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  • Geebo 11:02 am on February 9, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , retail,   

    Amazon offering Whole Foods delivery amid stock shortages 

    Amazon offering Whole Foods delivery amid stock shortages

    As of yesterday, members of Amazon Prime can have orders from Whole Foods delivered to their homes. So far the program is only available in Dallas, Austin, Cincinnati, and Virginia Beach although Amazon has full plans to roll out the service nationally. Prime members will be able to get Whole Foods orders delivered to their homes in two hours as long as the order is over $35. With Whole Foods’ pricey reputation that could be just a bag of Kale and a bottle of Sriracha sauce.

    In all seriousness though, one has to wonder if this announcement will only compound the preexisting problems at Whole Foods. Previously we’ve not only posted about how the shelves on many Whole Foods stores are close to barren thanks to their ordering procedure, but we’ve also discussed how employee morale is at an all-time low thanks to an almost Orwellian employee review system.

    Before Amazon starts offering new programs in their bid to be the global retail solution, maybe they should fix problems already plaguing their acquisitions. As of right now, this new delivery program is akin to adding an addition to a house that’s on fire. In their quest for retail dominance is Amazon starting to cut off their own nose to spite their face?

     
  • Geebo 9:55 am on February 2, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: retail,   

    Is Whole Foods reducing employees to tears? 

    Is Whole Foods reducing employees to tears

    There used to be a time where even jobs in retail meant you could work for a store or chain for years and actually experience growth and financial stability in your career. Nowadays it seems like most retailers encourage high turnover and less working hours in order to maximize profits for the company itself.

    Take Whole Foods for example. Previously ,it’s been made public that its OTS ordering system has left shelves empty at most of their stores while supposedly saving the company money from wasted food, however, it seems much more onerous than that.

    According to Business Insider, the OTS program is so stringent that there are scorecards and inspections among While Foods employees that are causing many of them to either quit or cause them to have emotional breakdowns for fear of failing one of these exams. This is coming from a company that prides itself on being an asset to the communities where it does business, but how can it be an asset when its breaking down its employees mentally, financially and emotionally to the point where they have to look for jobs elsewhere?

     
  • Geebo 10:27 am on January 22, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , retail,   

    Amazon to unveil new cashier-less store today 

    Amazon to unveil new cashier-less store today

    For a little more than a year, Amazon has been developing their highly touted store without cashiers known as Amazon Go. Later today, Amazon will finally unveil Amazon Go to the public in Seattle. The original concept of the store was to have a store that would be fully automated, however, it seems the reality of situation means there will in fact be human employees in the store.

    According to Tech Crunch there will be several human employees in the store such as someone checking for IDs in the beer and wine section, and a person standing by for any assistance needed with the app used for shopping at the store. There are also stockers and chefs who prepare sandwiches and meal kits.

    While the videos of the store seem to give the appearance of a slick and seamless shopping experience, one has to wonder if that will be the reality of the situation. Often times in tech, what tested perfect in the lab can often fail in the real world. For example, one of the problems Amazon Go had in its testing phase is the store would come to a halt if there were too many people in the store. Plus in real life there are always situations that arise that no one can account for until they happen. It will be interesting to see how Amazon Go will handle such a situation.

    So will Amazon Go be the future of brick and mortar retailing, or will it be just another retailing fad that refuses to take hold? Today, just may hold some of those answers.

     
  • Geebo 10:10 am on January 19, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , retail,   

    Whole Foods has less foods in more stores lately 

    Whole Foods has less foods in more stores lately

    Lately, more customers of the now Amazon-owned Whole Foods have been complaining about the lack of stock and empty shelves in many of their stores across the country. It leaves the customers wondering if it’s because of the winter weather or has Amazon finally interfered with their favorite store so much that Amazon has screwed up the supply chain. As it turns out, it’s been the fault of Whole Foods themselves for some time now.

