Hello, you are listening to the Omni talk Fast 5 brought to you. In partnership with the A and M consumer and retail group Firework, SPS Commerce and Sezzle ranked in the top 10 of all podcasts globally. The Omni Talk Fast 5 is the podcast that we hope. Makes you feel a little smarter, but most importantly a little happier each week too. Today is August 10th, 2023. I’m your host, Ann Mezzenga. And I’m Chris Walton, and we are here once again to discuss the most important headlines from the past week, that highlight how the physical, digital and human elements of retail are coming together to shape the future. Chris.
Yes. Anne, Are you ready? Are you ready to just knock this out? We’re This is like our last episode before vacation week. It’s August. It’s time for vacation.
Yes, we take for those listening. We take two weeks off. We try to take two weeks off every summer. And this year we’ve already taken one week off and we’re going to take another week off next week. And yeah, we clear out the office. We vacate because vacations are meant to be vacated. And that’s what my high school English teacher used to say, that the Jesuit, the Jesuit priest. Brophy College Preparatory OH, in Phoenix, AZ, which I went to for a year.
And then I got so fancy. So fancy School and couldn’t take it anymore. Couldn’t take the Catholic parochial education or whatever the hell it’s called. Oh my gosh. But that reminds me, I just saw the movie Lady Bird. Have you seen that? Oh yeah, Lady Bird. Great flick.
Oh, my gosh. Yeah. Well, I don’t know about great flick. We’ll have to dive deeper into this. Well done on one of our plane, plane trips. But yeah, but it did like harken back to my days at parochial school. And it was. I got quite a few laughs out of that whole that whole scene, those scenes in the movie.
I can’t. I can’t remember is is parochial for Catholic or is Catholic for Catholic and parochials for the other stuff.
I can’t remember the answer, I’m I just should know this I should?
Know this. There’s set us straight. Please set us straight because I don’t know the answer. But yeah, we got an awesome show today. I’m pretty. I’m pretty excited for these topics. We were looking at the week and initially were like, but actually as I came to think about it and thought about it overnight like I’m kind of like. This is gonna be fun. There’s some good meat on these bongs. All right. Yeah, let’s do it. And for those that like disagreements, I have a feeling this could be high on the disagreement scale. Ann, what do you think about that one? Do you think my potential?
I think there’s gonna be a lot of. I think there’s gonna be a lot of of deep discussion, Chris. Well, I don’t know about disagreements. I think deep discussion, a lot of question asking. There’s going to be a lot, a lot to follow along with. So listeners, while we’re on vacation next week, you should definitely send us some messages and and let us know what you think about the the discussion that the deep discussion in today’s podcast. You know why I like deep discussion and why? Because of the.
Alliteration deep discussion all right. All right. But before we get to the headlines, today we’ve got another exciting grocery shop update. And for those watching, I even have my grocery shop mug. Those watching our newly styled Fast 5, which is the best way to get your weekly dose of all the news happening in retail. Do it on YouTube today. We’re taking you on a little trip around the globe. This time, not a literal sense. To emphasize that grocery shops reach extends far beyond the borders of the US. It’s a global phenomenon.
And Oh yes, of course it is.
Of course it is. I mean, jeez, yeah, it really is.
Let’s talk about what they mean, though, when they say everyone and everyone with quotes is headed to grocery like that song. Everybody. Everybody. Everybody, everybody. You know, that one done. Needle drop. And and dropping the needle, maybe I’ll just keep doing, maybe I’ll just keep doing this in the background as you’re talking about.
Grocery shop, Great Needle drop. All right, so and picture this gathering of 5000 executives with a staggering 70% holding director titles or hire all in one place, inhaling from over 40 countries, and that number is steadily climbing. Leading retailers and brands from the global stage, including Tesco, Boots, Walmart Canada, Metro and Sainsbury’s, are joining hundreds of US businesses like Kroger, 711, Sam’s Club and Whole Foods. Which makes grocery shop the world’s biggest gathering of global grocery ecosystem execs. Also some great alliteration there.
They’ve got big names from the UK, from France, the US of course, Latin America with MercadoLibre, and even some of our Aussie pals are flying all the way to Vegas. This is your single best chance to interact in person with companies that might not typically be within your networking scope. Here Here to that, that is for sure. And guess what? Right now is a perfect time to grab your ticket since prices increase tomorrow night at midnight. So go visit groceryshop.com/omni talk, that’s grocery shop.com/omni talk to join your global peers. All right. And let’s do this show in today’s fast 5A and M’s Chad Lusk is going to stop by to give us 5 insightful minutes on Instore grocery check. And as well, we’ve got news on Wawa’s new shelveless convenience store, JD Sports and its new virtual Tryon mirror, Amazon Hub, a new local delivery network from Amazon. Amazon also bringing its Just walk out tech to apparel merchandise and can’t wait to talk about that, but we begin today.
