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McCalister’s Deli in Oklahoma City, OK

Episode #: 070
McCalister’s Deli in Oklahoma City, OK

Guest: Adam Saxton
Topics: The Saxton Group, restaurant industry, McCalister’s Deli


Chris Ressa 0:01
This is retail retold the story of how that store ended up in your neighborhood. I’m your host, Chris ReSSA and I invite you to join my conversation with some of the retail industry’s biggest influencers. This podcast is brought to you by DLC management.

Welcome to retail retold everyone. Today we have a awesome entrepreneur. Here we have Adam Sexton. Adam is the co owner and CEO of the Saxton group. They are the largest franchisee in the Macau sisters chain. They have 87 restaurants in six states. Excited for him to join us today. Welcome to the show, Adam.

Adam Saxton 0:42
Hey Chris, how are you?

Ressa 0:44
I’m doing great man. So,

Adam, why don’t you tell us a little bit more about you who you are and you know what you do every day?

Saxton 0:51
Sure, sure. So, like Chris mentioned, my name is Adam Sexton and I am co CEO of this Action Group. We are a multi unit franchisee based in Dallas, Texas. We operate at seven Macalester daily locations from our home base in Dallas. We have restaurants in six states kind of following the I 35 Corridor up through Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska, and exclusively McHale, sirs, we’re one of the 100 largest franchisees in the country of any brand and the largest franchisee, so little bit unique most franchisees of our size, operate multiple brands but we just offering to counselors and are happy doing so for the time being and are continuing to look for opportunities to grow.

Ressa 1:44
I got to ask how did you end up on the CalSTERS in deciding that was the brand you’re gonna roll with

Saxton 1:50
a lot of things that happen in life by accident. So I was I grew up in a small town outside of Jackson, Mississippi, and McAllister started in Mississippi. And my father was a restaurant franchisee and for a brand called Maslow’s pizza, we got exposure McAlester is really early on through, it was just a local place before fast casual was a word before this idea that you were at the counter and sit down and bring out food. So many restaurant chains have that now. But you know, 20 years ago, that was kind of a new thing. We thought, hey, wow, this would be cool. So we opened our first McHale stirs in Texas in 1999, and have continued to develop ever since we’re unlike a lot of franchisees and other distinction for this group. Unlike a lot of franchisees of our size, we have not done significant acquisition to our portfolio. We have not folded in other groups, we have grown almost exclusively through organic unit development, just one location at a time to go out on site deal acquire at least however, we’re gonna do it, and one after another have grown in that man.

Ressa 3:06
unbelievable story. And when was your first 199 1999.

So at that time, so today, Macalester is is owned by focus brands, correct?

Saxton 3:19
That’s correct.

Ressa 3:20
So how was that true?

Saxton 3:22
Yeah, go ahead.

Ressa 3:23
So how was that transition for you going from, you know, 1999, and the ownership there and being the franchisee to this, you know, you’re a behemoth and their behemoth now.

Saxton 3:36
It’s changed a lot. You know, one of the things that I always tell other restaurant franchisees or franchisees, of any kind to keep in mind, is that keep in mind the business model that you’re signing up for, and the brand that you operate, and you will never, you will never own the brand. And you will never have full control over the brand that you are choosing to develop and operate. So you got to kind of roll with the punches. You know, there’s going to be decisions get made that you agree with, there’s going to be decisions that get made that you disagree with. Through it all, you have to invest in your own business, in your own locations in your own support infrastructure to do the best job and your scores. And despite what what may happen to the brand level, and there’s there’s ups and downs.

When we since we’ve been on by focus, since the calcium brand has been on by focus, there’s been ups and downs with that there were ups and downs before that there are resources and thinks that we have access to being part of a larger portfolio company like focus that we did not have before. But there’s things that were probably I would have preferred the other way I try not to stay too focused on things that are outside of my scope of control. And this action group is within my scope and control. The stores that we operate are within my scope of control and the 3700 employees that work for this action group are within my scope of control. So I try to focus on those people, what’s best for them and our customers. ours, not worry about, you know, what Corporation is going to find the counselors today or tomorrow or next week?

Ressa 5:06
That’s great perspective.

