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storewanderer

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  • Posted on: 04/13/2021

    Will Bed Bath & Beyond’s new ad help change how consumers see the retailer?

    I like the ad. However, it does not make me necessarily want to go to specifically Bed Bath & Beyond. It makes me think of the home goods category in general and the various other retailers out there who are kicking the heck out of Bed Bath & Beyond's understocked and overpriced stores right now -- Target, TJX Home Goods, IKEA, etc. Better approach here would have been to wait until they were done renovating their stores (none within a couple hours of me have renovated yet despite a couple being large high volume stores) and then mixed this clip with a clip showing the renovated stores and all they have to offer -- if the renovated stores are actually good enough that they would fit in with the ad.
  • Posted on: 04/12/2021

    Why are McDonald’s restaurants leaving Walmart stores?

    I think it may be more of a problem with McDonald's itself and its execution, operational, and pricing issues in parts of the US. But various other concepts are not surviving in these spaces either. However, historically, McDonald's with cheap food seemed like a good fit for Walmart with high foot traffic, hundreds of employees, and lots of families shopping. In my area at least, where McDonald's wants over $5 for a Big Mac, over $5 for a chicken sandwich with two slices of pickle, and $3 for a medium fries, they are no longer cheap food. Walmart locations are busier than ever and have more foot traffic than ever. As far as employees go, if more employees are working part time and not full 8 hour shifts, they are less likely to even consume food while at the store and instead eat before or after work away from the store. But the COVID pandemic seems to have been what really pushed most of these locations off the edge. So in my area in the past year, most of the food tenants have left Walmart Stores, but a couple have already refilled. That includes 1 Wendy's, 1 Burger King, and 3 McDonald's all vacating in the past year. There are still a few Subways, 1 Little Caesars/Nathans, and 1 McDonald's (which I expect to stay -- it is very busy, has order kiosks, etc.). Back to the locations that refilled the tenants that left already -- 2 locations have since added in Dunkin' (which is not run properly and won't survive). When these spaces close, all equipment is removed so they are essentially an empty shell. Something could move in, but it will need all new equipment.
  • Posted on: 04/09/2021

    Is Levi’s poised to become a consumer-direct powerhouse?

    Part of how Levi's has remained relevant is by being so readily available to so many different retailers. Even arguably watering the brand down by selling lesser versions at places like Walmart and Target. But it has kept them relevant. They may want to be careful here. Levi's is good, but it isn't Nike.
  • Posted on: 04/08/2021

    Will climate action become less of a priority for retail post-pandemic?

    Looking at how much more retail has moved online and how terrible that is for all of these initiatives, I think you have your answer regarding this industry. Sales are the first priority. Period. Without sales there will be no retail industry. Of course if all the things that are predicted to happen with climate change happen, there will be no retail industry either. Many who have been preaching this climate change thing predicted doom in 2010, doom by 2020, etc. And we are never doing enough to combat climate change. Well, we aren't doomed yet. Fear mongering? Or will ignoring it doom us when it is too late to reverse course? Unknown. But if there is one thing we have learned in the past year it is that scaring people is sure an effective means of control. COVID concerns and the upcoming economic challenges as a result have set climate initiatives way, way back.
  • Posted on: 04/08/2021

    Amazon’s CEO Bezos comes out in support of national infrastructure bill

    As far as Amazon goes, sure Bezos will come out and say he supports this. Then they will stay close to the bill throughout the lobbying process to "monitor" it and provide their feedback throughout the process. Meanwhile once the actual bill they lobby heavily during the process for gets passed, a large team of lawyers and tax professionals will find the loopholes in the bill and make any structural changes necessary to Amazon so Amazon does not have to pay increased taxes. Maybe we need to develop some kind of system that transports packages automatically from point A to point B- not road or rail. Maybe it runs alongside (or above) rail lines. Sounds like great infrastructure to help Amazon, stop burning fossil fuels on the road or rail to transport Amazon packages, etc. But we can't develop much of anything anymore. All we can do is argue. Imagine if back in the day, the US politicians who made the interstate highway system happen had been like the politicians of today who just argue and pivot people against each other. Where would we be without those interstate highways? We need politicians who actually want to work to make improvements, and spend money on actual improvements, not bait each other about meaningless social issues and argue all the time without getting anything done. No wonder we keep losing track.
  • Posted on: 04/08/2021

    Amazon’s CEO Bezos comes out in support of national infrastructure bill

    Infrastructure bills have been getting proposed for years without a whole lot of actual infrastructure happening. This "infrastructure" bill, stretches the old line definition of infrastructure for sure. But the reality is we should have had a real infrastructure bill years ago that addressed the roads, highways, bridges, broadband, etc. This bill touches on those things, but most of the funds are going to other things. Who even knows what? I think it is just more political games to make the two parties in power look like they are fighting with each other so they can continue to pivot people against each other. Would be nice for them to actually get something done for the benefit of the country.
  • Posted on: 04/07/2021

    Will shelf scanning robots put an end to out-of-stocks?

    I see a catch 22 here. The robot needs a "neat" store to work with. Walmart is not really a neat store most of the day. It is a mess most of the day. Pallets all over even in the daytime, customers all over, misplaced items all over. The robot may pick up an empty shelf but maybe the item is just in the wrong slot, or sees stuff on a shelf (which is actually clutter) that is actually missing what it is supposed to have and gives that shelf a pass. So the catch of course is the other stores that may be "neat" also tend to be more service focused and I am not sure how comfortable customers in a higher end store would be with a robot walking around the store looking at the shelves. Customers expect service in higher-end stores. Also, I will point out here that Walmart continues to use a competing robotic device for floor cleaning.
  • Posted on: 04/07/2021

    Will shelf scanning robots put an end to out-of-stocks?

