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jerryking : mom-and-pop   10

India’s Biggest Competitors to Walmart and Amazon? Mom and Pop - WSJ
By Eric Bellman and Vibhuti Agarwal | Photographs by Smita Sharma for The Wall Street Journal
May 28, 2018 9:00 a.m. ET
Amazon  bricks-and-mortar  convenience_stores  e-commerce  family_business  India  local  mom-and-pop  retailers  Wal-Mart  small_business 
may 2018 by jerryking
Despite Amazon effect, not all mom and pops in trouble on Main St.
Chris Morris, special to CNBC.com Published 8:53 AM ET Fri, 11 Aug 2017

With so many major retailers struggling to stay afloat, it'd be easy to think smaller, mom-and-pop stores are doing even worse, or might be largely fading away. The recent demise of retail giants, however, has left a brick-and-mortar vacuum for local stores to fill.

And many experts say it might be best to stay small. Being a micro-sized business certainly isn't protection against big-box retailers or online competitors, but being a small business that's an integral part of a local community can help build a loyal customer base.

"The vast majority of mom-and-pop businesses are either neighborhood retail businesses or small service businesses," says Leonard Schlesinger, Baker Foundation professor at the Harvard Business School. "As neighborhood businesses, they play a significant role in neighborhood stabilization, [providing convenience for people living close by]."
Amazon  big-box  mom-and-pop  retailers  e-commerce  ethnic_communities  convenience_stores  local  customer_loyalty  small_business  department_stores  neighbourhoods 
january 2018 by jerryking
The case for ending Amazon’s dominance
January 18, 2018 FT | Tim Harford.

Amazon offers:
* consumers, choice and convenience and a shopping search engine that is Google’s only serious rival,
* start-ups cheap, flexible cloud computing services to start and scale up.
competitors, e.g. Walmart tough competition,
* television networks, a tough competitor,
* Apple loyalists, a competing tablet computers at a price to make stop and think.

economists argue that corporate America is underinvesting.....rather than take a long-term view.......Amazon should be the shining counterexample....The online retailer’s strategy is driven not by short-term profit but by investment, innovation and growth. If only there were a few more companies like Amazon, capitalism would be in a happier spot. But there’s the rub: there aren’t more companies like it. It’s unique, and an increasingly terrifying force in online commerce. Should regulators act? If so, how?....

Begin by disposing of a poor argument: that Amazon must be challenged because it makes life miserable for its competitors, some of which are plucky mom-and-pop operations. However emotionally appealing this might seem, it should not be the business of regulators to prop up such businesses......Antitrust authorities should not be in the business of making life easy for incumbents. What, then, should they do? There are two schools of thought. One is to focus on consumers’ interest in quality, variety and price. This has been the standard approach in US antitrust policy for several decades. Since Amazon makes slim profits and charges low prices, it raises few antitrust questions.

The alternative view — which harks back to an earlier era of antitrust during which Standard Oil and later AT&T were broken up — argues that competition is inherently good even if it is hard to quantify a benefit to consumers and that society should be wary of large or dominant companies even if their behaviour seems benign. ....The narrowing in antitrust thinking is described by Lina Khan in a much-read article, “Amazon’s Antitrust Paradox”. Ms Khan berates modern antitrust thinking for its “hostility to false positives”.....Tim Harford disagrees, he shares modern antitrust’s hostility to false positives; there is a real cost to cumbersome and unnecessary meddling in a dynamic and rapidly evolving marketplace. US president Donald Trump’s history of publicly attacking Mr Bezos is worth pondering too: Harford asks, "do we really want the US government to have more discretion as to who is targeted, and why?"....Yet for all this,Tim Harford remains deeply uneasy about Amazon’s apparently unassailable position in online retail. Yes, customers are being well served at the moment. Yet the company has acquired formidable entrenched advantages, from the information about customers and the suppliers who sell through it, to the bargaining power it has over delivery companies, to the vast network of warehouses. Those advantages were earned, but they can also be abused.

Antitrust authorities face a difficult balancing act. Regulate Amazon and you may snuff out the innovation that we all say we want more of. Punish it for success and you send a strange message to entrepreneurs and investors. Ignore it and you risk leaving vital services in the hands of an invincible monopolist.

There are no easy options, but it is time to look for a way to split Amazon into two independent companies, each with the strength to grow and invest. If Amazon is such a wonderful company, wouldn’t two Amazons be even better?
Amazon  antitrust  AWS  contra-Amazon  competition  regulators  informational_advantages  Lina_Khan  mom-and-pop  platforms  predatory_practices  Tim_Harford 
january 2018 by jerryking
Amazon’s Next Big Move: Take Over the Mall
November 14, 2016 | Technology Review | by Nicholas Carr .

