Similar story where I live in Reno, NV. It is like "the old days" again generally speaking. People are wearing masks, yes. People do not social distance at all and lots of stuff going on in groups of more than 6 people. Restaurants are busy (surprisingly few have gone out of business), casinos very busy especially on weekends (many drive up tourists), the airport is having signs of life and running out of rental cars, Lake Tahoe area is an absolute zoo, it is so crowded. One exception is the local Simon Mall in Reno: that place is a ghost town during the week, and looks about how it used to look during the week (sprinkling of cars and people) on weekends.
Yes. No need for masks in marketing materials. Masks are only temporary. These commercials and ads may be used long after the mask requirement is over.
Face is an important piece of many ads and there is absolutely no reason to cover it up with a mask.
Kroger already has a format, Fred Meyer, that sells all categories and all items. Kroger has been seriously cutting SKU count in the non-food side of Fred Meyer for the past few years but still has some stores with a full, large SKU count. They could have put their own online marketplace up 20 years ago sourced through Fred Meyer and its suppliers, but they didn't.
So now they do this. This is nothing but a catch up move.
Lots of other retailers have online marketplaces. Amazon, Walmart, Sears, etc. Some more successful than others. Kroger will have to have a compelling value format here not only for the customer but for the reseller as well.
Given Kroger's upcoming heavy dive into online grocery sales via the Ocado warehouses they probably figure offering additional goods may lead to a few additional sales.
We will see how it goes. I have little confidence in this being successful.
Retailer-specific payment apps have largely been failures, outside of the Starbucks app which has been very successful. There are just too many retailers. And many of those retailer-specific payment apps still take credit cards and they take them and process them at higher card not present processing rates (such as Walmart Pay) -- the retailer is actually paying more to process the credit card when you use their app than if you would use the physical card (or the Apple/Google Pay if they would support that, which they, in the case of Walmart, don't support yet). There is zero monetary customer benefit to using Walmart Pay (they took away all the previous monetary benefits, like Savings Catcher).
Starbucks's app was successful for unique purposes. Starbucks runs a lot of small ticket transactions. Starbucks will pay less in processing fees if you reload $25 via credit card to their app gift card than if you just did 5 $5 transactions with them and used your credit card every single time. As a result, Starbucks can then offer a good rewards program tied to its app which helps motivate customer use.
Many others have tried to copy Starbucks but so far, I do not see many people loading money to the McDonald's, Dunkin', Wendys, etc. apps the way so many people keep money loaded on their Starbucks app.
Okay. You are in a fast food drive through waiting to pay, with your credit card. You just went to the gas station (usually not the cleanest place) and you touched the gas pump and you put that same credit card in the gas pump. Maybe you used sanitizer on your hands, but what about your card?
Now you are waiting in the fast food drive through, card in hand, ready to pay. You sneeze. You probably used hand sanitizer on your hands at some point. But what about your card? Again, contamination for your card.
Now you pull forward and it is your turn to pay. You hand that card to the cashier. The cashier inserts the card into the reader or swipes it. The same cashier who has just taken someone's cash, someone else's card, and has had their hands in the cash drawer full of many someone's cash pieces. Now they hand your card back to you. Your card before had just your germs. Now, your germs have been given to the cashier and you have also just received the various germs the cashier has.
However, had this fast food handled drive through payment properly -- the way it is done in Canada, Europe, Australia, and various other places -- the process would have gone much differently. When it was your turn to pay, the cashier would have held the card reader out the window. You would take your contactless card (or phone) and hold it a few centimeters above the card reader and the reader picks up the tap. The cashier has no contact with your card, the card reader has no contact with your card, it is safer for you, safer for the cashier, safer for all of the other customers.
That is how contactless payments are safer and more sanitary.
Simon may be able to run a little 5,000 square foot narrowly merchandised with 2 employees on duty Aeropostale okay. But I have serious doubts about their ability to run a 300 employee 200,000 square foot J.C. Penney store. You can also lose a lot more money trying to run a 200,000 square foot box, than a little 5,000 square foot space.
We will see how this goes.
The reason the malls have lost relevance is because customers are not interested in these retailers anymore. They need to bring in NEW retailers, not keep the ones in the mall that have failed.
