Thursday, October 19, 2017
Wednesday, October 18, 2017
So, chain retailers are closing up shop as an alarming rate. Just last week, Sears announced it was closing more stores, and Claire’s once the per sq ft profit leader in mall-based retailing filed for bankruptcy. This week, post-bankruptcy, Gymboree announced it is shutting 350 stores.
(Ik comment :- In Australia - Laura Ashley, Topshop, and many other smaller retailers failing. in South Africa - Stuttafords department store )
What in tarnation is going on here? Is this seriously all Amazon’s fault?
The fall of mall based retail is based on a couple of things.
First, media consumption has changed dramatically. In the mall heyday (80s-90s), retail media was largely driven by local media advertising (TV, radio, print). In that paradigm, anchor stores (Macy’s, Lord & Taylor, Sears, etc.) were able to capture a huge share of consumer attention and shape their product desires. The anchor would advertise, drive foot-traffic, and all of the stores in the mall benefitted. Media today has changed – it is no longer possible for an anchor to own a market. Consequently, anchors can have less influence in the media market and can compel less traffic. That hurts the overall mall experience because the smaller stores suffer disproportionately.
2. big Box Retail - passe
Big box retail (stand-alone stores like Best Buy) are predicated on a prolonged suburban flight. Their sense of “destination shopping” was built up around bigger and better homeownership (more rooms = more stuff to buy). The flight away from cities has slowed dramatically. More families are staying in or very near cities where the concept of a “big box” store is not feasible due to both space and cost constraints.
3. Ecommerce and Amazon
E-Commerce has been a huge factor, but it isn’t determinative. Let’s assume that 10% of all retail is e-commerce. Further, let’s assume that half of that (5%) belongs to Amazon. 1% goes to online only retailers (Wayfair, etc.). The remainder is traditional retail moved online. So, 6% has moved completely away from traditional retail – the market may have shrunk, relatively speaking, for traditional retail. But that is a 6% decline in 15 years (since e-commerce became “a thing”), but again, that is relative because overall, retail grows 1-3% annually. So, at worst, the relative retail market is 94% as big as it was pre-ecommerce, and at best, it is a wash and the relative market is flat for the last 15 years.
4. Private equity investment - not growing - they want out
The reason why e-commerce isn’t determinative lies in the nature of what has been keeping chain retail afloat for a long time – private equity. From Staples recently selling to Sycamore Partners to a thousand other retail stories, retail has been propped up by private equity. Those kinds of purchases are usually highly-leveraged (meaning that there is a lot of debt to be paid). The debt service required in these kinds of transactions puts huge strain on a companies cashflow. In times of strong growth, it is not an issue. But economic growth has been at a crawl since 2008, therefore debt-fueled expansion has been treacherous. And for most retailers, margins are very skinny. So with little pricing power, most retailers have seen declining margins, slower growth and fixed debt service. This is NOT a recipe for success.
5. The retail experience sucks - Customer Service is Lousy
The retail experience is lousy. As companies fight through those rising fixed costs (real estate, etc.) and declining margins, they have deprecated the on-floor retail experience. In an effort to streamline costs and operations, retail has kept pay to a minimum and at the same time diminished the autonomy of the job. Therefore, retail is filled with poorly paid workers who are forced to stay inside a very small box. Here is a news flash – Therefore the quality of the retail experience declines rapidly. And to be clear, it is not the fault of the employees, but rather the system in which they work. But ultimately, shoppers do not respond well to terrible experiences and they vote with their dollars.
6. Logistics and delivery to your door has improved
UPS & FedEx (as well as the huge leaps forward in flat-pack technologies meaning more things can be shipped) have become dramatically better at logistics, and relative costs (dollars per pound shipped) have dwindled. Superior delivery logistics have enhanced the e-commerce experience to the point where practically anything can be at your doorstep in 2 days or less from dozens of sellers. Consequently, we see fewer consumers willing to put up with terrible retail experiences when they can get their desired products with a modicum of inconvenience.
7. younger consumers want more - they are in control - not the mall
Younger consumers are different. Since younger consumers (those >45) have a lifetime of digital media consumption, they respond to different stimuli. The Macy’s 1-Day sale strategy where Macy’s could own the discussion, as we talked about in #1, is over. But today’s consumer is more influenced by non-advertising influences than ever before. When I was young, MTV was a huge product demand driver. But even that was fairly centralized. With media consumption widely dispersed, even an ardent watcher of broadcast television with its 16-20 minutes of every hour chock full of ads likely sees more non-advertising driven influences every day. From YouTube celebrities to Instagram feeds to the obscure interest-driven discussion forum, consumers are bombarded with more and varied influences to shape their purchase desires. Therefore, their retail dollars are more dispersed. They spend in more places and across more brands than ever before. The traditional mall-based or specialty retailer cannot stock a wide enough selection to accommodate the widely influenced product desires of a non-mainstream media audience. This diminishes the power that larger retail brands have in the marketplace.