Saxton 5:08
The would you say that your setup from an infrastructure

Ressa 5:15
very similar to either a retail chain or a restaurant chain that had you know, 50 to 100 locations? Are you are you? Are you set up that way you have the same departments and everything this is grown from an entrepreneurial to enterprise scale is that is that a fair thing to say now. So, one

Saxton 5:35
of the things that we’ve always tried to do is build a branded dissection group that stands apart from the brands that we operate. So we operate Macalester as but our whole identity is not wrapped up counselors, our whole identity and identity of our people. And the way we do things are the way this actually does things. And in order to do that, you have to invest in your own marketing department and your own IT department, obviously, all the operational layers and operating the restaurants and training and those type of things we certainly have, but we try to take every initiative that pastors does, whether that be a IT initiative, food platform, marketing, campaign, whatever idea and we tried to make it our own and really try to make it better, the best we can to to drive better performance at our restaurant. I think that’s one of the reasons why this action groups averaging a volume, it’s about 30 to 40%, higher than the brand’s applicator volume over a large base of stores. And one of the reasons why you can have that level of success is because you’re investing your own people and your own time and your own talent into everything. The brand does make sure that there’s initiative really drive home at all of your stores.

Ressa 6:54
That’s great. What is the average not your group? What is the average Macalester is doing at what’s the AAUP

Saxton 7:00
published McAllister is a up is about 1.6 million.

And what how big are they today?

McAllister is about 450 units $700 million in sales i That’s my top of my head gas.

Ressa 7:18
And what an How big are the stores? How big is the footprint of a store

Saxton 7:22
CalSTERS store traditionally has been 3600 to 4000 square feet. We started several years ago getting a little bit smaller than that. And the new stores that we’re opening today are right around 3000 square feet.

Got it with drive throughs. Absolutely.

Ressa 7:42
Absolutely. So of your 87 How many of tractors

Saxton 7:46
in my 87 restaurants I probably either open today or in the process of converting about 10 drivers.

And I will not do a new deal without Sure. And are they? I understand

Ressa 8:03
I understand the trend from the consumer. But just today based on unit economics, are

Saxton 8:08
they? Are they your 10 best locations? No,

they are but they’re all good locations. It’s not I wouldn’t say that we don’t have enough scale a drive thru to be able to look at our best locations and automatically know that if it’s not going to be on that list if it doesn’t have the drive. Got it. Okay. It does allow us to really fulfill a bigger promise to the customer than just a drive thru, which is that you can interact in order and receive McAlester orders in a manner that is most convenient for you at the time that is most convenient for you in a way that is most convenient for you. And we realize that those need states change. So sometimes I want to go meet somebody for lunch and have a long hour hour and a half lunch and a great conversation and sit down over big glass McAllister Daisuke and take my time. But I realized that’s not my occasion, every single day Sundays, I need to sit here at my desk and never leave it. I’m going to have order delivered. Sundays I’m going to be out in between errands or have kids in the back of the car and I need, I need to quickly feed everybody and I’m going to pull in and get a curbside order. Some days, I just want to stop by in the middle of afternoon and get a cookie and ice. And that’s a great time to use a drive thru or a pickup window. So we want to be able to service our guests through every available need state that they have, anytime a day, any manner and to do all of that using the McCalister’s Deli app or McHale That’s really kind of the vision. The drive thru is just one leg of that. That that’s summed up

Ressa 9:50
consumer buying habits and how retailers are thinking about serving them really well. So I’m going to end that piece on that that was awesome. Thank you for sharing that was good, good perspective, I think the listeners need to hear.

Saxton 10:08
So obviously, we live in unique times. And

Ressa 10:13
the you guys did some interesting stuff I saw you, you guys really evolving and doing what you need to like other groups. So, you know, we call this like the state of the market part of this show. But tell me about what’s going on in the world today. You know, given everything going on, and how you how you

Saxton 10:30
see it.

I see it as well, I see in a lot of different ways that you know, those early days of the pandemic and March, April when ourselves evaporated overnight, and government officials at every level telling people not to their restaurants, and we were closed. And we just really, really unprecedented really, really scared. So as things started to settle down a little bit, and our stores always opened, we always open all of our restaurants in whatever capacity we could have. We kept every employee working as much as we possibly could. We did a furlough, any corporate staff, we didn’t really make any changes to pay or structure or really anything, we knew that it would pass, we wanted to our company to be positioned as well as possible when things started to improve.

