5: Richard Kestenbaum: Big Lessons Learned from Amazon and Walmart

“When you take companies that have been historically successful and you try and value them the way you did historically, they’re not always worth that anymore because consumers have changed what they want.”

– Richard Kestenbaum


Here’s a quote from Richard Kestenbaum, today’s guest on the Channel Mastery podcast, which offers a great glimpse into the content you’re about to hear:

“Loyalty with a brand is not dissimilar from loyalty that people have in their relationships. It’s based on people going out of their way for other people. … When a brand can create that kind of loyalty, that’s when they can go around the barriers and motivate consumers to pay the full price and to continue using their product and recommend it.”

In this episode we take on topics that have been dominating the business press this summer – like Nike/Amazon and Amazon/Whole Foods – and pull the relevant lessons for our passion-driven industries.

Richard has the rare ability to present huge concepts, like how to succeed in a consumer-centric market and the value of risk-taking – in succinct and meaningful ways. Richard is exceptional at pointing out We cover a lot of ground (check out the quotes just below to get an idea of all Richard brings to this interview). This is a must-listen episode for everyone, but especially for those of you who are stuck with legacy budgets and legacy operations, and you’re seeking ways to justify and substantiate new strategic courses to a less-than receptive audience.

Topics covered: new valuations of companies, consumer-centric, sports as an identity sector, success/failure the multi-brand retail, supply chain compression, risk-taking, Amazon/Nike and dis-intermediation, D2C specialty bike retail, brand loyalty borne from positive experiences, succeeding in a consumer-centric environment


Richard kestenbaum

Richard Kestenbaum is a founding partner of Triangle Capital, a company that does mergers, and acquisitions and raises capital for companies in fashion, retail, apparel, accessories and consumer products.

Richard has been in investment banking for three decades and has deep experience advising clients in merchandising businesses in the apparel, retail and consumer sectors. He’s the author of three books on finance and computer programming, and is a former Adjunct Assistant Professor of International Business at the graduate program of the Stern School of Business at NY University.

He’s also an active contributor to Forbes.com, and covers the retail, fashion, consumer behavior and consumer products.


Online consumer decision journey, ecommerce, mobile first strategy, online first strategy, strategic specialty retail, experiential retail


“When you take companies that have been historically successful and you try and value them the way you did historically, they’re not always worth that anymore because consumers have changed what they want.”

“What’s so interesting about sports to me is that almost more than any other kind of product that people buy, it relates to people’s identity.”

“So all of that is leading to a shorter supply chain, less inventory risk, and faster development of products from concept to consumer.”

“Of course you want to minimize the risk that you take. Minimize the human and financial investment that you make in each of the risks that you take. But not taking risk is the most risky thing of all right now.”

“Change comes from the outside and you have to think differently than just what can I do with the resources I have because sometimes the world just changes too quickly.”

“We can no longer think of channels as static. And anyway that we can reach a consumer is valid as long as our brand is presented in an appropriate way.”

“We’re seeing shorter and shorter lead times for product. And we’re seeing more and more local delivery or local production of product. And companies that can do that will have an advantage.”

“(Amazon and Walmart have) the greatest resources in the world, and they don’t have the answer. They’re just trying new things. And if such smart and resourceful people have to do it that way, what else can the rest of us do? We can’t know. We just have to try new things.”

“(To succeed in today’s consumer-centric climate), I would focus on two things: customer experience and truth.”  


Have questions or ideas for Kristin and the Channel Mastery podcast? Email: [email protected]

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