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Hard Lessons (Thanks, Amazon) Breathe New Life Into Retail Stores
Sept. 3, 2018 | The New York Times | By Michael Corkery.

Barbara Kahn, a marketing professor and former director of the retailing center at the Wharton School, has written “The Shopping Revolution” describing the disruption in the retail industry.

It may be too early to declare the death of retail. Americans have started shopping more — in stores. From the garden section at Walmart to the diamond counters at Tiffany & Company, old-school retailers are experiencing some of their best sales growth in years....Stores that have learned how to match the ease and instant gratification of e-commerce shopping are flourishing, while those that have failed to evolve are in bankruptcy or on the brink....Amazon has forever changed consumer behavior....Many successful stores are now a cross between a fast-food drive-through and a hotel concierge......Doomsayers have predicted that online shopping, led by Amazon, would one day conquer all of retail, rendering brick and mortar obsolete....But the pace of closings has slowed, as the most unprofitable stores have been culled and the weakest companies have collapsed....Far from retrenching, many retailers are expanding their physical presence or spending billions to overhaul existing stores......Many of the new stores are supposed to be all things to all shoppers — what the industry calls an “omni-channel” experience.

Customers can order online and pick up at the store. They can order online and have their purchases delivered home, in some cases, on the same day. Or they can visit the store
Amazon  BOPIS  bricks-and-mortar  consumer_behavior  e-commerce  home-delivery  instant_gratification  lessons_learned  omnichannel  retailers  revitalization  same-day  store_closings  Target  Tiffany  books  Wharton 
september 2018 by jerryking
Inside FreshDirect’s Big Bet to Win the Home-Delivery Fight - WSJ
By Jennifer Smith
July 18, 2018 5:30 a.m

Designed to keep food fresh longer and move it faster, FreshDirect’s 400,000 square-foot distribution centre is the online grocer’s multimillion-dollar bet on the fastest-growing sector in the grocery business, home-delivery. FreshDirect pioneered the e-commerce home-delivery market, and now with Amazon and big grocery chains like Kroger Co. piling on investments, companies are jockeying for position in a business that some believe is the future of supermarket sales.....FreshDirect's trucks now provide next-day delivery to customers across the New York-New Jersey, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C., metropolitan areas, with plans to expand into Boston next. The private company says it generated between $600 million and $700 million in annual revenue in 2017.

It declined to disclose the cost of the new facility, which was financed with the help of a $189 million investment round in 2016 led by J.P. Morgan Asset Management, direct funding and incentives from state and local governments......Amazon, Target Corp. and other large companies have invested hundreds of millions of dollars to expand food delivery and build out their grocery e-commerce operations. Supermarket chain owner Koninklijke Ahold Delhaize NV’s Peapod unit, the longest-running online grocery service in the U.S., has expanded to 24 markets and is investing in technology to cut its handling and delivery costs.

Walmart Inc. said this month that Jet.com, the online retailer it bought two years ago, will open a fulfillment center in the Bronx this fall to help roll out same- and next-day grocery deliveries in New York City.

The grocers are trying to solve one of the toughest problems in home delivery: Getting food to doorsteps in the same condition consumers would expect if they went to the store themselves. Delivering perishables is trickier than dropping off paper towels or dogfood. Fruit bruises, meat spoils, eggs break. ........FreshDirect’s logistic hurdles start well before delivery. It must get products from its suppliers to the building, process the food, then pick, pack and ship orders before the quality degrades.

That is why the new distribution centre has 15 different temperature zones. Tomatoes do best at about 55 degrees, but “chicken and meat like it to be just at 32 degrees... it gives more of shelf life to it,"....Software determines the most efficient route for each order, and tells workers which items to pick.....A big part of the facility [distribution centre] is ripping out tons and tons of operating costs out of the business.....The stakes in getting the technology right are high. FreshDirect is competing with grocery chains that often fill online orders through their stores, using a mix of staff and third-party services like Instacart Inc. So-called click-and-collect services, where consumers swing by to pick up their own orders, tend to have better margins because the retailer isn’t paying for last-mile delivery.....Online-only operations with centralized warehouses tend to be more efficient than logistics run out of stores, because they use fewer workers and can position goods for faster fulfillment.
algorithms  Amazon  big_bets  cold_storage  distribution_centres  distribution  e-commerce  food  FreshDirect  grocery  home-delivery  infrastructure  Kroger  logistics  perishables  retailers  software  supermarkets  Target  Wal-Mart  warehouses  fulfillment  same-day  piling_on  last_mile 
july 2018 by jerryking
Some Big Retailers Are Still Betting On Brick and Mortar
NOV. 14, 2017 | The New York Times | By MICHAEL CORKERY.

