In today's experience, private monopoly providers Comcast and Spectrum are doing the least amount possible to upgrade last-mile digital distribution while continually raising rates and imposing data caps. Wireless 5G is nice, but there's nothing better than a fat fiber-optic pipe, and without government mandates (or just doing the job themselves), we keep falling farther and farther behind Asia and Europe.
"Great, they're out of Cheerios again, the aisle ahead is blocked like the Suez Canal by a shopper who brought 3 kids, the Instacart shopper snatched the last pack of hash browns right as I got there, and now a Dalek is screaming at me." OUT OF STOCKS WILL BE EXTERMINATED, indeed.
Great point -- the labor savings is significant regardless of the land situation. So in rural areas, just build horizontally, since rents are cheap and construction costs are lower, but implement the automation anyway.
On issues like what color to paint the undersides of overpasses, the state muffin, whom to contract a data center to, I agree. Issues that directly affect my employees' and customers' well-being and ability to exercise their rights? Darned right I'd need to raise my voice, because that ultimately affects my operations and my revenues.
The Georgia House yesterday voted to rescind a fuel tax exemption which would have cost Delta tens of millions, just because of their tepid statement -- which only proved to Delta that back-room persuasion isn't enough anymore in Georgia and forced their more direct statements today.
"One-click" integration with Shopify would be a boon to sites like ours, from a customer-convenience angle.
From a merchant/manufacturer angle, logistics and shipping costs are the mountain in our way. With all the surcharges, base rate hikes, and delivery blackouts, we can't make money on sub-$100 orders anymore! Amazon is beating the UPS/FedEx duopoly with their own vehicles and people, so can Google and Shopify work out some kind of unified deal with the USPS, DHL, and other regional services?
I'm more than happy with the selections available at the DSW just down the street, and even with the vaccine I just don't care enough to make a special trip to a Nike standalone store. If it works for them, great, but meanwhile NB, Sketchers, etc will be pleased to take my money.
We should probably have a discussion tomorrow about the Publix incident at Atlantic Station, how it conflates with the attacks on Asians in Atlanta, and what role/responsibility retail and manufacturers have in proactively advocating for legal changes to keep their staff and clientele safe. "Staying out of politics" has only led to more loss of life.
Just what I was coming here to say. Was looking for a table lamp this weekend and saw the same exact photo two dozen times on Amazon, each under a different registered brand. It makes the browsing experience worthless there for home goods, and increasingly so in small electronics.
I know Target + is being very deliberate with vetting, even to the point of allowing only one seller per SKU. Here's hoping Walmart is being careful as well.
Gary, I think you have it right on the nose: over-optimization for one element to try to drive out cost in times of stability creates vulnerabilities throughout the chain in times of stress, and only results in an overall increase in costs.
More than any system of technology or flavor-of-the-year acronym, to keep a business healthy, it takes people who can see the chain as a whole and understand that some degree of flexibility and yes, over-investment, is necessary because situations never remain stable for long and we never know where the next disruption is coming from.
Building resiliency ahead of time is the most critical element in a crisis, and it takes seasoned logistics-minded thinkers who can stand up with facts to finance and senior management to keep a company functioning when things get weird.
As my logistics professors used to say, "you're going to pay one way or another - do you want to do it in a planful way or do you want to do it in a panic?"
Target is 100% Dayton's DNA. The prototype ran out of Dayton's basement space in downtown Minneapolis in the early 1960s and when validated, put into standalone stores from 1962 onward. "T1" as we locals call it, is less than a mile from my house in Roseville, MN.
The Dayton Hudson Department Store Corporation rebranded itself Target Corporation in 2000, reflecting where the majority of its sales were coming from -- and Target spun off the department stores to Macy's in 2004 -- which we still grouse about ... It's no mistake that their "all in motion" sportswear private label line uses the Dayton's 1970s-era logo!
As much as the rural press in MN took hold of this story and played the "Minneapolis is dying" angle, the truth is City Center needed significant upgrades to remain competitive and was going to have to increase rents, especially with the amazing Dayton's building rehab coming on stream across the street. And most of the staff who worked there will likely relocate to Brooklyn Park (a light rail line will link that Target campus with downtown several years from now, as well). Target and the companies that sell to/service them occupy collectively about six blocks downtown and aren't going anywhere.
Lots of cranes in Downtown and the North Loop as the residential boom and riverfront redevelopment continues, and Deluxe Check relocating from the suburbs to the core. "Work from home" here increasingly means you can live downtown with all its amenities and walk to the office if you have to (as a friend of ours who works for Wells Fargo does).
Everything comes back around. Here in the Twin Cities, Holiday Stationstores built several Holiday Plus hypermarts back in the 1980s - which of course copied what was going on in Europe at the time. When I visited Beijing back in 2007, the local supermarket had several complementary shops inside like a dry cleaner, but also a military surplus store. :)
All those Instant Pots and air fryers purchased last year aren't going to be squirreled away in the cupboard anytime soon. Food conversations around the office are split down the middle between fantasizing about which restaurants we want to go to first and the amazing meals we cooked last night. Lots of folks leveled up their cooking skills and discovered they really enjoy it. Now grocers have more opportunities to shift customer conversations to discovery and service, and away from a pure-price model.
Likewise, Caribou's owner JAB also holds Peet's, Krispy Kreme, Panera, Bruegger's, and Einstein Bagels. So while Caribou is operated locally and has the budget and freedom to innovate, the technology and systems end has the power to make things happen quickly. All in all, seems like this study says it's good to be a consumer in Minneapolis!