The mall owners, if they want to go into retail, should come up with their own new and fresh retail concepts. Not trying to keep running bankrupt brands.
No wonder the malls are failing with how they do things.
Tractor Supply operates in smaller markets, not so much in major metro areas except out at the edges of them. They cater to a blue collar/working class customer with a more rural mindset. These areas have not really been impacted much by Coronavirus or the various other events that have been impacting retail in recent months. Given they are a hardware store/pet store they are considered an essential business and have remained open in most if not all states through Coronavirus.
No word on their Petsense format ... would like to see some combination stores.
This is a product of their more conservative market and more conservative working customer base.
Trader Joe's made a mistake responding to the petition saying they were going to change the names. This was a mistake. I think we can forgive them for that and just forget this whole thing ever happened.
We like the Trader Joe's store and products, right? The quirky format. These brand names are part of that quirky format and you take that little quirk home with you with the Trader Giotto products and Trader Ming and Jose products. Nothing has changed with Trader Joe's store and products that we like. Not even a few letters changing on some labels.
I am glad to see they have taken control over their business and marketing and not caved to this petition.
The other issue I see is this will take away impulse purchases for the convenience store. Clearly drive throughs are popular for a variety of reasons. Convenience, poor weather, customers more comfortable using them during the pandemic thinking they are somehow safer at a drive through (risky business to not go see what is going on inside these places, but I guess you do expose yourself to fewer people staying in the car), and perception of speed.
Now in the case of Wawa, you have another issue with the pandemic: people who order inside then stand around for a few minutes waiting for their order to be prepared. With social distancing, etc. that is a little bit of a problem. This concept can move some of those people out to their cars to wait for the orders rather than loitering around inside the store. Given this pandemic appears that it will be with us for a while, and flu season is right around the corner which will further keep us away from each other, this may prove to be quite a good idea.
If you like the idea of not seeing what is going on when your food is being prepared, this concept is for you. Notice the way the building is built, a solid white block right where your car idles and waits before getting to the window?
Are they wearing masks inside? Is anyone coughing? Is the inside kept clean? With a drive through, who knows?
Wawa typically has kiosk ordering in-store. Will this involve a speaker for orders for non-app users?
Also, typically, Wawa's food preparation areas do not handle cash, since you order at the kiosk then go pay up at the gas/store/tobacco register area. Will this one need to handle cash?
So that raises another question for the above -- is the employee who handles cash not touching food?
Amazon will do what it needs to do to get its share back up. They are already doing things this quarter: I am getting free shipping, no minimum codes, 5% back when buying at Amazon with Chase Credit Card, etc. The issue I am running into on Amazon is their pricing is often not the best; I can do better with Walmart, Target, Kroger, in some cases even the drugstore chains with sales. I do think Amazon has by far the easiest website to order from. Some of these others are really awful.
Target will not hold its share gain as they blew it on essential goods during the pandemic and have way way too many out-of-stocks throughout their stores, but Walmart may hold some of its share since they did a much better job having essential goods in stock. Also, in the case of Walmart and Target, are we counting buy-online-pick-up-in-store sales in those market share figures?
Maybe it needs to be explained in a way people will better understand: A significant portion of the products for sale on Amazon are actually a dressed-up streamlined product listing, but functions just like a fixed price listing on eBay. You have a mixture of items shipped directly from independent sellers (identical to fixed price listings on eBay), you have items being sold by independent sellers but shipped by Amazon (this is like the hybrid Ebay-Amazon model), then you have the items that are actually sold by Amazon and shipped by Amazon.
I don't think the average consumer is aware how many independents are selling things on Amazon. I think everyone assumes Amazon is Amazon and when you go buy there, you are dealing with Amazon. Amazon has promoted this with its sleek website and streamlined product listings, however, it is very clear when you click the list of available items who you are going to be buying from.
As far as Bezos, do you think he is going to actually admit to selling counterfeit goods? I think his answer was calculated and designed as a way to avoid further discussion. Those questioning him are not subject matter experts and this wouldn't be the first time a business executive is called before elected officials and "mouse trapped" due to the elected official chasing them into a corner.