Target’s new store near Herald Square in New York City, down the block from Macy’s flagship store and other national retail chains. It is one of about 130 smaller format stores Target has opened or plans to open by the end of 2019. The new stores are scaled back versions of the big-box Targets that predominate in the suburbs.

The company’s store strategy stands out at a time when just about everyone seems to be questioning the relevance of brick-and-mortar retail. Amazon is seizing an ever-larger share of consumers’ wallets, reducing foot traffic to stores.....The retail industry has been pushing back against the pessimism. This summer, the IHL Group, a retail and hospitality advising firm, produced a report that showed retailers will open more new stores than they will close this year. (Most of the growth, however, came from restaurant openings, not new department stores or big box retailers.)....

“The negative narrative that has been out there about the death of retail is patently false,” Greg Buzek, the group’s president, said in August when the report was published.

Some of the biggest growth in brick-and-mortar stores is coming from discount retailers, like TJX, the parent company of T.J. Maxx and Marshalls. E-commerce may offer convenience and instant gratification. But shoppers are still willing to go into a store to hunt for a good bargain.“......The big challenge is how do you get customers to come into a store if they don’t have to,” said Melina Cordero, head of retail research for Americas at CBRE, the real estate firm.....Walmart is also trying to generate more buzz around its stores, which had drawn complaints from some customers in recent years for being too cavernous and unpleasant to shop in.

This month, Walmart is holding holiday parties — complete with toy demonstrations and workers in reindeer hats — as it “cranks up the volume on store experiences.”...Retailers like Walmart are hoping they can build a more profitable business that incorporates both brick-and-mortar and online shopping — a strategy known in the industry as “omni-channel.”

Online retailers like Amazon face high transportation costs, particularly as they guarantee free two-day and even same-day delivery. They are also bearing the cost of processing free returns.

Many analysts and retail executives said Amazon’s purchase of Whole Foods and its more than 460 stores validated the relevance of brick and mortar. Still, e-commerce continues to grow at a blistering rate, far outpacing the increase in overall retail sales. Unless that growth abates, analysts and economists question how so many stores — from suburban malls to hip boutiques — can survive.
retailers  Target  bricks-and-mortar  small_spaces  store_closings  big-box  CBRE  Wal-Mart  omnichannel  e-commerce 
november 2017 by jerryking
Sears Canada raises ‘significant doubt’ about its future - The Globe and Mail
MARINA STRAUSS - RETAILING REPORTER
The Globe and Mail
Published Tuesday, Jun. 13, 2017 .

a number of retailers stand to profit from Sears’s woes. One of them is archrival Hudson’s Bay Co., which announced last week it is letting go 2,000 employees in North America and revamping to generate $350-million in annual savings.

“When a competitor is out, more customers are looking for a substitute,” said Hugh Latif of Hugh Latif & Associates Management Consultants.

Other potential beneficiaries of Sears’s problems could be discount giant Wal-Mart Canada Corp., Quebec fashion specialist La Maison Simons and Canadian Tire Corp., all of which may look at buying some of the Sears leases, in some cases to nab a better location, Mr. Latif said. Simons is one of the few retailers in this country that is rapidly expanding.

“Probably landlords will sweeten the pie for them,” he said.