    According to an expose by Business Insider, Whole Foods started using a new ordering technique called Order to Shelf, or OTS for short. This technique, ordered by the Whole Foods home office in Austin, Texas, for all its stores, is supposed to reduce waste which many say it has. Instead of storing additional stock in the back, now if a store is running low. they’re supposed to get it direct from the supplier, bypassing the store room.

    However, the problem as evidenced by the Business Insider story is that Whole Foods now have little to stock their shelves. While OTS may be reducing waste, it is also turning away customers. Empty shelves make stores look like they’re about to go out of business making the store look less reputable. While Amazon may have been seen as the Whole Foods bogeyman before, maybe now Amazon will be their savior.

     
  • Geebo 11:30 am on December 18, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: retail,   

    Sears: The Ghost of Christmas Past 

    Sears: The Ghost of Christmas Past

    There once was a time, in the days before publicly available internet, that this was a magic time of year. The once powerful retail outlet Sears would release their massive Christmas catalog known as the Wishbook. At the time, this was every kid’s favorite time of the year as the Wishbook allowed the kids of America to see all the new hot toys for that year’s Christmas.

    Fast forward to today and Sears is mostly an afterthought when it comes to holiday shopping. These days most of us will either take to Amazon to avoid the crowds, or will brave the crowds of Walmart to try to get a reasonable deal. So what happened to Sears? For the most part, the internet happened to Sears.

    Every year, we hear about how Sears is on the verge of bankruptcy but have survived another year somehow. This year they made deals with Amazon to sell their Craftsman and Diehard brand of products. However, in the online space, Sears barely has a presence. This was a company that was founded on the premise of easy mail order so you would think that it would have easily pivoted to the online marketplace. Instead, it doubled down on its brick and mortar stores and cancelled its catalogs back in 1993. That was one hundred years after the founding of Sears & Roebuck. Now in yet another attempt to survive, Sears is closing many of their Kmart stores, which they purchased back in 2004, again placing their faith in brick and mortar.

    Sears had the potential to modernize their business and could have been Amazon before Amazon. Instead, they’ll soon be a reminder that no business lasts forever no matter how successful they may have been in the past.

     
  • Geebo 10:01 am on November 22, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , retail   

    Why you should stay home on Black Friday 

    Why you should stay home on Black Friday

    With Thanksgiving now upon us, consumer eyes will quickly turn to the holiday season which kicks off with Black Friday. Many of us will trudge down to our local big box stores, with some even camping out, in order to get a good deal on gifts for the holidays. However, is the effort put into Black Friday shopping really worth it? Most consumer groups say no.

    Retailers aren’t in the business to lose money and many Black Friday deals are too good to be true. Many retailers will raise the price of an item, just to offer what appears to be a deep discount on Black Friday. Also items that are listed as being in limited stock on Black Friday often reappear into stores in the weeks leading up to the holidays. Not to mention it goes without saying that most of what’s offered on Black Friday in stores can be found for the same price or even cheaper online.

    That’s not even taking into account the cost of your time and effort into going from store to store looking for the best deal. In the long run that time could be better spent either with your family and friends or enjoying some much-needed leisure time. Let’s also not lose our outlook on life just because of holiday pressure. While it may be disappointing to not get the greatest deal, it’s not the be all and end all of the holidays if you don’t get the latest shiniest gadget or fad item for the holidays.

    So please, stay safe take care this Thanksgiving weekend.

     
  • Geebo 10:30 am on November 16, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , retail,   

    Why Whole Foods’ price cuts aren’t good news 

    Why Whole Foods price cuts aren't good news

    In the run up to the Thanksgiving holiday, Amazon owned Whole Foods has announced deep price cuts on Thanksgiving staples and other products. Whole Foods has even gone so far as to say that the price cuts are permanent. This announcement has caused concern among other grocery outlets causing a number of their stocks to drop.

