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storewanderer

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  • Posted on: 01/15/2021

    Will paying associates to get COVID-19 vaccines work for Dollar General and Trader Joe’s?

    The point here is you have two extremes. You have the extreme that wants the vaccine ASAP, and then you have the anti-vax extreme that does not ever want the vaccine. But both of those groups are in the minority of the population. But in the middle, which is the majority of people, you have many, many people who are indifferent about getting the vaccine. They will get it if it is convenient or easy to do so, but won't really go out of their way for it (or out of their way to avoid it, per se). These incentives by the retailers are to help push those "middle" people to get the vaccine in a timely manner. The incentives will speed up the vaccine penetration percentage among the population.
  • Posted on: 01/15/2021

    Will paying associates to get COVID-19 vaccines work for Dollar General and Trader Joe’s?

    That is not universally true historically; I have entered numerous countries in the past with a US Passport and nothing about vaccinations was ever asked of me by anyone (in the US Passport agency when applying for the passport or by the Customs in the various countries). There are CDC recommended vaccinations which are recommended for entering various countries. I expect there are some countries you need a travel Visa to enter that would require you to submit vaccination proof as part of the Visa application process but that isn't how it has worked historically when traveling from the US with a US Passport to Canada, Mexico, Hong Kong, Macau, and many other places.
  • Posted on: 01/15/2021

    Will paying associates to get COVID-19 vaccines work for Dollar General and Trader Joe’s?

    Given the rural location of many of these Dollar General Stores, it may not be so easy for these employees to even obtain the vaccination. So it is certainly helpful for the chain to put some pay to the employees to allow them time to get the vaccination, which they may have to drive some distance to actually obtain. As far as making it a condition of employment, it is far too early to do that. Retailers have not made a flu shot a condition of employment and I highly doubt they will make this a condition of employment either. International travel is not the same thing as working in retail -- a very small fraction of the population engages in international travel and while there are vaccinations recommended by CDC for specific places, so far, anywhere I've gone, which is a few places, which I could enter with the US Passport, nobody at Customs has ever asked me for vaccination records in multiple countries I've entered. For those places you need a Visa to enter, I trust in certain cases it is different and you need to show proof of vaccination to get the travel Visa in the first place. Too many unknowns with this vaccine at this time. Like, is it even going to be effective against the new strains of COVID they keep finding? Nobody knows that yet.
  • Posted on: 01/14/2021

    Is Amazon on its way to becoming America’s favorite grocer?

    Fairway was bankrupt and was liquidated last year. Some stores are still open, under different ownership (different ownership has different IT). Are they still using this technology? Only one Fairway store hit 30% adoption; another hit 20% adoption, most hit only 10%. A Kroger location in my area has a "scan and go" technology (you can use their scanner or use their app on your own phone) and very few customers use it. I don't think 25 customers a day use this (this is a very high volume store, thousands of customers a day). Other locations have actually removed it due to lack of use and/or theft issues. I think there are major shrink concerns with this technology. Not going to say it was why Fairway went bankrupt ... it wasn't. Amazon may be sophisticated enough to better detect the fraudulent transactions and flag theft.
  • Posted on: 01/14/2021

    Is Amazon on its way to becoming America’s favorite grocer?

    I don't think Amazon will stop until they are #1. And their pricing on many grocery items is higher than others like Walmart, Kroger, etc. who tend to run with "store shelf pricing" online. Amazon's pricing model is probably the one that will need to be in place for the home delivery of grocery to be profitable. I suspect these operators who are using in-store pricing and free shipping on low margin grocery, are losing money on every order. That is probably not going to be sustainable for most retailers.
  • Posted on: 01/14/2021

    Is Amazon on its way to becoming America’s favorite grocer?

    Many people hate going to the grocery store. For those people, if Amazon is the provider who has the easiest to use website, best product mix, and executes orders well (not damaged, not missing items, arriving timely), they will certainly become a favorite grocer for a large segment of customers. I fully expect Amazon (and others who have picked up online sales, notably Walmart) to maintain all business gained during the pandemic and potentially build on those gains. Conventional grocers who do not do much of anything well, with very high shelf pricing, are the most vulnerable to losing their shirt with the customers moving online. It is also pointed out here that many customers still like to select fresh items like produce in the store on their own. With Whole Foods, Amazon has control over what is one of the most effective retailers of fresh produce, meat, prepared food, etc. on a national level. So there is also that advantage.
  • Posted on: 01/14/2021

    7-Elevens could be destined to undergo a konbinification

    7-Eleven controls the majority of the real estate on these sites. 7-Eleven also owns all of the equipment in these franchise stores. The franchisees just run the stores, literally, using 7-Eleven's real estate, fixtures, and systems. If there are additional investments to be made, that is on 7-Eleven Corporation to do. Not the franchisee.
  • Posted on: 01/14/2021