And retailers such as Canadian Tire and Wal-Mart have been interested in potentially picking up some parts of Sears, most notably its rights to prominent brand names such as Kenmore appliances, industry sources said......In its transformation efforts, Sears Canada has so far relaunched four stores under its more minimal redesign, with 10 more planned this summer. It has also installed new technology for its “Initium” digital strategy, although it has faced some setbacks in the rollout. And along with introducing off-price discounted designer lines in apparel and home goods – borrowing a page from retailer Winners’s playbook, it also has overhauled its private-label lines under the new Sears Label to offer more affordable, higher-margin fashions and home décor items.
Sears_Canada  retailers  shopping_malls  Marina_Strauss  landlords  rollouts  HBC  Target  digital_strategies  store_closings  department_stores  playbooks 
june 2017 by jerryking
At Luxury Stores, It Isn’t Shopping, It’s an Experience - WSJ
By Christina Binkley
April 16, 2017

What do luxury retailers in urban areas do when they face heavy pressure from the internet? Make their stores an experience. The high-end stores of tomorrow won’t try to compete with online retailers on price or convenience. Instead, they’ll do what many luxe shops are experimenting with now—turning themselves into destinations that customers go to visit instead of simply shop.....Stores will offer human connections, entertaining discoveries and dining options. And instead of being designed to feature one kind of inventory, the stores will function like pop-ups—completely changing what they offer from time to time, or even sweeping products aside to host community events......digital-native shoppers will determine how stores look and function, particularly in cities, where online alternatives with two-hour delivery windows are already plentiful.....

“Selling things isn’t going to be obvious. It’s going to be about selling experiences,” says John Bricker, creative director for Gensler, one of the world’s largest architectural firms with a global retail design practice......In some cases, retailers go so far to create destinations that they don’t even try to sell their signature products. The Gensler-designed Cadillac House in the lobby of the car maker’s New York headquarters is an art gallery and coffeehouse, with luxe white sedans on display by the entrance. People wander in for free Wi-Fi, then get familiar with the car brand by examining the vehicles, says Mr. Bricker. (The cars can’t be purchased there; legally, one must buy from a dealer.)....The strategy of providing a total experience is also spreading to independent retailers that aren’t aiming solely at high-end customers......These shifts are being followed by mass retailers as well. The idea: to move beyond the big-box strategy of the past—where companies built giant stores that people would go out of their way to visit—and build specially tailored stores in urban areas where customers live......Target recently decided to invest $7 billion in renovating its huge suburban stores and building new small-format urban stores, in a strategy to use the large stores as distribution centers for digital orders while creating a network of small city stores that will be located within easy reach of urban dwellers, both for offline shopping and picking up or returning online orders.

Brian Cornell, Target’s chief executive officer, says products will be selected for local populations by store managers who place orders from a catalog—less pet food and more snacks and notebooks for a store near a college campus, for instance.

Target looked at stores like Story in forming the strategy. “We learned a lot about agility,” from Story,
retailers  e-commerce  luxury  customer_experience  millennials  experiential_marketing  localization  merchandising  pop-ups  digital_natives  galleries  coffeehouses  brands  personal_connections  Target  agility  small_spaces  big-box  BOPIS  distribution_centres 
april 2017 by jerryking
Target Revamps Staffing for Grocery Business - WSJ
By KHADEEJA SAFDAR
Updated Sept. 7, 2016

The stakes are high for Target to improve groceries, which account for about a fifth of its revenue. Fewer shoppers visiting stores to buy its perishable foods has been a drag on profits at a time when the retailer is facing declining sales.

Since taking over in 2014, CEO Brian Cornell has tried to make Target a more compelling destination for groceries. The former Safeway Inc. and PepsiCo Inc. executive has changed leadership in the category, added more organic items to the assortment and invested in store design.
grocery  supermarkets  Target  merchandising  specialization 
september 2016 by jerryking
Target Puts Some Food Suppliers on Back Burner
Several top suppliers summoned to Target Corp.’s headquarters early this year left digesting some difficult news: Their brands were no longer special. Representatives from Campbell Soup Co.,…
big-box  Target  grocery  CPG 
may 2015 by jerryking
The incredible shrinking retail sector - The Globe and Mail
BARRIE McKENNA
The incredible shrinking retail sector
SUBSCRIBERS ONLY
OTTAWA — The Globe and Mail
Published Thursday, Feb. 12 2015

Entire categories of products are moving online, making many bricks-and-mortar stores redundant. Video and book stores are all but gone. Office supply, electronics and department stores are in retreat. A future without auto showrooms and movie theatres may be coming.