So I wanted to say that right off the bat and think things did improve. I don’t think that I’m breaking news to say that chain restaurants who are optimized for off premise business, and have the ability to reach customers on digital platforms are performing really, really well in today’s environment. I also think it’s not a secret that for several years, we talked about the restaurant industry as being in the retail industry has been really frothy, overblown, and too many brands were entering too many marketplaces where there were not enough customers. And, you know, we we’ve thought that there would be a correction to that we didn’t know how would come and what manner would be tough. They came became in the in the form of a pandemic, which is not certainly what I anticipated, or whatever, or something that was really on my radar as a business risk. But it came nonetheless.

And how we have been able to pull out and perform really well our customers have accepted the Macau spurs brand both during and here is at the tail end of what we hope is the talent. And we’ve been able to be successful. So I’m thankful for that we faced a lot during during that time, of uncertainty, I’m really trying to reassure not our customers, but our team. I mean, we if our restaurants, we’re going to be able to open again and service the guests, which is the ultimate goal of any restaurant, organization, or retail organization is to have people that can provide a great job and service to our valuable guests.

And we weren’t going to be able to do that. I knew that during that time of uncertainty, we didn’t know where things were headed, I had to take care of my team first, or there would be no one left to take care of the customer when the customer started to return. So that’s where we focus just on a lot of culture building initiatives, we came up with a hashtag that said, fight for us and gave a lot of direct appeals and messages to our employees that said, we’re going to be with you and we’re gonna come out the other side and be better because of it. And I hope that has been I hope that has been the case and that our employees recognize that.

Yeah, things are getting settled. That’s fantastic.

Ressa 13:39
Really awesome story there. The you know, one of the things you mentioned, that just got me thinking, because you mentioned like the oversupply of the marketplace of restaurants.

Saxton 13:50

Ressa 13:51
Are you forget about the restaurants that are like you might deem is competitive? Right, you know, sandwich operators or whatever. But do you like Do you believe in the concept that food begets food? And that more food together is good? Or do you want to be away from all the other food?

Saxton 14:14
Within a I believe that there can be too much competition within a given trader? If let’s assume there’s not it, let’s assume I don’t feel there’s too much competition. There’s a lot of number of restaurants, where are those restaurants are clustered? I certainly would rather be clustered amongst them. So I believe that an overall market a town and city a trade area how that will break down can have too many food options within but if it doesn’t, and I want to be a part of that trade area market or town and I want to be around the other restaurants or other retailers there. I believe in food begets food. I believe in retail gravity. I believe that where you need to be where people already have their wallets out however you want to call it it, I believe, and it’s important to be where the synergy is.

Okay. Got it. You do believe

Ressa 15:08
that there are some markets that there’s no new restaurant that can make it because there’s only so much food pie? Yes, I’ve heard the word stomach share before, there’s only so much stomach share in any one market, right?

Saxton 15:21
You know, sometimes people ask me who our competitors are. And I can list you out competitors that serve a similar food type is really where people based what their competition is on. But when I go and look at share, or wallet studies we do and where our customers actually spend their money and do business. It’s a vast array of restaurant types that are not just sandwich or salad chains that you might want traditionally think of as our competitors. So when someone asked me my competitors, I said, I don’t know where do you eat lunch?

The grocery stores are the kitchen, the office, refrigerator can be our competitor. It’s anywhere that takes a meal occasion away from from us they could have otherwise done. So yeah, I believe that it doesn’t mean that another restaurant can open in as oversaturated trade areas, it just means it has to come from somewhere. So because there’s only so much dollars to go went round, there’s only so many food occasions to go around for X number of people within a trade area. And how are we defined that?

So I believe that anyone can come in, I believe, when anyone can be successful, sometimes I believe that’s going to be me. Yeah, I know, it has to come from somewhere. It’s not just, it’s not just going to appear out of thin air that the I know that when I go into a town, most of those customers were eating lunch, the day before I opened, ate lunch somewhere else and stay there eating with me. And that’s one less visit they had wherever the other spots, and then that can happen on the reverse side too. So I try to be mindful of that. And I like, you know, relatively low competition environment if if we can find them most restaurants do. And that where you have enough people and not enough restaurants, that’s perfect for anyone who’s selling a product. Yeah,

Ressa 17:16
there is like, and I know, in the 80s, there was this thing, like, you know, McDonald’s would open and say their average at the time was one and a half million for round numbers might not have been. And then when Burger King would come the down. Burger King would do one, three, and then McDonald’s would go to one eight, you know, rising tide lifts all boats type thing and you creating this synergy, do you do you think there’s still a place for that? And that happens?