With news out of Nike, and that’s right Chris, headline number one, Nike is planning a network of fitness boutique studios. According to Retail Dive, Nike is opening a boutique fitness concept in partnership with Fit Lab. The studio concept will offer live classes and the first location is in LA. Later this year it’s opening. The studios will be open to everyone 18 and older and will include Nike Training Studios, which will focus on functional strength training, and Nike Running Studios, which also focus on endurance workouts. Retail Dive went on to add that currently the retailer is offering an unlimited workout membership at the studios for $99.00 per month for founding members, but those founding members must also pay $49.00 to quote reserve a spot and quote as a founding member. Finally, Chris, once the studio’s open, Nike also plans to offer drop in rates and unlimited monthly workouts with prices varying by location. Chris, I cannot wait to hear what you think about this. This came out on Friday and I was like, Oh my God, this is massive.
We’re all over social media on this. I my hunch is you love this, but OK, that’s my guess.
I don’t know for me and I don’t I don’t know where I stand on this. Like I’m kind of split and. I’m kind of hedging. I’m kind of hedging more towards the side if I don’t like it, as you can probably tell from the way I’m talking about it.
Yeah, I can tell you seem a little like, like, like constipated in thought constipated in thought that that’s a good way to describe me generally in life and constipated in thought.
But yeah, I mean, the reason I like it is because essentially when I pull back the covers on this, it’s like Nike’s getting into the gym business, which.
Is one of the worst, most competitive spaces around. Like it’s really hard to do it. It’s hard to keep up with the trends. And honestly, honestly the fads that come along with the gym business. And so like, you know, I asked that, I have to ask the question strategically like why is Nike better than all the thousands of other options of gyms that are going to be around? Is it because it’s branded Nikey? I mean that’s a bridge that’s a little too far for me. So then it. Okay. So then I look at the announcement. Okay, it sounds like they’re doing this with a partner. So it gets into a little bit of the like Four Seasons running a property under that brand name as a in the hotel industry. It’s kind of akin to that, right?
Which makes it a little better. But my gut tells me that we’re going to see a few of these. They’re not going to take off like gangbusters. They’re going to be hard to run. There’s the industry. So fatty, like I said before. It’s not going to go anywhere is what my gut tells me. But I don’t know prove me wrong. And so like I said, my hunch is you love this my my gut tells me you love this, but I’m.
I think I’m, I’m negative on this one, are you? And then that’s fatty with it. With a DDY, not fatty, with a TTY.
Yeah, that would be fat PHAT and you know, yes, it’s. Bad FAD.
Yes, I can understand all of your points. I think it makes sense. You know, it’s hard to find economies of scale when you start getting into physical property. I think that’s a big issue like you’re talking about with the, you know, the actual build it build outs of the gyms. But I think that there’s a lot of there. There’s a lot of coulds. I will say in the statement I’m about to make. There’s a lot of opportunity especially when you start to think about you know what what Nike is bringing to the table here. And I think that the closest comparison that that I can figure out and if I was Peloton in this case I would be very concerned you. Peloton really hasn’t had a a worthwhile competitor so far and I think that with Nike getting into this, again this is not something that all brands can do. This is something that Nike specifically is trying to do and I think it what Nike is doing with this is taking all the best, best parts of Peloton which they already have the workout any where when you want it how you want it. They already have that with a Nike training club that has a comparable number of subscribers already to what Peloton has surprisingly. And so I think if you take that and you start to explore what you can do inside of a Nike store or adjacent to a Nike store with some of these these workout programs, I think it’s worth the experiment for Nike. I’m a little surprised it took them this long to do it, but I think that the other part of this is that you also have Nike’s flywheel. That’s funniness that Peloton does not have. You have all of the operations from, you know, the apparel from all of the other community organized events that they already have going that can help fund this or maybe sustain these tests a little bit longer than than any other competitor can do. Certainly like Lululemon or somebody who’s also tried to get into this similar space. And that’s what my high school English teacher used to say, that the Jesuit, the Jesuit priest. Brophy College Preparatory OH, in Phoenix, AZ, which I went to for a year. And I think Nike has more power if they wanted to to turn those trainers, those trainer influencers into more of like a Nike athlete sort of level and I don’t think any nobody else can do that. So I think that there’s there’s a lot of potential here that if Nike executes this in the right way, they could have a lot of success here. They could present of a challenger to Peloton. It’s just going to depend on how they can get these operations running as efficiently as possible and how they can scale them as quickly. Because the last thing I’ll add is if you, if you don’t have convenience, if you can’t pay off, like I have a club that’s around the corner for me or you know, as close as the nearest shopping mall or wherever the Nike store is, like that’s not open for me. You lose people. And that’s the missing component here that Nike, I think is able to offer.
