When someone steps up and does it right, they get their own post. Kelly Kraus from REI did it right.
Kelly started by saying we could let our minds wander if it happened, but she didn't allow it. She fed us an intellectual buffet. We gathered a lot of the same stats we've seen with others, but more important we got something I personally wouldn't have expected to see for the first time from this retailer. Nothing against REI, just a wonderful surprise to see them give the crowd an NPV on their Private Brand investment. If you're not aware, NPV stands for Net Present Value and it is a solid method to measure an investment. And, it worked.
Inspiring to see financial numbers being blended with the emotional rewards of outdoor brands. Here are some of her other key messages, filtered through my head.
> REI is about inspiring, educating and outfitting; the strategy starts there.
> They have seen a 11% incremental gross margin added to bottom line. Oddly similar to the price for marketing / sales in a manufacturer brand.
> Benchmarks they used included Decathlon which has 70% of its sales in Private Brands in a 3 billion retailer. Macy's as the other benchmark, but didn't have as much to offer in my view.
> They had a plan and it started with executive support. Hard to consider this brilliant, but how often is it missed? So, fundamental and done culturally correct they took things off the table.
> RASCI: Ratifier, accountable, support, consult and inform. I can't go deep what all these did or meant, but it made complete sense for what this division was doing.
> The NPV was $13,309,013. That's 13 million+, but yes they did take it down to the 13 dollars.
> The best part: Kelly didn't go into the actual strategy. She kept it to herself, whether worked out completely or not, she kept her presentation tight and filled with solid content. For that we are appreciative.
Thank you Kelly for taking to a place we had not expected to see. Thank you for NOT letting our minds wander.