Saxton 17:40
I think that that can happen. Sure. But I think that that there that’s probably less relevant today. And that you’re no longer raising consumer awareness of restaurants and dining out where most consumers are aware of their different restaurant options are active. That away from Home Depot and consumers. We’ve seen food away from home every year for many years now has continued to grow. And I think that phenomenon is maybe less than awesome.

Ressa 18:12
Anything else we didn’t touch on the market that you are finding, whether it’s the food market, the real estate market, anything that you think is of interest, you hit on some big picture items, I think we’re really awesome for the listeners, but just want to make sure.

Saxton 18:27
You know, sometimes I was working and doing interviews and talking to the press after the 2008 financial crisis as well. And I see. And one of the things I always remember, after that people said, well, so now with, with so many businesses struggling or lack of new development or lack of new growth, and that must be mean, it’s really, really easy to go out and find sites. And I’m starting to hear a lot of questioning along that similar path today. And the answers that say this 2008 My answer is the same as it is right now. They’re really good trade areas, they’re really good places where you want to be, are just as tough to penetrate during a market correction as they are in times of it’s still real estate is a finite asset.

There’s only so much and there’s only and the good stuff. I’m not the only smart retailer in the country. I’m not the only guy who knows how to get out the restaurant side, lots of people. And so we all know kind of once you’ve trained to be able to do that and kind of have a feel for you know what that looks like. It doesn’t really change. So unless all of a sudden, all my big, strong competitors who already have sites on the hard corner of Main and manually great trade area less they all of a sudden disappear overnight and they’re not going to because they’re going to adapt and get stronger just like we do. Then there’s just they’re not making more real estate on top of good real estate. So that’s one thing that that I learned that and I I’m reminded of now. Awesome.

Ressa 20:03
Well, that’s more sage advice. The next part of the show is the story. And you have an interesting story about a location that opened in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Why don’t you take us through that? Sure.

Saxton 20:20
It opened in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma on Northwest expressway, they’re kind of really in the middle of the Oklahoma City Market, really strong. Lots of lots of, of our competitors are in that area. And it’s a, it’s a in town market, that is a trade area, we’ve wanted to pay for it for a long time. And that store opened in April of 2020. So great timing. And we bought that opening was actually scheduled sooner than that, we paused it in March and decided to wait and see. But the building was done. The staff was great. We wanted to, we want it open.

So we did that storage perform well. But it’s certainly not the grand opening that we had planned for that location that would work for for a really long time. And one of the reasons why it was difficult is like all the great slides, every slide I can think about throughout my career are the ones that have really come to mind are the ones that were the hardest to do. Because the obvious stuff is great. And you’re going to do that a lot. But the the most fun, the most rewarding are the ones where you kind of created something for this particular site was we bought a carve out from a hotel developer that had an old, I don’t even know what property it had been called the Tower Hotel there. And they were in the process of buying the hotel and 32 new Embassy Suites, a large hotel operator.

And in that they were doing some renovations. And we were able to really, they took off a piece of the hotel where there was like a pool and a conference center and, and created an ally and it doesn’t look like you’re part of the hotel now. Now it looks like that’s always been a restaurant lot. But we were able to work with them. And they wanted some food synergy. We wanted to be on the location. And we’re happy to be able to get that done. But we would never it it’s funny you would drive by before and you would never see OSI there because you’re like there’s nowhere to build anything there. And now you would drive by after and you would say, of course, there’s a restaurant there, it’s sitting right here on Northwest expressway that’s always been there that’s always been outside. So it’s, it’s fun to be able to see those things. Full circle when you when you work hard to get something.

And you know that, you know, listen, I think about my competitors, I think about them driving, how they do that. Because I do that all the time. I do that all the time, I’ll drive around. And that’s awesome. I’ll see somebody like, in our business, there’s so many people who are good at what they do. So I’ll see Chick fil A or Starbucks or McDonald’s or I could name it and I’ll see them at some location opening up in a trade area where I know I’m looking like

how they get it. Yeah.

And I thought that that was one where maybe my competitors might drive by that about it. So that’s about that makes me smile.

Ressa 23:21
Awesome. That is one of my favorite stories that I’ve heard here. That’s really great. So a couple of things. I want to unpack that for a second. So one, the How involved are you being the co founder, CEO of the company in real estate.

