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  • Geebo 9:01 am on August 11, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , retail, ticketmaster,   

    Amazon looking to branch out into ticket sales 

    Amazon looking to branch out into ticket sales

    We’re not saying Amazon is run by super-villains but…

    If you’ve attended a major concert in the past 25 years, you know how prohibitively expensive concert tickets can be. The main distributor, Ticketmaster, is infamous for its outrageous service fees. At one point, the grunge rock mainstay band Pearl Jam refused to do business with Ticketmaster because they felt their fans were being ripped off by the ticket outlet. Now, another company is looking to get into the ticket business; so is this good news or bad news? Well…

    Amazon is looking to reach one of their many outstretched arms into the ticketing business. On the one hand, this could be good for competition and could start a price war between the two competing outlets which could mean lower ticket prices for consumers. On the other hand, Amazon doesn’t seem like they care for competition. If you’re a frequent reader of our blog we’ve posted a number of stories about Amazon’s continued march through many avenues of retail space; this would just be one more foothold for Amazon in their quest for retail dominance.

    Amazon appears to want to be all things to all people when it comes to the retail market. Each small step they take could eventually lead to a giant leap that leaves competitors in their wake until we have little choice in our retailers. We’re lucky the Amazon heads don’t control a major news outlet or we’d really be in trouble…oh wait.

     
  • Geebo 9:10 am on August 8, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: deliv, Office Depot, retail, same-day delivery   

    Office supply giant now testing same-day delivery 

    Office supply giant now testing same-day delivery

    With the return of back to school season, a number of us start shopping for school supplies for either ourselves or are kids. While the office supply market used to have a number of options, in recent years it’s come down to a choice between two retailers. Now, one of those retailers is seeking to gain an upper hand by offering same-day delivery in some markets.

    Office Depot has announced they are partnering with start-up Deliv in order to make same-day deliveries in the markets of Atlanta, Miami and Los Angeles. If you’ve never heard of Deliv, you can view their introductory video here. In essence, they are an Uber for packages. This is not unlike a similar plan Wal-Mart is considering except using their own employees to make the deliveries.

    This, of course, is an attempt to compete with Amazon and their Prime delivery service. However, is this a matter of too little too late and is it smart to partner with an unproven start-up with a business model that relies on the gig economy? The plan appears to be gimmicky at best and shaky at worst.

     
  • Geebo 8:55 am on July 31, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: malls, retail, supermarkets   

    Can supermarkets save the mall? 

    Can supermarkets save the mall?

    We’ve discussed the decline of the American mall many times before. Thanks to all in one retailers like Wal-Mart and giant online sites like Amazon, mall after mall have been shutting their mirrored doors in the wake of these giant merchants. It almost seems like the only use for malls anymore are for YouTubers to explore dead malls.

    Now, the San Francisco Gate is reporting a new trend of supermarkets moving into mall space. While items like electronics are now mostly ordered online, most consumers still like to make food purchases at the store. Could this new trend make it more convenient and give consumers more choices for their groceries? Maybe not.

    As the old adage goes, the three most important things in real estate is location, location, location. Unfortunately, the old malls tend to have terrible locations. They were originally designed to be destinations in themselves and supermarkets depend more on convenience, like picking up a few things on your way home from work. To drive off of your commute and pull into an old mall parking lot, then driving around the mall to wherever the supermarket is located turns a quick stop into a major chore.

     
  • Geebo 8:33 am on July 28, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , retail,   

    Why do we hate Wal-Mart but love Amazon? 

    Why do we hate Wal-Mart but love Amazon?

    Wal-Mart is no stranger to controversy. Not only has it put mom and pop outlets out of business, but it’s also been known to close down national chains in its wake. It has a reputation of underpaying and overworking its employees, and when a new Wal-Mart store is scheduled to be opened, it’s almost unanimously met with protest.

    However, tech blog The Next Web poses a very poignant question. Why do we despise Wal-Mart while Amazon is just as guilty of being cutthroat in the retail world?

    Think about it for a moment, Amazon started off selling books. Add that to the advent of Amazon’s e-reader, The Kindle, and now you would be hard-pressed to find a physical bookstore. Amazon has also crushed national chains such as Circuit City when it started selling electronics and Best Buy could be looking at the same fate. A number of consumers tend to use these stores as showrooms for Amazon, meaning they get hands on with the product at one of these stores before buying the item on Amazon. Their pending purchase of Whole Foods could put an even larger strain on what remains of the mom and pop stores. Also, much like Wal-Mart. Amazon had its own kerfuffle in recent years when some of its employees from their fulfillment centers took to the web to voice their concerns about wages and working conditions. Yet there’s been little to no protest by the public at large. Why is that?

    Is it Amazon’s hidden nature that causes us not to care? For example, we never see their workers to see how they are being treated on the job. Or is it the convenience since we don’t have to leave our homes to purchase items and don’t have to deal with the hassle of the crowds?

    It seems to be that Amazon benefits from the ‘out of sight, out of mind’ principle while it commits businesses practices that are as equally as detrimental as Wal-Mart.

     
  • Geebo 9:52 am on July 21, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Kennmore, retail, Sears   

    What does Amazon’s deal with Sears mean? 

