South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg just disclosed the companies he worked with as a consultant for McKinsey & Co. between 2007 and 2010. On the list, among clients like the U.S. Postal Service and the Natural Resources Defense Council and Best Buy, was the Canadian supermarket chain Loblaws. Here's how he described his six-month stint in Toronto with Loblaws to The Atlantic's Edward-Isaac Dovere on Tuesday:
[Loblaws] was looking to cut prices, and brought him in to figure out how to do it in a way that would actually help the bottom line. The analysis he built, Buttigieg told me, was millions of lines of data. It was too big for Excel, so he put it into a different program that needed to be run through a special laptop that he toted around and nicknamed Bertha. "There's an exquisite science to this, because it all depends on how many competing stores are in the same area," Buttigieg said, in a very Buttigiegian sentence. ...
"It's a bit silly to talk about a specialty at all in a career that lasted two years," Buttigieg conceded, while pointing out that the six months he spent in Toronto is long for a McKinsey project. "But," he added with a sprinkle of self-awareness, "to the extent that I was uniquely qualified on something, it was definitely Canadian grocery prices." [The Atlantic]
Voters will get to decide if Canadian grocery pricing expertise is a viable qualification for president of the United States — he obviously has other items on his résumé — but to fans of Arrested Development, Loblaws isn't a Canadian grocery chain, it's a shady lawyer with a delightful name played by Scott Baio.
Bob Loblaw was (presumably) unavailable for comment.