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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New Service Process Designs at Fast Food Restaurants

New Service Process Designs at Fast Food Restaurants

September 28, 2020

Taco Bell, Shake Shack and Burger King are introducing new service process designs. These changes allow for more drive-thru lanes and increase automated pick-up in the store and at walk-up windows.

The changes are in response to the 26% increase in drive-thru orders during the pandemic.  The new stores also shrink the total building square footage of the restaurants, due to less indoor seating requirements.

Contactless customer order and pick up is a key feature in the new designs as well.


Video Spotlight: 


This post is based on the CNBC article, These restaurant chains are unveiling new designs inspired by the pandemic, by Amelia Lucas, September 5, 2020, and the YouTube videos in the Spotlight. Image source: calimedia/Shutterstock

Discussion Questions:

1.  What are the order qualifiers being addressed by the new designs mentioned in the article?

Guidance: Students should agree that delivery speed is the major order qualifier.  Continue reading

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Is Walmart Adopting a More Responsive Supply Chain Strategy?

Is Walmart Adopting a More Responsive Supply Chain Strategy?

June 10, 2019

Walmart is starting next-day delivery to catch up with Amazon.

Walmart is expected to have higher costs since all items are not stocked in a fulfillment center closest to the customer.  To reduce these inventory costs, the company will seek to stock items in regional fulfillment centers based on local market needs, and will impose a minimum dollar amount of $35 for orders.

The program rolled out to Phoenix and Las Vegas first, with Southern California next in the lineup.


Video Spotlight:


This post is based on the CNN article, Walmart is rolling out next-day delivery. Look out, Amazon, by Nathaniel Meyersohn, May 14, 2019; and the YouTube videos, Walmart launches free next-day delivery by Fox Business, May 14, 2019; and How Walmart is taking on Amazon, by CNN Business, May 17, 2018. Image source: Shutterstock / sirtravelalot

Discussion Questions:

1. What impact does next-day delivery speed have on smaller retailers?

Guidance: Students should recognize that customers are expecting next-day delivery as an order qualifier in the future.  If delivery speed becomes the domain of the major retailers, what can a Continue reading

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