Amazon Is Banking on Brick-and-Mortar Stores

Amazon Is Banking on Brick-and-Mortar Stores

Amazon is expanding its physical retail footprint.

After putting other retailers out of business, it is pursuing a brick-and-mortar strategy in the grocery business, a sector known for razor-thin profit margins. It has also opened several physical bookstores at a time when Barnes & Noble, unable to compete with the digital retail giant, has been closing its own. The common element to an increasingly diversified portfolio of businesses is the Prime membership. In making its products and services ubiquitous, Amazon is becoming more of a lifestyle than just a retailer.


Video Spotlight: Amazon’s New, Full-Size Grocery Store


This post is based on the CNBC article, Amazon Just Opened a Cashierless Supermarket – Here Are All the Ways It’s Trying to Upend the Grocery Industry, by A. Palmer, February 25, 2020, and the YouTube video, Here’s A Look Inside Amazon’s First Full-Size Grocery Storeby CNBC Television, February 25, 2020. Image source: SEASTOCK/Shutterstock.

Discussion Questions:

1. Why is Amazon increasing the number of its physical stores in areas where others have failed?

Guidance: Amazon has put a large number of retailers out of business. With enormous financial resources and weak competition, it can try different growth Continue reading

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Blue Apron Fails to Deliver

Blue Apron Fails to Deliver

Once a darling in Silicon Valley, Blue Apron has seen its stock plummet.

Like many other startups, the meal-delivery service company fell short of expectations with an unsustainable and unproven business model as competition increased. After a meteoric rise, demand for the pre-packaged ingredients for a single meal with no leftovers collapsed. The company is considering multiple strategic alternatives including the sale of its assets and cost optimization initiatives.


Video Spotlight: Blue Apron Review from a Loyal Customer


This post is based on the CNN article, Blue Apron May Be Up for Sale as Losses Mount, by P.R. La Monica, February 19, 2020, and the YouTube video, Blue Apron Review | After 2 Yearsby Miss Sarah E K, December 15, 2018. Image source: Â© Image Source/Alamy Stock Photo.

Discussion Questions:

1. What are the reasons for Blue Apron’s financial struggles?

Guidance: There are two major reasons for Blue Apron’s financial struggles. The company misunderstood the market and underestimated the competition. People who cook at home do not really care for single-use ingredients such as one pat of butter. Moreover, they may not want to go through the trouble of cooking small portions with Continue reading

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Productivity vs. Patient Safety at Walgreens and CVS

Productivity vs. Patient Safety at Walgreens and CVS

Tired employees at Walgreens and CVS are making mistakes that may threaten patient safety.

For some time, pharmacists have argued that understaffed and high-pace work environments are contributing to medication errors and compromising public safety. Management has challenged these allegations but is planning to review the standards used to evaluate pharmacists’ performance.


Video Spotlight: Medication Errors at 24-Hour Pharmacies


This post is based on The New York Times article, At Walgreens, Complaints of Medication Errors Go Missing, by E. Gabler, February 21, 2020, and the YouTube video, Prescription Drug Dispensing Errors Kill 100,000 People Per Year in USby CBSDFW, May 14, 2018. Image source: fstop123/Getty Images.

Discussion Questions:

1. How do Walgreens and CVS try to ensure high levels of productivity from their pharmacists?

Guidance: The productivity index is measured by the ratio of output to input. In this article, the efforts mentioned to boost productivity involve a reduction of inputs through increased quantitative workload and multi-tasking. The high pace of work, lower staffing levels (e.g. elimination of overlapping pharmacists, reduced work hours for technicians), and longer hours contribute to quantitative overload. Answering the phone, filling drive-through and in-store orders, and giving flu shots Continue reading

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