Supply Chain Briefing

July 6, 2017

Amazon hit the news big time with the purchase of Whole Foods.  It even got my mom’s attention, and she asked the store manager if they would continue to exist.  He assured her that they planned to stay.

It just so happens that I spoke on the Amazon Effect at the Future Ports Annual Conference and at an IOT (internet of things)/ Supply Chain Data event almost immediately after the announcement.  We had some fascinating discussions at the IOT event about Amazon and their strategy and impacts.  Certainly this move will shake up traditional retail grocery stores!  Are you thinking about the impacts of Amazon Fresh, whether it seems to relate or NOT to your industry?  You should!

What Should We Consider and/or What Impacts Could Arise?
Amazon is continually innovative and surprising us with a fresh look at old topics.  I think they saw the opportunity with Whole Foods to gain a footprint not just in grocery retail but also with a trendy, organic store that could benefit from lower prices and fresh ideas.  Why not deliver items that make sense (taking advantage of their vast network) and gain a footprint in addition to serving those customers who would like to pick out their own bread and meat?  

We should all take a lesson from Amazon’s playbook to look for opportunities where others don’t.  What is someone trying to dump or sees as a nuisance that might be a gem for you? 
On the other side of things, we should definitely be on the lookout for the continual radical change of retail, now extending to grocery as well.  It is bound to have implications on commercial space, transportation networks, and the like.  What do you think will change about the footprint of Whole Foods and commercial space?  Will it become mixed use?  We had some fascinating discussion in my presentation on the Amazon Effect.  The bottom line is as follows – at a minimum, kick start your thinking or you’ll be left in the dust.  After all, Sears Roebuck was Amazon before Amazon existed….