Amazon Bets Big On Faster Shipping

Amazon Bets Big On Faster Shipping

November 15, 2019

Amazon spent $1.5 billion to improve its transportation and warehouse infrastructure and increase its inventory to cut its Prime shipping from two days to one.

The next-day delivery investment has brought benefits, including new record sales, improved revenue growth, increased warehouse and shipping staff, and happier customers. However, shipping costs have also increased 46% in the company’s second quarter.

Investors are overall optimistic about the outlay, but Amazon’s recently predicted weak holiday demand, which has raised some concerns.


Video Spotlight: Amazon’s profit falls due to same-day delivery costs, and other top business news


This post is based on the CNET article, Amazon’s next-day shipping ambitions are costing it a fortune, by Ben Fox Rubin, October 25, 2019, and the YouTube video, Amazon’s profit falls due to same-day delivery costs, and other top business news, by CityNews Toronto, October 25, 2019. Image source: Daniel Grizelj/Getty Images

Discussion Questions:

1. Is Amazon’s one-day Prime shipping a strategic capacity decision?

Guidance: Yes – it enables Amazon to meet customers’ demand for next-day delivery, increases operating costs, reflects a long-term commitment to e-business, and enables competitiveness in e-retailing.

2. What investment did Amazon make to cut its Prime shipping from Continue reading

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Zombie Skittles Thriller

Zombie Skittles Thriller

Preparing for Halloween is a two-year affair for Mars Wrigley.

To ensure a lucrative Halloween season, the candy maker devotes considerable time and resources to launch attractive, new products. Because buying candy tends to be an impulsive purchase the rest of the year, the recipe for a successful season is to extend it for several months and spark curiosity with mystery flavors.


Video Spotlight: Production of Skittles


This post is based on the CNN.com article, How the Maker of Skittles and M&Ms Gets Ready for Halloween, by D. Wiener-Bronner, October 30, 2019, and the YouTube video, How Skittles Are Madeby Food Insider, April 9, 2018. Image source: McGraw-Hill Education/David Planchet.

Discussion Questions:

1. How does Mars Wrigley make “old” Skittles new again for Halloween?

Guidance: Review the product life cycle stages. First introduced in the US in 1979, Skittles are a very mature product. To maintain interest in the product, Mars Wrigley slightly changed the design for Halloween and added Zombie Skittles to the usual rainbow. As planned, the odd flavor of the new Skittles piqued customers’ curiosity. The excitement translated into engagement on social media, which is essentially free publicity for the product.

2. Continue reading

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Y’all, It’s Back: Popeyes’ Chicken Sandwich

Y’all, It’s Back: Popeyes’ Chicken Sandwich

November 4, 2019

Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen announced that its chicken sandwich would return on Sunday, November 3, 2019.  The company also released a simple ad called “Open Sunday” to announce its availability.

Sunday, November 3rd is important in two ways.  First, it is National Sandwich day.  What better day to re-introduce a very popular sandwich.  Second, it’s a reminder to customers that one of its main competitors–Chick-fil-A–is not open on Sundays. In its 20-second ad, a highway sign shows Chick-fil-A’s “Closed Sunday” tag; an “Open Sunday” tag is added for Popeyes.

The original release of the sandwich, in August 2019, went viral after a twitter war with Chick-fil-A.  The twitter war eventually grew to include many other restaurants’ chicken sandwiches.  For Popeyes, the response was overwhelming. Inventory that had been forecast to last two months ran out in two weeks, and the chain had to temporarily remove the sandwich from its menu.


Video Spotlight: Open Sunday


This post is based on the Thrillist article, Popeyes Just Revealed When Its Chicken Sandwich Is Coming Back, by Kat Thompson, October 28, 2019, and the YouTube video, Open Sunday, by Popeyes Louisiana Continue reading

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