Posts Tagged 'C-stores'

Amazon Go…it’s a go!

After a long period of testing, Amazon Go is finally opening its doors to the public. Its first C-store location in Seattle has already received a lot of attention for its technological leap, where the shopper can walk out the door and pay for purchases without stopping at a register. Here’s my comment on RetailWire:

I assume the long gestation period was needed to test not only the technology but also the merchandise content. From the descriptions of Amazon Go, it is more focused on fresh and ready-to-eat food than a typical C-store and devotes less space to categories like candy, chips and so forth. It will be interesting to read some on-the-ground reporting about what the store actually looks and feels like.

I expect Amazon to be patient with the concept, because some customers simply won’t be comfortable right away with a cashier-less environment. At least for now, human interaction in any kind of store (including a C-store) is part of the equation unless you’re an early adapter of the Amazon Go tech experience.

In praise of Amazon (again)

As the biggest “disrupter” in retail, Amazon is always a hot topic on RetailWire. Here’s a recent comment:

There may be more innovative retailers who are not as visible as Amazon, but it’s hard to think of a company with such scale that is less willing to rest on its laurels. I know that some panelists view Amazon’s push into new businesses and logistics methods as not much more than a well-oiled PR machine (see yesterday’s discussion of intimate apparel as an example). But it’s hard to deny that the company is anything but complacent when it comes to extending its reach and improving its execution promise.

The real test for Amazon will be its success in rolling out innovative brick-and-mortar retailing models. The bookstore and especially the C-store tests will be telling, because most other stores with “omnichannel” strategies have not succeeded in offering an innovative approach to the business of shopping.

And more thoughts from another post:

Amazon’s competitors have it all wrong if they think it’s all about low prices. (And this is the fundamental error behind Walmart’s “brand promise” over the years.) Amazon has always been focused on breadth of assortment and great execution. As the company has entered more categories (starting all the way back when when they were in the business of shipping books), it has never lost sight of these key competitive advantages. Customers’ expectations have been scrambled as a result, and everybody else (whether pure play e-commerce or omnichannel) is just trying to keep up.

A robot made my ice cream

As a RetailWire panelist, it’s fun to comment occasionally on something totally out of my “wheelhouse” of general merchandising. Case in point is the following comment about the new Robofusion robotic ice cream vending machine:

I saw a Robofusion machine (or something like it) at Logan airport in Boston. It was getting plenty of use and an acquaintance who tried the product was happy with it. This plays nicely into the growing consumer preference for customization, and one can envision plenty of retailers (think C-stores) who can use it.

Walmart’s move into C-stores

Regarding Walmart’s plans to test convenience stores, I stated on RetailWire that this concept is bound to be expanded if it works:

I don’t agree with the author’s statement that he doesn’t see Walmart throwing up C-stores all over the place. If the concept is successful, that is exactly what Walmart can be expected to do. The company has been interested in national and even global footprints for its various concepts for many years, and the C-store business seems to be dominated by strong regional players. (At least in my corner of the country, Kwik Trip is a much bigger player than 7-Eleven.) Walmart is starting from a strong brand name and pricing credibility; if it focuses on commodities, its competitors need to be prepared with different offerings, such as fresh and ready-to-eat foods.