8. The 2008 crash
2008 happened. The housing market crashed. Real wages declined. Credit became tighter. And almost a decade later, we are still talking about economic recovery. 2008, for a small percentage of the population, drove real and meaningful change in the buying habits of Americans. Add that to poor job growth in the low end of the white collar world and the increased debt faced by those with student loans, and we have a portion of the population with less disposable income than before. While the impact of those consumers may not dramatically reshape the market, it will have pockets of dramatic impact. If we also consider that birth rates in the US have dropped in the last decade, there is a portion of the younger workforce who are, in real terms, poorer than ever, and they are having fewer children. Spending on children is a huge economic driver. Fewer babies to people with fewer means results in fewer purchases.
9. We are busy - no time
We are busier now than ever before. In the US, we work longer hours, take fewer vacations and feel more stressed than ever. Regardless if true, we feel more time pressure than ever before, therefore we are less likely to view shopping as a regular leisure activity. If it doesn’t feel fun to go shopping at a mall or a store, we are just less likely to do it.
10. Entertainment and toys have gone digital
The world of digital has reshaped entertainment. While anecdotal, see if this story doesn’t ring true. Kids used to play with toys. After a while, toys would get dull and they would get replaced. However, phones and tablets, in many ways, have replaced a portion of the toy spectrum. Rather than purchasing a $15 game, or a $30 toy, my kids spend $0.99 on a new app. That take dollars away from retail and slides them into the pockets of Apple, Google & Amazon (and developers) rather than to the cash registers at Target, ToysRUs or others. We have replaced physical stuff, to some extent, with digital stuff. And while the impact might be small, it adds to the issues of slow growth and rising costs for retailers (from #4).
timkilroy.com - 10 Random Thoughts on the Retailpocalyse. I invite you to follow me there, or check out more marketing-focused content at my other endeavor, SellingToTheC.com where I spout off a lot about e-commerce marketing. This was originally published on my blog,
Monday, October 2, 2017
Interesting Insite from ATOM http://atom.singularity2050.com/3-technological-disruption-is-pervasive-and-deepening.html
Automation and outsourcing are causing industries to vanish - employees are being laid off - being forced to find jobs at half their current salary.... if in fact there are jobs ....
and the old economy Is transferring to the gig economy.
One can no longer depend on one job and one source of income - based on the current rate of change - that job will likely be obsolete in a short while.
The average person will have 14 different careers after school - and skill sets of those jobs will be taught on the job.
Schools and universities need to focus on the skillset of learning to learn and how to nurture relationships and communication .... ie soft skills.
Many universities with bloated cost structures and excessive administrative personnel will be
disrupted by companies that have produced courses and even entire degrees that can be completed online and in a work environment at a fraction of the cost of an in-residence degree and without the need for relocation.
Employers such as Google have moved quickly to recognize these alternatives as legitimate substitutes to traditional credentials when evaluating potential hires.
Degrees are becoming redundant - it's where you have worked before that is becoming relevant .
Sunday, September 24, 2017
Wednesday, September 20, 2017
Gogoro raises $300M for scooters
Scooter startup Gogoro announced that it has raised $300 million in a Series C funding round backed by Singapore’s Temasek, Generation Investment Management, and other new and existing investors. Gogoro, which develops both electric scooters and battery swapping infrastructure, says it has sold over 34,000 of its “smartscooters” to date.
Monday, September 11, 2017
Sunday, September 10, 2017
How many and what kind of jobs will be replaced by automation is one of the big debates of our time. Some projections seem dire: About 7.1 million jobs, with two-thirds of them in office and administration, will be lost because of labor market changes in coming years, according to the World Economic Forum.
Yet some economists suggest that automation can actually increase employment in the industries it transforms.
Less jobs or more jobs - one can be certain - they will be different jobs ..... and with the rate of new knowledge - the key is to be able to learn how to learn - and accept change.
What do you think?
Saturday, September 9, 2017
The chances are is that your details are sitting on a list that you don't know about .
You may not know that person...... but they know you !!!!
- At Equifax names and personal details (including credit cards , emails etc ) of up to 143 million people in the United States (half the USA population) U.K. and Canada have been hacked ,
- One of Britain's largest retail franchises, CEX, disclosed it has been hit by a data breach that could have compromised the information of as many as 2 million customers – including personal details like names and addresses.
- Online spam bot - A security researcher in Paris has unearthed an open web server hosted in the Netherlands that contains as many as 711 million usernames and passwords
- London healthcare group - Bupa has suffered a data breach (13 July 2017) affecting 500,000 customers on its international health insurance plan.