Saxton 23:37
So I’ve done lots of different jobs since I started but the one thing that I’ve always done is pick sides. So got it that’s the that’s the first thing that I did, and probably whatever they will be out of here, hopefully a long time from now. That’ll still be the last thing that I did.

So the other pieces of the business that it takes to be a co CEO and leader of the company. I I learned along the way I learned as I went special project came out something came up exposure and I started doing doing marketing or working with our senior lenders and doing finding us or other banking relationships that we have or interacting with our franchisee our franchise or and other franchisees those things came along the way and I continue to build those skills but before during and after all those things besides selection, I’m still probably my favorite thing to do is to grow and provide opportunity for our people and it’s still a primary focus of my job every single day. Awesome, so hard to farm that out. It’s expensive. It’s expensive to That’s an expensive mistake. And if I’m going to make an expensive mistake, I’d rather than that’d be my mistake.

Ressa 24:47
Interesting perspective. The

is there. Let me ask you this then is there a goal of how many stores you want to get to?

Saxton 24:57
I probably said 15. And now we have any Having said that, now I say 100, because that sounds like a nice round. Got it? We’ll make another plan. But this is a family business. I work with my father and my brother. And we look at this long term and are hopefully going to be doing the same thing for a long time rather than the house. Right? And maybe another restaurant brand until

Ressa 25:22
well, yeah, got it.

Saxton 25:24
My kids are doing it. Yeah, for sure. Yeah, he.

So some

Ressa 25:32
so many things. So you’re driving around.

And you’re looking at sites in Oklahoma City? How did they

How did you turn this off that there might be an opportunity because as you said, you drive by, it wouldn’t cross your mind to go, there should be a restaurant here in a pad. It was a pool previously, right? How’d you turn up the opportunity?

Saxton 25:51
I had been introduced to the hotel developer through someone who works at focus. So there, there we go, I got a benefit from got it from being part of this big corporation where all these people have connections. So I’ve benefited from that relationship and was made aware that there might be an opportunity there, because you’re I probably would have described by, I’m not gonna call the someone said, what about that? I’d be like, What about what you want the hotel and ask them to build as their atrium?

Yeah, that’s never gonna happen. Yeah, no, yeah, I had a little bit of inside information.

Ressa 26:27
Got it. That’s fantastic. And so the,

Saxton 26:33

Ressa 26:34
you’ve driven and you’ve seen, like those locations, you’ve said, of like,

how did they do that?

How did I miss that? How

Saxton 26:41
did they do that?

Ressa 26:43
Is there any common themes you get to on, on what made it possible, like when on the ones that you got done that are hard, like you said, are the locations that you see any common themes, you see that, like, that’s how they got it done. That’s how

Saxton 26:57
it’s not like so many things in business, that’s, it’s about this type of storage, it’s called it’s about, it’s about a relationship. And sometimes that relationship can be because your broker knows a developer who’s working with someone, they’re going to make a side happen here, you know, there’s lots of scenarios that we can play out, that’d be kind of the more traditional idea of kind of insider trading, knowing about something before the marketplace knows about it. I always say, like, by the time before, at least sign is up, it’s probably already too late. I mean, I’m not gonna say that I mean, I, we have great restaurants, well, I probably at least, at least thought

but not a lot of them. And

that, but that can also be like really simpler, just trying to make sure that your name and your contact information in your brain is out there in the marketplace. So developers or people who are in real estate know if they have a new project coming up, or if they have space, they’re looking to feel that you’re gonna they’re gonna call you first. So probably that is one of the ways that the people who you drive around and are most sort of admire their real estate, Meyer their site selection, it’s probably because they were one of the first calls, they got the first crack of opportunity, but exhibits a really good opportunity. There’s only so many retailers and restaurants who are going to say no, before the space is, is filled in sometimes, it might be the first person they ask space or takes the land or whatever you’re trying to get done there. So you need to be early on in the decision set of the developer or the asset owner, to be able to get a crack at that opportunity. Really,

Ressa 28:36
yeah. So the mind share for sure, being top of mind is important. No doubt. How of the of your locations How many do you lease versus own?

Saxton 28:46
You know, I say that we are real estate agnostic when it comes to the way the asset is classified. So we have a bunch of locations that we leased and a bunch of locations that we own a bunch of stuff that we develop ourselves and a bunch of stuff that has been developed by people. So today with our preference for freestanding locations and drive throughs we are owning more things than we have in the past. But all these have a great sign in time. Again, same password drive throughs and pick up windows are rarely very appealing to me to chop centers and lots of gravity so

I’m gonna make sense

Ressa 29:28
if you want, you want great real estate, you want great real estate.

