A weekly podcast with the latest e-commerce news and events. Episode 189 is a recap of the Code Commerce and GroceryShop tradeshows, as well as some industry news.
This episode was recorded right after Jason & Scot received their iPhone 11 Pro Max’s. Jason mentioned a new iOS feature to take full page screenshots. Here is how to take full page screenshots in iOS 13.
- Amazon orders 100,000 electric vans from Rivian
- Amazon Changed Search Algorithm in Ways That Boost Its Own Products
- BDO reports more than 7k stores already closed in 2019, which is already more than any other year
- Some contreversy over store closure numbers. IHL disagreed with Coresight methodology and findings.
Don’t forget to like our facebook page, and if you enjoyed this episode please write us a review on itunes.
Episode 189 of the Jason & Scot show was recorded on Sunday, September 22nd, 2019.
Automated Transcription of the show
[0:24] Welcome to the Jason and Scott show this episode 189 being recorded on Sunday September 22nd,
2019 I’m your host Jason retailgeek Goldberg and as usual I’m here with your co-host Scot Wingo.
[0:39] Jason and welcome back Jason Scott show listeners.
Jason it was we got a lot to cover tonight we’ll see what get a couple trip reports before we jump into that I’m dying to know did you get your iPhone 11 on new iPhone day was September 20th.
[0:58] I did I was traveling during the week that it was an out so I was like at code Commerce secretly listening to the announcement.
In the audience and then that Friday I was still in New York so I super convenient for my Apple they made it 5:30 a.m. 8:30 a.m. East Coast time so I got to pre-order.
That that Friday and I my phone arrived this is Sunday my phone arrived on Friday.
[1:30] Look at it all moved over and everything’s rocking.
[1:33] I did I think.
[1:35] Pictures senior pictures.
[1:36] So I suspect we got similar if not exactly the same models I got the 11 Pro Max screen.
[1:46] I got the same thing yes you have impeccable taste sir.
[1:50] Yes twinsies and I would say the upgrade experience continues to get smoother and less glitch free so,
in general it was super easy one wrinkle I was using a unpopular feature of the 10 which is dual Sims.
And so the way in the the US they don’t have two SIM ports so one of your Sims is virtual and one of them is a physical Sim so I had to
a work phone account in a personal phone account and in the upgrade Apple convert your former
esim to a physical Sim so now I have two physical Sims and I can’t fit them both in my phone so I’ll have to go back to an AT&T store and get a new esim.
For all those people that want to have have a new definition for first world problem.
[2:47] Watches get two phones.
[2:50] Yeah not a fan I’ve carried a lot around a lot of phones and it’s much easier to have to I mean I have one in the to send feature actually works quite well.
Articulated there different carrier.
[3:01] How to upgrade.
[3:03] Except for this week I mean I’m still fine I’ll I’ll still be able to travel with the
with the once a mint I can swing by and AT&T store last time I did this no one in the AT&T store never heard of any ECM but I have a feeling they’ve got it all I’ll Donald in by this time.
And so I don’t think we need to cover a lot like it’s you know mostly well-known,
new features like you know why she related to camera but there is one secret e-commerce TV feature that I’m I’m kind of happy about 4 maybe only be relevant to his nerves of the show.
[3:40] I’m trying to block what is it.
in the the Safari screen capture so when you you do the combination of buttons to take a picture of your screen.
You can now and now gives you the option to grab not just the visible part of the screen but the entire webpage all the way to the bottom.
[4:05] Nice so you can get your lung checkouts.
[4:09] Yeah yeah and so when you’re taking pictures of mobile experience is to illustrate two teams or clients or things like that which is something we do a lot in the old days what you had to do is take a bunch of pictures and Stitch them together.
And so now this is super seamless in it actually works in Safari and male and a couple other programs that weren’t as relevant but they’re for web pages that’s a handy little feature.
[4:33] If I’d call that an e-commerce feature as much as it Chief digital strategy retail officer feature.
[4:39] Fair enough fair enough a ux,
u.s. benefit I guess and on the flip side I feel like the last three years I’ve been waiting for the stupid true vision camera to go in the back so that we can finally get our shoe size right but I’ll have to wait at least another year for that was.
[4:55] Did to get the little pixels and also that we can.
[4:59] So that front camera that does your your face recognition has it’s an advanced measurement device that measures in 3D in it
in the few retailers that are they use that for clever e-commerce experiences like Warby Parker will measure your face and
recommend frame specifically for your face and it it it’s like millimeter accurate so we’re there to be a camera like that on the back of the phone you could imagine
measuring a space to make sure that the refrigerator would fit the opening in your kitchen or the sofa would fit in your living room or
exactly what size shoes you should order from a particular vendor Nike watch that feature without the fancy camera but it would be much better with this this hyper accurate camera.
