Walmart: Check It Out

Walmart: Check It Out

May 17, 2018

Consumers can check out Walmart’s “Check out with me” technology to pay for their Lawn & Garden Center purchases at 350 stores across the country.

Walmart associates, toting cellular devices and Bluetooth printers, scan heavy items like bags of mulch while it’s still on the shelf, saving customers the hassle of loading it into carts and pushing it back into the store to fixed checkout stations.  The technology will also assist customers outdoors in the live plant and potting soil areas.

The system is being tested in Lawn & Garden Centers, because that is where it is most needed to improve the customer check out experience.  However, eventually it could be used elsewhere in the store as well.  If successful, the system could be implemented at Walmart’s 4700 U.S. locations.

Walmart may also have checkout-free technology in the works to battle Amazon’s Whole Foods or the new Amazon Go stores, where customers can just pick up their items and leave while cameras, sensors, and AI technology track and charge them for their purchases.

This post is based on the Retail Leader article, Walmart makes more digital moves, by Gina Acosta, April 23, 2018; and on the Continue reading

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UPS Gearing Up for Incredible Bulk?

UPS Gearing Up for Incredible Bulk?

May 14, 2018

UPS is the world’s largest package deliverer, and it is on the brink of entering into home delivery of large, heavy packages.

In a significant strategic shift,  talks are in the works with potential delivery partner Werner Enterprises to help UPS compete in this area, possibly by year end.

Delivery of these purchases is now one of the fastest growing segments of online retail, and UPS wants a piece of the action. Younger consumers in particular want to buy their furniture online.  UPS currently has a maximum weight of 150 pounds for home delivery, but partnering with Werner would enable UPS to deliver for online retailers like Amazon, Wayfair, Ikea, and Target that are trying to compete with companies like Crate and Barrel and big-box stores.

This post is based on the CNBC article, UPS weighs strategy to deliver bulky goods to boost growth, by Andrew Harrar, May 2, 2018. Image source: © McGraw-Hill Education/Andrew Resek.

Discussion Questions:

1. How and why is UPS’s operation’s strategy changing?

Guidance: In the past, investing in speeding up its package-sorting operations has been a key strategy for UPS as it focuses on keeping its costs down.  UPS Continue reading

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