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EPISODE 031 : 10/07/2021​

David Adelman

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David Adelman, CEO and Founder of The Adelman Group, has over 30 years of experience in retail store development, sales, marketing, and operations. He is also a prominent strategist, blogger and thought leader in the retail space. His organization, T.A.G.,  has a mission to help brick and mortar businesses adapt to today’s rapidly changing consumer demands by identifying pain points through a customer experience audit to help improve stores’ customer experience platform.

Host: Ned Hayes and Ashley Coates
Guest: David Adelman

Topics discussed in this episode

  • Drive future sales not just current ones; be a long term brand builder 
  • The Great Awakening – people are going to do what they want and companies are going to have to work with their employees; hybrid office is here to stay 
  • Huge push is underway for Local businesses post Covid

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Audio Transcript

Ned Hayes [00:00:01] Welcome to Sparkplug, where we talk to smart people working at the intersection of business and technology. Brought to you by SnowShoe making mobile location smarter. Sparkplug is happy to welcome David Adelman today. He has vast experience in retail store development. His 30 years of experience include international work with major brands including Natuzzi, Palliser, Thomasville and Bathhouse. His company, the Adelman Group, has a mission to help brick and mortar businesses adapt to today’s rapidly changing consumer demands. And he goes through customer experience audits with his clients to help improve the entire customer experience. So welcome, David.

David Adelman [00:00:45] Thank you Ned, and thank you, Karen. Appreciate it. 

Karen Jensen [00:00:47] Yeah, absolutely. So tell us about yourself, David. How did you build your business? We’d love to hear your story. 

David Adelman [00:00:55] Yeah. Well, basically, I grew up in retail. I am a background is from a family business. Third generation, we had eight retail home furnishing stores in western Canada, and then I just sort of saw my own need to to break away a bit. And sort of I saw retail evolving a bit, but I didn’t see a lot of change happening. So I started studying consumer behavior and a bit of behavioral psychology. And then I got into CX, I became actually quite a crazy CX person, so I’m basically by trade to an esthetic designer. So unfortunately, and forturnately, my eye goes to all the things in a room or in a situation that are not quite right and I try and correct them. So I’ve had a love for retail, I’ve grown up in every department in retail from, you know, working warehousing service department, being on the truck’s, sales floor, management, marketing, development, human resources, et cetera. So I just wanted to carve out a little niche with my consulting company just to be able to move companies forward and help them evolve. Because, as you know, especially now with COVID, we’ve had a mass acceleration, probably in two years that it would have taken 10. So, yeah.

Ned Hayes [00:02:27] So what’s the current mission for your company? If you’re pitching yourself to a prospective client, how do you differentiate yourself? 

David Adelman [00:02:36] Well, like I said, I’m more of an esthetic designer with CX, so I tend to look at the company from a relationship standpoint, so and develop insights into their particular customer, their target customer, but more importantly, inside their corporations. So how have things trickled down from from from the top, which I think is really key. And I think moving forward, behavioral analysis and relationship building is going to be key for the formation of trust, which I’m building sort of my next module on right now, which I think is key moving forward, especially in Covid. I sort of related to a comedian, right? A comedian. They watch people, but they watch people with purpose, and it’s a very big difference in just people watching. And that’s what I do. I watch people with purpose, so we get a really unique understanding about human behavior and what actually binds us, which really helps us in business. So that’s why my move forward and move forward as it is then is in relationship building and understanding the consumer through their behavior and through through psychology. 

Karen Jensen [00:03:54] So you just mentioned that it’s crucial for a brand to obtain trust. And you’ve mentioned that in an article recently as well. So once trust is achieved, it’s easier to prove authenticity. Can you give us some examples of leaders you admire who are doing this right today? 

