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Business Development, AutoStore
I have helped create dozens of facilities leveraging AMRs, piece-picking, and now AutoStore. I apply warehouse robotics to solve logistics and supply chain industry challenges.
  • Posted on: 04/20/2021

    What goes into delivering a ‘wow’ shopping experience?

    Employees can deliver the wow experience when empowered with the right tools. The most frustrating experience is hearing a store associate explain why they can't do something or just that it's not possible. The customer is, and always will be, right. So empowering store associates to make things right on behalf of customers is what wow's people. And a chatbot is definitely not the automation for that. Even further, reducing some of the in-store staff to a lesser role without an expectation of customer interaction is fraught with issues. If someone is wearing the logo, then they should be able to politely help customers and be at least knowledgable enough to get the right person. Don't let anyone respond "that's not my job" -- unless you want your store to be reduced to a warehouse of commodities.
  • Posted on: 04/05/2021

    Should Amazon open clearance stores?

    They have several storage formats now (Go Stores, Bookstores, Grocery) and this format should give them new access to a new market segment. Low income, treasure hunters that prefer an in-person experience.
  • Posted on: 04/05/2021

    Should Amazon open clearance stores?

    All channels are valid when the goal is maximum growth. All retailers have to deal with returns and leftover inventory, so liquidation is inevitable. Amazon had managed this all online with warehouse deals to date, and likely other more private channels. But adding a new channel makes sense as they keep growing. What's unclear is how much of the stuff is actually too poorly made to even sell in liquidation. Many of these returns are likely DOA or other items that were manufactured below the quality required for sale in the first place. These could end up generating a really bad experience when they get returned. So careful grading processes and supplier management will be necessary. I think this part is where the good liquidators (TJX, Big Lots, etc) really shine. These stores could help them gain traction in markets less attractive today with a lower price point and lower fulfillment cost by being in low-income neighborhoods. On the other hand, partnering with someone like Big Lots could be a strong alternative to have an instant channel presence.
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