    What does Amazon's deal with Sears mean?

    Apparently, Amazon wasn’t happy with raining just on Blue Apron’s parade. Yesterday, they rained on a massive parade led by Home Depot and Lowe’s after they signed a new deal with struggling retailer Sears. Amazon will soon be selling Kennmore appliances, Sears’ flagship brand of appliances that still carries some sway in the retail space.

    According to USA Today, this will be a boon to consumers since Sears Home Service will continue to maintain warranties and replacements for the Kennmore appliances. Amazon also says that Kennmore Appliances will have Alexa connectivity capabilities in the near future. It sounds great on the surface. Not only does this give a lift to the troubled Sears, but it’s another appliance option for consumers online.

    However, and you knew there had to be a however, this feels like another domino falling in Amazon’s trek to become the only retailer both online and in brick and mortar space. It feels like another consumer choice is slipping through our fingers. That’s not even mentioning Sears’ bleak outlook for the future. Sears’ has been on virtual life support for some time now. So will Sears Home Services even be around after Sears takes its inevitable final bow? Is Amazon just placating Sears until they can buy the Kennmore brand for pennies on the dollar? Or are they even pondering gobbling up Sears whole in order to compete with Wal-Mart? This all could be a possible indicator of a retail war of epic proportions.

     
  • Geebo 9:02 am on July 19, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Blue Apron, retail   

    The road to Amazon’s retail dominance goes through Blue Apron 

    The road to Amazon's plan for retail dominance goes through Blue Apron

    If you’ve listened to or watched a well-known podcast with any regularity, you may be familiar with Blue Apron. The heavily marketed subscription service provides a meal to customers each week that comes with pre-portioned ingredients and detailed instructions. While they’re not the only game in town, they are the more well-known among the subscription meal services. However, you may want to try them while you can as Amazon seems poised to put the stake through Blue Apron’s heart.

    On the heels of Amazon’s pending purchase of Whole Foods, the online retail leader has not only announced they will be starting their own subscription meal service, but they’ve also filed a patent for a meal-kit delivery service. If this sounds like they’re intentionally targeting Blue Apron, they might just be. If the patent filing wasn’t bad enough Amazon announced the new service and patent shortly after Blue Apron filed its IPO. Suffice to say, Blue Apron’s stock has taken a nosedive.

    As the video mentions, Blue Apron appears to have been having financial trouble for some time. Their marketing investment hasn’t had the returns they had hoped, but that’s not the story here. The real story is whether or not Amazon is conducting predatory business practices. While it could all be a coincidence, Amazon’s timing seems awfully convenient. Businesses constantly come and go, but fewer choices for consumers is never a good thing.

     
  • Geebo 9:02 am on June 23, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , retail,   

    In the battle for supremacy, is one retailer fighting to survive? 

    In the battle for supremacy, is one retailer fighting to survive?

    While Amazon and Walmart continue their battle of the retail titans, another player has entered into the fray and thrown down the gauntlet towards its larger opponents. While never far from the consumer conscience, eBay is not the retail stalwart that it once was. However, recently, they have thrown what could amount to as a monkey wrench in the plans of Jeff Bezos and the Walton Family.

    The once and future online auction king has been pivoting their business model for some time now. It first started with the ‘buy it now’ prices. Now it seems eBay has pivoted even further toward being a pure retail outlet by offering their new Price Match Guarantee. eBay says they will match the prices from Amazon.com, BestBuy.com, Walmart.com, HomeDepot.com, Target.com, Sears.com, Wayfair.com, and Jet.com. The catch is, the items have to be new and in the manufacturers packaging and you have to contact eBay customer service to get the price break. eBay claims 90% of the items on their site are eligible for these deals.

    While there are some hoops to jump through in the process, on the surface it seems like a great move by eBay. However, it can also be looked at as an act of desperation by a former industry leader. So we ask you, do you think this is an act genius or an act of despair? Please let us know in the comments.

     
  • Geebo 10:56 am on December 6, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , retail, shoplifting, ,   

    Amazon to unveil store without cashiers 

    Amazon to unveil store without cashiers

    Recently, online retail monolith Amazon announced that they were opening a new brick and mortar store that would have no cashiers or check out lines. The store, called Amazon Go, touts itself as a high-tech store that uses several different technologies in order to determine what you’ve purchased and how to charge your Amazon account for it.

    Amazon’s announcement made quite a splash in the recent news cycle, but with all the articles that have been written about it there’s one problem that has yet to be addressed, theft, or as they call it in the retail space, shrinkage. When someone develops a new and innovative system of commerce at anytime there are always going to be people looking to beat the system. Amazon Go sounds like it relies heavily on the honor system but as the saying goes there is no honor among thieves.

    With this new proposed concept by Amazon, cashiers may be seen as the proverbial buggy whip manufacturers, however they do serve a purpose beyond just checking and bagging our groceries. Just by their presence they act as a line of defense to discourage many people from just walking out of the store with a cart full of groceries that they didn’t pay for.

    Maybe Amazon has already addressed this issue internally, but by not discussing it publicly it seems that they are almost daring a battalion of five-finger discount practitioners to make Amazon Go a target.

     
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