Great Chicken Sandwich War of 2019

Great Chicken Sandwich War of 2019

August 30, 2019

The Great Chicken Sandwich War is underway.

On August 12, 2019, Popeyes launched its new chicken sandwich.  Popeyes’ sandwich resembles the Chick-fil-A sandwich.  So, Chick-fil-A started a twitter war by tweeting “Bun + Chicken + Pickles = all the (love in form of heart symbol) for the original.”

Popeyes’ then responded with “y’all good?”

Not to be left out, Wendy’s and Shake Shack joined in as well.

Couple the twitter war with some outstanding reviews from publications and many tweets praising the sandwich, and the result: a big spike in sales of Popeyes’ chicken sandwiches.  Drive-thru lines were packed.

The increase in demand was so large that many Popeyes began running out of chicken sandwiches.  (Making it difficult to actually try the new sandwich.)

In fact, demand was so great that Popeyes announced on Wednesday, August 27, 2019 (including via tweet) that it would be out of chicken sandwiches by the end of the week. Nor was a date given when it would be back in stock. The company promised to work with suppliers on the problem, although spokespeople recommended using the Popeyes’ app to be notified when sandwiches were once again available.


Video Spotlight: Battle Continue reading

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IKEA and Ori Partner for Robotic Product Design

IKEA and Ori Partner for Robotic Product Design

IKEA is partnering with Ori, an American startup, to offer robotic furniture that fits a bed, couch, desk, and storage in less than 115 square feet of space.

That’s an ideal solution for small apartment dwellers.  With a push of a button, a bed can slide under the unit or a desk can be retracted to open up floor spaces, turning limited quarters into smart spaces.


Video Spotlight: Robotic furniture transforms studio apartments


This post is based on the Engadget article, IKEA is working on robotic furniture for small apartments, by Christine Fisher, June 5, 2019; and the YouTube video, Robotic furniture transforms studio apartments, by NJ.com, December 22, 2017. Image source: Ingram Publishing

Discussion Questions:

1. What are the factors that drive IKEA to create a line of robotic furniture?

Guidance: Ori is a technology start-up that has designed furniture for modern living in very small spaces. Ikea wants to take advantage of the urban living trend where space is valuable and scarce, and people struggle with the challenge of small apartment living.

2. What is the operational significance of IKEA’s robotic furniture?

Guidance: The robotic furniture represents IKEA’s latest innovation in Continue reading

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Walmart’s Bricks-and-Mortar Footprint VS Amazon

Walmart’s Bricks-and-Mortar Footprint VS Amazon

Did you know 90% of Americans live within ten miles of a Walmart? To compete with Amazon, Walmart is leveraging its physical footprint. Its strategy includes:

  1. doubling stores as warehouses, allowing online shoppers to order at the last minute and pick up orders from self-service stations
  2. using machine learning techniques to restock frequently ordered items and prevent stock out
  3. equipping employees with an optimization app that charts employee’s shortest path to fulfill eight different orders at once
  4. using robots to stroll around store aisles to alert a store employee to restock items
  5. using robots to unload trucks and sort boxes, giving priority to out of stock items for easier re-shelving

This post is based on the Fast Company article, The clever way Walmart is trying to beat Amazon, by Katharine Schwab, March 19, 2019. Image source: Shutterstock / Jojje

Discussion Questions:

1. What operations strategies does Walmart use to compete with Amazon?

Guidance: Building on its vast physical presence, Walmart is competing with Amazon for online shoppers in two areas: delivery and ordering.

Walmart uses its warehouses for last-mile delivery saving storage and delivery costs while providing online shoppers with convenient and fast order fulfillment options.  Continue reading

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