The era of the big-box store has peaked as city dwellers move back downtown, where space is at a premium.
Barrie_McKenna  retailers  size  mergers_&_acquisitions  downsizing  small_spaces  grocery  supermarkets  pharmacies  proximity  convenience_stores  store_footprints  post-deal_integration  bricks-and-mortar  consolidation  distribution_channels  Target  Wal-Mart  Loblaws  competitive_landscape  e-commerce  fresh_produce  perishables  big-box  supply_chains 
february 2015 by jerryking
Why empty shelves killed the Target brand - The Globe and Mail
SUSAN KRASHINSKY - MARKETING REPORTER
The Globe and Mail
Published Thursday, Jan. 15 2015
retailers  Target  Susan_Krashinsky  crossborder  exits  branding 
january 2015 by jerryking
How Target botched a $7-billion rollout - The Globe and Mail
MARINA STRAUSS - RETAILING REPORTER
The Globe and Mail
Published Thursday, Jan. 15 2015
exits  Target  retailers  crossborder  Marina_Strauss  rollouts 
january 2015 by jerryking
Look to Hong Kong data for a glimpse into global retail troubles - The Globe and Mail
CARL MORTISHED
Look to Hong Kong data for a glimpse into global retail troubles Add to ...
SUBSCRIBERS ONLY
Special to The Globe and Mail

Published Thursday, Aug. 21 2014,

The feng shui from Hong Kong is distinctly bearish. Li & Fung Ltd. is a logistics and supply management firm, in simple terms a middle-man that bridges the gap between big fashion and apparel retailers, such as Target Corp., Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Marks & Spencer Group PLC and their largely Asian suppliers. Owning no sewing machines and employing no seamstresses, it nonetheless is at the cutting edge of global retailing, making $8.7-billion (U.S.) in revenues over six months. It is no more nor less than the back office for some very big brands, organizing the supply of raw materials, the manufacturing, the distribution and warehousing of the frocks you see in the shops.
Carl_Mortished  Hong_Kong  Li_&_Fung  fashion  Marks_&_Spencer  asset-light  logistics  supply_chains  data  apparel  Target  Wal-Mart  retailers  middlemen 
august 2014 by jerryking
globeadvisor.com: Labour costs in spotlight as grocery wars shift to front lines
October 1, 2013 | Report on Business |MARINA STRAUSS.

Grocers are grappling with consolidation, as well as essentially zero inflation this year, forcing them to try to reduce costs, said Sylvain Charlebois, a food policy professor at the University of Guelph in Ontario. "Margins are very tight," he said.
Marina_Strauss  retailers  grocery  supermarkets  unions  Loblaws  Metro  Wal-Mart  Target  Sobeys  Safeway  UFCW  Sylvain_Charlebois 
october 2013 by jerryking
Retailers warn of spreading ‘bloodbath’ - The Globe and Mail
Sep. 17 2013| The Globe and Mail | MARINA STRAUSS - RETAILING REPORTER.

The added stress is felt acutely in Canada’s grocery industry, which is the victim of an essentially “zero-sum game,” Perry Caicco, retail analyst at CIBC World Markets, said in a recent report. He projects that sales will pick up by about $1.6-billion this year – with little or no inflation – but that sales tied to the expansion of retail floor space “will eat up most of the sales growth.” As a result, grocers can expect almost no real sales increases this year or next at stores open a year or more, a critical retail measure, he warned.

“The market is not easy,” said Vicente Trius, president of Loblaw Cos. Ltd., which this summer unveiled its massive $12.4-billion deal to acquire Shoppers Drug Mart Corp. to help take on rivals.

“This generates pressure in the market because you have a consumer who spends less,” Mr. Trius said.....Retailers are also teaming up with others to gain economies of scale and round out their businesses. About a month before Loblaw announced its deal for Shoppers, Sobeys said it would buy Safeway Canada for $5.8-billion to help bolster its foothold in Western Canada.
competitive_landscape  retailers  Marina_Strauss  Loblaws  Wal-Mart  Costco  Target  Rona  slow_growth  economies_of_scale  zero-sum_game  mergers_&_acquisitions  M&A 
september 2013 by jerryking
Grocery wars spur industry consolidation - The Globe and Mail
Grocery wars spur industry consolidation Add to ...