[5:47] Yeah he agreed and while you were traveling will you get a pretty cool recognition.
[5:52] We did we did that must have been you because I was busy not focusing on the podcast.
[5:57] It was snot me I think it was it was so it was just people someone out there likes our content.
[6:05] Are the Luminous body of work.
[6:07] What is a if you know how many hours that people have to listen to us.
[6:11] We we yeah we’re about 200 hours.
[6:16] That’s a it’s a lot of us out there in the universe.
[6:21] Yes yes so if you ever have The Misfortune of hearing me speak in person I usually open up by saying in the highly unlikely event you don’t get enough of me in the next 30 minutes there’s 200 more hours of me on the interweb.
[6:31] Google I got a lot to cover let’s jump into it first when I get a trip report from recode decode that was held in beautiful New York City September 10th how’s the show.
[6:46] Yeah it was awesome so we waited to that in the last segment but this is
code recode the the publication which is now owned by box them a very fancy show that I went too early in the year that they call
code conference and Jason Del Rey there has been enough that show a couple times is the Commerce
correspondent for them and he is started the series of events called code Commerce so used to be,
like an evening event on top of other shows where he would have like three speakers and now for the,
third year in a row he’s had his own Standalone two day event in New York city so this is the third annual code Commerce,
and I like it it’s a conference more than a trade show so there there’s a few exhibitors but.
[7:38] It mostly is a single agenda of speakers everybody sits in the room with since to the same speakers,
there are no presentations that are all interviews with journalist mostly Vox journalist interviewing the the gas so it’s a pretty dynamic.
Dialogue and you know sometimes people you know that stuff out that maybe they didn’t plan to,
the audience is allowed to ask questions and so I got a little fired up at some point and ask some some questions and some of the speakers,
and so I just really like it they get a really good collection of speakers.
And I feel like the format lends itself to getting really useful stuff it’s small and intimate so the networking was great I got to meet and talk to a lot of.
Listeners on the show I got to meet a couple of guests that we’ve had on the show that week we did not have in person so.
That was fun so all-in-all a good thing that one other thing I should say is in addition to that,
that’s her speaker format they also have a half-day of off sites where you pick one and let you choose your own adventure of these I ate different offsides and they take you behind the scenes of a of a retail or e-commerce business.
And know that those can be cool to I had a complex so I didn’t get to do that this year but in.
[8:57] Let’s see what’s hot in 90 seconds or less there’s probably 18 speakers at the event so there,
there’s a guy Kim Downing used to be the chief creative officer at Neiman Marcus
he moved to a mall of group in the New Jersey called triple five and they’re they’re famous for having taken over this mall development in New Jersey called The American Dream It’s At Nigam all owned by the same folks that own Mall of America
I’ve been trying to open it for 20 plus years it’s supposed to open next month don’t hold your breath based on their past track record
openings and not doing it and I have to be honest like like these guys seemed totally disconnected from reality like there
just talking about what a great experience it is and how everyone in Manhattan is going to want to go to New Jersey to escape Manhattan and you know go shop for other necessities at this this giant mega mall and it’s
you know it’s the anchor tenant in the mall is Barney’s who’s already bankrupt you know all the other tenants are tenants that have eight other stores in Manhattan and it just it just seems like,
yeah he came up there pitching a small development like half an hour after Scott Galloway did 45 minutes on why malls were dead.
[10:14] So not super exciting.
They we had Jason Drogi who’s the vice president of uber everything so that’s all the services at Uber besides
the car-sharing so he does all the restaurant delivery
that you know food is a particularly interesting area for me it was an interesting interview at the end I got up and asked him if his service was good for the the restaurants because I like,
there’s a lot of evidence that.
That all these delivery services are disaster for the restaurants cuz the margins are super low the customers are super opportunistic and the restaurants can’t sell liquor in most cases which is where they make most of their profit so I had a premise that.
That these services are a disaster for the restaurant and the services are not 20% of all restaurant consumption so that’s a pretty big.
Inflection points and Jason did not have a kid a very good satisfying answer for why he was he was good for the restaurant business.
[11:15] Do you lease disagree with you.
[11:17] Like she did not make a strong argument we were talking about that after the fact he kind of like pivot away from the question.
And talked about you know what like you know how they could be good for restaurants but not like the underlying economics of it being tough.
Scott Galloway did a couple things he recorded a podcast the final episode of Land of the Giants with Jason Del Rey and he did a 45 minute presentation
I most enjoyed it I’ve sometimes been critical I think Scott is super funny and has a lot of insightful things to say,
but he has a tendency to be highly repetitive so if you seen him once and then you see him a bunch of other times.
[12:01] It’s a lot of the same content which is maybe something all I’ll public speakers struggle with but I would actually say most of the content in this show.