David Adelman [00:04:13] I really think that in order to really develop trust, you have to actually do the work. There’s a lot of retail chains that are basically, we call it, sometimes greenwashing. They’re saying they’re planting trees, they’re saying they’re doing this. But but in fact, it’s not coming from within. So so I think what we have to do is we have to make sure that brands like Patagonia, for instance, brands like Nike, like Everlane, these are companies that that are doing the work. They’re transparent, they’re letting you know what they’re doing. They’re there in the communities. They’re not just, you know, talking the talk, they’re walking the walk. And I think moving forward, that’s what consumers want. They want a brand they can trust, like a Patagonia that will recycle, repair, they will go out and and close their stores to protest, they’ll do what they have to do to try and change, to make the world a better place, and I think now more than ever with with our carbon footprint and sustainability issues, I think that’s that’s the most important thing right now moving forward as part of trust, for sure. 

Ned Hayes [00:05:32] What common problems do you run into with clients who want to achieve that level of trust and authenticity, but have a gap? What’s that gap? How what, what do people have to get over it to get to that level of trust and authenticity? 

David Adelman [00:05:49] I think Ned and Karen, the biggest thing I look at always with these corporations is whether they’re public or not public. Of course, we have the shareholders so driven solely, but most part by profit. Private companies aren’t beholden to their shareholders, but they are obviously to their owners. But I think profit will flow if your corporation is going down the right path, and that’s what drives me crazy. There’s all the short term planning for sales, everything sales, sales, sales, sales and revenue focus, and there’s nothing wrong with that. I’m not saying we have to be a profit. We need to make a profit. I believe in capitalism, but I think that all the CRM platforms. I am not going to name any of them, but some of them are quite outdated. They don’t really deal with relationship management. So I’m really having sort of an issue with most of them about relating just always back to money and profit. So my goal is is to really especially with upper management. There’s so profit and sales focus that they forget that how their employees interact with the customers, that’s what creates the profit and the revenue. The marketing brings everybody and they spend a lot of money on marketing like everybody does. But what happens when they get to the front door or what happens when they get to the website? That’s where it happens the most. That’s the crucial point where all that money goes down the drain if you don’t provide the customer with that unique experience and a personalized experience. So I think we really have to get back to that now more than ever with with trust. And if we look at, you know, the world today, we look at government, we look at law enforcement and we look at big corporations, one percenters. We’re looking at some big issues here that we have to change. You know, I think moving forward, yes, I think we have to really be aware of these situations and to be a good corporate citizen and also for the public to want to buy from our brands. I think that’s going to be more important than ever. 

[00:08:16] Right our parent company, SnowShoe works with some international brands like Shell and major hotel chains, but currently we’re doing a small pilot with about 200 stores in Olympia, Washington. And I’ve even been amazed with the level of trust that these local stores have with their shoppers because they build that relationship. You walk in the store, the owner knows your name, the owner knows that you like milk chocolate, not dark chocolate. The owner has a real sense of connection with you and building that kind of curated connection where you being at the store actually matters to that person. I’m going to keep going back to that store versus just buying from some faceless entity online. Is that the type of relationship that you’re talking about? 

David Adelman [00:09:02] Absolutely. I think going back to the introduction, I mean, my background is personalized service when you come from a family business. Granted, we had a lot of stores and that’s what we focused on. A lot of stores have gone away from this and I think as we come out of COVID, as consumers come back to brick and mortar retail. I think also e-commerce and DTC companies are really going to have to customize and personalize their sites. They can’t just have a chat bot anymore. Chatbots are starting to learn phraseology, et cetera, which will help. But I mean, I’ll give you a big example and a company that that’s really blown it today is Stitch Fix. I’m sure you’ve heard of what’s happening with Stitch Fix. They have stylists which have one on one which is personalized, just like in a store brick and mortar. But it’s online and personalize everything to your apparel, and they’ll send you a box set and for $20 a month for a subscription, they’ll do this for you, which I think it’s fantastic. If you keep one item out of the box, you don’t have to pay the $20, which is a great business model. But what are they doing now? They’re they’re focusing clearly on the development of their AI. They’re relying clearly on their AI. So what’s happening is they are letting go most of their actual human stylists who work out of their homes, they’ve crushed them. They are giving them less than 20 hours a week now and a thousand dollar payouts leave company. And the biggest the biggest no-no of all is that upper management now is forcing them to put items in the box that are not personalized for their clients. So in other words, jewelry and athleisure, which are two big categories that they’re stocked up on. So right away, you, your business model, is totally gone. What you started up with is is gone. So your your personalized service is gone. Your employees do not respect. You do not like you anymore. Everyone hears about this. Wells Fargo already has a red flag on them, so I don’t see a long history for this company now. So it just goes to show you what a non personalized experience will do to you now. Right. 

