Pandemic Pushes Grocers to Adopt New Tech

Pandemic Pushes Grocers to Adopt New Tech

October 14, 2020

The pandemic has created a need by grocers to make customers feel safer.  As a result, contactless technology is being retrofitted to brick-and-mortar stores.

Price Chopper, Wegmans, and Giant Eagle have introduced checkout-free technology in some stores.  Grocery chains were reluctant to invest in technology given the low profit margins in the industry, but the pandemic has put an emphasis on checkout safety and speed.


Video Spotlight: 


This post is based on the CNBC article, How the coronavirus pandemic helped convince grocery chains to experiment with new tech, by Annie Palmer and Melissa Repko, September 9, 2020, and the YouTube videos in the Spotlight. Image source: Cryptographer/Shutterstock

Discussion Questions:

1. Given the pandemic, one order qualifier that is emerging is checkout speed at a grocery store.  Research several contactless technologies Continue reading

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Creative Recipes to Help Restaurants this Winter

Creative Recipes to Help Restaurants this Winter

 

Restaurants made adjustments to reopen this summer. Now, they need to reinvent themselves.

So far, restaurants with outdoor spaces have been able to cope. With winter looming, the flexibility of their operations is being tested like never before. A myriad of solutions is being proposed to protect restaurants from financial disaster. Some involve technology or “remodels” of outdoor spaces, and others promote a completely new strategy with additional service lines. Many restaurateurs wonder how much they will need to invest to keep going and whether it is even worth it.

 


Video Spotlight: Serious Challenges for Restaurant Owners


This post is based on The Washington Post article, Outdoor Dining Has Helped Restaurants Avoid Disaster. But Winter Is Coming, by T. Carman, September 28, 2020, and the YouTube video, Winter Is Coming: Restaurant Owners Worry About Business Impact, by The Wall Street Journal, September 24, 2020. Image source: hatchapong / 123RF.

Discussion Questions:

1. What can restaurateurs do to make their indoor and outdoor spaces safe during the winter months? What is the downside of these investments?

Guidance: Solutions for outdoor spaces include: outdoor heaters, private dining pods, heated tents (some with sliding walls), and Continue reading

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Made in Italy at Amazon

Made in Italy at Amazon

 

The pandemic has been a boon for Amazon. Worldwide.

Even in places like Italy where people prefer to shop in stores, Amazon has been able to assume a dominant role during the pandemic. When stores were forced to close, Amazon filled a genuine need for goods. As the economy reopened, the appeal of convenience triggered a sudden, but durable, consumer behavior shift. Can small merchants that depend on the “old world” image rethink their operations to survive e-commerce? Based on the video, many already have.

 


Video Spotlight: Amazon Academy’s ‘Made in Italy’ Program


This post is based on The New York Times article, Pasta, Wine and Inflatable Pools: How Amazon Conquered Italy in the Pandemic, by A. Satariano and E. Bubola, September 26, 2020, and the YouTube video, Amazon Academy ‘Made in Italy’ – Brussels 2019, by AmazonNewsEU, December 9, 2019. Image source: Pixtal / AGE Fotostock.

Discussion Questions:

1. For Amazon, what are the threats and opportunities in Italy?

Guidance: The main opportunities are a change in consumer habits, a high unemployment rate, and a second wave of virus spread. The threats are an older population that might be more resistant to Continue reading

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