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Also from Paula Rosenblum...

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Paula Rosenblum

Managing Partner
RSR Research

I'm confused. A decade ago that's what RFID was going to do — address the provenance of merchandise being sold. It actually would have worked for that purpose.

Now dotless QR codes? I don't get it. Pick a modality, any modality. The challenge is to actually DO it.

...

Max's remarks are indeed well-taken.

Still I've really warmed up to RFID as a tool for inventory visibility. That's quite different than as a replacement for physical inventory, which I think remains years away.

I would imagine the process is fairly straightforward — the book inventory says there's a pair of size...

I somehow think this logic is backwards.

We have two parking apps in Miami (one for Miami Beach, one for the city of Miami), and I love them. Truly a win-win for everyone. No coins to collect or machines to fix for the city, no coins to stash or impossible-to-use...

I have a phrase I use a lot: "The tyranny of turn." Merchants are partially compensated based on turn. Turn is an average number. A combination of overstocks and out-of-stocks simply don't show up in the turn calculation if it is within the same category.

Hence we incent our merchants...

Based on what I've seen of Walmart's DNA, it's solely an attempt to undercut Amazon.

I think Walmart customers MIGHT bite, but there is nothing about this program that would make someone like me switch. On the most basic level, their assortment isn't as broad. Then there are all the...

I don't know if it's employee ownership or just good sound retail practices, but Publix does some things really, really well.

  • There are NEVER long lines at the check-out stands. Ever.
  • Employees are always courteous and friendly.
  • Its private-label brands are trusted and well-promoted.
  • A pretty good organic selection.
  • A sense of personal safety...

Grocers in general have had a hard time with M&A. It is always challenging to subsume one banner under another. I don't think it makes a lot of sense.

Theoretical pros are elimination of organizational redundancies. Practical cons are that these redundancies rarely get eliminated (think Albertsons!).

...

Amazon has set a standard in the speed of free delivery. And it has been America's favorite retailer for seven years running. That says a lot for a company that has almost no human-to-human interaction.

It's Nirvana-like.

And if the company could actually become profitable on a sustained basis, it would...

This is not really a surprise. Someone said the most provocative thing to me on a briefing call about a year or so ago. He pointed out that in 1990, the percentage of sales that consummated at call centers was roughly equivalent to the percentage of sales currently consummated...

There's lots of data that indicates consumers prefer curated assortments. The notion of curating by price point is fascinating, and I like it.

...

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