    7-Elevens could be destined to undergo a konbinification

    7-Eleven is, as far as the customer experience goes, the worst c-store operator in the US. They have some of the oldest stores, smallest stores, and the majority of their US stores are run by franchisees and the store operations vary widely from one location to the next. These stores are franchised out for a reason: they don't do enough volume or profit for the corporate to want to operate based on the corporate model (which uses a lot of labor) so they let a franchisee and their family figure out how to run them (long shifts, family members working, etc.). Some of these 7-Elevens are so low volume the corporation pays the franchisee a subsidy to run them. Between the franchise model and the old stores, it is pretty terrible. Also their gas pricing tends to be very high; they seem to price like they are branded fuel (they aren't). Yeah, they have some concept stores that look great, food service concepts like Laredo Taco they acquired that they are so far maintaining and expanding into some of their concept stores, but this is not the reality. The reality is those 30-40 year old stores with 8 parking spaces out front, no gas pumps, run by franchisees with no more than one clerk on duty at a time (so the cleanliness and order of the store is as good as one clerk can make it -- not good). When you are in a region with better operators like Quik Trip, Wawa, Sheetz, Holiday, Race Trak, Kwik Trip, etc., along with numerous regional c-store chains, 7-Eleven locations are few and far between. The only way for the US 7-Eleven Stores to become more like these other better chains is a major infusion of money into the store base. They basically need to demolish and rebuild thousands of their stores. Then these stores need to become corporate operated to control operations. In my area about 75% of the 7-Eleven Stores are approaching 30-40 years old and despite some wall repaints over the years, they look their age. As far as the konbini concept goes, again, they need to take corporate control over the locations, put enough labor into them to properly execute, and then maybe it will work.
  • Posted on: 01/07/2021

    Retailers call on Trump to end the national chaos he created

    Retailers should not be taking political positions. It gets harder and harder to do this when more and more things become politicized. However, I really think times were better back when retailers were generally neutral politically. Going into activist type positions will be a no win situation for retailers -- the population is still quite divided on most issues 45/55, etc. What is happening here is the culmination of years of "you're with us, or you're against us" mentality among the politicians. No more working together. And that mentality didn't start 4 years ago, 8 years ago, or 12 years ago. It started before that. But the stock market hit record highs after yesterday. You would have thought, after an event that makes things look very unstable in the US (my opinion), the market would have been showing some signs of concern. But, nope. So there is that.
  • Posted on: 01/07/2021

    Will meatless burgers moo-ve in on beef’s market share as prices fall?

    The ingredient list on these is ... interesting. Personally I have not tried this product, though I considered it. Again I suggest folks take a hard look at the ingredient list. Way too processed to replace raw meat, for me. Add a bun (also very interesting ingredient lists on most of the commercial buns) and you are consuming one heck of a list of ingredients. Typically you decrease a price on something when it is not selling well. Reading between the lines here it looks to me like this is a fad, the demand is not growing like it did in the "growth" stage of the fad, and the price decrease is an attempt to get more food service folks to pick this product up in hopes that having it as an option at more restaurants/fast food places, will introduce it to more consumers and build demand. Perhaps it will work. For me it wouldn't be about the taste -- it is just the ingredients list....
  • Posted on: 01/05/2021

    Albertsons ditching in-house drivers to deliver online orders

    It actually isn't limited to Southern California. This move is also happening in Texas. I am not sure if it is happening in Northern California....
  • Posted on: 01/04/2021

    J.C. Penney is searching for a new CEO

    Wait, there are still about 31 Kmart and about 65 Sears Stores open, plus they are collecting royalties from Craftsman sales at other retailers. Sears had a far stronger foundation than JCP and there are unique reasons why Sears has continued its very half-hearted operations of retail stores this long. I don't think JCP has those same factors to buy it more time.
  • Posted on: 01/04/2021

    J.C. Penney is searching for a new CEO

    This talk of "reviving" JCP seems to be a waste of time and effort. Someone has been trying to "revive" JCP for a long time. The last person that made any serious changes that may have actually revived the thing, that Ron guy from Apple, the changes were shortly after "un-done" by old management who got brought back in ... unreal. Now, with Simon/Brookfield, they control the real estate. At this point, eliminate the failed retailing concept known as JCP and put in a concept that will draw customers and be positioned to grow in the future.
  • Posted on: 01/04/2021

    J.C. Penney is searching for a new CEO

    The retail market has changed a lot since even this past summer when the mall owners committed to purchasing JCP. I never saw any positives from this new JCP CEO in the stores. She is clearly well experienced and talked a good talk, but I never saw it translate into anything positive in the store. I really think JCP is so tainted that one person cannot save it even if they are knowledgeable and experienced. JCP needs to just be put away for good, and take the spaces, remodel them so extensively they no longer look, feel, or smell like JCP, and start over. I am guessing JCP's holiday results were an absolute disaster. With shorter store hours than the rest of the mall ( and closing 2-3 hours earlier than Macy's who had extended hours beyond the rest of the mall), lousy merchandising, low inventory levels in areas that had surprising demand like basic casual men's clothing, and a 25% off all purchases coupon being run a few days before Christmas, what could possibly go wrong? TJ Maxx/Marshalls, Ross, and Burlington Stores were absolutely packed with customers all of December. These are many of the customers JCP has lost ... not only JCP, but the entire mall since these stores are usually off-mall. These malls are in serious trouble. JCP is an anchor all right. An anchor that is sinking them.
  • Posted on: 12/16/2020

    Are retailers facing a no-win decision in mandating vaccines for workers?

    And this is going to take more time to determine what the best path forward is. Already we are hearing this vaccine will need multiple "boosters" to actually work? How many boosters? How often? This not like a simple flu shot where you get everyone the COVID Vaccine one time (a year?) and we cure the pandemic, it is not that simple ... there are a lot of unanswered questions. My biggest fear is there are bad side effects with the vaccine that do not become known until it is given in mass, we vaccinate the healthcare workers in mass first, many experience negative side effects, and we end up with an even greater shortage of healthcare workers than we already have.
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