Mabon thoughts I’d heard of his before from Twitter or what. That was the first time you put them together in a presentation so I thought that was good and interesting and he was.
You know he’s been super negative on the wework IPO and you know so we spent a lot of time talking about those guys.
He’s eating a kind of a bullish on breaking up Amazon so he shared his POV on.
And that whole thing and you know just.
Had some sort of interesting controversial povs which is what he’s he’s usually known for he also pointed out.
That light from his perspective the mall business is just totally dead and the specialty apparel business is next to go after that.
That voted poorly than for the American dream project which is a mall full specialty apparel.
[13:04] So next up Jennifer Hyman from Rent the Runway so that’s,
awesome story she’s one of the three really well-known female entrepreneurs in our space and that was an interesting conversation talking a lot less about the the original model and more of their.
Their monthly rental model and and you know some of that the new competition that’s emerged in the rental space so that was an interesting conversation.
David Kahn the CEO of Birkenstocks Scott you’d be familiar with him because he’s he’s had he’s been one of those outspoken controversial positions on Amazon they were selling a ton of shoes on Amazon.
Century pulled off the platform completely because they felt like they couldn’t protect their intellectual property.
Now they’re they’re back on Amazon in a very conservative mild way they’ve authorized a few resellers to sell an Amazon but they don’t sell Direct.
And David was prominently featured in the episode of Land of the Giants that focused on.
Why Amazon could be bad for companies and potential should be broken up so is interesting to hear from David and I was joking with you before the show.
You know what brand like Birkenstocks you you kind of expect that hippie would like long hair and Birkenstocks to walk on stage and he can’t you know he’s like a witch I could bank or in a in a like custom suit so it’s kind of funny.
[14:25] So then we had your favorite brand on a BofA Steph Korey and Jen Rubio from away until they talked a lot about their.
There a growth strategy and and you know some of the success they’ve had in their retail strategy moving forward and that was all.
[14:45] Someone interesting Max Webb Gin who’s the founder of a firm which is an interesting payment model that a lot of e-commerce sites use their.
Sort of an interesting financial model they’re there like a no fees lending system so you get charged no late fees.
There’s some really interesting novel things about it and he he was sharing that we had Marie.
Myrna Levine who’s the VP of global Partnerships at Facebook and so she was mostly talking about Instagram and in Instagram checkout which is.
Something near and dear to do e-commerce smokes and a little bit about the Facebook Marketplace.
And again you know she painted a pretty Rosy picture I got a chance to get up and ask her a couple questions I asked her you know if.
I said hey there’s a bunch of from my perspective yqx problems with Instagram check out that make a not very appealing to Brands like most notably you can only sell one product at a time.
And ask if they plan with all of that and she she said that yeah they still consider Instagram check out a real early beta and that they would expect it to evolve a lot before General release,
and I said you know bigger picture you talked about how important it is for consumers to have stored payment information to make things like this work.
[16:08] You know is it realistic that customers are going to ever trust Facebook with their payment information by giving your your track record and she totally dodged that question and talked about like all the great security features they were using for payment.
Which was not the point right like obviously I’m sure Facebook is using the best.
Encryption technology in tokenization but it’s at the point is there there a damaged brand when it comes to trust in.
It’s going to be really interesting with it I can get a bunch of consumers to give him payment information and give her a chance to answer that and she she was not a very compelling enter answer.
[16:45] And then wrap it up probably the big Marquee interview was Mark Lori who’s the president of digital at Walmart Jason did written,
that’s somewhat negative article that was like super popular a few months before so.
How to take props to mark 4 for coming into the lions den and facing him.
And I not shockingly well polished Walmart exec did not break a bunch of news in the interview.
But it was interesting to see him there and you know there are few questions where would say like.
He did not seem as enthusiastic as you would expect someone to be that was,
I’m super fired up about the role like I think Jason you know like tried to grill them on whether he was going to leave Walmart at the end of five years
and you know Marge answer is it like absolutely I live like committed to be there and she seems like wait are you staying because you love it or because you made a commitment.
[17:44] So that that was really interesting generators one of the co-founders of Harry’s that’s a great idea to see story Julie rain Wainwright is the CEO of Rio Rio was.
One of the most colorful interviews of the show so that was cool and then
Tara walpert who’s the VP of agencies that use Google who’s mainly focus on YouTube and so she talked a lot about like how how there,
they’re expanding influencer marketing and expanding Commerce features on YouTube so
pretty rich robust lineup that had a in a bunch of different stuff for different people and I thought it was well worth the time.
[18:27] Code to seems like Lori had bet a lot on grocery kind of going to show with the pickup and then also all those Acquisitions they did on digitally native brands for loose stool kind of
your gear just harder or had the blue kind of come off that Rose.