Saxton 29:32
I’m not I’m ultimately I’m in the restaurant business. And I’m not gonna get sidetracked by trying to become a real estate developer slash restaurant or slash franchisee you know, I know there’s lots of opportunities with real estate as we build out a multi location portfolio. But I know also what ultimately drives our company keeps our people and boy and creates opportunity for the future is the restaurant side of our business. So that’s that’s what we say about

this. I love that.

Ressa 30:07
The I love that I was actually in corporate real estate I worked for Sherwin Williams. And, you know, they were very disciplined when, you know, I was out in the early 2000s, looking at locations, and I was at a college, I was like, why don’t we buy something and they’re like, you know, they were disciplined on their in the paint business. That’s what drove the bus, there’s the paint business, not the real estate, even though real estate is a function of business, not their business.

Saxton 30:33
And that can happen, and we have had real estate opportunities come to us or that we’ve created that we own and then later sold or developed in some manner. And that’s great. That’s a great side effect of the business, but our core business is selling club sandwiches, you know, and I’m not gonna forget that.

Ressa 30:50
Yeah, that’s great. The one of the things you mentioned is you, you connect with other franchisees, and you talk to franchisees, how important is networking with people in the restaurant industry,

Saxton 31:04
it’s important to know what other people are doing no matter what your what business you’re in. And it’s particularly important in the restaurant industry, in a franchise system where you have other people doing exactly what you’re doing. Other people owning and building and operating McCalister’s Deli is doing exactly what I’m doing, working with these brands in the same manner that I’m working with focused brands, that that I get to talk to and learn from and share best practices with. So I think that work is really important no matter what you do, like I said, but in franchising, it just seems like a no brainer, because you’ve got this peer set, doing, doing your same line of work that you guys can learn more from and, and be stronger together. So I encourage it, particularly for franchises. But within the brand that they operate in outside of the brand, right. Got it.

Ressa 31:56
Last thing going back to the hotel deal, the atrium, the pool, the all this, one of the things that I start thinking about are dollar signs. This is expensive stuff to convert this into a restaurant. How tough of a negotiation did this end up being?

Saxton 32:11
It was a tough negotiation. And we paid more for that side, probably than we typically pay, but not a lot of work. It was part of an overall to just randomly go and do that. No, that never would have done that they were doing a large innovation in the hotel. And anyway, it was a for lack of a better word, it was a shovel ready project, stuff was coming down, but they were tearing stuff apart. They were making way for the new so created an opportunity to do a site where maybe previously it would have been

rock climbing, climbing man. Timing works.

Ressa 32:46
Well listen, that was awesome story. And really just the overall story of the company, this action group is just phenomenal. It’s really refreshing to hear. And I’m glad you guys are crushing it right now. I really, really excited for you guys to keep on.

Saxton 33:08
Keep on going. Yeah. So the the last part of our show,

Ressa 33:18
retail wisdom, and I’ve got three questions for you tell me when you’re ready.

Saxton 33:23
Okay, I’m ready.

So with that prep time, you know, you’re just gonna get the answer that you get.

And that’s it. That’s it. All right, you got it. Question one.

Ressa 33:35
What is your best piece of commercial real estate advice?

Saxton 33:39
My best piece of commercial real estate advice is to say no. Say no. It’s the most powerful weapon you have as a as a side selector. As someone who’s going out into the office, someone who’s evaluating opportunities, just remember that you can just say no and wait for the next one. There’s a there’s always there’s always another deal around the corner, sometimes in the middle of negotiations, or you’re looking for something or you’re pounding the pavement really hard and try to make it make a side happen or find an opportunity. But for one reason or the other, it just doesn’t seem right or the economics are off or it doesn’t fit your model or whatever the reason why maybe you can just say them.

Ressa 34:22
certainly can. sage advice. Second question.

What extinct retailer, do you wish would come back from the dead?

Saxton 34:35
The multiple choice question. I don’t know. I mean, I think that you know, things that are extinct retailers. Probably we’re not offering a product or a service that I would be that interested in. I mean, I’m always looking kind of at what’s next or what

Ressa 34:51
could it just be they could have offered something great but then not been good operators.

