While I'm confused about your "on principle" referring to never shopping at Walmart but seemingly being an Amazon customer -- conflicting -- I do believe companies should be rewarded either via accolades or actual dollars when they make decisions like this.
That said, I'll continue to support small business because I can.
Everyone seems to want to speak to the margins and logistics of this "ask" rather than the psychology of it and that is makes Target look like a bit of a bully throwing their weight around for not bearing a SHARE of the burden. Many supplier clients of mine are negotiating with their factories and have been met, mostly, with an amenable response to share some of the burden. I just feel badly for those retailers who do not have that same leverage (which most of you also mentioned).
Cooperation is key.
As someone who works with/for a SAM, I can assure you that 1) SBA is ONLY helpful to resellers 2) Want to hear how Amazon would actually " guarantee that the brand won’t lose the buy box due to price" and 3) the last paragraph is essential reading for brands who sell online and b&m; the channel conflict is real and brands do themselves a disservice by allowing resellers.
Never mind too much square footage. They need to find a way to break up and lease out some of that space. I mean this isn't novel, it's the way of retail for several years now. Yet their massive, horrifically merchandised, sad looking stores are all still sitting there with less inventory and price updates. Who cares?
The magnitude by which these massive companies "fail" is important to note as it has a more profound negative consequence than if a "little guy" doesn't pay a livable wage, treats his/her three employees like crap, and dumps a few boxes of product. As such, it deserves more attention. Certainly, the digital/global connectivity of today has increased the spotlight in areas we would not have previously been as focused. However, one could argue that irrespective of the default, the scrutiny is warranted.
We should embrace that these companies are being held accountable and demand they both rectify the issue and introduce something positive (not one or the other).
Save for the fact that the U.S. is and has been experiencing a recycling crisis even prior to China deciding to no longer accept our cardboard and plastic. While there are promising technologies being created, whether they can scale and how quickly has yet to be determined.
Now if the move had been to utilize compostable party supplies, it would have at least been in line with the original ethos of Whole Foods and well, better for the environment. So, double fail!
Your post was way down at the bottom, otherwise I wouldn't have posted separately. I cannot agree with you more, across the board and it seems that it is the singular alternative that has the most sustainable revenue potential as well as alleviating many of the issues that are currently pressing (housing, quality of life, small business growth, etc.).
I often wonder why they aren't looking to incorporating residential and turning malls into villages, considering that the model of Main Street with residential above retail continues to be utilized. I'm probably missing something huge since I've no experience with residential properties/development.
I avoid these types of "theatrical" stores like the plague. I want to be able to peacefully engage in discovery, like one would do in an off-price store, and that experience can be replicated across a wide array of store types and sizes when the curation is mindfully done and dynamic. I feel like Showfields is all about bells and whistles which isn't sustainable and I'll be interested to see the sales conversion data and whether they fall prey to being a lookie-loo destination that gets "showroomed" but otherwise neglected by visitors.
Or maybe Amazon's presence will highlight some pain points and necessary changes that which when implemented, will make said Counter partners better stores that can compete in a crowded marketplace and ultimately provide more for their customers and increase retention. (ftr: I'm not a fan of Amazon)
Counter partners are going to need to shift compelling storytelling up to the front/pick-up area if they are to convert someone who is keen on just picking up a package vs. considering other in-store needs. It won't be as easy as thinking traffic increase equates to additional revenue.
The irony here of course being that legacy/traditional retail USED to do an excellent job of providing customized/personal touch customer care and storytelling over selling of commodities. Everything old is new again. That traditional retail has had such an issue with leveraging their strengths is a shame.