[18:44] I think the answer is yes or no so I think they’re Walmart is Super Bowl champs grocery part of Jason’s article was Mark tends to get a lot of credit for digital Grocery and apparently that’s creating some
conflict because most of the digital grocery work actually happens in the stores and you know Mark was like
hey it like that’s totally fair like this the stores are killing it on digital Grocery and yeah we probably do get disproportionate amount of the credit totally understandable that digital groceries going awesome so he like I would say he had a good answer and double down on digital grocery
digital native Brands if it was a little bit like
yeah I originally we bought some Brands and that’s no longer the strategy that were much more bullish on incubating brands from scratch in house then we are buying Brands and he confirmed the rumor that Jason Delray had heard that.
One of the Acquisitions ModCloth that they’re there might even be discussions going on to sell it back to someone else.
[19:42] So I think Mark like with Express that he was still bullish on the space,
but that’s why you know they had to learn at Walmart that like buying a brand and integrating it was was probably a challenge so he pointed out he pointed till I come
all is well home which is a de jure need a brand that they incubated in house and then there was kind of a third category that they were talking a lot of a little bit about and you may have seen some news
sort of you know turning up the the focus on the marketplace which is probably near and dear to your heart and I think they’ve announced the pilot of fulfillment by Walmart which for the first time there duet
they’re not that helpful products for some of the third parties and that they have an interest in dramatically improving their tool set and you’re improving the experience for third-party sellers so.
[20:33] Seems like a one theme with Rent the Runway and maybe a way would be diepio Market to that come up because diepio Market’s been somewhat open with Chewie getting out and,
real real and a couple of other folks and those guys are kind of both could be on in the pipeline the Jason drone to a month.
[20:54] He did yeah yeah so there was in the pre-ipo companies were mostly pretty koi which You is kind of what you would expect
the date you know they’re open to it in aren’t you know I’m close but that they don’t need to go public and that’s not that you know they didn’t start the pump the company to necessarily
go public Julie Wainwright you know who’s at the real real and they they finish their offering already right am I.
[21:20] Yeah they been out for all the done really well.
[21:23] Yeah and so she you know she had a lot more sort of insight about what either the the pros and cons have been on the other side and.
And you know how there was some interesting conversation about.
[21:40] The impact of competitors and their successful IPO you know bringing more people out of the woodwork she also has a totally fair an interesting POV about being a,
female entrepreneur and some of the challenges raising money and she’s like you know she talked a lot about how like.
Should have been a lot of time convincing every male investor why,
that the business use case was even appealing to women and she’s like you don’t know nobody that we work at Uber ever had to explain to an investor,
that white small businesses need office space or people need a ride right but but she often would have to convince someone that that.
You know that women would benefit from buying these used luxury goods and that often authentication was a super important thing in so she she told some funny stories and,
I felt was a sort of appropriately cocky she talked about 1 BC that like.
So I didn’t get the pitch and like felt like all the money they were investing in in selling authentic products was
was a waste of time and now that they’ve had the successful IPO that VC has funded a new competitor and is like publish blog post talking about the importance of authenticity,
and I think she’s like whatever dude we were here before you and will be here after your death which is kind of nice in both.
[23:07] Yeah I’ve heard the Rent the Runway and the Stitch fix lady’s house somewhere story where a bunch of mail DC’s wouldn’t invest because they didn’t understand the concept or they would say I don’t know if I don’t think my wife would use this.
[23:18] Yeah and I think that sounds like the common Trend right is that everybody’s market research as they go ask their wife and that you know that’s pretty small sample size.
[23:26] Yeah cost of the new zip from there had a mini Starbucks and went to Vegas for grocery shopper.
[23:33] I did I would load it up on Starbucks order my phone and Jen it out to grocery shop which is in Las Vegas so is reminder this is the second year of grocery shop grocery shop is a a show by the folks Miss founded,
shoptalk that’s focused primarily on grocery in cpg and so.
Drew really fast it was maybe 1,500 people last year was 3,000 people this year
that it was at the Venetian and felt a lot like shop Taco Shop talk and grocery Shopper moving to Mandalay Bay next year for people that care about their Las Vegas venues there Starbucks at both so it’s kind of neutral to me.
[24:17] The end it was also a good show I’d say it in a different way so most of the the Keynotes at this show were Marquee brands,
but the content was less interesting to me because for the most part their brands aren’t allowed to come up and just give a commercial for their,
their business and that you know there weren’t like critical questions or necessarily new content so well.
You might have been interested in a lot of the companies in the Keynotes there are folks like Target and,
beyond meat and honesty and ortado in Procter & Gamble that were giving key notes Coca-Cola Sam’s Club.
[25:04] Either wasn’t a ton of like interesting new useful takeaways
in that contents but the the 3,000 + people that attended the show where all
industry insiders there a lot of the breakout panels that were where super interesting and they were just that I just had a ton of useful conversations,
at the cocktail parties and you know at the Starbucks between sessions and just felt like that the networking was super valuable for me so.