Ned Hayes [00:11:05] Right. And this is exactly why I left Stitch Fix this year. I used to love them, but I don’t get that kind of personalized attention. 

David Adelman [00:11:12] Exactly. And I went online, actually, and I tried it because I had never been on and I was like, You ask a million questions and then basically, you can just buy online now. They pretty much bypass most of the stylists, so. So that’s one example. So yeah, I agree with you. I think whether it’s online or whether it’s brick and mortar. And I think as online as come on stream obviously accelerated during the pandemic. They really are going to have to focus on personalization and trust to hang on to what they’ve gained. Because I don’t think they are because they can’t relax, they’re on the top of the hill now, and it’s going to be hard to stay there. 

Karen Jensen [00:11:50] So let’s talk about a good example. Can you give us an example of a great personalized customer experience? How about walk us through the best kind of retail experience today? What does a best case look like? 

David Adelman [00:12:04] So if you’re referring to referring to brick and mortar specifically or just any any type of situation?

Karen Jensen [00:12:11] Any, I know a lot of businesses are doing hybrid models, so anything from e-commerce to to brick and mortar. 

David Adelman [00:12:20] Yeah. So I think it’s a combination today, obviously, as they call it, “phyigical”, “phygical” rather is combines physical and digital. When I walk into a store or I go online, the first thing I look at is, do they respect me? Do they know me? Do they care about me? Are they an authentic company? So I’ll give you an example. For instance, a company like, for instance, I think an online DTC company like Everlane Clothing Company is this fantastic because right off the hop, when you go to their website, they’re totally transparent. They even got to show you exactly what an item will cost and what they sell it for. They’ll tell you where everything comes from. So you actually know what the brand offers. It offers a little more quality, which I also think where the future is going away from fast fashion and more to quality items. And that has to do with also our environment and sustainability, of course. As far as a retailer, brick and mortar, you know, of course, I’m partial to LuluLemon because I’m in Vancouver. This is where they their head office is. But I must say from a small little Canadian company they have transformed into, you know, you think athleisure, you think LuluLemon from stars to the average person. It doesn’t really matter. It’s almost like the, you know, you used to say Hoover instead of vacuum because Hoover used overtook the brand or took the generic name for a vacuum. So I think Lululemon would be a great example. When you walk in, they don’t have salespeople there, and I hate the word sales and we’ll talk about that later in my sales delete. But I think that they integrate everything into just not only a world of yoga, but but it’s a lifestyle. If you join Lululemon, you’re you’re joining a lifestyle, you’re not coming to buy something there, you’re coming to see your favorite person there. They have their own stylists there. They know you. For instance, my wife goes there probably way too much as my visa will show, but she adores it there because they know her by name. They know what fits her. She loves the quality of the clothing, and she gets a personalized service. You know, they’ve integrated Mirror now. They’ve acquired Mirror recently. They’re going into footwear now. They’re going into cosmetics, into aftercare products. So I think that brand is probably on its way to being a billion dollar company. Definitely. 

Karen Jensen [00:15:02] Wow. 

Ned Hayes [00:15:02] So you just spoke about sales. So let’s go there, what about sales delete? 

