Dion Kenney

COO, Mondofora

Dion is the founder of local-search marketplace, and a business consultant at y2 Strategic Group. Dion’s primary areas of interest include retail tech, local business, consumer trends, technology as a transformational tool, entrepreneurship and innovation. His education mirrors this tech/business mix with a Master’s Degree in Experimental Atomic Physics and a Wharton MBA.

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  • Posted on: 08/10/2022

    Does Walmart+ need a video streaming deal to compete with Amazon Prime?

    Effective strategy is not based on "what's the other guy doing?" It's based on "what resources do we have or can we get, and how do we best deliver value?" Amazon's enormous server farms and database technology prowess makes content streaming a reasonable use of powerful resources. Walmart's strengths, while prodigious, have historically been in logistics, inventory management, and vendor management. It is not easy to see how this lends itself easily to a streaming service model.
  • Posted on: 08/10/2022

    Are negative personality traits prevalent on selling floors?

    My experience with retail associates is mostly that they are helpful, professional, and courteous. Is that the result of manipulative (Machiavellian) and/or self-serving (psychopathic) pathologies? I suppose it's possible. Or possibly, it is the mutual shared interest of management incentives designed to create a happy customer. I'm going to give the benefit of the doubt to the associates, and believe in the better angels of their nature.
  • Posted on: 08/08/2022

    Is Amazon’s deal for iRobot all about mapping Americans’ homes?

    I would have thought this was a dystopian joke, except for some of the things that have happened with Alexa.
  • Posted on: 08/08/2022

    Can venture funds help retailers keep apace with technology?

    The world is changing at a remarkable rate. The "fourth industrial revolution" is bringing all sorts of new technologies and proposed ways to apply them to create value and breakthrough operating processes. If this wave of development is like the ones that preceded it, several platform technologies will launch a thousand companies and applications, only a few of which will become "standards." The general trend is easy to see, but it is hard to predict the winners, One thing is certain however and that is the loss of relevance of those that don't evolve.
  • Posted on: 08/05/2022

    Will refurbished products deliver ‘good as new’ results for Walmart?

    Large corporations have a mandate to seek growth opportunities and increasing returns for shareholders. However that goal eventually makes even the best run companies consider opportunities that are inconsistent with their business model and core strengths. Walmart is a titan in the area of logistics, inventory planning, and vendor management - all areas where they can develop appropriate processes, performance metrics, and control over a manageable number of variables. Refurbished products introduces so many new variables - product use and abuse, environment, maintenance, multiple refurbishers policies and standards, etc., many of which cannot be measured and controlled by the core team in Bentonville. From an initial perspective, this looks like a messy endeavor which will take Walmart away from the areas in which they excel and outperform the competition: organization, predictability, and speed of operational decision making.
  • Posted on: 08/04/2022

    New stores are opening in malls, inflation or no

    We are experiencing a very unusual shift, as a society, in our relationship with both shopping and with the built environment. If retailers, mall owners, and developers don't make a corresponding shift in the appeal and functionality for malls, their decline will resume its previous trajectory.
  • Posted on: 08/03/2022

    Will H-E-B’s self-checkout pilot take off?

    Fast Scan may be the recognition that the checkout experience diminishes customer experience, but the more likely driver is the desire to reduce operating costs by reducing the need for cashiers. In either case, making the process more efficient is a boon to both retailers and shoppers.
  • Posted on: 08/01/2022

    Dynamic pricing may be ‘stuck in the mud somewhere in the swamps of Jersey’

    Dynamic pricing challenges a basic sales question every consumer asks: "Am I getting a fair deal?" We've come to terms with it for airplane tickets and hotels. However for most retail sales, consumers appreciate dynamic pricing in the form of "last minute discounting" and feel insulted when facing capricious price increases. Regarding Ticketmaster specifically, they have such a broad reputation for unsupportable fees and upcharges that there is little possibility of them getting favorable press.
  • Posted on: 07/25/2022

    Are digital-only coupons discriminatory against the elderly and poor?

    Whether intentional or not, it is observable that electronic distribution does not reach all parts of the population equally. Even seniors that have smartphones (a measurably lower percentage than the 15-40 demo) have fewer apps, are more likely to use a computer for internet, and are more inclined to traditional phone usage (conversation and, to a lesser degree, text). It has been widely noted that the "cost of being poor" meant missing opportunities to save. The lack of access to the internet (whether from lack of computers and smartphones, high-speed service providers, tech-literacy, ageism. or financial constraints) is one more dimension of the "falling behind in modern America" phenomenon which should be of concern to government, federal, state, and local.
  • Posted on: 07/25/2022

    When will supply chains return to normal?

    The issues challenging the US economy are not like prior challenges. As mentioned, global instability is at a dangerously high level, and at a time when US supply chains have become more reliant on international trade. The resulting inflation is consequently different than previous inflationary periods, being driven by logistics rather than manufacturing capacity limits. As a result, it is impaired supply-side issues impacting economic activity rather than the more usual consumer pull-back from spending. The latter is a leading cause of recessions, whereas the former is a driver of inflation. So we could anticipate that pandemic-driven pent-up demand may not decline for the foreseeable future, and a recession may not be as likely to occur until demand softens significantly from current levels.
  • Posted on: 07/18/2022

    Should Amazon ax its private labels to appease regulators?

    Amazon has an unusual business model, in that their most famous line of business - the marketplace - may be the smallest contributor to their bottom-line profitability. It appears that their largest contributor is advertising (third largest in the U.S., trailing only Google and Facebook) followed by cloud services, with AWS being the world's dominant player. Their private label products are a minuscule portion of their revenue and profitability. The big question is whether Amazon would even know which products to sell in competition with their vendors without the performance metrics the marketplace provides, and at what price point. They can fight the U.S. regulators, maybe even successfully. But it doesn't appear that the benefit is justified by the cost and the relative IRR compared to their other lines of business.
  • Posted on: 07/07/2022

    Are Walmart+ members ready to invite the retailer into their homes?

    There is a pervasive, and not unwarranted, concern about giving access to powerful companies. While access to our private information is of foremost concern, access to our living space seems like a bridge too far. On paper it may sound like a good idea, but this is likely to get too much resistance to be a viable plan.
  • Posted on: 07/06/2022

    Will new perks add to Amazon’s Prime numbers?

    Looking beyond the marketing messaging, these perks are primarily exposure benefitting the companies wanting access to Amazon's enormous audience. As an Amazon Prime subscriber, I might use some of these promos but they are incidental to the main reason I am a member: a better shopping experience with Amazon.
  • Posted on: 07/05/2022

    Is Amazon taking its foot off the Prime Day marketing pedal?

    There seem to be a lot of parts in motion at Amazon. And with that, there should be a lot of internal expectations for another big Prime Day. No question there are external factors that will impact the retail industry this summer, but there's more than a little pressure on Amazon to show that recent issues won't derail their momentum.
  • Posted on: 06/28/2022

    Can in-store coffee add pep to retail sales?

    On the one hand, I know coffee's effect on me - it definitely makes me more "high energy," enthusiastic and, consequently, more inclined towards spontaneous behavior like impulse purchasing. I'm also inclined to think well of a store where they are concerned enough about my shopping experience that they provide me with refreshments. On the other hand, I might take exception to a company I knew was intentionally drugging me to encourage spendthrift behavior.

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