Last month, Target announced that they had hired a top executive in supply chain and logistics who was a longtime Amazon employee. He was scheduled to start his new job in Minneapolis next week, but Amazon has filed a lawsuit to prevent him from starting, citing a non-compete contract that he signed in 2012 and confidential information that the executive, Arthur Valdez, shared during his job interview. [More]
Why did Target’s expansion into Canada fail so quickly? The company is based in Minnesota, which is dangerously close to being Canada. Yet Target Canada failed spectacularly. Why? Sure, they expanded too quickly, and had supply chain problems: we all know the answer. Yet what did that look like on the ground? [More]
Target has gradually added more food to their store inventory over the last decade or so, and that’s an area where they want to grow. The problem is that as their food selections have grown, they’ve created a patchwork supply chain to get food items into stores. That’s inefficient, and has left some Target stores with empty shelves. The company’s solution may be to hire someone else to help. [More]
Retailers’ goal is to sell to us all “omnichannel,” selling to customers across platforms. When Walmart’s profits fell this quarter, the company promised shareholders a money-saving change that makes them seem cool and omnichannel: they’re keeping more of certain merchandise in distribution and less in stores, saving the expense of shipping and stocking items, and selling them online instead. [More]
While Sears struggles to get customers into its stores and lost $1.7 billion last year, the retailer is also encountering problems in keeping its shelves stocked with merchandise. The company’s vendors are reportedly nervous to ship to the retailer given its poor financial results and touchy cash flow situation. Vendors are asking Sears to pay their bills sooner in exchange for a discount. This ties up tens of millions of extra dollars’ worth of capital up at a time. [More]
Over at NPR’s Planet Money, they’ve had a dream for a few years now. That dream: to make a t-shirt for their listeners, and sell it to them. Not just to design and make a t-shirt, but to follow the entire supply chain from the cotton farm to the final silk-screening. This year, they finally achieved that glorious and nerdy dream. [More]
Mike sent us two stories of back-to-back merchandise fiascos with orders he placed on Sears.com for in-store pickup. What’s worse, the problems can’t just be blamed on a lone rotten employee, or attributed to bad luck—several Sears stores were involved. Our verdict: there’s something seriously messed up with the Sears fulfillment chain, and it’s not worth your time or energy to bother with it. But you knew that already, right?
Ooo, what could be inside this box that IBM shipped to a reader—retail-packaged software? Peripherals? Maybe a hard drive with air padding? A logo-emblazoned hoodie? Monogrammed pencils? A kitten?
Bundling may be a popular tactic retailers employ to force customers to spend more money, but Nintendo of America’s celeb-President Reggie Fils-Aime has come out against it, finally: “Retailers have already been given feedback that we are not big fans of that,” he told Reuters this week. Is the pre-purchase deal with GameStop one way Nintendo is preventing that from happening this December? If anyone actually buys one of those empty DVD cases, let us know if they try to upsell you to a bundle.
“Shoppers who pay the full price of about $249 for an out-of-stock Wii on December 20 and 21 at retailer GameStop Corp will get a certificate promising a Wii ‘sometime in January,'” sez Nintendo’s Reggie Fils-Aime. Only at GameStop, urg. [Reuters]