David Adelman [00:15:08] I have a big pet peeve. I always fouht with my partners growing up, dealing with short term marketing, so so conversion or low or lower funnel marketing basically write some messages, short term things that drive immediate sales. I am more an upper funnel marketing. I’m a long term brand builder. I like to have a long term effect. I want to drive future sales, not only current sales. So to me, I think the world and I know there’s a big statement, but I think we need a whole reorganization of our of our charts. Never mind just what we call an associate in the store. I don’t like sales because who likes going into a store and someone’s a salesperson? No one wants to be sold anything. We want to be helped. We want to be guided. We want to be understood. So when I walk into a store and there’s a salesperson there, oh hi to me right away, it’s a turn off. I want people to understand me. I want them to get to know me. That’s how they’re going to get me long term. So for me, a sales manager, a sales person, any type of sales manager, service department in the sales department. No, I’m sorry. We have to come up with a better way today. You know, the hardest thing for anybody is to walk into a car dealership. Some of the surveys that I’ve read said it’s almost akin for some people like going to get a filling at the dentist. That’s how bad it is for people to go into a car dealership, and I know a lot of it is going online now for that very reason because it’s a very aggressive environment normally, especially in the in the non luxury brands. And when you walk into home furnishing stores the same way unless you’re walking into a high luxury brand. So I think my goal is to change the way retail and stores project and especially one to one with the customer. Because, like I said, once you spend all that money in the short term and the long term dollars when that customer walks in the door or lands on your website, you have about one minute to keep them. And that’s where I come in. And if you don’t, chances are you’ve probably lost them forever because about 70 percent of people Forrester knows all the papers I read. They won’t come back after one bad experience. So it’s imperative that we change our ways. We have to get to know people when someone says to me when I walk into a store. Oh yeah, that’s great. Buy it. That’s wonderful for you. Without asking me a question about how I live, what my lifestyle is. Do I work? Ask the questions. So that’s where I can. I’m relationship management. So a lot of the top down, a lot of the CEOs of the world, we’re like, Oh, that’s hogwash. That’s, you know, we got sales, we got sales, we have CRMs. We know how we follow up. We have this that that we’re we’re going to make it work. It’s proven. Yeah, maybe in the short term, but in the long term, you know, I don’t think so today with the trust issue solo. I mean, you can’t even go online trust the website anymore. I mean, you know, it’s just getting worse. So that’s why I’m I’m where I am today. 

Ned Hayes [00:18:16] Well, safe. Say say that a retailer does blow it in the first interaction, whether that’s online or in person. How do you recover from that kind of moment? How do you get the customer back? 

David Adelman [00:18:26] Very hard. It depends how much damage I think is done. Obviously, a follow up is key. Another one and one personalize whether it’s in-store or online. Perhaps it doesn’t have to be monetary, but it could be with a gift certificate to the company to give us another chance. I’ll give you an example. Quick example. And I’m sorry, I do a lot of examples, but I think they really help the point across. I went to buy a car from BMW here and set up an appointment when I want to show me a car. They didn’t have it. They found it for me. They cleaned it up, put it out front. I came in and my 11 o’clock appointment and I saw someone looking at the car outside and he says come in the office, I came in the office and said who’s looking at the car? He says, Oh, don’t worry about him. Another salesperson came by to us and said, I’m sorry, Mr. Smith is going to go take the car for a ride. OK, he’ll be right back. He’s going to. He’s interested in it. And I said to the salesperson there. And he was this salesperson. I said, Excuse me, what did he just say? I said I came in at 11 o’clock with a one on one personalized appointment, and you’re now you’re taking that car away, I can’t even drive it. I said, I’m sorry, I think I think I need to find another associate, or another store to deal with or so. So they lost me. He followed up with me and I appreciated it. But I said, You know, I’ve already bought a car. You know, there’s the chance you lost. This is a this is a $75,000 car. So he knew it, he blew it. You think he’ll do it again? I don’t think so, but he learned his lesson. So it’s very hard to get them back. And then they start telling other people, that’s that’s the other problem is, you know, word of mouth is can be very good and it can be detrimental. So yeah, it’s it’s very difficult to get them back. So something that I’m working on right now and it’s in development is is is my trust model or as as Robert DeNiro used to call it, the circle of trust in Meet the Parents, but not quite as bad as that. But I call it like the halo effect for companies. So everything revolves around trust, and I’ve got seven seven fundamentals of trust, so I’ve got Caring, Personalization, Authenticity, Transparency, Appreciation, and Respect now all these have subcategories, obviously. But if you can, I think, incorporate all these within your company, within your employees and trickle that down through to your customers. I know that this will totally build future brand loyalty. And I think the revenue will flow from there. So just getting back to that point of how do I get these companies to come on board with this? I think this new model that I’m developing, I think I think is is key and I think moving forward, I think this model, I think, is something that I’m hoping that everyone is going to want to have a really, really hard look at. 

