Amazon Is Banking on Brick-and-Mortar Stores

Amazon Is Banking on Brick-and-Mortar Stores

Amazon is expanding its physical retail footprint.

After putting other retailers out of business, it is pursuing a brick-and-mortar strategy in the grocery business, a sector known for razor-thin profit margins. It has also opened several physical bookstores at a time when Barnes & Noble, unable to compete with the digital retail giant, has been closing its own. The common element to an increasingly diversified portfolio of businesses is the Prime membership. In making its products and services ubiquitous, Amazon is becoming more of a lifestyle than just a retailer.


Video Spotlight: Amazon’s New, Full-Size Grocery Store


This post is based on the CNBC article, Amazon Just Opened a Cashierless Supermarket – Here Are All the Ways It’s Trying to Upend the Grocery Industry, by A. Palmer, February 25, 2020, and the YouTube video, Here’s A Look Inside Amazon’s First Full-Size Grocery Storeby CNBC Television, February 25, 2020. Image source: SEASTOCK/Shutterstock.

Discussion Questions:

1. Why is Amazon increasing the number of its physical stores in areas where others have failed?

Guidance: Amazon has put a large number of retailers out of business. With enormous financial resources and weak competition, it can try different growth Continue reading

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Blue Apron Fails to Deliver

Blue Apron Fails to Deliver

Once a darling in Silicon Valley, Blue Apron has seen its stock plummet.

Like many other startups, the meal-delivery service company fell short of expectations with an unsustainable and unproven business model as competition increased. After a meteoric rise, demand for the pre-packaged ingredients for a single meal with no leftovers collapsed. The company is considering multiple strategic alternatives including the sale of its assets and cost optimization initiatives.


Video Spotlight: Blue Apron Review from a Loyal Customer


This post is based on the CNN article, Blue Apron May Be Up for Sale as Losses Mount, by P.R. La Monica, February 19, 2020, and the YouTube video, Blue Apron Review | After 2 Yearsby Miss Sarah E K, December 15, 2018. Image source: Â© Image Source/Alamy Stock Photo.

Discussion Questions:

1. What are the reasons for Blue Apron’s financial struggles?

Guidance: There are two major reasons for Blue Apron’s financial struggles. The company misunderstood the market and underestimated the competition. People who cook at home do not really care for single-use ingredients such as one pat of butter. Moreover, they may not want to go through the trouble of cooking small portions with Continue reading

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Flippy the Fry Cook

Flippy the Fry Cook

March 1, 2020

The new and improved Flippy the robotic fry cook will probably see greater implementation.  Its price has been cut in half, bringing it down to $30,000, while improved capabilities give it more versatility.  Specifically, Flippy’s programming has been upgraded as part of this improved flexibility.  Flippy utilizes AI to manage its tasks.  Flippy has already been used at Caliburger’s Pasadena restaurant, at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, and at Chase Field in Arizona.

Creator’s hamburger robot takes a different approach.  Creator’s goal is to make a gourmet burger that would be affordable, making it available to a large audience.  Using quality ingredients, the company is aiming for the $6 price point.

Creator has built into this robot processes and techniques that differentiate its burger from the vast majority of fast casual restaurants.  For example, it uses the Blumenthal method of making burgers.  This method uses a vertical grind method for the meat that creates an extremely tender and juicy hamburger.  Most chefs find this technique very difficult, and is not used in fast casual restaurants.  Creator’s robot has perfected this method.  Additionally, the robot slices many of the ingredients, Continue reading

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