Yeah. I mean, I think, honestly, I I don’t. None of those points convinced me. Actually, I get a point too. Like, the membership’s pretty cheap, right? 99 bucks, Like, that’s pretty cheap, right, For a gym membership. So it makes me wonder why they’re not going more upmarket with this. But that’s enough. No, I mean the reason that the reason it’s not convincing me Ann is. You look at what else has been going on the industry with the people you mentioned. So Peloton, why hasn’t, if this is such a great idea, why hasn’t Peloton been able to get their in person studios to work in any other city outside of New York? Like, that seems like the easiest goddamn thing to make happen out there. And they can’t do it.
Lululemon Nike’s doing it. Yeah, that’s what I mean. Like he’s. Trying to do it. Trying to do it so and has the funding to back it up, that’s.
Yeah, but I know, but yeah, but and then also lululemon like that you use them too, like. They’ve been building their stores out, you know, with some of these, you know, studios inside them. Seems like they’ve pulled back on that as a strategy too. Or we’re just not hearing as much about it. Like when we went to check out that store in Chicago where that was full on experience, we took a class there with Gideon.
Remember that Gideon, but like fit with Giddy.
Yeah, we got fit with Gideon, but like, it doesn’t, it seems like they’re pulling back on there too.
So I think this is much harder to do well than people are probably realizing getting inside in this announcement for sure.
All right, so we let’s we keep rolling then. You’re good. All right. All right. Well, Headlight 2 is really interesting. Wawa is testing a fully shoveless store in Philadelphia.
And every time I write shoveless in my notes and it goddamn auto corrects the sleeveless, it’s really for sleeveless digital stores, too.
I mean, I do the same thing.
Take those sleeves off.
Hey, it is Philly. Shout out to Evan. Shout out to Evan Loyal Lister and this news today comes to us from Fox 29 in Philadelphia. Very, very interesting news here. So here’s what it means. Here’s what a shelves store means. It means that the new shopping experience requires all items to be purchased on the Wawa mobile app or also via touchscreen kiosk in the store. And you know how much I love kiosk? And then and then all the orders are fulfilled by Wawa staff. Behind the counters, there are no products. Emphasis on no products visible on shelves in this store. And I know you got a ton of thoughts on this question. We actually have a ton of experience on this topic. I can’t wait to share with the audience, but this is also our A and M put you on the spot question this week. Are you ready for it? Starting off from the bag, All right. Typically, and this is true, everything Wawa does turns to gold. In this case, do you read this announcement and think convenience store of the future and fulfilling a key customer need? Or do you think Piggly Wiggly over 100 years ago, when shoppers would present their grocery orders to clerks who grab goods off inventory shelves for them?
Okay. First, I want to thank listener Jenny Lewis, who sent me this story. Thank you, Jenny.
I think it’s a great one to talk about.
Yes. Second look, I I think that you have to look at this store differently. One, it’s A1 store test. They’re going to learn a lot from this experiment. I think this is different because back in the day, like I had to go back in the day to curbside pickup. There are still people today actually who tell me like I don’t get curbside pickup, Why would you want curbside pickup? Like I don’t think this is the end all be all for the future of convenience stores. No, I don’t think so to answer any Am’s question. But I do think that there’s a need state for this. It’s taking the the go puff, the DoorDash, the 711, the Instacart models inconvenience and it’s giving you another option to pick up curbside when you want it and that is more convenient for people. So I think it’s just banning this definition of convenience. I hate the idea. I hate the idea of going in and having to order from a kiosk. That is a terrible thing like Wawa. I don’t even know why this is an option. Like let’s just go with mobile order first and then give people the convenience of like there’s not a giant parking lot like a Walmart to drive through to go pick up your order. There’s no like it’s easy to expand this into locations to test this and you have a lot of locations to do curbside pickup that are convenient for me on my way home from work or school or whatever. But and and I think finally it’s probably safer for the workers and doesn’t require as many workers inside of a convenience store potentially. But I think I hate the kiosk idea. I think that’s terrible. I But I do like this as a test for. Is there a need state for consumers to be able to order convenience items ahead of time, pull up and pick them up and go?
Right. They get some. You’re right. I mean, there’s some dispensation for being a test, and it’s one hell of an audacious test, right?
For sure. For sure.
