The Incredible Shrinking Store

The Incredible Shrinking Store

Threatened by online shopping, large retail stores are attempting to change their image and downsize their facilities. Sears, Macy’s, Target, Walmart, etc. are opting for smaller, focused stores with fewer product lines, fewer brands, and contained layouts.

Lower real estate costs are an obvious benefit, but the challenges of meeting customers’ existing expectations and needs for variety are daunting. Sears is experimenting with a combination of reduced product offerings on its premises and access to an expanded inventory via computer kiosks throughout the store.

This post is based on the Boston Globe article,  Can the Rapidly Shrinking Store Save Legacy Retailers?, by A. Bhattarai, December 26, 2017.

Discussion Questions
1. What are the external factors that have led large retailers to downsize their brick-and-mortar stores?

Guidance: Factors include fierce online competition forcing cost reductions, changing markets (demographics, location, and preferences), and new technologies to display products within the store.

2. Many large retailers need to attract customers with a large variety of products and low costs. Are there trade-offs?

Guidance: On one hand, smaller facilities enable legacy retailers to cut costs and be more competitive; on the other, they limit the number of brands and product lines Continue reading

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Analytics and Restaurants’ Service Package

Analytics and Restaurants’ Service Package

October 10, 2017

Article Title: How restaurants are controlling your experience in ways you may not realize

Author of Article: CBS News, Inc.

Date of article: August 22, 2017

Source URL: https://www.cbsnews.com/news/how-restaurants-are-subtly-curating-your-experience/

Colors, music, table shape and menu layout are all ways that restaurants shape customer experiences, and influence decisions from how much we’ll spend to how long we’ll stay. And analytics from data-driven software like Upserve can help restaurants figure out what you’ll like before you step foot in the place.  Which helps restaurants increase customer retention and boosts profits.

Discussion Questions
1. What additional analytics applications could be used by a restaurant chain to decrease waiting time for a table?

Guidance: Discussion might focus on productivity measures.

2. What are the elements of a service package for the restaurant(s) described in the article?

Guidance: This is an opportunity to discuss the concept of a service package, especially when purposefully influencing customer decisions.

3. How does the reservation system behave as a waiting line?

Guidance: This may be a discussion about waiting line models, to include fail-safing.

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