RetailWire

A SAMPLING of my recent commentary on RetailWire:

  • What is retail’s role in building a better society?

    Stores are local. They rise and fall with the communities they serve. Many do good works out of a sense of pride, others out of "enlightened self-interest." Chains are remote. Some may regard "corporate social responsibility" as a shareholder value checkbox for their annual...

  • Will multistory warehouses mean faster deliveries from Amazon, Home Depot and others?

    When I read the headline for this discussion, my first mental image was of a tall 3-dimensional space, with a smaller footprint that uses conveyors/robots to move items in and out of trailers and slots with great rapidity. Ron Margulis describes something similar in his comment here. But the vide...

  • Target leans on vendors in trade war

    Retailers have a long tradition of pressuring suppliers to absorb external cost increases. I recall a past incident when the price of sugar surged (in the 90s?), retailers pushed back on accepting increased candy prices. The current tariff wars present a scenario where retailers have reason to...

  • Social media antics cause grief at Walmart, Target, Home Depot, others

    Wow this really brings out the "old man" knee jerk response in me. While a criminal prosecution crackdown on pranking behavior might sound tempting, I'd prefer to see affected retailers pursue a civil route. Why not sue the perpetrators for the economic damage caused by the prank? D...

  • Is technology really making stores more like the web?

    At the dawn of the dot-com era, the operative question was "Can we make the web like a store?" Twenty-five years later, digital shopping methods have advanced in sophistication and retail stores are trying to adjust their methods to satisfy shopper expectations that have been altered by...

  • Can H-E-B win the autonomous delivery vehicle race in Texas?

    So much of the autonomous delivery research so far has been focused on maneuvering the vehicle from store to curb without killing anyone. This is no mean feat, but the solutions tend to overlook the loading/unloading part. What about the last 10 yards? Paco is spot on -- delivery robots (wheth...

  • Have emojis become digital’s ice breaker for consumers?

    Emojis are an emerging specialized form of writing that may be compared with ideograms in some ways. Unlike an alphabet that represents sounds, emojis represent things, concepts, ideas and of course emotions. They have the unique trait of functioning well within digital communications, but not in...