David Adelman [00:21:35] So I’m curious to hear your perspective on the state of retail prior to COVID. Where was retail headed prior to the start of the pandemic? 

David Adelman [00:21:43] The historical value retail, I think historically it was. It’s been quite boring. It’s just been overcrowded. We’re like, I don’t know. It’s something like 10 times as much as 10 times the amount of square footage of retail than in the U.K. and North America. There’s so much duplication, so much fast fashion, a lot of lazy retailers. There was a lot of DTC growth, so a lot a lot of digitally native companies coming on board like the Casper’s of the world. And you know, Wayfair’s were starting to accelerate, but they were faltering. I think that the brick and mortar retail was just starting to get the hang of it. I’m not talking about department stores per se, but I’m talking about small business and chain stores, and then came COVID. So during COVID, I think we all witnessed and again, I don’t think on our programs, we talk about small business enough because as we all know, it’s the backbone of our communities, the backbone of business and the economy. You know, 80 percent of small business is a company. All of the growth in any economy. So I think that the forgotten soldiers of COVID that we don’t talk enough about. So they got annihilated and they’re still going to be fallout because a lot of them are hanging on by a thread. And with the boost, this unintended boost that that these DTC companies got like a Wayfair, Wayfair was not making any money. We all know that. And this boost to people going to the homes, the real estate market rush Home Depot accelerated lumber prices went up 100 percent because of everyone staying in the house. So all these companies got such a tremendous boost, and not all of them deserved it. So I think I feel really bad for the businesses that were just about to take off before COVID hit because there were a lot of them. I just wanted to mention them because on all our shows and podcasts, we tend to talk about the Wal-Marts, the Targets of the world and in the Amazon, and we really don’t talk about all these small businesses. So I always like to shout out to all of them and wish them well. Post COVID. I mean, after COVID. Oh my God, I mean, Wayfair. Casper, Home Depot, Lowe’s, I mean, they got such a bump. Can they stay there like I mentioned before? I don’t think so. I think their their business was definitely inflated, definitely because of COVID. They’ll come back down to reality. Just like lumber, prices have dropped 70 percent. But will it go away right away? The focus on the home and cooking, I don’t think so, but it will, it definitely will subside. But I do think the biggest takeaway I can have not have I’ve had myself and everyone has had. I think it’s not the great resignation, as I think they all call it, which is happening a hundred thousand a day. I think it is. It’s ridiculous. But I think it’s the great awakening. I mean, we’ve all been inside, we’ve all worked from home and some haven’t worked and we’ve all focused on our lives and our mental health and right where we want to go. What do we want to do? Do we want to still do this? So I think the Great Awakening is here, and I think it’s going to be really exciting moving forward. People are going to do what they want to do and corporations are going to have to wake up and say, Hey, we’re going to work with you now, right? We’re not going to manage by fear. And again, that’s 50 style management, and that is what we have to get away from. I’ll give you one quick example. We need employees to be able to react and without having fear. So I’ll give you a quick example as one of my pet peeves, so you walk into a store, there’s a huge line up as two tellers, ones on the phone talking to a customer and everyone’s waiting in line and getting aggravated. So the person is afraid to get off the phone because there’s a customer on the phone. You never hang up on a customer, but they’re afraid. So if you use your brain, the customer comes first. It’s in the store, they’re taking a bus, they’re driving, they’re spending money to get there. They’re waiting in line. Their first, I’m sorry person on the phone. You take a message, you’d be very polite to them and you help the people waiting in line. So this is something that I see a lot in stores. It drives me absolutely crazy, and I think it’s a lot to do with just employees at that level being afraid or not knowing how to end the call. And these are things that I train people how to do or what to do in A scenario or B scenarios C scenarious so no one gets upset. So I think it’s very important. I do. It’s extremely important that we focus on on this relationship building. 

