I meant to post this earlier this month after the news of the $448 million Powerball Lottery winner from California:
Interesting WSJ article (subscription) highlights how dramatically the concept of car ownership is changing in light of current ride-sharing trends and the potential for autonomous vehicles in the future. Here’s a graph that shows how new car buying has slowed dramatically among younger Americans:
This chart below is striking fear into the hearts of branded packaged goods providers (think Pampers, Duracell, Kleenex). Why? In a short period of time, Amazon has become a leading online “private-label” supplier of common products like batteries (#1) and baby wipes (#3). Since Amazon owns the final click to the customer, collects oodles of customer data and controls the shopping experience, it is easy for them to work with a manufacturer, slap their name on the product and provide great placement for it on their website.
This has been a big week of news related to the Retail Industry in the U.S., with implications for the economy, jobs, shoppers, and investors. This post will explain the big events for the week, their implications for you and your students while also providing activities and lessons that are aligned to these current events.
A fella two rows back from me on my flight today was lamenting the fall of Sears. He hadn’t shopped there in a while and was surprised how far and how fast the retail experience at their stores had declined. As more and more shopping moves from “bricks and mortar” to online, we better start developing a new skill set for shoppers. You will see one example of what can go wrong with online shopping described below.
But before we get to that, here are some stats showing the dominance of Amazon from a recent KQED radio call-in show (transcript provided) with Atlantic writer, Derek Thompson:
Rather long (about 15 minute read) but intriguing article from The Atlantic that provides great context for trends that I have blogged about the growth of online shopping (here and here). The article describes how in this era of “big data” retailers are harnessing consumer information to price discriminate and obliterate the concept of a fixed price.
Here are a few excerpts:
Ask your students which of the following items they tend to purchase online:
- Food and Beverage?
See how their answers line up with current and expected online sales trends are for each of these categories. Notice how online sales are expected to continue to gain on “bricks and mortar” sales:
Just done listening to this 28 minute Hidden Brain podcast “Money Talks” which asks such provocative questions such as:
- Would you buy clothing from a department store if you knew the apparel was made in a sweatshop?
- If you have a choice between a local coffee shop and a national chain, which would you choose?
- Does how a company treats its employees (e.g, Uber) or customers (e.g., United) factor into your purchasing decision?
I also learned a new term listening to this podcast:”buycott”, which is the opposite of boycott. You will also hear about some interesting research findings about how ethics play into purchase decisions.