MARINA STRAUSS

RETAILING REPORTER — The Globe and Mail

Published Wednesday, Aug. 14 2013
Target  Sobeys  Loblaws  Shoppers  Metro  grocery  supermarkets  competitive_landscape  consolidation 
august 2013 by jerryking
Loblaw’s timely acquisition amid rivalries
Jul. 24 2013 | The Globe and Mail |MARINA STRAUSS - RETAILING REPORTER




Published
Wednesday, ,
Loblaws  Shoppers  Marina_Strauss  Target  Wal-Mart  supermarkets  grocery  competitive_landscape  retailers 
august 2013 by jerryking
What sent Shoppers and Loblaw down the aisle? Wal-Mart - The Globe and Mail
Jul. 19 2013 | The Globe and Mail | Sylvain Charlebois.

Wal-Mart’s purchase of Woolco in 1994 remains the most transformational transaction in Canada’s food retailing industry. Everything happening in food distribution today continues to be affected by it. Most Canadians didn’t realize it then, but Wal-Mart’s entrance into the Canadian market would change everything: the way we shop; what we buy; and, most importantly, how we buy and value food.

Ever since Wal-Mart entered the Canadian market, it never hid its ambition of becoming Canada’s top food retailer, as it has in the United States.
Shoppers  Loblaws  mergers_&_acquisitions  Sylvain_Charlebois  M&A  food  distribution_channels  Wal-Mart  grocery  supermarkets  retailers  Quebec  Sobeys  Target 
july 2013 by jerryking
Wal-Mart expansion eggs on Canadian food fight
Apr. 24 2013 |The Globe and Mail | MARINA STRAUSS.

the most immediate threat isn’t so much the newest player, discounter Target Corp., which is getting a lot of attention as it opens its first stores here, but rather low-cost titan Wal-Mart Canada Corp. It has launched an aggressive $450-million expansion this year after snapping up former Zellers stores from Target, building up full food offerings in Wal-Mart supercentres while Target offers only a limited fresh food selection.....Ontario is ground zero for the fiercest food fight in years after Wal-Mart rushed last fall to open its new supercentres before Target rolled out its first 24 outlets in that province last month, with 100 more opening across the country in 2013.

An uncertain economy has put pressure on supermarkets such as Metro and industry leader Loblaw Cos. Ltd. to find new avenues of growth, including the burgeoning ethnic market.
...The grocers are also focused on improving their fresh offerings to serve as a key differentiator, investing in its distribution to ensure that products get to stores faster and stay fresh longer.

And they’re betting more on loyalty programs, trying to sway customers by offering them deals that are personalized for them, and in the process collect more data to monitor customer demands more precisely.
Marina_Strauss  food  retailers  ethnic_communities  Loblaws  supermarkets  Wal-Mart  Metro  grocery  Target  big-box 
may 2013 by jerryking
Big Retailers Fill More Aisles With Groceries
111.
Nick Metrowsky
Longmont Colorado
January 17th, 2011
11:29 am
Watch, as grocery stores abandon poorer areas and the drug stores become the new corner store; driving out "Joe's Corner Store"...
letters_to_the_editor  grocery  supermarkets  pharmacies  Wal-Mart  Target  Walgreens  CVS  fresh_produce  low-income 
march 2013 by jerryking
Stores Like Target and CVS Add Groceries to Attract Shoppers - NYTimes.com
January 16, 2011 | NYT | By STEPHANIE CLIFFORD.

Reflecting a major shift in the way Americans shop for food, retailers better known for selling clothes or aspirin, including Walgreens, CVS/Pharmacy and Target, are expanding in a big way into the grocery business, with fresh produce, frozen meats and, yes, even sushi.... The changes have hit the traditional grocery businesses, stores like Supervalu and Safeway, whose profits had already been declining because of rising food prices, fixed real estate and labor costs, and more competition.

Like the grocers, the convenience stores and discount stores are not making a lot of money on their groceries. Instead, the goal is to draw more customers.
retailers  grocery  supermarkets  pharmacies  Target  CVS  Walgreens  fresh_produce  frozen_foods  convenience_stores  consumer_behavior 
march 2013 by jerryking
Going small the best route for cash-rich Metro
January 30, 2013 | G & M pg. B2 |by Sophie Cousineau.