Yes. I think the other point is you’re bringing up good points on You have to look at the context of what are they experimenting with or why and ask ask yourself that question. Is it meant to be a new way of running a convenience store in the age of like, rampant supposed theft? Although there’s a lot of questions about how rampant theft is. Is it? Is it that or is it like designed more cerebrally where it’s actually meant to be a fulfillment center? That if they can get any Instore traffic, it’s just a bonus. If it’s the latter, then I can get on board with it. But if it’s the convenience store option, I freaking hate it. Like I hate this. Because if you’re going to afford, even if you just force people to use an app, forget the kiosk, which is dumb, Why not just go to a gated entry system? Then you know to to help ameliorate all the issues that you’re trying to ameliorate with that set up because removing products from the floor. Undoubtedly is going to hurt sales and and impact your basket sizes too. And therefore the overall viability of this as a standalone convenience store concept with the economics of a traditional convenience store, it’s just not there because still overwhelmingly the majority of sales volume happens in the physical store. So you’re not going to get that added benefit that you have from all the activity that you’re talking about of the people that still want to interact with this via curbside pickup. The best analogy that I can think of for this store is Argos in the UK. It’s basically the same model where but they’re but they do that specifically for curbside like basically like a pickup location in a busy urban setting and they’re doing it mainly in electronics and small appliances and categories like that. Convenience store is different. You want those items conveniently, and so if you think about removing them from shelves for those people that are just walking by, this makes that experience so much more inconvenient at the end of the day because it’s not going to be as quick and it’s not going to be as fast. It’s basically, it’s basically like, it’s also like service merchandise was in the day, but with no displays. I like the concept when there’s display merchandise, like I like the Best Buy test that they’re running in North Carolina. That makes sense because the price on display, you know, you can interact. Yeah, In those categories, you can. And it’s a different category again. Yeah, it’s not, it’s not Doritos, right. Like, I just want to grab Doritos. I don’t want to wait for somebody to bring those out to me from the back.
That’s just that’s that’s asinine I think if.
I’m if, I’m if I’m walking by or wanting to, you know in that convenient mood, which in in an urban setting you often times are. But go ahead last week.
Yeah, I mean, I think the thing that’s important to focus on here is I think there’s too much attention being being turned in the story to people going in the store, eliminate going in the store like it’s taking do you?
Think they’re that smart in this test that that’s why they’re doing this?
I do. I think, I think they are taking they they also did a drive thru concept that you’ll remember. So I think it’s like what are they learning in the drive thru version of this and what are they learning in the curbside pickup of this. I think, I think it’s not going to be about people going in the shore and the shelve less store. I think that’s a stupid way to look at this. I think it’s how are we doing what you were talking about earlier about using this maybe as a micro fulfillment center to do fulfill deliveries and then do curbside pickup only. So I think there’s more to learn from this than just what what meets the eye in the headline.
And from the photos in the Article 2, it seems like the hot food is still available. Like you’d expect the hot food to be available, which gets people in the store and that’s probably a significant portion of the business too, which so it’s smart. So yeah, I mean This is why you test, right? That’s why we say like and the more audacious the test, the better because the more you’re going to learn. However, this next example I think add.
I don’t know that I agree that every test not worth the test here. So headline 3JD Sports is trying its hand at virtual Tryon. According to Chain Storage, the global British athletic retailer is utilizing proprietary AR based virtual Tryon Mirror from Zero 10 at its New York and Chicago flagship stores as part of its quote Need it Now and quote apparel campaign. The irony in need it now and AR should not be lost on anyone, I might add. Customers, when customers meet in these New York and Chicago stores interact with the AR mirrors Zero 10 computer vision algorithms estimate the user’s body shape and position in space, producing an accurate 3D model of the user in threedimensional space. AR based cloth simulation then helps to replicate the behavior of the virtual clothing and render it onto the screen. Customers can pick up an item available for Tryon on the AR Mirror Select. If I want to buy this item, scan the QR code on an Instore iPad and be directed to the JD Sports website to complete the purchase of the original physical piece, Chris, I can’t even speak to all of the detail and volume ar Tryon, so I would like you to give your insight on what you think of this test from JD.
Oh, and you had me at AR based cloth simulation.
You totally did not like, Oh my God, cloth simulation. This is getting out of hand.
It really is. I mean this this concept as an idea, honest, I I I’m just going to be really blunt here and like really frank this idea has got to effing stop. Like I see this idea at every trade show we go to, usually multiple times. There’s some company that’s paid for some big real estate at the trade show to put their AR mirror up. So everyone can see it, but like, I just don’t get it. Like I’m in a store with physical garments. Why do I need to see them in an augmented reality state in the store? Like that makes no.
God damn sense to me, you know, And I don’t even think it’s that. Like, Chris, I was trying to understand, I think you picked the garment in the mirror. I don’t. It’s a virtual garment. It’s not even the physical. So you virtually pick a garment from the mirror one person at a time, I might add, use this mirror. And then you have to take a scan, a QR code, and scan it into another kiosk. Like this is fraught with friction.
What it sounded like too, that you could get the like the The online catalog could be available through this too. You can see how you want it to be on you but like and like and and and I I’m also tired of the hot model standing in front of the mirror. Like let’s call it what it is, like that’s just so, so silly. But like if I’m in the store, I’m going to one put it on myself on the showroom, which most guys do and then you know, or a lot of people do. I don’t even have to be gender specific on there and I apologize for that. But like or are you just going to go in the goddamn fitting room, right. I mean like why are you going to use this? It’s this is again an example. It’s it’s it’s the modern. It’s the modern day modern. I see modern day. Say like this. This was that long ago. But like it’s the new equivalent of the extend the I/O kiosk, you know to show the other assortment that you could also by the way look up on your phone at any time because your goddamn phone is the better way to do this. And so like that to me, any, I mean the last one I made again, any retailer that green lights this idea going forward, I’m going to mock Mercistly in any way possible because I I can’t stand this. And if the company, what is it, 0 Zero Dark 30 or Zero 10 has to come at me and talk to us more about it. Like let’s do it. But it’s just so silly to me. I just don’t understand it.
