Service Design: Free Christmas Tree Delivery

Service Design: Free Christmas Tree Delivery

December 30, 2020

Christmas decorating got easier for some families in 2020, with free live Christmas tree delivery from Walmart, Home Depot and Lowe’s. In addition, Walmart offered exterior holiday light installation services.

Retailers provided these additional services to help customers enjoy their holiday traditions and to relieve some of the stress caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.


Video Spotlight: 


This post is based on The Business Journals article, Big box retailers offer free Christmas tree delivery, by Ann Stych, November 20, 2020, and the YouTube video in the Spotlight. Image source: Shutterstock / Smileus

Discussion Questions:

1. What factors caused retailers such as Walmart, Home Depot, and Lowe’s to offer Christmas decorating services?

Guidance: Economic and social factors are key considerations for Walmart, Home Depot, and Lowe’s to provide free live Christmas tree delivery service.  With the restriction and stress of COVID-19, it makes economic and social sense to offer free delivery of Christmas tree purchases and light installation services to make it easier for customers to enjoy their holiday traditions, have something to look forward Continue reading

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COVID-Sniffing Dogs in Helsinki

COVID-Sniffing Dogs in Helsinki

November 4, 2020

Ten amazing dogs sniff out COVID-19 carrying passengers in Finland’s Helsinki airport.

In a pilot program, passengers are asked to volunteer to run a test wipe across their skin to collect a sweat sample.  The wipe is placed in a cup in a nearby booth, where the dogs quickly go to work and make a physical sign to indicate samples that carry the virus.

These canines can detect the virus in only ten seconds, and up to five days before symptoms even appear.  If one of the dogs indicates that a passenger carries the virus, the person is then sent for a nasal swab test for confirmation.

The airport is hopeful that it can eventually use medical dogs as part of the normal screening process to find effective and efficient ways to keep travelers safe.


Video Spotlight: 


This post is based on the Science Alert article, Dogs Deployed at Helsinki Airport Can Detect COVID-19 With Almost 100% Accuracy, by Michelle Starr, September 25, 2020; the Yahoo! Life article, Dogs Continue reading

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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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