See’s CEO talks about nostalgia, e-commerce and that Nuts & Chews assortment – Press Enterprise

CEO Pat Egan joined See’s Candies just a few years ago in 2018, bringing his lifelong experience as a customer to his work. As a result, he does not downplay Mary Sea’s position as a flame keeper, especially as the Bay Area-based company celebrates its 100th anniversary. I asked him about everything from nostalgia to the COVID-19 challenge to candy taste. Here is an edited version of that discussion:

Q: How much do you eat See’s Candies?

A: As far as I can remember, I was a fan of See. I was born in San Francisco and raised in San Mateo, so the location of Hillsdale Mall was my home store when I was a kid.

I always had sweet teeth, and I always had a pretty critical eye on quality. When I started working for a Berkshire Hathaway company over 15 years ago, you’re proud to be associated with such an iconic and beloved brand. And when I had the opportunity to support the 100th anniversary three years ago and prepare for the next century, I couldn’t miss it.

I would like to add that I have learned a lot since I came here. The average tenure of employees throughout the year is almost 20 years — average! I have grown to admire our people and the process we use to make and deliver the best candies on the planet.

Such See’s stores in Los Gatos retain the retailer’s characteristic black-and-white checkered floor. In the above, manager Barbara Sansen will give a sample to Nicole Myers at the 2015 Grand Opening. (George Sakkestad / Bay Area News Group Archive)

Q: How did See’s nostalgic look and feel help? As far as See’s have, few companies dare to keep it even for decades.

A: Our store is inspired by Mary Sea’s actual kitchen in Pasadena. Stepping into one of our stores is like traveling back in time in 1921. The most well-known is the iconic black-and-white checkered floor. The seeds uniforms worn by our associates are almost the same as the first uniforms 100 years ago.

We’ve added some modern touches, but we’re still true to our roots. Customers will love the idea that they have the same experience as their grandparents and great-grandparents when shopping at See’s.

Q: What has remained the same for the product over the last century?

A: We actually still use many of the same ingredients — most of them are from California suppliers and producers, all of which are preservative-free. We still use many of Mary’s original recipes.

See’s introduces California chocolate, butter and nuts found in chocolate. (Archive of Ron Luis / Bay Area Newsgroup)

Q: What changes are you making to face the current challenges?

A: The biggest change today is the significant increase in home delivery and the discovery of ways to meet the demands of its customers. Last year, we introduced DoorDash and Click, Pick & Go, which allows customers to order online and come to the store to receive it. I want to make the customer experience of e-commerce better than the average experience, just as retailers are good.

Q: You are still opening a new physical store. What is your strategy?

A: We believe that the in-store experience is extremely valuable to our customers. I don’t really buy that retail is on the way. There are old and impersonal retailers out there. Every week, some customers come to buy their favorite boxes. Curating a custom mix with a clerk who has known for decades. Our in-store experience is what our customers want and we continue to make sure it is true.

Q: What is in the decision to add or remove candies from the lineup?

A: We are thinking about introducing new products as well as opening stores. When we commit, we hope it succeeds and we never have to go back. We haven’t failed, but in fact our store has a lot of real estate and our factory has a lot of capacity.

After all, it’s all about what you really want and what we hear from you. We took customer feedback seriously and asked what the November limited-time sweets were, focusing on cheesecake truffles, coffee scotch mallows, cranberry truffles, and naporitan cream. Please look forward to which works will be in production.

See’s Chocolate Coffee Beans — beans roasted by Peet’s — are CEO Pat Egan’s personal favorite. (Photo courtesy of See’s Candies)

Q: Marsh Mint has made a seasonal comeback. Did you bring back another obsolete selection?

A: we have! Almond Square immediately comes to mind when you think that something is being brought back by the demands of the masses. I’ve never read feedback from so many customers. Now it’s back forever — people talked! Other works brought back include Dark Pecan Bad, Double Caramel, and Dark California Brittle.

Q: People either like or hate the Nuts & Chews assortment. What are your thoughts?

A: One of the many things that makes See’s great is that there really is something for everyone. If you don’t like nuts, even a classic assortment or soft center may be the perfect box for you. That said, Nuts & Chews are almost always the top sellers of a regular £ 1 product.

Q: What is your favorite work?

A: It’s like choosing your favorite kid! My favorites tend to change, but for a while I’ve been Konamoka, but nowadays I have chocolate coffee beans in partnership with Peet’s Coffee and Guitard Chocolate. I love coffee-flavored candies. But if I had to choose only one, it would be dark chocolate peanut butter heart because it was the first work I got here.

Among the special releases of See this year is the Centennial Assortment. (Paul Bersebach, Orange County Register / SCNG)

Q: A century later, the store is still nostalgic black and white, and can customers get a free sample at the time of purchase?

A: What a wonderful question! The simple answer is yes, yes. To be honest, what has made See’s prosperous for 100 years is that we value it every time a customer enters the store. Recalling my childhood feelings, I’m proud to have come to See’s with a free sample and a smile after shopping with my mom and dad. That is what makes See’s, See’s.

See’s CEO talks about nostalgia, e-commerce and that Nuts & Chews assortment – Press Enterprise Source link See’s CEO talks about nostalgia, e-commerce and that Nuts & Chews assortment – Press Enterprise

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