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The Anchor

Placer.ai's Executive Industry Intelligence Report

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Measuring the Impact of California’s Minimum Wage Increase on Restaurants

We examine restaurant visitation trends in the state of California, where a $20 per hour minimum wage law was put in place on April 1 for QSR employees.

R.J. Hottovy
Jun 7, 2024

Wayfair: Early Impressions from Wayfair's New Wilmette Store

Our takeaways (and visitation data) following our visit to Wayfair's new 150,000 square foot store in Wilmette, Illinois.

Elizabeth Lafontaine
Jun 7, 2024

Sephora at Kohl's: The Beauty Beast

Kohl’s continues to benefit from Sephora at Kohl’s locations.

Thomas Paulson
Jun 7, 2024

Gap: New CEO Plays Hand of Four Aces

Gap posts encouraging results across its four brands under new leadership.

Thomas Paulson
Jun 7, 2024

Dollar Tree: What's Next for the Family Dollar Banner?

Dollar Tree is exploring strategic alternatives for Family Dollar, including a potential sale, spin-off, or other disposition of the business.

Thomas Paulson
Jun 7, 2024

Five Below: Hit By Easter Shift and Squishmallows

Five Below saw softer-than-expected Q1 2024 results but remains well-positioned when consumer spending for discretionary general merchandise picks up.

Thomas Paulson
Jun 7, 2024

Women's Sports on a Roll: Packed Stadiums, The Sports Bra Bar & Restaurant, and Impacting CRE

We look at how the popularity of women's sports is changing the commercial real estate landscape.

Caroline Wu
Jun 7, 2024

Shopping "High-Low": Escada and Club Monaco share space in Beverly Hills

Shopping "High-Low" is taking on a new meaning in Beverly Hills

Caroline Wu
Jun 7, 2024

April PCE and May Retail Sales: A Touch Better

Inflation in essentials services continues to steal dollars away from discretionary purchases.

Thomas Paulson
Jun 7, 2024

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Elizabeth Lafontaine

Elizabeth Lafontaine most recently served as Chief Retail Analyst at EnsembleIQ, a B2B media and insights company in the retail space, where she helped to develop new thought leadership focused offerings and served as a presenter and author. She’s spent her career focused on serving the retail industry and its consumers and is also an alumnus of Circana, Stein Mart and Macy’s.

R.J. Hottovy

Head of Analytical Research, Placer.ai

R.J. Hottovy, CFA has covered the restaurant, retail, and e-commerce sectors for 20 years as an equity analyst and strategist for Morningstar, William Blair & Co., and Deutsche Bank. R.J. also brings a wealth of experience with early-stage investments as a committee member for the IrishAngels / Vitalize venture capital group. Over the past three years, he advised over 50 food service companies on more than $200 million in early-stage capital raises and M&A transactions.

Thomas Paulson

Director of Research and Business Development, Placer.ai

Thomas Paulson spent 20 years as a Wall Street analyst and a member of asset management teams at AllianceBernstein and Cornerstone Capital, representing top-50 ownership positions including Target, Home Depot, Nike, Amazon, Google, and many more. He brings consumer related expertise and knowledge of enterprises in retail, CPG, financial services, telecom, and entertainment.

Caroline Wu

Director of Research, Placer.ai

Caroline brings expertise in retail, CRE, entertainment, media, CPG, and tourism, and specializes in synthesizing broad datasets into actionable recommendations for growth. She has worked as the US Director of Consumer Insights at Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield, VP of Retail Insights and Intelligence at Omnicom, and Senior Director at Kantar. Caroline holds an MA in Sociology from Stanford University and a BA in International Relations from Stanford University.

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