Saxton 34:58
I don’t know. You know, Has anything comes to mind?

Ressa 35:02
No. I, you know, a lot of people have said, like,

Saxton 35:05
with cheers. Yeah, what’s

your what other

Ressa 35:11
toys r us has been a big fan favorite lately? Because, you know, the product that people have. But, you know, you know, I think they had debt issues, you know, it was less about the product and service and more about the business model that they created and couldn’t pivot, you know, things like that. Yeah, it’s

Saxton 35:27
I mean, Toys R Us. That’s funny. I was telling this story recently. So I have twin boys, they’re six. They think that one of the here’s the lesson they learned is that sometimes Amazon does it come into our way is another day or maybe even two day shipping. Sometimes, you know, Amazon was overloaded there with orders and they paused kind of non essential shipping, and they slowed down there for a little while. And so that’s a good example of how the landscape changed, where when I was a kid, I was super excited about going to Toys R Us and picking out the aisle and my kids are super excited about scrolling and picking out a toy from the Amazon from Amazon and having it delivered as quickly as possible. So but

Unknown Speaker 36:18
can you know,

Ressa 36:20
if you want a toy in the stores, 20 minutes from you, you can get it faster today than you can from any delivery if they got it in the store.

Saxton 36:26
Yeah, and I love that the retail sides. I mean, I actually think that retailers who have this live inventory feature on their website where you can see what’s available. I use that myself all the time. Still, there’s many times where I’d much rather just go pick something up and deal with waiting to have it shipped or the boxes were all tired of the boxes on it sometimes and all of that just go and grab it but I don’t want to drive over there if they might not have it in stock. So I love the ability those retailers have been able to merge their inventory systems and show what you can order online but also show where you can just go pick up store. Big fan that he’s at all the time. Now,

Ressa 37:08
you’ve had some time to think is there any retailer that you way back when that you wish would come back?

Saxton 37:12
I had a lot of fun on Friday nights going to check out the new release for blockbusters. That was an outing that was something fun to do that had the bags of popcorn you get some Twizzlers and take home your new release and officially all this new release. I think it’s gonna be very, you get you look at the back wall. There’ll be 200 of the same title diehard or something. Yes.

So yeah, I

missed. I missed those Friday nights.

Ressa 37:39
I haven’t had a Twizzler in a long time. That’s a that’s a that’s a candy.

Saxton 37:45
Yeah, that’s solid movie candy I

recommend. Last question.

Ressa 37:49
Okay, I’m up here in New Jersey in the Northeast.

Saxton 37:54
Getting cold.

Ressa 37:57
I’m looking at North Face website at their men’s down parka.

Saxton 38:01
Okay, what is that retail for? A man’s down parka from the north place. $79

Ressa 38:12
I could tell you from not from the northeast. $330 But thank you for playing. Okay,

Saxton 38:19
so I think our definitions are parked. Darn. It is sound like a like a big winter coat. I’m going to show you right now you’re ready. Let me say I’ll show you. Okay. $330. All right. Yeah, that’s more of a code than we needed.

Ressa 38:34
You don’t need this in Texas. No, no. That’s nice, though. It is nice. Yeah. Well, listen,

Saxton 38:40
this has asked me what a gallon of milk costs. I know that people give them Barisan answer. makes them seem really tight. So yes.

Ressa 38:49
The fan favorite product that I’ve said that got a lot of fanfare was actually early on when we started the podcast with a lot less listeners but as people start to, you know, find us one of the and they get really into the show. One of the products we used was one of the hottest books in 2019 for Christmas on Amazon’s website was the Snoop Dogg cookbook from cook to cook. Okay.

That was a

that was a fanfare it was a we go all over the map. I forget what it was. I forget what it was. But we go we go we got a little all over the map for products not just do the gallon milk.

Saxton 39:32
All right, cool. Well, I

was wrong about the parka. I was trying to discount the noise effect.

Ressa 39:40
Well, listen, this has been great man. Thanks so much. I really appreciate it. This is awesome. And you know keep grinding man.

Thank you for listening to retail retold. If you want to share a story about a retail real estate deal that you were a part of on our show. Please reach out to us at retail retold at D We’ll see This show highlights the stories behind the deals from all perspectives. So it doesn’t matter if you are a retailer, broker, entrepreneur, architect or an attorney. Also, don’t forget to subscribe to retail retold so you don’t miss out on next Thursday’s episode

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