Ned Hayes [00:26:30] Right? So what you’re kind of discussing is synchronous versus asynchronous retail that somebody comes in with something and they expect to pick it up later. So they come in either online or over the phone, and it’s asynchronous versus somebody standing right in front of you. That’s that’s more of a synchronous experience. And so melding those two together as one retailer, it is the difficult dance to do. Correct? 

David Adelman [00:26:55] Yeah. I mean, I think certain stores do it really well. And since COVID with, I think Best Buy, it was Walmart one of the best shifting to to to focus pick up in-store, they had, you know, employees on the ground. They had specialized lines, they had pickup centers so that there wasn’t a lot of friction, which was great. And plus, of course, it had people come to the store when they could come in and pick up in store, they would buy their products, of course. But I think there has to be a separation of the two, for sure. But I think the problem during COVID, it was lack of staff, to be honest. And that’s it was a lot of lack of employees on the front lines, which still is evident today. You know, try to get an employee and hire someone in a retail store today is next to impossible, especially for $15 an hour job or less, so I totally agree with you on that note. Yeah. 

Karen Jensen [00:27:57] So we’ve talked about relationships, but any new technology that you are really excited about for retail and possibly augmented reality livestreams anything that you can think retailers should adopt immediately? 

Karen Jensen [00:28:10] As far as tech goes. I must say I’m more I look closely at at websites because right now, with people going to websites and having gone to websites so much more frequently, I think that when they’re searching for products, especially now, you know, the elimination of third party cookies, et cetera, it’s going to be harder to market to customize. Your website has to do a lot more work. So your search functions, search engines have to be work better. So when you go to a search engine, you type in 4K TVs, you want to see 4K TVs when you put in 4K TVs and you get 1080 AP and 720p and they show you all the stuff they want to sell you. To me, that’s a turnoff. So I think better tech and better algorithms and being able to guide people once they get your say to where they want to go. And after that, use A.I. to personalize the journey, so improving chat bots and I know there’s more technology coming with them understanding phraseology because as we know, we talk to Siri and Google and Alexa and a lot of times they won’t understand us if we use certain phrases. So I think that’s important. I think touchless shopping like AmazonGo, of course, is something that is going to come very quickly. And I think as grocery accelerated through COVID, I think in particular that part of retail is the one that’s going to succeed the most from this last stage of COVID at home delivery, distribution centers, dark stores, et cetera. I think that’s where you’re going to see the tech really happen. So as far as anything else, I think livestreaming, shopping that’s coming tomorrow and China, I mean, look at it, it’s crazy billions of dollars worth of sales. I see 5G AI based logistics because supply chain management is such a funk right now because of COVID. I think that’s going to be something that everyone needs to pay attention to. Loyalty apps, of course, you know all about that. Mobile loyalty apps, for sure. I think and local e-commerce, I think, is going to be super hyper local e-commerce sites. I think that’s going to be really, really important. 

Ned Hayes [00:30:33] Right. So, so in this new world of emerging technology trends, some of which you’ve just outlined, do you think loyalty still matters? 

David Adelman [00:30:42] You know what, I definitely do. I mean, and that’s to me, loyalty is it’s not in my in my description, but it comes under, you know, personalization, caring that you get loyal customers from that. So when you go into a clothing store and you’re getting custom fit for a suit, certainly you’re going to go back. And then if you get like, here we have Canadian Tire, which you don’t have, but it’s it’s everything like the Home Depot plus for automobiles and they have a loyalty card and you get cashback on your card. So every month I have about 50 or 100 dollars to spend, which is amazing. So why wouldn’t I keep going there? I mean, they’re a one stop shop, just like Lowe’s is. So I’m not going to go to Lowe’s, I’m going to go to Canadian Tire here instead. I think loyalty is still key. Absolutely. But on mobile, we get we got to get away from from paper. We have to get away from receipts. Everything has to be on mobile now and it has to work on mobile properly. That’s the other thing. There’s so many websites still that don’t function properly on on mobile, and I think that’s a problem. 

Ned Hayes [00:31:55] So if we were going to fast forward for retail, say, 10, 20 years out, could I have you gaze into your crystal ball and tell us what you think retail will look like in 10 to 20 years? 