Do you agree? I don’t agree, yes, I totally agree. I don’t have much more to add outside of The thing that I do think is cool about this is they are creating a 3D avatar of your body, which can be very valuable for understanding fit. But there’s no mention in here of like we’re going to send you the 3D avatar of your body. So that if you decide to order online for any from JD in the future, like that’s where this is valuable on my own mobile device as you as you outline. But there’s no mention of, like the connection point with the consumer and actually being able to take that avatar for something that’s more useful down the line. Not when I’m sitting in your store. I think it’s just absolutely ridiculous.
And do that in the fitting room, right? Do that like fit, match is doing.
Like do that in the fitting room where it’s natural part of the experience, like or on your own.
Phone or on your own phone stand if that works. Or on your own phone, right? Don’t do it as a standalone mirror in the store.
All right. Well, and we’ve been talking about it a lot. We’ve got, we’ve been talking about a lot on the show, lots of topics that come up, a lot retail, media networks. A lot of tech related to grocery and how that’s going to play out in the future. And so we are excited today to debut a new segment that we are calling 5 Insightful Minutes. Joining us now for five insightful minutes is Army Talk friend Chad Lust, the partner and Managing Director at the AM Consumer and Retail Group. Chad will be discussing with us his company’s latest report on the most impactful Instore digital technology investments. Within the grocery industry, Chad first of Alltel us about this new report series and why you felt it was so important to come on our show and discuss it with us today. Pilots and rollouts of Instore technology have been coming out at a blistering pace and our clients have been asking us all kinds of questions in terms of where to invest and what has the staying power and and what they need to do going forward. So we we launched this retail report series on consumer facing Instore technology, which will do semiannually. Across retail sectors starting with grocery here and and we think we’ve captured the timing well because when COVID took consumer traffic online, most retail investments followed suit for instance in fulfillment retail media networks outside the store below and behold once the US consumer started to shop in store again, retail investments have have reentered with them. So after a relative pause, things have really picked up in Instore investments and we’ve seen some pretty big announcements in the past couple months.
With that said, Chad, it’s the first grocery edition. What technologies did you decide to cover and why?
So we started by following the news. In May, Walmart announced the rollout of 60 million digital shelf labels. Few weeks later, Kroger said it was expanding digital smart cooler screens to 500 stores. Innovative Schnucks is going big with smart shopping carts, so we started with those 3. But beyond just covering headlines, you know all three of these hit really clear value propositions, I’ll be it differently. So it’s important to recognize why retailers make tech investments to create an operational efficiency and enhance margin, to improve a customer experience and of course, to sell more goods. Tons of different benefits and use cases, but but trick pick up primary source for your ROI, right? With electronic shelf labels, it’s about the ROI and labor savings in replacing all of those hours of manual label changes. With cooler screens, you’re trying to drive top line sales growth through additional unplanned or impulse purchases. Smart cards are interesting. I think the jury’s still out. On the surface, it appears the primary benefit is. An alternative to a just walk out cashierless experience, but but I believe the ROI really needs to come through opportunities and serving personalized content to shoppers. Of course all these are still being tested but but Walmart and Kroger’s rollouts demonstrates and realized ROI that this has also been the year of the retail media network, almost potentially too much so. So how do you realistically see retail media network showing up in store? I’d say today, not very well. You know any of these places where you see these digital ads showing up, whether it’s cooler screen, smart cards, free asks TV’s. They’re trying to generate an impulse buy, But but what they’re actually? Providing our our broadcast TV commercials for the general population, it’s like bringing the living room into the store. But what it doesn’t do is it doesn’t bring the ecom experience to the store. Today in store doesn’t match the power of retail media networks online because it’s missing a critical component. You have the, you know, background analytics to drive consumer preferences. You now have mechanisms to show the advertising in store. But what’s been missing? Is the customer identification. So knowing who you are, you know you have that sign in online, but in a store, the retailer historically is only ever been able to know who I am at exit when I’m paying and I put in my loyalty number when it’s too late to do anything about it. You can’t personalize when you don’t know who the person is and that’s what makes retail media networks online so powerful, that personalization. So once a retailer can know who you are, you know walking. Store at entry, you complete that Tri fact and can bring the full power retail media networks into the store. So it combines the shiny toys we’re talking about with the know how.
So Chad, what are you advising that grocery retailers do when contemplating these and other technology investments to make?