What’s Amazon doing with Amazon Books?...Wall Street analysts and tech writers have filled the void with conjecture. The stores are all about selling gadgets, goes one popular idea, with the books there just to lure customers. The stores are data-gathering machines, goes another, enabling Amazon to extend its tracking of customers into the physical world. Or maybe the company’s secret plan is to use the stores to promote its cloud computing operation, Amazon Web Services, to other retailers....The theories are intriguing, and they may contain bits of truth. But the real impetus behind the stores is probably much simpler: Amazon wants to sell more books....Not long ago, the common wisdom held that Amazon would remake the book business in its own image. Its Web store would kill off bookstores, and its Kindle would render physical books obsolete. ...
“Pure-play Web retailing is not sustainable.”Bezos underestimated the allure of bricks and paper. With his bookstore chain, he now seems to be admitting that if Amazon is to expand its share of the book market, it will need to invest in bricks as well as bits....Having come up short in its plan to supplant books and bookstores with digital alternatives, the company is taking its revenge by attacking traditional bookshops on their own turf. Unlike the mom-and-pop independents, or even the struggling Barnes & Noble chain, Amazon has the scale and the cash required to wage a war of attrition. It can sustain losses on its stores for a long time.....Amazon Books may be just the vanguard of a much broader push into brick-and-mortar retailing by the company. In October, the Wall Street Journal revealed that Amazon is planning to open a chain of convenience stores, mainly for groceries, along with drive-in depots where consumers will be able to pick up merchandise ordered online. It has also begun rolling out small “pop-up” stores to hawk its electronic devices. It already has more than two dozen such kiosks in malls around the country, and dozens more are said to be in the works.

Even after 20 years of rapid growth, e-commerce still accounts for less than 10 percent of total retail sales. And now the rise of mobile computing places new constraints on Web stores.At the same time, the smartphone, with its apps, its messaging platforms, and its constant connectivity, gives retailers more ways to communicate with and influence customers, even when they’re shopping in stores. This is why the big trend in retailing today is toward “omnichannel” strategies, which blend physical stores, Web stores, and mobile apps in a way that makes the most of the convenience of smartphones and overcomes their limitations.....Beyond its expertise in Web sales, Amazon brings distinctive strengths to an omnichannel operation. Its vast, efficient network of warehouses and distribution centers can supply outlets and process returns. It has, thanks to the largesse and patience of its investors, a reservoir of cheap capital that it can draw on to fund a building spree. And it has a much-admired brand. What Amazon lacks is experience in the touchy-feely world of traditional retailing (e.g. merchandising??). The company’s proficiency in software and data crunching is unquestioned. Its people skills are another matter..... another of the store’s goals: to promote the Prime program, which is central to Amazon’s strategy of locking in customers....I feel let down. I had convinced myself that I was going to witness something fresh and unexpected at Amazon Books. What I found was an annex to a website—a store that, despite the bricks and paper, retains the coldness of the virtual.
e-commerce  shopping_malls  Amazon  Amazon_Prime  books  sterile  soulless  Nicholas_Carr  Amazon_Books  bricks-and-mortar  Jeff_Bezos  pure-plays  bookstores  omnichannel  strengths  smartphones  mobile_applications  loyalty_management  impersonal  people_skills  Achilles’_heel  weaknesses  convenience_stores  pop-ups  kiosks  voids  merchandising  AWS  physical_world  mom-and-pop  coldness  touchy-feely  cyberphysical  emotional_connections  empathy_vacuum  Amazon_Go  cashierless  locked_in  distribution_centres 
february 2017 by jerryking
Lack of investment is the real tragedy in Africa
June 10 2005 | FT | By Kurt Hoffman.

The moral question of our time has little to do with public money and everything to do with private capital.

The calls for rich taxpayers' money to eliminate poverty, either as debt relief or as aid, drown out the whoosh of billions of dollars of private capital that is circling the globe, looking for a place to land and multiply. The real tragedy is that only 1 per cent of it finds its way to sub-Saharan Africa.

This vote of no confidence in Africa on the part of global investors is seen by some as a justification for doubling aid. But this is confounded by the fact that Africa delivers some of the highest returns on investment on the planet.