David Adelman [00:32:06] Yeah, I mean, I think the hybrid office is here to stay. To the extent it is right now, obviously not. But I think, yeah, employees are going to have to realize that we can do just as good work from at home, that we need flexible work, especially because of our families, which are becoming more important. I think going to see more warehouse digitization optimization, more drone deliveries right away. I know we’re experimenting with that already, but I think it’s to become the mainstay soon within the next five years. Autonomous delivery, even autonomous cars, for sure. Anything local, there’s be a huge push after COVID to do anything local as long as that local business or local website gives you a good experience. That’s the one caveat. I must I must say, because I know that loyalty only goes so far and 10 years. I don’t know. Maybe more robotics. There’s definitely be a lot of shopping mall conversions as they are right now. A multi-use, a lot more microfulfillment centers now and through the future. So Walmart’s already doing it because they have the infrastructure to do it. Amazon is obviously going to get into retail and distribution centers on a localized level very soon, whether they buy some department stores, what they’re saying or not. But that will happen. I think you’re going to see a lot of VR shopping, maybe in 20 years, 15 to 20 years, where you can virtually shop in a store and actually select your products or online because virtual glasses will be, you know, won’t be anywhere near the money they are now, just like microwaves weren’t when we first got them. So I think VR shopping actually in stores, I think mental health is going to be huge. We’re seeing it already with the advent of many clinics. Within CVS and Walmart, et cetera, in the US, I think we’ll see standalone clinics and that’s specifically are focused on mental health and care. And what I think we will see is the continued revolts of the consumer against the big corporations and sustainability issues with the big corporations because environmental issues are here to stay and that’s going to be huge. 

Karen Jensen [00:34:32] So following up, wrapping everything up. What is your personal mission and what are you hoping to be remembered for? 

David Adelman [00:34:39] Oh boy. Well, I tried. I tried changing the world one person at a time about 10 years ago, but that didn’t work out too well for me. It was an epic fail, wasn’t good for my mental health, and so I stopped doing that. And that means, you know, trying to suggest certain things for people, whether it’s in stores or just, you know, a person looking after their dog properly. But I think for me, I want to help people through corporations as well and just help them realize that, you know, we’ve gone away, we’ve gone into hyper capitalism. So profits are important again. And I keep coming back to this and we all want to make money. Of course, we have to pay our rent, et cetera. But there’s a point. You know, the Amazons of the world, etc. We have to use that money to good as well. So profit doesn’t always have to come first, the race to space before we figure out a better way to put out forest fires, I mean, we can come. I could talk about this forever, but I think developing this trust that I’m really focused on right now and all of our personal and business relationships, I think is so key. And that’s my mission right now is to say, Hey, guys, let’s just drop everything. Let’s forget about omni channel. Let’s forget about friction. Let’s forget about all these silos. Let’s forget let’s let’s just talk about our relationships and how we can make things better, right? So I always say that if you work on developing trust and work on your relationships with your employees and your consumers, the river revenue will flow. And I still believe that till this day, and I know a lot of CEOs will say, I’m crazy, but I really believe in it. You got to do the work, though. There’s too many companies out there that do not want to do the work, and some of these department stores are the biggest, the biggest companies that think they can bring in a brand or two and their store is going to change so. So that’s what I like to do. I do some teaching at the universities and I do some panel judging for be comm projects in their final years. And if I can direct and guide these young future minds on the right path and show them the reality of how it’s going to be through this difficult journey in their lives, then I think I’ve done my job because if I can make it a bit easier for them, so they’re not freaked out on their journey and they’ll have a better time and enjoy the ride more than than I think I’ve done my job. 

Ned Hayes [00:37:13] Well, great to have you with us today, David. Thank you so much for your wisdom and insight, and best of luck with your retail consulting moving forward. 

David Adelman [00:37:22] Thank you. I really appreciate the opportunity you guys, Ned and Karen and be well, and hopefully we’ll talk again soon. Sounds great. 

Ned Hayes [00:37:33] Thanks for listening today to the Sparkplug podcast and brought to you by SnowShoes, Snow.sh for smarter mobile location, Sparkplug is a wholly owned property of SnowShoe all content and copyright 2021 Sparkplug Media.