In a world of limited capital, you have to pick the technology that hits on the most critical and appropriate use case based on your unique value prop. So choose among the three-point framework that makes sense for your brand, your customers and your roadmap, whether you’re driving operational excellence, customer experience, or or top line growth. Second, pilot, test, learn. Don’t be overly wedded to anything knowing when to walk away. These Roi’s are still being developed and they’re unique. To individual customer segments. You know, just because Kroger is rolling out cooler screens doesn’t mean it works for X regional discount groceries. And finally, as perhaps the most important future proof your investments, right? Think about what technologies allow future flexibility so you don’t lock yourself in, but allow for additional benefits that just compound over time as other tech around the store improves in your personal opinion. Which of the technology that you discussed today, if you were a grocer would be at the top of your investment list? I don’t want to talk out both sides of my mouth. So I I would, I would start by saying it depends right for everyone. Again, it’s assuming that it’s fits with my unique value prop based on what I just said. I think electronic shelf labels excite me the most here because there’s of the three, there’s the most clear compelling ROI case in terms of the labor efficiency and and. Savings and whether that is distorting labor to other elements in the store or or having the opportunity for reduction. But but what really gets me excited is around where this can go in the future. Combining it with other elements of you know a baseline infrastructure that creates a smart store, the future cameras, monitoring, dwell time, dynamic pricing, this opens up so much of an infrastructure within the store that that that’s my number one right now. Going to agree more. Thank you Chad Okay. Let’s get back to show headline 4. And this headline is a little bit of a catch up from us being on vacation for part of late July, so bear with us on this. But Amazon has launched a new local delivery network. According to Axios, Amazon plans to tap thousands of US small businesses, from bodegas to florist, to deliver its packages by the end of the year. Dubbed Amazon Hub Delivery, this is Amazon’s latest attempt to expand its last mile network and here is how it works. Drivers from Amazon’s delivery service partner network drop off the packages to participating local businesses, which are required to have a secure area for storage, and then the same florist, bodegas, whatever are expected to deliver an average of 30 packages a day for seven days a week. Not counting, of course, major holidays, according to Axios as well, Amazon wouldn’t state exactly how much it pays per package, but based on a reported extra earnings of $27,000 a year, the rate would be about $2.50 per package. And you fought hard for this story to include it because, you know, we might have missed it while we were out on vacation. We brought it back in. What? Why did you want to talk about this so much?
I just don’t understand. I don’t understand this like I’m all for the test like especially Amazon, go ahead test your faces off. But I just don’t understand as a former small business owner and still but as a as a small business owner with a a physical store, I cannot understand the financial benefit of taking part in this program. I think you look at 1 like secure storage for 30 Amazon packages per day, like who has room for that? Also like the security of it. Now I have to figure out logistics for my drivers to like incorporate my deliveries plus the Amazon deliveries. What happens if there there’s always some sort of like change to what the Amazon requirements are for drop off versus my, you know, drop off as a florist like whose packages take priority? My own as my florist. Obviously I’m going to make sure that my flowers are going out first that are, you know, time and temperature control that need to get to places in specific amounts of time like. I just do not understand the logic behind this and especially when you’re only estimating $27,000 a year, like that’s not even enough to pay your delivery driver’s salary for a year. Like it just does not make sense to me and I think that I have to compare it to like what Walmart go locals doing and like kind of doing the reverse of this like go local. Just saying like we will take your deliveries off your plate. To me that seems like a much more worthwhile investment and opportunity for these small businesses to like carve out ways to stick to what they’re good at and be a better florist or be a better bodega operator and not try to get into the delivery business. But I I’m curious, Chris, what are you, what are you thinking here? Are you like pro Amazon package delivery slash florist? I delivery your toilet paper from the bodega.
Interesting. So you’re kind of you’re kind of the pin like Amazon’s kind of trying to dupe the bodegas in the florist like that’s kind of what your take is here.
Like I just don’t we got this opportunity for you if you want to take it you can earn some extra money that’s that’s kind of like get rich quick like this feels like a get rich quick like sign that you see on the post outside in your.
Neighborhood, like, that’s interesting. Yeah. I never. I didn’t think about it that way when I was thinking about it last night. But. I mean, I don’t hate it as much as you do. I mean I think for Amazon it kind of make, it’s just kind of an extension of like how do we get more people to deliver packages for us at scale in a way that, you know, this tends to be pretty difficult and try to figure out a way to save money. It’s probably a tech platform that basically makes all this happen, which Amazon’s really good at doing. They put it out there, they see who wants to do it and you know basically no, no skin off their back if it doesn’t work. But if they get a few people to sign up for it and they like doing it, you know, fine, you know is it worth the extra $27,000? If I was running a bodega or a a a floral shop I I’m with you. I wouldn’t do it because it’s not my business. We talked about that a lot. What business are you in? Are you in the floral business? Are you in the Amazon delivery business? Those are two really different things, and. Hard to do both of them well. So, you know, careful. I would be careful or I agree with you, be leery of, you know, trying to do this thing and it’s a quick way to earn some extra money. But you know, from an Amazon standpoint, I’m like, yeah, sure, why not go for it?