    Target's in stock conditions are also quite terrible at most of its locations where I am in NV. One low volume location with only a few of everything on the shelf has the fewest out-of-stocks. They have improved in the past month from how they were, though. Target is supposed to have an employee walking around who scans the out of stocks and it sends a message to the backroom employees to find the item and fill the shelf. Not sure if my local store in Reno, NV which is really poorly run is bothering to do this, but let's assume they are doing it because Target tracks metrics like that pretty heavily and I'd be surprised if they were skipping it.
  • Posted on: 04/05/2021

    Should Amazon open clearance stores?

    I think Amazon should farm this function out to someone else to run for them. There are various retailers or formats that could be developed to handle this sort of thing. One bad experience with a customer buying a defective Amazon return item from Amazon and the customer's image of Amazon will be negatively impacted, potentially ruined. But if the customer buys that item from some other company as a final sale at a rock bottom price, it will not have a negative impact on Amazon if the experience goes bad.
  • Posted on: 04/02/2021

    Kroger CEO says no one has the ‘data and insights’ that it has

    Yeah, they need to get some better data. I have seen all of what you describe at multiple other Kroger divisions. The attitude is not just the same as 5-10 years ago. I don't know what has happened, but as you say, who cares how much data you have if the employees and customers are unhappy?
  • Posted on: 04/02/2021

    Kroger CEO says no one has the ‘data and insights’ that it has

    I believe this was the way Kroger approached its business under the previous CEO Dave Dillion as well. They were always trying to improve. Even when something seemed to be working they tried to make it better -- not scrap it entirely -- keep it, but make it better. That was also the culture of the old Fred Meyer in the '90s. This new Kroger culture does not seem to be like that. It seems to be too proud of itself and too confident in itself.
  • Posted on: 04/02/2021

    Kroger CEO says no one has the ‘data and insights’ that it has

    Let's use this data Kroger, to find out how shoppers like some of the initiatives you've done the past couple years at Smiths: 1. Stopped accepting Visa credit cards because fees were too high but then went back on it around November 2019 and started accepting them again; 2. Closed stores at 8 PM during COVID Pandemic earlier than any other competitor forcing people to shop in very crowded stores with no option to shop during the later less crowded hours, while various other competitors were still open until 10 PM or 11 PM; 3. And their most recent hit: soon starting to charge a fee between $.50 and $3 for customers to obtain "cash back" with a debit card purchase in the store; 4. A digital coupon app that routinely has 600+ offers to sort through and you can only add up to 150 offers at a time on your card. Further, I have largely stopped shopping at Smiths and have received nothing in the way of retention offers or other things to get me back into the store. One time around 2012 I was away from any Kroger territory for about 3 weeks traveling and when I got home about a week later, a postcard in the mail showed up with a $10 off $50 purchase at Smiths. I am sure it was based on my lack of purchases as when I redeemed it rang up as "retention offer" or something. Kroger has become very headstrong. It doesn't seem to be about "customer first" anymore like it was when Dave Dillon was CEO and they were making constant improvements to their offering, service levels, pricing, and overall experience for the customer. Technology improvements were being rolled out with obvious benefit to the customer like the Que Vision for checkout line tracking. Now it has shifted to a top down mentality where they have centralized too many things. This reminds me a lot of the old Safeway chain under Steve Burd toward the end of his tenure there, though some of Kroger's more recent moves seem even more headstrong and even less customer friendly than stuff the old Safeway did (amazing they can top that). The other difference is Safeway had even higher prices, nicer stores and better product quality ... and we still see what happened there.
  • Posted on: 03/30/2021

    Will Bed Bath & Beyond achieve its omni-always dream with its latest digital-first moves?

    Too bad Target is already omni-always, already has many exclusive brands in the home category, and the customers are flocking to shop there. Bed Bath & Beyond is years late to this party. Adding new private label lines that look like copycats of Target private label items at higher prices just makes them look like a me too who is years late to the game. This new CEO is recruiting a lot of talent, but the problem was the period when he initially took over and let the stores become so empty of inventory. A lot of customers left and didn't return. Then COVID happened and stores were mandated closed. Another very bad thing for this chain. Now they have sold off Cost Plus, Christmas Tree, closed or are in the process of closing hundreds of stores ... we will see what happens. Their stores look better now than they have in a while, but still don't look great.
  • Posted on: 03/30/2021

    Are remote controlled robots ready to deliver for grocers and drugstores?

    So this thing can go on the sidewalk? I thought the sidewalk was for pedestrians. Generally speaking something wheeled and automatically controlled (motorized?) on a sidewalk would be technically illegal (like a bike) in at least some places. What happens when this thing has an accident on the sidewalk with a pedestrian or someone's pet? I think I liked the drones in the air idea better.
  • Posted on: 03/30/2021

    Nike says goodbye to more longtime wholesale partners

    I was in some Fred Meyer locations recently (very close to Nike HQ actually) and all still had plenty of Nike products available. That was an account they were supposedly shutting down last year. Meanwhile, Nike is gone from J.C. Penney in my area, but I have not heard that is an account they formally announced they were shutting down. I think they are making a mistake cutting some of these accounts. It is going to impact their ability to reach consumers in smaller markets cutting off chains like Big 5. I suspect this will hurt their marketshare. Those sales won't all move online. The move to cut off the competing sporting goods retailers appears to be a bow to Dick's. Well, Big 5 runs in a lot of smaller markets hundreds of miles from a Dick's. So they are going to lose access to a lot of consumers in smaller markets with this move.
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