This is a great move! Higher wages will attract and retain better employees, improve productivity, lower training expenses by having a lower turnover rate and improve the customer in-store experience, To be successful, brick and mortar stores have to invest in employees just like they must invest in technology.
This will help Kohl's reduce its store square footage which is a good thing since the current footprint is too large for most of its locations. I don't see this translating to any great increase in sales if any, rather I see the benefits in the form of cost savings from reduced heating, cooling, electric, labor, inventory and revenue from leasing out the excess area.
Sad. Sam would be very disappointed. It was a small price to pay for good PR. I felt the greeter was the ONLY thing that gave Walmart heart and made them a better corporate citizen for doing so. That being said, we should be thankful that they employed so many disabled and elderly over the years. No other retailer can claim to have hired as many disabled and elderly as Walmart has. I would've like to see Walmart keep these people employed until they retired/quit and then replace them with the new customer host position or phase the greeter position out over a number of years, lets say 3 or 5 years in order to give them ample time to prepare for this change.
Amazon maybe branded the "Everything Store," but the problem is it's not well curated. Shopping on Amazon is easy if you know exactly what your looking for. The items that Amazon suggests based on what other people bought in addition to that product is usually irrelevant. Let's not dismiss the market share of people who are anti-Amazon. These people are potential customers for a competitor. Remember, Sears and Kmart were once the "Everything Store" and look where they are now.
It's easier getting to the top than staying on top. Retailers are becoming too focused on what Amazon is doing and trying to replicate Amazon rather than focusing on their customers, their employees, their business and what they do well and then continue to build upon their successes. Target's approach to the marketplace is rather intriguing and differentiates them from Amazon.
I worked for Shopko from the mid '80s through the early '90s. During my time there, they were owned by Supervalu and then went public.
It’s too bad that the Supervalu/Shopko relationship didn’t work out. Supervalu had a lot to offer Shopko both logistically and technologically because Supervalu was much further advanced. During its time with Supervalu, Shopko opened two hypermarket stores called TwinValu, one in 1989 and one in 1990. Supervalu already had the grocery distribution system in place which would have given Shopko an edge over Walmart and Target back then, if they just would have continued to pursue it. Unfortunately, Shopko felt that groceries just lowered their margins and dropped the concept. Once Shopko went public, the focus was on looking good on paper and employees, stores and customers mattered less. The private equity owners just haven’t seemed interested in investing, renovating or relocating existing stores when needed.
Where does Shopko go from here? Right now, it looks like the same path as Sears -- a slow death. It appears Sun Capital is unwilling to invest more money in Shopko. If Shopko was making any money on the pharmacies (even though they have been paying higher drug prices), is having no pharmacies going to help their stores be more profitable? Will the loss of the pharmacies reduce the number of customer visits?
Shopko isn’t going to have greater buying power by closing 100 stores. How does Shopko plan to negotiate better prices with its vendors going forward? Closing underperforming stores will however, lower their operating expenses which is great, but will it be enough to pay for the changes needed? How will they create a stronger web presence? What is the plan for future expansion?
If you buy into the idea that a regional retailer can’t operate successful brick and mortar stores, then you shouldn’t be in retail. If that were the case, we likely wouldn’t see any new retail stores because most retailers start locally, then regionally, then nationally and then possibly internationally. Sun Capital and previous and current senior management are most likely the cause.
Is Bon Ton planning to make an online presence or are they trying to sell their websites to another retailer? Unless they do a lot of marketing, consumers are going to assume they’re bankrupt, out of business and go elsewhere for their merchandise. Bon Ton’s strength was never their online presence and website experience, so I don’t see this as a viable endeavor.
I’m not sure if the motivation is environmental or cost savings. If Kroger is serious about the environment then they should take a look at their private label products and vendor products and reduce packaging waste in those products as well by 2025. I would like to see Kroger donate all profits from the sale of recyclable bags to environmental causes. Customers will embrace this move over time if Kroger “leads by example” and not “do as I say, not as I do."
Great job Target! There still is a number of people who like to shop at brick and mortar stores. The options for these people are becoming less and less due to consolidations, bankruptcies and closings. We also have a number of brick and mortar stores that are just struggling to connect with their customer (the Sears, Kmarts and JCPs) and are forcing them to shop elsewhere. This gives opportunities for places like Target to increase their customer base and sales.
There is no “one fits all” answer. It would be different if you’re a brick and mortar, click and mortar, online retailer, customer base and the type of merchandise offered.
Retailers need a combination of both humans and data. A high-end specialty brick and mortar customer is probably looking for a much more personalized recommendation rather than an algorithm. On the other hand, for an online customer the experience is more transactional (quick and cheap) and an algorithm works for that scenario. Algorithms are based on history and not everything a customer purchases is for themselves (gifts for example), and that tends to throw off the recommendations.
An interesting test for a big box such as Target would be to build what I’ll call “TarGET & GO” in the far end of a parking lot of one of their stores. This mini store could be only a few thousand square feet and would accommodate customers who are in a hurry. They could stock the mini store with best sellers in food, snacks, paper products in addition to other items. This way the big box is accommodating both customer types.
One advantage of the “parking lot” mini store is the ability to feed off of the main stores’ inventory. This would help with maintaining excellent in stocks and the ability to feature different items and change them frequently (giving the mini store a fresh new look for customers who shop frequently and potentially add-on sales). Video and/or signage in the mini mart could be used to entice shoppers to the main store on a future visit with new products, store changes or sales.
I agree, keep innovating. The cost of innovation is going to cost Walmart longer than just a couple of years as they warned. Walmart must continually invest heavily in its business. As soon as Walmart stops innovating and investing, the sooner they will join the ranks of “the too big to fail” and “the bigger you are the harder you fall” club that Sears and Kmart are members of.
I don’t think buying groceries online is as convenient as purchasing non-grocery items. If your groceries are to be delivered, you must be home to receive the shipment unlike non-grocery items that just can be left on your doorstep. If the customer chooses to go to the grocery store to pick it up, then they might as well go into the store and pick up the items themselves and save some money. If customers are buying produce and the quality isn’t consistent every single time, they’re likely to stop buying groceries online. Buying groceries online makes sense for the elderly or disabled who may have a difficult time shopping for themselves, if you’re sick and just need a few items to get you back on your feet or for people who have more money than time.
It’s more likely the $400 million will be spent covering Sears Holdings losses rather than turning the company around. Sears had ten years to try to make a profit and reinvent itself and couldn’t do it. Now, Sears doesn’t have time or money on its side and most shoppers have given up on them.
Ten years ago I thought Sears might be better off to focus on “working people.” Replace all clothing with work/uniform clothing for tradespeople such as construction, medical and foodservice. Reinforce the change with footwear and protective eyewear for additional sales. Focus on customer service and building relationships with local companies. Be the go to place for workers. Develop quality private label work clothing and footwear that is competitively priced (think Toughskins for work). Kenmore appliances would be promoted as “hardworking appliances for hardworking people”. Everything Sears would carry would be geared for and promoted to “hardworking people.”
A “less is more” concept is absolutely necessary for brick and mortar stores to compete against Amazon. It’s easier to keep items in stock and easier to train employees on new products. If I’m going to purchase a 55" TV, I don’t want to go into a store and have to choose between 20 different models with price points varying only a few dollars on over half of them. Instead, I expect the retailer to narrow down the selection for me. The price points and features should be noticeable different in the assortment so it’s easy for the sales person to sell it and the customer can to understand the differences (price/quality/features).