Kind of the opposite of a recode it was less about content and more about networking.
[25:43] I did host a couple of panels so I was the MC for two panels I did.
A panel called preparing for grocery Commerce that was kind of targeted at people grocer that are just getting into e-commerce and I had three panelist on that session I had to,
a Stephen Raymond who’s the VP of e-commerce at Hain Celestial which is a house of brands most notable for their Celestial teas,
I had Wayne Dewayne who’s been on this podcast he’s the VP of e-commerce at constellation brands.
Which is a bunch of alcohol and Spirits brands,
so we actually drink some Coronas on stage while we were chatting so that was a big hit.
And then I had to Dan Bracken who’s the VP of consumer Insight at Church & Dwight which is a.
A big cpg so they each kind of gave their their learnings and best advice for new people entering the e-commerce grocery space I got good feedback that that was useful.
[26:38] And then on the second day I did a more advanced panel on connecting customer data points so far this one we had kind of to Keynote panelist.
We have to bring in a retailer so the retailer is a Steve Henning who’s the VP of digital.
For Wakefern Food Group which is a big Co-op of of Grocers.
And talked about where they are and in data and what their customer data strategy is and got an all the bits and bytes of,
add emps and.
All those sorts of things and then for the brand perspective we had Doug stranton who’s the chief digital Commerce officer at the Hershey Company so
got got his perspective and Doug has a bonus that was also the chief digital officer at Unilever for number of years so
so it was kind of their in a lot of their formative so a lot of interesting insights from both of those guys you know when you’re getting into the hardcore
management of data and activating that data for customer experiences.
[27:43] The so.
What’s kind of the meta Topic at grocery is it still curb versus home or is it Amazon jump the shark with Whole Foods or more.
Almost feels like maybe Brands going direct his kind of.
[28:03] So this show like so it is.
Like there’s a lot of groceries at the show but there’s a lot of cpgs at the show so one big thing is the whole disruption of cpgs right that the there’s a lot of digital native brands that have lines that are like competing with income in cpg,
and you know I’d say a year ago the dialogue was like this is a huge disruption in this year like there’s more evidence that those brands are,
you can achieve a certain level of success but then are really sort of plateauing,
the the incumbency Bee Gees have not successfully launched a new a lot of new products and so there’s a lot of dialogue,
about how those companies are doing things to get more customer intimacy and get better connected to the customer
and watch products that are more relevant to customers and then they’re there was an awful lot of talk about the sort of third approach in this whole thing which is retailers launching brands,
and how those those retail brands have been successful and how they’ve evolved a lot from the original,
start a private label and in fact one of the the Keynotes Stephanie winquest use the EVP of food at Target.
You know they launched a major new grocery brand for Target but basically at the show so.
[29:24] So her keynote was a lot about this new food brand in that.
The that the Retailer’s sort of competing with the the incumbent and Challenger cpgs is was a big conversation at the show.
[29:37] Yeah and then I’m watching your Twitter feed it seems like there is some interesting Target kind of talking going on there with what did we learn from Target.
[29:46] Well I talk about that you like so Target is maybe the poster child for being the most successful at that strategy so they want to strike 5 brands.
Now sell over 2 billion dollars but one place where they haven’t been big as in grocery and so in fact,
like grocery was a newish strategy for target maybe we’ll call it seven or eight years ago and well a lot of categories at Target or any kind of known for surprising and delighting customers and having these.
You know premium products that that the customer wouldn’t expect.
Grocery was always sort of the me to category for Target like like if you needed something that they may have had it but it wasn’t something.
[30:24] You were excited about acquiring.
Inside out you know a lot of this conversation was about Target doubling down on Grocery and you know trying to get to the point where they’re surprised is.
And Delight for grocery in the same way that they they are four other categories and they said they launched a new owned brand for food called good and gather they kind of retired a lot of their older brands.
And you know this is a a focus on.
Simpler products fewer ingredients non-GMO mostly Organics in so it’s not so much a knock off of a of a national brand but you know what a set of products that they think I’m particularly targeted at the.
Target guest and they’re forecasting this will be the the biggest.
I’m on brand that Target has which is pretty big because you know some of that apparel brand cell cell 2 billion dollars each a year so.
[31:27] So if they hit that forecasts that that will be somewhat impressive so that was a lot of the the target conversation I would also say you like shipt.
You know there is a lot of conversation about curbside pickup & Home Delivery Target owns
the company in that spaceship. And there’s a lot of talk about how successful that’s been for Target but ship still is in the business of providing the services for other party so shipped had a big.
Presence on the trade show flooring was a big sponsor and said there’s there’s a lot of talk about Last Mile in the Bears pros and cons of the different meth.
