you seen this?

‍Brian: [00:38:48] No, I don't think I have.‍

Phillip: [00:38:51] Oh, my gosh. It's frickin incredible. So there's a... His name is Charlie Bilello. I'm sorry. I'm going to butcher his name, Charlie Bilello, who like almost has a daily sort of here's the market cap of Beyond Meat. Beyond Meat's market cap just passed ConAgra, which was founded in 1919 and has brands like Duncan Hines, Hunts, Slim Jim, Orville Redenbacher, Healthy Choice, Pam, Birdseye, Earth Balance. They have 18,000 employees, $9.5 billion of revenue. And Beyond... They're 10 years old. It's fake meat. Three hundred eighty three employees and $95 million of revenue. And it's its market cap just passed ConAgra. OK. Anyway, so follow Charlie Bilello. But he's been ranting on this for a while. It's incredibly overvalued. But I think that the market is there, and I agree with all of this. I am very, very veg-curious, or vegan-curious? And but I think that there's something sort of interesting about the the idea of eating meat that's not meat. And I think that's a bridge to something else..‍

Brian: [00:40:12] I feel like the dream of Soylent is 2020.‍

Ingrid: [00:40:15] What are your thoughts on the mock milks?‍

Brian: [00:40:24] Yeah. Yeah. That's a really interesting as well. I mean, Oatly is absolutely killing it right now.‍

Ingrid: [00:40:31] Their marketing is so good.‍

Phillip: [00:40:35] It is so good.‍

Brian: [00:40:36] And not only is their marketing so good, they're making money. I would say that Oatly is one of the hottest, hottest brands out there right now.‍

Ingrid: [00:40:44] They figured out how to make oat milk the trendiest thing. It's like you immediately get cool points for asking the barista if they have oat milk, and not in my book, but like I think in someone's book. It's like this status thing. And then but when you look at the like nutrition about oat milk, it's not really compelling in terms of, you know different people don't drink dairy milk for multiple reasons, but if nutrition is your reason, I'm not sure I see the correlation. I do think it's tastier, but I don't... Yeah.

‍Brian: [00:41:31] Same. ‍

Phillip: [00:41:33] I think that this is something that we'll all look back on and say, wow, people had so much money and disposable income and the economy was so hot in 2019 that we had popcorn, freestanding popcorn stores, there were oat milk brands, and boxed water. And like it was, everybody had an Uncle Scrooge McDuck money bin {laughter} that they could just walk around buying, buying oat milk with plastic bottles that they've been hoarding because it's, you know currency now, trading it in for bitcoin. That was the time. ‍

Brian: [00:42:14] You just got really like...dark.

Phillip: [00:42:15] That was the day before the earth melted. And now we all have to like, you know, we don't have Disney Plus anymore. ‍

Brian: [00:42:22] Oh my gosh.‍

Phillip: [00:42:23] I think that this is all indicative of an economy that's way too hot. I'm very anti, these...‍

Brian: [00:42:33] Wait. You're anti a hot economy right now? Like, really?‍

Phillip: [00:42:38] No, no, no. I mean, I like having a hot economy. I think it's too hot. I think we don't know it yet.‍

Brian: [00:42:44] Oh, I get what you're saying. ‍

Ingrid: [00:42:44] I think you're totally right. But it's funny that...oat milk is...that's the thing that breaks me.‍

Phillip: [00:42:52] The thing that breaks me? Yeah. {laughter}‍

Ingrid: [00:42:53] It's really funny. Of all things...‍

Phillip: [00:42:57] Disney Plus? Fine. You know, everyone's wearing sneakers that they paid $400 for?‍

Ingrid: [00:43:03] Gotta draw the line at oat milk.‍

Phillip: [00:43:06] I will not abide. I will not and cannot abide oat milk.‍

Brian: [00:43:12] Dude, I feel like you just...

‍Phillip: [00:43:12] They don't even have nipples, Brian. Oats don't have nipples.‍

Brian: [00:43:19] {laughter} You've had too much Arizona Iced Tea with weed in it. I think we should wrap here..‍

Phillip: [00:43:23] Yeah. This is a great place to end it. Ingrid, last thoughts?‍

Ingrid: [00:43:29] I'm pro oat milk and alternative milk.‍

Phillip: [00:43:33] Yeah, I like the idea of alternative...‍

Ingrid: [00:43:37] I like calling them mock milks, though. Can we always call them mock milks?‍

Phillip: [00:43:41] Oh, I like that. Is that a thing? Did you coin that? ‍

Ingrid: [00:43:44] No, I wish?

‍Phillip: [00:43:46] The right answer, as always, "Yes.".‍

Ingrid: [00:43:48] Yeah, I did.‍

Phillip: [00:43:48] Yeah. Thank you, Ingrid, for being on the show. We get you at least once a month now. Right? This is a thing.‍

Ingrid: [00:43:56] Yeah, I think this is a cool, good, new thing. I'm into it.‍

Phillip: [00:44:02] Where can we send people to find you online if they're looking for you?‍

Ingrid: [00:44:06] I'm terrible at that, but Instagram would be probably the best place and it's @ing_stagram.‍

Phillip: [00:44:17] It's so clever.‍

Brian: [00:44:18] Ohhh, nice. ‍

Ingrid: [00:44:18] See what I did there?‍

Phillip: [00:44:18] It's so clever. I love it. That's it. There's nothing more to say. Thanks for listening to Future Commerce. We want you to lend your voice to the conversation. You can do that at and like and subscribe everywhere podcasts are found. We are on Stitcher Premiums, Spotify Plus... Spotify Plus? Is that a thing? Shopify Plus is a thing. On Spotify, however, is just a thing by itself.‍

Ingrid: [00:44:45] They have podcasts though.

‍Phillip: [00:44:45] Yeah, and they do. I love podcasts on Spotify. And anywhere that podcasts are found, including your smart speaker, just say "Play Future Commerce." And with that, Brian, you close this out.‍

Brian: [00:44:59] Retail tech moves fast,‍

Phillip: [00:45:01] And Future Commerce is moving faster.‍

Ingrid: [00:45:03] And Brian is Miranda. ‍

Brian: [00:45:05] Oh come on. ‍

Phillip: [00:45:05] Totally. You're such a Miranda. ‍

Brian: [00:45:05] I'm going to go look up Miranda now. I don't even know who she is.‍

Phillip: [00:45:09] I love it. Oh, gosh.


Recent episodes

By clicking β€œAccept All Cookies”, you agree to the storing of cookies on your device to enhance site navigation, analyze site usage, and assist in our marketing efforts. View our Privacy Policy for more information.