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Analyst’s Take: What Starbucks Replacing a Crate & Barrel and Mindy Grossman’s Move Mean for Retail

This week’s Weekend Reading is a very stimulating and nuanced piece on “Why Food is Taking Over Your Life?

A discussion of the increased centrality of food, concomitant with reduced spending on goods that are less ephemeral, seems particularly timely at the end of a week that was marked by two announcements likely to depress observers of retail: one, the flagship, 4-story Crate and Barrel on Chicago’s Michigan Avenue is being replaced by a Starbucks Roastery, and two, the head of the National Retail Federation, the extremely talented Mindy Grossman (a Nike veteran, by the way) is leaving her job as CEO of HSN to become the CEO of a company that is decidedly not a retailer—Weight Watchers.

The piece makes so many interesting points—including the role Instagram and social media play in “the rise of food” and the way that food can’t be “broken” by the sharing economy—that I’m loathe to summarize it, and suggest that you just dig in.


Faye Landes, co-founder and general partner of Back to the Future Ventures, advises emerging consumer and retail companies on strategy, branding and fundraising. She was one of Wall Street’s leading consumer and retail analysts for over 20 years and was widely recognized for her ability to anticipate sweeping trends, such as the widespread adoption of activewear. She has frequently appeared on CNBC, Bloomberg TV and other media outlets and has presented at industry conferences all over the world. Read her “Analyst’s Take” column here weekly.