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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No-Inventory Stores

No-Inventory Stores

February 29, 2020

Showrooms have existed for many years.  Now, however, more stores are turning to the concept of a showroom that has very little inventory—especially clothing stores.

The lack of inventory generates several advantages associated with less inventory.  In many cases, the stores are not reducing the size of the store, they are replacing the inventory with experiences.  The inventory can be replaced by personal stylists, cafes, a streamlined return desk, or office space.

The Canada Goose store in Toronto has taken the experience approach to new levels with a daily snowstorm.  Customers begin “The Journey” by walking through “The Crevasse” that simulates walking on cracking ice.  Another stop on “The Journey” is the “Gear Room.”  This room resembles a Norway seed vault.  It is where the customers select Canada Goose coats and accessories to try out in “The Cold” room.  In this room, arctic conditions are simulated, with the temperature set at 10 degrees Fahrenheit.

If “The Journey” has gone according to plan, customers will leave the store empty-handed.  But, they will be anticipating the delivery of their new Canada Goose gear.


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Old Is the New Chic at Nordstrom

Old Is the New Chic at Nordstrom

February 12, 2020

Used clothes are setting a new trend in fashion retail.

Nordstrom has just started selling used clothes, shoes, and accessories. In doing so, it is joining other retailers in offering a climate-friendly alternative to fast fashion. The resale market is growing fast, attracting shoppers from multiple age groups and indicating a shift in attitude toward disposable fashion.


Video Spotlight: Nordstrom Sells Secondhand Clothes


This post is based on The Washington Post article, Old Clothes, New Customers: Nordstrom Becomes Latest Big Retailer to Sell Secondhand Items, by A. Bhattarai, January 31, 2020, and the YouTube video, Nordstrom Hoping Used Clothing Business Will Attract New Customersby WCCO – CBS Minnesota, January 30, 2020. Image source: Adisa/Shutterstock.

Discussion Questions:

1. What are the societal factors responsible for the trend of selling used clothes along with new ones?

Guidance: The factors responsible for this trend include increased environmental consciousness; a need for higher-quality, longer-lasting clothes; a preference for designer clothes at lower prices; and a growing contempt for excessive consumption.

2. Is the practice of placing used clothing items alongside new ones a wise layout option for Nordstrom?

Guidance: Although personal opinions on this matter vary, it seems Continue reading

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