Re-Inventing Retail

From the Co-Founders of The Retail Owners Institute.
Tips | Tactics | Insights on the Business of Retailing.

Wanted: Merchants, Not Algorithms. Bookmark

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Increasingly we hear about customers who – after spending time on Amazon – come away rather frustrated. 

And we've begun to wonder, do shoppers really want to choose from all the choices arrayed on an Amazon page? And do all the homework? 

Or are they becoming overwhelmed? 

Why Omnivorous Amazon Gobbled Up Whole Foods Bookmark

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So, Amazon announced its plan to acquire Whole Foods, the 440 store natural foods grocer concentrated in urban locations, for more than $13 Billion (yes, with a b). They do have a flair for the dramatic, eh?

So, why does Amazon want to acquire Whole Foods? 

Our opinion:
Amazon is a technology company, and relentlessly data-driven. 

We believe they want to acquire Whole Foods for the same reason that drives acquisitions at most technology companies: Amazon wants the Intellectual Property of Whole Foods.

What is the "Intellectual Property" of Whole Foods? Two key assets that do not show up on the Balance Sheet.

What's Really Happening to Retailing? Bookmark

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You've seen all those comments, right? All the dire news about the demise of retailing?

It was 20 years ago this week that Amazon went public. Twenty years. And now they are valued at twice the value of Walmart.

As an independent retailer, this is certainly not news to you. The domination of retail first by Walmart and then Amazon is all-too-well known.

Look, we are not fond of what Amazon has done to independent retailers. But, we were struck by a comment by Jeff Bezos in a 2013 interview with Charlie Rose which we had missed earlier.

NPR = Never. Pay. Retail. Bookmark

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A new consumer study by First Insight* confirmed: “Today’s consumers expect discounts every time they shop.”  The documentation of this phenomenon – what we often refer to as “NPR: Never Pay Retail” – is not surprising. But it is quite sobering.

And then there is this (why do we need to be reminded?): In the battle to deliver "what the customers want", discounts offered have to be real! 

Yes, even if your name is Amazon!

About The Co-Founders

Pat Johnson and Dick Outcalt, The Co-Founders of The Retail Owners Institute®, have been called "The Zen masters of retail finance!"

Since 1999, they have been assembling  their proprietary content into a unique self-help website. The Retail Owners Institute is an unmatched resource that assists retailers worldwide with basic financial training, assistance and easy-to-use tools.

Their engaging and empowering how-to resources about the financial levers in retailing are informative, fun(!), and retailer-friendly. Their promise: "Everyone will 'get it'!"

Pat and Dick are recognized experts in strategic retailing. Working only as a team – Outcalt & Johnson: Retail Strategists, LLC – they have been consulting, publishing, and speaking professionally throughout North America since 1990.

They focus exclusively on retail, or wherever retail is involved. They work with CEOs, CFOs, boards and owners of retail operations, as well as manufacturers or wholesalers expanding into retail. And they also are Retail Turnaround Experts.

Since 1999, empowering retailers and store owners to "Turn on your financial headlights!"