Only because it’s Amazon and they can afford to compensate. If they can’t, you know.
They don’t know like if if like anybody else Target Walmart, you know, Home Depot. I mean, name your Rita if they’re like, hey, we want to do some packages for us. Local, local. Vinnie the florist. You know, Go for it, you know. Fergal the florist from the town. Shout out to the town. Fergal, Fergal.
That’s such a great movie. Oh, my God. All right, we’re moving on. Chris. Let’s talk about something better that Amazon is doing. Headline 5. Yeah, this is super. Cool, Yes, The Seattle Seahawks and Lumen Field are planning to implement Amazon’s Just Like out technology for yes fan merchandise. According to Lumen Field blog post, Amazon’s just like out tech will be deployed within its new Seahawks Pro Shop outlet. Their fans will find a variety of team gear, including hats, shirts, jerseys, and souvenirs. Customers can go in, grab a hat, tshirt, jersey, phone, finger, whatever they might need and want, and simply leave through an exit gate even while wearing their purchases. Once a customer picks the items they want, they simply use their credit card to hover or sorry, use their credit card, or hover their palm over an Amazon One device to exit when they.
Love hovering my palm.
I know, I know. I just. I just hovered my palm last night. When they pass through the exit gate the credit card they use or link or that is linked to their Amazon one ID will be charged for the items that they picked. Chris, this is huge, huge and like not not covered again as much as I think it should be, but.
Yeah, yeah, yeah. And actually the headline doesn’t do the full the story of justice either. Yeah, I mean we saved the best for last. No offense to our buddy Chad, but like this story is potentially massive. First, a couple points I got to make. First, the key thing, One, one of the key things before we get into the apparel side of this is. They’re going to exit authorization again, not pre entry authorization again too, which I think makes the concept more accessible to the average user, right? Because you’re paying with your credit card on your way out.
Or you’re hovering your palm as we are hovering your palm.
But the biggest thing is apparel like and I have so many questions like how are they making this work? Number one, like how do they know the difference between a medium? And a small jersey, how do they know the difference between a seven and one quarter hat size and a 7 3/8 quarter hat size? Like, yes, that seems really crazy. Or are they, you know, cutting back the assortment? Are they putting some other type of tag on the assortment to help identify a small, medium and large, which I think you could do? Actually, there’s probably ways to do that like you fix a sticker or something that’s easily read by the cameras, but that could cause problems if those fall off and all that kind of stuff. So, you know, I mean my big take away here and for me. We got to get we got to get to a Seahawks game. I freaking hate the Seahawks. I loathe them. I detest them. I bleed cardinal red every single day. Oh yeah. I hate them. Hate them, Hate them, Hate them. We got to catch a game. It’s probably hard to get a ticket, but but yeah, Amazon, if you’re listening, let’s get out there. Let’s check.
Don’t even care about the game. Don’t even care about the game. Just want to go to the store. Just.
Work. The stores open all the time. I want to shop at the local fan shop. Yeah, 100%, but this is.
An apparel, Ian. Yes, an apparel. I know I have. I have the same questions that you had here. Like I was wondering, have they figured out like how to triangulate like RFID tags in the clothes with computer, right. And like they yes. Like are they figuring out that like third portion of the quadrant to understand exactly what I have to imagine it’s something like that. But then I mean, I think you posted this yesterday and I think Ted McCaffrey commented on your LinkedIn post where he was just saying like this is just a other feather in the cap of Amazon. And I totally agree of like being the technology platform that powers the modern store. Again, like moving away from Amazon’s own stores as much as the revenue driver, but really being able to now in general merchandise because it’s like now that they have got apparel and you can add convenience items to the store and now they’ve got a technology platform that could power. Not that Walmart or Target would be interested in doing this. But I mean, if you start to think about like a Meijer grocery store or something, some other kind of stores that have more general merchandise types things now they’ve opened up the capability to do that kind of store, to do an apparel store, to do at a grocery store, like convenience store, they’re hitting all the marks here.
Yeah, I think that’s a great point to like the road map to do a full scale store with computer vision is there. The tent just has to get there, right. It has to be able to cover that ground, which probably still far away out because you know the fan shops are pretty small operation most likely relative that, but your point is right like. The road map, you’re hitting every category now almost with the exception maybe maybe apparel maybe like some things in like home furnishings, I don’t know, like I have no idea how well that’s going to play out. But as you get into blankets and sheets and stuff like that. But, but yeah, and and the other part is like to your point, like all the specialty retailers operate stores that are, you know, somewhere in the country that are probably roughly the same size as these fan shops and still like you know, if I’m, I mean American Eagle to your point talked about doing this with RFID earlier this year. We haven’t heard anything about that. You know, if I’m Gap, I’m like I need a lifeline, Do I call Amazon and maybe see what’s going on here? I mean, I’m just.