    However, things may not be as rosy as Whole Foods would have you believe. according to financial experts at Barclay’s, Whole Foods saw a decline in foot traffic after their initial sale to Amazon. Shoppers were curious at first to see how the new Whole Foods was, but now foot traffic into their stores has leveled off which could have triggered the new price cuts.

    These deep price cuts may be having a human cost as well. Many stores in the chain are said to have been reducing staff in order to compete. The stereotypical Whole Foods shopper seem to be more socially conscious than other shoppers. If they realize that their discounts are coming at the cost of jobs, that could definitely have an impact on Whole Foods bottom line. Would you want to shop in a store that was laying off employees just in time for the holidays?

     
  • Geebo 9:59 am on November 9, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: free delivery, holiday shopping, , retail,   

    Target offers free delivery while closing stores 

    Target offers free delivery while closing stores

    Retail’s favorite holiday is fast approaching, Black Friday. That time that used to announce the start of the Christmas shopping season the day after Thanksgiving, which has now even encroached into the holiday. In order to compete with online retailers that they’ve been losing ground to for years now, some stores are offering certain perks.

    Target will be offering free shipping for their online orders for the holiday in an effort to try to battle for that coveted ‘last mile’. Again, the last mile is considered the most expensive part of any home delivery by retailers. The question is, should Target be offering free delivery for the holidays when they’re set to close multiple locations in the new year?

    Will the promise of free delivery for the holidays be enough to turn Target’s profit margins around? It’s highly doubtful as it seems like they’re robbing Peter to pay Paul. It almost seems like it’s too little too late for Target as they waited too long to try to compete with the much larger competition of Amazon and Walmart.

     
  • Geebo 9:07 am on November 2, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , retail, , walmart parties   

    There ain’t no party like a Walmart party 

    There ain't no party like a Walmart party

    If you’re the country’s largest retailer, but you’re losing ground to online competition, what do you do? You throw a party of course. Walmart has announced that in their run up to the holiday season will be holding ‘parties’ in their Supercenter stores in November and December. These parties, to be held on three separate weekends, will have increased stock at the stores with thousands of product demos.

    This is another attempt by Walmart to take advantage of what Amazon can’t do. One of the problems with Amazon is that you can’t have any hands on testing with the products before you buy them from the website. You have to rely on sometimes unreliable user reviews. Whereas with Walmart, you can actually go into a physical location during these parties and inspect the merchandise.

    The problem for Walmart is, that even with increased stock they won’t have the selection that Amazon wields. Walmart could very well find themselves in the same place that Best Buy found themselves in. Meaning that people will go to the stores to check out a certain piece of merchandise than order it from Amazon. Many consumers say that Best Buy is the best Amazon showroom there is and Walmart could find themselves in the same predicament this holiday season as more people continue to turn to online shopping in order to avoid the holiday crowds.

     
  • Geebo 9:04 am on October 25, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , retail, ,   

    Are big retailers trying to squeeze out Whole Foods? 

    Are big retailers trying to squeeze out Whole Foods?

    According to a report from Reuters, Amazon is facing an uphill battle when it comes to not only opening new Whole Foods locations, but also what they can provide in existing locations. Many big box retailers such as Target and Best Buy have leasing agreements with their stores’ property owners that can limit what other stores can do.

    For example, Many Target stores have a clause in their leasing agreements that prevents nearby stores from providing lockers where they can pick up online orders. That was one of the main reasons as to why Amazon bought Whole Foods in the first place. Some Best Buys have clauses that prohibit electronics from being sold on less than 250 square feet of floor space. This could inhibit Whole Foods from selling Amazon’s Echoes and Kindles. Bed Bath and Beyond also has a clause that prevents some nearby stores from selling linens and other housewares. Many of the stores’ spokespeople say this is a common business practice when it comes to multi-store properties.

    However, Amazon should never be counted out. Considering they took a simple book selling website and it turned it into the world’s largest online retailer they’ve face hurdles like this before and have always come out on top.

     
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