[32:00] Code for their highlights from grocery.
[32:06] For me those were a bunch of big takeaways I got to sit sit down with a couple bucks and record a couple podcast that will get out of here in the weeks to come so I mentioned Doug Stratton who’s the chief digital officer at Hershey
you and I are both chocolate Advocates so like we wouldn’t miss the chance,
to get a podcast with him and then I also got to sit down with a zebra car while who’s the VP of Shopper marketing at the Coca-Cola Company in,
can I talk about how coke is thinking about digital and what what they’re doing in in digital which is interesting you know it is interesting like we are now.
Grocery is a very low margin business,
the average sale price for a lot of these products or the Brand’s is super low and so historically these have not been very digital categories you you don’t think of.
A big digital investment to sell dollar candy bars or cans of soda,
but you know now these guys are you know front-and-center focusing on digital because it’s really starting to impact their business.
[33:09] Wrinkle in the other Megatron to uncover before we jump into some news.
[33:13] Nope nope I think that’s a ton but if you’re in that space I would definitely think about putting that on your on your wrist for next year and come visit us at Mandalay Bay.
[33:22] I forgot to ask when you’re in New York did you get to see the new Apple store or did you miss me.
[33:28] I didn’t sit at the Apple Store at you open this Friday so I’ve done some video walkthroughs you and I are going to be back in New York Knicks next month together so maybe if schedules permit would be super fun we should go visit the store together.
[33:43] Awesome I look forward to that Coldwell wanting to lose last couple minutes to talk about some news and it wouldn’t be a Jason Scott show without some Amazon news.
[34:00] Amazon news new your margin is there opportunity.
[34:10] To a lot of news out there on Amazon some of it I was going to put into the political bucket before we talk about that though you’re one of the things that kind of hid in my world it was interesting was they made a big investment
and Order of electric vehicles Tesla has competitor called rivian,
and ribbons coming out with trucks with electric platforms so Amazon announced not only
they invest an undisclosed amount that they were part of a $700 round and they were listed first which kind of flies are the largest but they ordered a hundred thousand electric delivery vehicles from
Caribbean and they’re saying they should have prototypes in 20/20 start volume out in 2021 and have them all on the road by 2024
this is kind of interesting because Amazon has not really said much about a green lot of Amazon employees have been.
[35:09] Rallying internally Jason Del Rey has written about this so it was kind of a
pretty big vote for our insert limit their carbon footprint as a company and then it’s also interesting because
they are propping up a big rival to two,
Tesla in the form of rivian and you know Elon and Jeff are going at it as latest Rockets So Alive people kind of said this is kind of
another way for Bezos to really kind of get under a Elon Musk in by supporting a competitor.
[35:41] Interesting so we might see some Amazon high speed trains in the near future to them.
[35:49] Whatever the Rival to boring could be.
[35:55] Exactly the thing that toy strike me about this which seems like Amazon’s exact Playbook is I want to say they made this huge announcement the day before there was a big scheduled
like green demonstration and a bunch of Amazon employees were planning on walking out to
Tess art of advocate for Amazon embracing
adrenal footprint and so do I get Amazon has historically been very good at these like proactive PR moves and it seems like this was
they were totally able to leverage that this time.
[36:29] Yeah yeah. They have a picture of the Prototype van will link to it and show notes it looks really good so it’s going to be interesting that the big question is really the range on these things so,
you know the I don’t know how much it typical Prime band drives a day but I see him on the road constantly so be interesting to see if they have to come up with some clever way of rapidly charging these things are or they’re going to ship them in a different way or something.
[36:54] They each do half a day’s delivery so that’s why they had to get so many.
[36:57] Yes it could be it could be part of it so I don’t I don’t know the ranges.
[37:00] Quick clarification question for me so like obviously Tesla makes a bunch of electric vehicles and I know they’ve talked about business vehicles and trucks but as far as I know they don’t they don’t have a,
like a van form-factor I feel like Amazon’s about Sprinter vans in the past which is the big,
Mercedes V8 like is it obvious that this is a trivium’s a direct competitor with like is this worse news for Tesla or is it worse news for Mercedes.
[37:26] I think it’s probably worse news for Mercedes
Elon if this is a tweet or live interview I’ve seen him talk about how he really likes the Mercedes Sprinter and they should work together on the electric one
he always has little twinkle in his eye and you can’t tell if he’s just basically crazy or if there’s something going on there I think Mercedes a Tesla have crossed licensed a lot of technology to
I wouldn’t be surprised if this doesn’t Force something go on there between Tesla and Mercedes to get the Sprinter platform Electric.
[37:59] Got you and I assumed that like the Des customer will then be FedEx.