Metro is a great operator with an outstanding track record. Its first-quarter results, which on Tuesday reported first-quarter profit of $121.4­ mil1ion compared with $103.7 ­million in the year earlier period, prove it yet again. Yet the Quebec grocery chain has had it relatively easy in recent years. Its main competitor, Loblaw, was its own worst enemy, struggling with its merchandising and its computer systems. Metro dominates the Quebec market with an estimated market share among conventional food distributors.

But the market is changing. WalMart Canada is expanding unreand Target is emerging as a formidable foe from the ruins of Zellers. To say that the competition is heating up is an understatement. These American retailers are shaking a Tabasco bottle over the Quebec and Ontario markets, dotting these provinces with super-sized stores and bountiful grocery aisles.

Target is not considered as serious as a menace as Wal­Mart. Many of Target's stores are located in shopping malls where Metro has exclusivity rights on the sale of food. Wal-­Mart, which started sending out food flyers to Quebec homes, is another story.
But even with an acquisition as important and as as Safeway’s, Metro could never “outscale” or even come close to it. And while Metro has two discount banners. its namesake stores don"t venture into price wars nor would they want to
go on the American retailers' turi war. By putting the accent on the freshest fruits and vegetables and the best shopping experience, Metro is taking a different tack from its American competitors.
Getting scale in the pharmacy business would make a lot more sense for Metro. As a pharmaceutical distributor and a drugstore operator under the Brunet banner, Metro is a regional Quebec player. Yet for there to be an acquisition, Metro needs a seller. While Jean Coutu Group Inc. is aging, the Coutu family has nevel expressed the slightest interest ir selling the business they control through multiple voting shares. Moreover, they are focusing their energy on Canada after retreating from the American market.
supermarkets  mergers_&_acquisitions  M&A  retailers  price_wars  pharmacies  grocery  ethnic_communities  scaling  Jean_Coutu  Wal-Mart  Target  Metro  competitive_landscape  Sophie_Cousineau  merchandising  shopping_malls 
january 2013 by jerryking
Toy Recalls Revive Worries for Industry
Nov 9, 2007 |Wall Street Journal pg. B.4 |Nicholas Casey and Ann Zimmerman.
product_recalls  Mattel  toys  Wal-Mart  Target 
june 2012 by jerryking
How Sears plans to get its mojo back
May. 25, 2012| The Globe and Mail | MARINA STRAUSS

RETAILING REPORTER

NEWMARKET, ONT.

From Friday's Globe and Mail

Last updated Friday,
Sears_Canada  Marina_Strauss  retailers  Wal-Mart  Target  CEOs 
may 2012 by jerryking
Store? We don’t need no stinking store - The Globe and Mail
kelli korducki
From Saturday's Globe and Mail
Published Friday, Feb. 24, 2012
Target  pop-ups 
february 2012 by jerryking
Globe Investor - The Globe and Mail
STEVE LADURANTAYE AND MARINA STRAUSS

Last updated Wednesday, May. 18, 2011
retailers  Target  Marina_Strauss  Steve_Ladurantaye 
october 2011 by jerryking
Wanted: a new approach to inventiveness
Jul 27, 2010 | FT | Ranjay Gulati. Redefining innovation
entails breaking out of engineer-led obsessions with the technical
product details and thinking closely about the customer experience: not
just how well the product functions but also ancillary enhancements that
improve that experience, including packaging, delivery, post-sale
service or mktg. Examples: (1) Packaging vegetables in a single bag
requires limited technical innovation but solves an everyday problem for
busy people who want their families to eat healthy food. Bagged salads
have become a $ billion industry. (2) Similarly, Target, the retailer,
broke no new high-tech ground when it offered its own-brand crisps in
resealable bags - the idea is decades-old but Target successfully
addressed a nagging problem (keeping crisps fresh). Redefining
innovation requires involving more voices in the innovation process,
including fns. such as customer svce., mktg. and sales, that may have
played a limited role in the past.
ProQuest  innovation  HBS  customer_experience  UX  vegetables  Target  marketing  sales  problem_solving 
september 2010 by jerryking

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