From Minnesota, the quality of food at Culver's is outstanding, the service is friendly, and the locations get great traffic at all parts of the day. Lots of variety on the menu and lots of customization for both food and dessert - which goes against some of the advice here. The wait can get long, despite being well-staffed - they'll have between four and eight cars stacked up past the drive-thru window at lunch and dinner time and you should expect a 10-minute wait. Yet customers keep showing up despite that also being a customer service sin...
B&N is already a massive specialty toy merchant on its own, with a well-regarded selection and reputation (coupled with a strong affinity program) -- I don't see anything that the ghost of TRU could bring that would make them more effective.
If a six-store chain starting from scratch with no actual sales history expects vendors to hold all the inventory risk with consignment, then what's going to stop a struggling mom-and-pop single store from demanding the same? Consignment has all sorts of pitfalls and only works when the retailer is healthy and growing with hundreds of locations and has robust, reliable forecasting capability.
This is what 3rd-party wholesalers are for -- try a little, sell a little, buy a little more. Aggregate that over hundreds of small stores and then a manufacturer can achieve economies of scale shipping truckloads.
As a midsize toy and game manufacturer, I could never get on board with this TRU concept. If you don't have the volume and capability of a Target, then don't expect to get treated like a Target.
Scan-based-trading aka "Consignment Inventory" only works in very high volume situations where the manufacturer has literally hands-on control in the storefront (such as a Coca-Cola line driver) and truly collaborative marketing planning with the retailer. Our experience as a small-to-midsize manufacturer in the several retail channels is that the retailer's forecasting and inventory-management function is, if anything, less rigorous than for inventory they own themselves, since it's "someone else's problem" that sell-through did not match their own forecast, high or low. We don't have control or even consultation over pricing, promotion, or placement -- yet we still own the inventory.
Strategies like this only encourage SMEs to work harder on developing direct-to-consumer efforts.
On the supplier-side, the fallout from the Vendor Central/Seller Central actions at the top of this year are still compounding, and the ground rules for the new paradigm still haven't been documented. Interaction with Amazon for small-to-midsize companies like mine is all automated - when we have questions or when a process doesn't work, we don't have anyone to turn to: we're not sure a human ever looks at our communications. As the Washington State Attorney General's spokesperson said in the tainted children's products settlement, "it's all a black box."
When there's no transparency, who knows what is going on. As a supplier, I just can't get enthusiastic about giving so much control to something like that.
Index data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows corrugated shipping-box costs have increased 44 percent over the last 10 years, with a noticeable spike from 2017 onward. This adds margin pressure not just for retailers but for everyone all the way up the production chain!
They're putting one of these at the Ridgedale Mall on the west side of Minneapolis because it has plenty of space available, but not the traffic-leading Rosedale and/or Mall of America locations? If you want to make a splash, you use the Mall of America!
To Target's credit, their staff do have the authority to price-match their website/"outdoor" pricing. My wife saved nearly $200 on a Dyson vacuum that way last year, once the price-match and REDcard discounts were applied.
Hear, hear. My mother-in-law just had a bad reaction to a generic just this week. (different supplier, different factory) Profits are predictable for "pharma bros" but the risk is pushed to the patients...
Yet as it is described in the article, from a brand standpoint this is a "black box": give money and free product to Amazon and you *might* see increased volume, but whether you do or don't there is no transparency or audit trail. Anything I'd like to learn as a brand -- What kinds of consumers were targeted? In what browsing/search/buying situations were shoppers sampled? How many sample sessions led to conversion? -- none of that is going to be available. Shoppers may be delighted with Amazon to be sure, but at the expense of the brands.
I crave the ability to "save" product dimensions & fabric specifications when I find a pair of pants that fit just right -- then tell the store/website to only show me SKUs which match. Trial and error in the dressing room to get to that point is understandable, but once it's reached, I don't want to have to go through it again!
Of course it would force manufacturers to standardize their databases to give accurate, repeatable results. Then we could do away with the whole frustrating charade of sizes not matching across brands or even from one production lot to another for the same brand, same item!
I've been rather frustrated when trying to shop for men's dress shirts and sport coats on Amazon; the page layouts are nothing like what I'm used to on, well, virtually every clothing merchant! Where are the sizing selections, sleeve length, color option buttons? And this is for products that *could* be about as cookie-cutter as they get.
Distribution is a smart move to make L.L.Bean's quality goods accessible at reasonable cost to the small sporting goods merchants and outfitters that continue to serve the rural and northern parts of the country, where the real sporting, hunting, and fishing takes place. Canada Post's delivery chops are nowhere near what American commentators are used to with USPS, especially outside the urban cores, so L.L.Bean can't depend on just a website and mailings to get the job done with those customers who'll use their products most intensively -- they have to use a multichannel approach.
Right, this just looks like a plan to wipe out all the other parts of downtown small-town America: pull the farmers' market into the parking lot, put the community theater on the roof, run the 4th of July parade around the perimeter of the parking lot. Still means the Millennial shopper has to drive there.
Why not build affordable housing over the Supercenter? That would actually help build strong communities AND create "walkable suburbs" in one go!