[38:05] What FedEx use it so UPS actually has a big electric thing going already and I don’t know who they are platform is on that it’s,
maybe I don’t know I don’t know what UPS uses but I’ve seen them them talk a lot about getting to carbon-neutral pretty quickly and they have some electric fans out there.
[38:30] That’s going to be an interesting space to watch if only to a podcast about that kind of stuff.
[38:34] We will will keep track of it here and then also on the vehicle to podcast where it’s been even more time talking about that
Scot vehicle Trends going on how about on the political side there’s been a lot of negative stuff out there on Amazon and so I’ll turn to you for this the highlights on that.
[38:51] Yes I know. Scott loves talking about the political stuff it’s his favorite thing to do so it’s a big big,
generosity on his part time to pass it over to me.
[39:05] So you know there continues to be a bunch of Niger negative sentiment you got all these Democratic candidates talking about breaking up Amazon without.
[39:16] Necessarily obvious reason why the last couple weeks there were some actual that government announcements about like
looking into antitrust issues in the one that affect an Amazon was that the FTC was talking about probing some of the 3p practices and in the one that comes with the most is,
disadvantaging third-party sellers in favor of their own practices so essentially like the The Narrative goes you can’t both play in the game and be the referee it’s not fair,
that you’re selling products in competition with your Marketplace Sellers and you,
control things like whose product shows up in Search and how visible every product is and so,
that’s a big narrative like the counter narrative is like this is in a remotely new idea retards have been selling their own products for over a hundred years
they always put their own products and favorable positions and they charge brands in order to have have good positioning in the store said that like there’s,
there’s nothing particularly new that Amazon’s doing that Walmart and Woolworths before then,
didn’t do but it is getting a lot of visibility and one of the the big articles that came up there was kind of interesting is Wall Street Journal.
[40:46] Actually like ran an article where they they talk to some Amazon Engineers that like,
confidential confidential admitted that Amazon had changed their search engine to intentionally by us their own products and so again debatable whether that’s,
illegal or immoral in any way and I’ll leave that to others to decide
but one way it’s interesting is Jeff has always talked about being the most customer-centric company in the world and wanting to have the best experience for customers and
it’s super controversial if you search for Energizer batteries like
pretty obvious what your intent is and you would imagine the best experience would be too quickly get you to Energizer batteries but when amazonbasics batteries have higher visibility on that search term then Energizer batteries,
like arguably like you’re trying to boost your own profits at the expense of being customer-centric and so it’s kind of a.
[41:49] A pretty tangible example of of where Amazon might be drifting from their their idealistic morals,
and so that that’s been a little interesting to follow that,
that exact issue is one of the episodes of Land of the Giants and a former guest on the show Charlie Cole who’s the the chief digital officer at to me and Samsung by cheat he very explicitly said it is like look,
I don’t mind competing with Amazon that’s totally fair they can make products to compete with me that’s totally fair but when people search for my product on Amazon and they intentionally put their products in front of them
that’s not a good customer experience and just don’t lie and say you’re trying to be customer-centric when you’re doing stuff like that was gonna as blunt as Charlie put it so
an interesting space.
[42:39] Yeah I guess cleaners and go to watch them navigate through this stuff and you have the counter argument would be well retailers for doing it for years and.
dog food in a Walmart is in front of the Purina dog food that kind of thinks sometimes you know these the physical arguments don’t really translate to to the digital where you know it
customer is clearly expressed a brand new you should get them their quickie soap to be a lineman.
[43:08] Yeah yeah like a little less controversial but like you know there’s some labels like Amazon choice and and some new labels that they’re testing and people are like is Amazon gaming nose and I I may have made a smart a tweet at some point where I showed like staff picks from Trader Joe’s and I’m like
oh my god do you think some of these might not actually be stabbed pics.
[43:29] Go in any other needs any other Amazon usually cover.
[43:36] I think those those were the big things I know we’re running short on time so let’s let’s get to our last genre.
[43:46] We haven’t talked to her about Mulligan lately but I was reading some reports that a we’ve already had over 7,000 store closures heading 7300 as of September 1st I think that’s more than we’ve ever had in any previous year
and we still got three to four months ago,
another world retail you kind of if you can make it through October you you’re probably not going to close for December that thing’s going to be pretty pretty bad if you’re going to close for those two months
so I think it will slow down but I think we have a chance of hitting 8 or 9 K hear some of the
this is based on data from video so some of the top store closures are Payless with 2,300 stores Gymboree with 750 Charlotte Russe.
And then on the watchlist they have several companies that are our kind of they look at this kind of load of
ducks to assets and then also are they losing money making money in kind of protective time when there may be a chapter 11 events Forever 21 is on there a JCPenney at send a Pier One in Francesca’s chokes,
I’m surprised this didn’t include more mattress worse cuz around me you know we still have like eight thousand mattress stores just in Raleigh-Durham and they’re pretty much all closed all the sudden
I wonder if this is under-reporting a little bit and I was kind of surprised that mattress stores weren’t one of the big contributors.