Saying you’re already selling the stuff on Amazon, Maybe Gap. This is just we need to get Dick Dixon. Get Dick Dixon on this one, Gap.
Maybe Dick Dixon sells to Amazon. That would be really. Yeah, yeah, yeah. In our little Nostradamus pontification thing going on here late in this podcast. And I like this. All right.
All right. All right. Let’s wrap it up. Chris. Let’s go to the lightning round here. Question one is for you. Back in 1947, Chris, one out of every 18 girls born in the United States, was named Linda. But Linda’s dropped from the number one most common female name to 807 last year. Today there are fewer Linda’s born than white rhinos. This is thanks thanks to the Best One Yet podcast for this attention. This is one of it’s one of my favorite details Chris, who is your all time favorite? Linda. And you can’t say my mom, because she’s my favorite. Linda.
All right. Yes. No. Yes. Shout out to her. To. To Linda S Yes, for sure. No. And I mean, it’s got to be Linda Ronstadt. I mean, Linda Ronstadt is the bomb.
OK, you know she’s she was great.
She influenced the Eagles, which I know is one of your all time favorite bands, or maybe not, but but yeah, it’s got to go with Linda Ronstadt.
All right, good answer.
Netflix this week launched a new game controller app that lets you play games on your TV right from your phone. And mobile game. What mobile game currently on your phone would you most want to play via this new app? Dub then Netflix game controller? I don’t even have a mobile game on your phone, I.
Do not have a single mobile.
Not a single one.
No I don’t. So interesting. Like the only thing I could think of was like maybe trivia or something. Like it’d be fun to do like a trivia or like some kind of 1V1 game or something. It’s hard. I’m. I don’t. I’m not. I don’t nerd out like you Star Wars like Lightsaber Wars or whatever you always play is not on my phone unfortunately.
It seems like a dongle to me too, but couldn’t I just screen share like my thank you my screen? Why do I do this to Netflix? But anyway.
I don’t know. I don’t know, Chris. All right, question 3. According to the Wall Street Journal, fewer fast food customers are choosing to dine in. And resulting in some heat from McDonald’s and Burger King franchisees who are getting pressure from the mother ships to invest in remodeling the dining areas of their stores. Chris, are you a dine in fast foodie or do you take your show on the road?
Ooh, that’s a good question. I’m, you know, I’m probably like, if I think about I’m probably 5050. I think it depends on the establishment and the type of food. Like for example, like Chickfila, I’m dining in because the service is so great in store.
Like wet burritos. You’re going to dine in?
Yeah. Like, yeah, no Britos. I’m probably taking out Britos as long as.
They’re not too wet.
Yeah, Britos travel better. I’ll give you the best example, like in and out. Yeah, even though it’s like made for a drive through in and out is so much better when you eat it at the restaurant.
That’s the only one I could think of that I have actually dined in was in and. Right.
Yeah, but McDonald’s. Fuck, excuse my language, but, you know, every time. Every time I’m driving through that place. Like, for the most part, you know. All right land and last one, the land and last one. Crocker Park shopping center in Cleveland recently rolled out the Night Scopes K5 autonomous security robot or as some were calling it, Sam for Secret Agent Man. Wow. That’s creative. There has to be a better name than Sam, right? For a autonomous security robot?
You know, I love that you asked me this question because it was clearly just a tee up for your ridiculous dad joke that you posted on LinkedIn where you called this robot Roblart for Roblart.
Yeah, but I thought you could come up with a better one than that. Come on, you’re creative. You know, I know Robot is good.
I just assumed I I was supposed to tee you up for this and that was where you were going with this question. So no, Roblart is the best possible alternative for Sam for the the robot mall cop.
All right, very nice. Well, good. Thanks for the kudos. That was not what my intention was. My intention was to actually figure out a better day than Roblem.
OK, All right, nice. All right, well, happy birthday today. To Riddick, Beau, Kylie Jenner, and to the woman who once took strung out to new heights as the heroin addicted girlfriend to Eric Stoltz’s Lance in Pulp Fiction, the one and only Rosanna Arquette. And remember, if you can only read or listen to 1 Retail media company in the business, make it Omnitalk, the only retail media outlet run by two former executives from a current top ten US retailer. Our Fast 5 podcast is the quickest, fastest, rundown of all the week’s top news. And our twice weekly newsletter tells you all the things you need to know each and every day and also features exclusive content that we do just for you. And we try really hard to make it all fit within the preview pane of your inbox. You can Sign up today at http://www.omnitalk.blog. Thanks is always for listening in. Please remember to like and leave us a review wherever you happen to listen to your podcast or be sure to watch us on YouTube as well. Remember, we’re off next week, but we will be back with our friends from the A and M Consumer and Retail Group again on August 24th. So until then, and on behalf of all of us at Omni Talk Retail, be careful out there.
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