Black Friday Re-Imagined

Black Friday Re-Imagined

November 2, 2020

Has Black Friday been upstaged by a new October shopping day?

Retailers are looking for ways to drum up demand.  They are also seeking creative capacity alternatives to fill it and distribution channels to get merchandise delivered in a timely way.

Some retailers envision encouraging more online shopping with Black Friday deals available online instead of only in-store to cater to shoppers still leery of big crowds and pandemic concerns.  Others plan to take it a step further with a new holiday, dubbed “10.10 Shopping Festival,” invented by those who want to shift sales even earlier than usual, in this case to October 10.

The 10.10 shopping day occurred a few days prior to Amazon’s Prime Day on October 13 and 14, which was expected to reach $10 billion in sales, up 40% over July 2019’s Prime Day.


Video Spotlight: 


This post is based on the Fox Business article, Black Friday 2020: Coronavirus pandemic shopping trends force retailers to rethink holiday shopping, by Michael Bartiromo, September 28, 2020; the Fortune article, Amazon Prime Continue reading

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Forecasting Halloween During a Pandemic

Forecasting Halloween During a Pandemic

September 20, 2020

Tricky forecasting leaves chocolate companies wondering how candy sales will fare this Halloween.

Mars’ time horizon for planning for the Halloween season spans two years, yet no one could have known how different things would be this year because the pandemic.  For Hershey, Halloween spending comprises ten percent of annual sales.

No one is sure right now if “self-consumption,” when people buy Halloween candy to eat themselves rather than to distribute to others, will be enough to fill the gap of sales lost from trick-or-treating.


Video Spotlight: 


This post is based on the Fortune article reposted to Yahoo Finance, How scary will a COVID-19 Halloween be for candy companies?, by Beth Kowitt, August 29, 2020, and the YouTube video in the Spotlight. Image source: Shutterstock / Sandy Morelli

Discussion Questions:

1.   What role does aggregate planning play in the current availability of candy for Halloween of 2020?

Guidance: Many companies have a long planning horizon.  In part this may be to ensure adequate supplies of materials and resources when it comes time to manufacture product to meet demand. In addition, manufacturers need to Continue reading

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What Pandemic? Agile Systems Help Sephora Gain Market Share

What Pandemic? Agile Systems Help Sephora Gain Market Share

 

Sephora’s early investments in flexibility have paid off.

Sephora, like most retailers, had to close its stores during the pandemic. Whereas many others struggled to build or shore up an online presence, Sephora shifted gears with little effort. It relied on its inventory system linking brick-and-mortar retail and e-fulfillment facilities as well as on a distribution network with rapid access to most zip codes. Not only did the company meet customers’ expectations, but it also increased market share.

 


Video Spotlight: Sephora Promotes its Safety Guidelines as Stores Reopen


This post is based on the Supply Chain Dive article, How Sephora Flexed its Warehouse Network to Prep for an E-Commerce Onslaught, by E. Cosgrove, August 25, 2020, and the YouTube video, Sephora to Take a Measured and Supportive Approach to Reopening Select Retail Locations in the US, by BusinessWire, May 26, 2020. Image source: Africa Studio / Shutterstock.

Discussion Questions:

1. Explain how Sephora’s network design enabled the company to meet demand during the pandemic.

Guidance: Sephora had already built flexibility in its distribution network. Its five warehouses are located in four states (Maryland, Mississippi, Nevada, and Utah) to ensure coverage of and delivery Continue reading

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