[45:15] We’ll see that’s a great point because it’s something funny came out about all this so
I think the macro points are totally true like that we are seeing more store closures in a single year than we ever seen before there are actually like we’ll see if they come to play or not but like that
on that watch was the one that they’re like strong rumors are really preparing for a
a bankruptcy which would be somewhat surprising at this point is Forever 21 because prove your point like.
You know you really wouldn’t want to go in a bankruptcy right right before the holiday season and there are there rumors that,
if they did that the malls might be a potentially bail them out as they have,
I’ve done for at least one of their apparel retailer in the past Aeropostale so that’s kind of interesting but I I see the inside baseball I found an interesting study also,
so this instead of you just said it is from video and they did a bunch of their own research so most of their store closure information came from,
public disclosures so
it’s public companies that said in a 10K or an investor call that they’re planning to close X number of stores.
[46:28] And so that’s that was their data source for the store closings and like I’m sure all the stores are closing video also cited the source that we see most commonly for tracking these store closing closings and openings
which is core site which is a research firm that does this really useful
can a weekly tracker on how many stores are closing and how many stars are opening a bunch of stores have open this year not enough to offset the closings and that
that would also be a first so while there been a lot of closing in the last couple years that I’ve actually been more openings than clothes XO,
this could be the first year we had a net negative and course I may have had a net negative last year even that now that I think about it but.
Here’s what’s interesting about that so all of these companies are arbitrarily picking a list of well-known retailers in tracking.
[47:20] The opening and closing and said there’s another market research firm out there IHL that does a bunch of retail research.
And they conducted a lot more comprehensive study and they said hey we are going to look at every retailer that operates 50 or more stores in North America and track how many they’ve opened and closed.
And we’re going to estimate where they don’t have public disclosures or we’re going to call them and ask and we’re going to use real estate records and so instead of just kind of.
Tracking press releases we’re going to really do the math on all this and,
they not surprisingly they found more store closures then then video or.
[48:02] Coresite but they found way more store openings than either of these companies so pretty this IHL research that came out,
there are still more stores opening then closing it just interesting to think about like I,
I think our macro points are
totally true that retails not going away that were way over stored in the US that we we do need to be closing stores in our closing stores in there that’s a
a necessary adjustment but it is interesting I feel like
in the Echo chamber of our space like this coresight research gets its reported and recited and blended into other people’s research on the time and was kind of funny to see this I shall study come out and explicitly point out that.
Coresight research is not particularly rigorous and somewhat random so it was like a little inside baseball research fight.
[48:56] Yeah and I wish square footage is what really matters right because you know Closing one JCPenney is is like I don’t know.
[49:04] Yeah you have to open off a lot of the way stores to make up for a JCPenney.
[49:07] Yeah yes that’s what really matters and I’ve never seen anyone really be able to track that very well unfortunately.
[49:12] No no and I unfortunately like we’ve all seen the summaries of the IHL I’ll confess it’s inexpensive study to buy so I haven’t actually.
Bought the research but I don’t think they have the the net square footage in there but just anecdotally if you look at the list of stores that are open and closing you’re absolutely right like in general
there’s there’s more bigger stores closing in smaller stores open.
[49:37] One one last thing to make sure you put on your your calendar the Disney plus subscriptions it opened up so you can go ahead and pre buy that so on November 12th,
and they have exciting new Star Wars TV live action show called The Mandalorian that off and up is pretty excited about to make sure you sign up for that Jason.
Star Wars fan listeners.
[50:02] And before any listeners Panic Scott and I promise to pre-record a podcast so that we don’t have to skip a week while Scott is binging the Mandalorian.
[50:12] Yes sadly I don’t think they’re going to do a bench so I think they’re going to do it’s hard for traditional TV people to get their heads around it but they’re going to have kind of really someone a week or something so I have time to podcast.
[50:25] Good news good news in like slightly related there is this interesting thing
Target in Disney have announced that they’re opening these permanent shopping shops
and so you’re going to see a bunch of unique Disney merchandise at Target
I think that is potentially going to be beneficial to you Scott but I seen speculation that the Disney plus service could be one of the things that’s heavily merchandised in that.
In that assortment.
[50:55] Cool hopefully I’ll have more Star Wars Target exclusives those are those are the good ones.
[51:00] Exactly what was in that is a great place to wrap up this new show cuz we’ve come out perfectly use the a lot of time as always if if I wasn’t Earth have a question or comment
feel free to hit us up on our Facebook page or on Twitter
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but we have a we sure appreciate your time today and we have a bunch of great shows in the pipeline so appreciate you keep listening.
Until next time happy commercing.