- Zomato, which provides users with an online guide to restaurants, cafes and clubs, reported that data from 17 million users had been stolen, including email addresses and hashed passwords.
- Security researchers at the Kromtech Security Research Center discovered a massive database of 560 million login credentials which is believed to come from up to 10 popular online services such as LinkedIn and Dropbox, obtained during previous data breaches
- Payday loan company Wonga has fallen victim to a large data breach that could have hit as many as 245,000 of its customers including bank account numbers and sort codes
- A major breach of Three network customer upgrade database revealed last November is worse than the network operator initially thought, when their network was accessed using an employee login. They said 200,000 of their 9 million was compromised.
- Sportswear retailer Sports Direct failed to tell its entire workforce that they might have had their personal credentials stolen in an internal security breach
- Tesco Bank, the consumer finance wing of the British supermarket giant, froze its online operations – after as many as 20,000 customers had money stolen from their accounts.(up to 40'000 accounts compromised
- Accounting software provider , Sage could turn out to be one of the most important in UK data breach history if its scale is confirmed. According to the firm, the employee data of up to 280 UK customers representing a large number of individual users could be at risk - this could represent the entire UK population!
- Kiddicare's customers were getting spammy Sms's - and they realised their data was compromised - they played down the fact it had let names, addresses and contact details of up to 800,000 people
- CEO of TalkTalk initially struggled to confirm how many of its four million customers were affected after hackers exploited a reported weakness in the firm's website - the ceo said it was only a mere 157,000 (was one of them you?)
- A serious attack in which a hacker was able to get his or her hands on 1,163,996 credit and debit card records from online holiday firm Think W3
- two breaches at Yahoo -- the bigger one involved 1 billion accounts, the lesser impacted 500 million
- a hack at Myspace that involved 360 million accounts
And the list goes on!!!!
In my view, knowledge is no longer a valuable commodity. It's out there in abundance. It's how you use it that's valuable.
What do you think?
Why Steve Jobs was successful:-
- Simplify - Make it simple - UX is key
- Create an ecosystem - end to end
- When behind, leapfrog - No CDS - straight to iTunes
- Put products before profit - r and d and innovation is key
- Don't be a slave to focus groups - trust your intuition
- Bend reality - make the impossible possible - find a way
- Push for perfection
- Have the brightest and the best - and work as a team
- Engage face to face - collaboration is key - shit happens when you connect and KLT
- Know the big picture and the tiniest details
- Be human and humourous - liberal arts:science and technology - the crazy ones that can think they can change the world are the ones that they invariably do
Wednesday, August 30, 2017
Tuesday, August 29, 2017
The huge saving in labor cost keeps the hotel affordable. They plan to add 1,000 more similar hotels in the future with robots making up 90% of the total staff.
Sunday, August 27, 2017
Monday, August 21, 2017
- You can search on NexTag and PriceGrabber specifically to compare prices.
- Smartphones, and now smartwatches, do all of this.
- ZocDoc makes finding a doctor and scheduling easier. One Medical and Forward offer monthly memberships for online and data-driven healthcare. You can borrow money online through Lending Club and make payments through PayPal and Venmo.
- Smart devices like Nest collect data on your daily routines and automatically adjust your house’s temperature. Voice-controlled devices, like Amazon’s Echo and the Google Home, can read your email to you or guide you through recipes as you cook.
- Dropcam’s home-surveillance camera, Ring’s smart doorbell camera lets you remotely see who is at your door. PetCube lets you play with your pets while away.
- Two billion people use Facebook and Snapchat, Instagram, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger and others that cover this prediction.
- Expedia and Kayak offer deals based on your past purchase data. Google and Facebook offer promotional ads based on your location and interests. Airbnb offers specialized trips at destinations so you can live like a local.
- Twitter being the clear leader and streaming some games. You can leave comments in real time on sites like ESPN.
- Online advertising services target users based on your click history, interests, and purchasing patterns.
- Almost every commercial has a callout asking the viewer to go to a website, follow the business on Twitter, or a scan a QR code to add it on Snapchat.
- News sites have sections for live discussions, and interactive forums. Twitter and Facebook played roles in political revolutions in Libya, Egypt, and Tunisia, and the Black Lives Matter movement in the US.
- News sites and online communities focus on single topics, include separate verticals, offering more in-depth coverage on a given topic, focusing on interests rather than who you know or where you are.
- Tons of workflow software in the enterprise space revolutionizing how you recruit, form teams, and assign work to others.
- LinkedIn allows users to upload résumés and find jobs based on interests and needs.
- Users can reach out and start conversations that could lead to bigger projects directly within their apps. Sites like Upwork, enables connection with freelance designers, writers, or engineers.
Friday, August 18, 2017
Wednesday, August 9, 2017
|“Is AI is a fundamental risk to the existence of human civilisation”|