Even more intriguing: despite the misperception that capital shortages are holding back development, banks across east, west and sub-Saharan Africa are actually flush with money. Yet they refuse to lend it to those who can do the most with it: millions of disenfranchised, small-scale African entrepreneurs who could lift Africa out of poverty if given half a chance.
Africa  investments  sub-Saharan_Africa  investors  ROI  private_equity  misperceptions  disenfranchisement  mom-and-pop  capital_shortages  small-scale  entrepreneur 
august 2012 by jerryking
Entrepreneurs With an Edge - WSJ.com
November 6, 2000 | WSJ| By CHRISTINE LARSON.

Today, Americans at least 50 years old comprise fully 24% of Internet-business founders, according to Industry Standard, a technology trade journal. Older adults can be found in every e-business outpost, from mom-and-pop craft stores to multimillion-dollar public companies. They bring with them not only a wealth of experience, but an appreciation of old-fashioned business values such as customer service and tightfisted cost control.

Equally important, they often enjoy an economic and personal stability that can cushion the bumps of start-up life
aging  entrepreneurship  slight_edge  baby_boomers  retirement  Second_Acts  start_ups  seniorpreneurs  mom-and-pop  midlife  e-commerce 
july 2012 by jerryking
Mom-and-Pop Pulled Pork - WSJ.com
May 11, 2012 | WSJ | By KATIE WORKMAN
An oven-baked version of the smoky-sweet perennial barbecue favorite
pork  recipes  BBQ  rubs_sauces_marinades  mom-and-pop 
may 2012 by jerryking
Charles Schwab: Every Job Requires an Entrepreneur - WSJ.com
SEPTEMBER 28, 2011 | WSJ | By CHARLES R. SCHWAB. Every Job Requires an Entrepreneur
Someone took risks to start every business—whether Ford, Google or your local dry cleaner.

What's the potential power of the entrepreneur's simple leap of faith? The success of a single business has a significant payoff for the economy. Looking back over the 25 years since our company went public, Schwab has collectively generated $68 billion in revenue and $11 billion in earnings. We've paid $28 billion in compensation and benefits, created more than 50,000 jobs, and paid more than $6 billion in aggregate taxes. In addition to the current value of our company, we've returned billions of dollars in the form of dividends and stock buybacks to shareholders, including unions, pension funds and mom-and-pop investors.

The wealth created for our shareholders—a great many of them average Schwab employees—has been used to reinvest in existing and new businesses and has funded a myriad of philanthropic activities. We've also spent billions buying services and products from other companies in a diverse set of industries, from technology to communications to real estate to professional services, thereby helping our suppliers create businesses and jobs.
entrepreneurship  risk-taking  editorials  entrepreneur  government  policy  regulation  job_creation  Charles_Schwab  large_payoffs  mom-and-pop  leaps_of_faith  wealth_creation 
september 2011 by jerryking
Do Believe the Hype - NYTimes.com
Nov. 2, 2010 |NYT| Tom FRIEDMAN..."the single most important
trend in the world today: globalization — the distn of cheap tools of
comm. & innovation that are wiring together the world’s citizens,
govts., biz, terrorists — is going to a whole new level."....EKO India
Fin Services' founders, Abhishek & Abhinav Sinha , began with an
insight — that low-wage migrant workers flocking to Delhi from poorer
states like Bihar had no place to put their savings & no secure way
to remit $ home to their families. India has relatively few bank
branches for a country its size, so many migrants stuff $ in their
mattresses or send $ home through traditional “hawala,” or hand-to-hand
networks...The brothers' idea: In every neighborhood there’s a
mom-and-pop kiosk selling drinks, cigs, candy & groceries. Why not
turn each one into a virtual bank? They created a s/ware prgrm allowing
a migrant in Delhi using his cellphone, & proof of identity, to
open a bank acct. registered on his cellphone txt system.
India  entrepreneurship  start_ups  Tom_Friedman  banking  mobile_phones  low-wage  globalization  flat_world  insights  text_messages  urbanization  remittances  microfinance  fin-tech  underserved  unbanked  kiosks  neighbourhoods  internal_migration  mom-and-pop  the_single_most_important 
november 2010 by jerryking
Blaming the Middleman
Tuesday, August 22, 2006 WSJ editorial. What Andrew Young
doesn't understand about economics. The Wall Street Journal explains to
Andrew Young, racism aside, what was wrong with his analysis of why mom
and pop stores charge more in urban areas.
entrepreneur  African-Americans  neighbourhoods  mom-and-pop  urban  racism  immigrants  retailers  convenience_stores  middlemen  Andrew_Young 
march 2009 by jerryking

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