Tag Archives: shopping

Just Walk Out. Amazon’s Cashier-less Grocery Stores

Two years ago Amazon launched its ‘Amazon Go’ convenience stores. It now has 25 stores across the country in San Francisco, Seattle, Chicago, and New York. These stores carry a limited selection of items focused on ready-to-eat meals and snacks. The stores use a ‘just walk out’ technology that allows consumers to pick up an item, place it in their bag, and then just walk out. No scanning or cashiers needed. All a shopper needs is an Amazon account and the Amazon Go app on their mobile device.

Now, Amazon has now expanded the concept into a much larger format called ‘Amazon Go Grocery’ in Seattle. With 10,400 square feet of space, the new Amazon Go Grocery store carries a larger amount of products, including fresh produce, meat, seafood, baker items, and household essential. The store also carries pre-made meals plus beer, wine, and spirits. The ‘just walk out’ technology is the same as Amazon Go, and uses the same app on mobile devices.

ne allows the entire family to shop together. Any item taken will be added to the account of the shopper who entered them. However, Amazon warns shoppers that if they grab an item from a top shelf to help another customer, they will be charged for it.

The stores have employees on-site to greet shoppers, restock shelve, answer questions, and help customers. However, cashier-less stores are coming under scrutiny from advocates and lawmakers who say these stores discriminate against people who do not have credit cards or bank accounts. (Amazon did change its policies to allow customers to pay with cash at its convenience stores and says the same will be true at the grocery store.)

Let’s go get groceries!

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Poll students: How much time do they estimate they spend in check-out lines on a store visit?
  2. How does this new concept fit with Amazon’s purchase of Whole Foods?
  3. Information on the stores can be found at: https://www.amazon.com/b?ie=UTF8&node=16008589011
  4. Show video of the new store: https://youtu.be/lTzPpAbjasA
  5. What are the students’ opinions?
  6. Divide students into teams. Have each team list advantages and disadvantages of the new format.
  7. Does this technology have uses in other places?
  8. Does the technology give a competitive advantage to Amazon in the grocery industry?

Source: Associated Press; other news sources

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Turn Bags into Eye-Catching Branding

Have you noticed that some businesses are getting rid of plastic bags? Or maybe you haven’t noticed because you are too busy figuring out how to store or get rid of your own growing plastic bag collection! The average family gains 60 plastic bags in four trips to the grocery store.

Make no mistake – plastic bags are indeed a problem for the environment. According to the EPA, more than 380 billion plastic bags and sacks are used annually in the U.S. And, according to The Wall Street Journal, U.S. consumers go through 100 billion plastic shopping bags annually, at an estimated $4 billion cost to retailers.  It’s not just the cost that raises eyebrows – plastic bags are among the 12 items of debris found most often in coastal cleanups.

However, only eight states ban single-use plastic bags; 14 other states have laws that protect the bags. Why so few bans? A combination of factors including deep-pockets of the chemical industry and the political influence of retailers and restaurants account for plastic bag sales of roughly $1.4 billion in the U.S. alone.

As a result of the widespread proliferation of bags, lawmakers across the U.S. are banning or considering banning single-use plastic bags. Replacements include reusable bags which can also provide retailers with a great opportunity to expand their brand awareness as well as lessen negative environmental impacts. This, of course, present marketers with a place to make an impact for the environment and the store brand.

What’s your favorite bag to carry?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Poll students: Name stores that use their own bags instead of non-branded plastic bags.
  2. Plastic bag facts: https://conservingnow.com/plastic-bag-consumption-facts/
  3. Divide students into teams. Have each team select a store that currently uses non-reusable plastic bags.
  4. Each team should next design a reusable shopping bag for these stores.
  5. Have each team present their design in class.
  6. Vote on the winners.

Source:  Ad Week; Conserving Now; Politico

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Why Buy Clothes? Rent Them Instead!

Do you have a tough time keeping up the latest fashions? Or, an even tougher time paying for the new designer clothes you covet? Despair no more. Instead of buying, try renting your clothes!

Renting clothes is a new way to spruce up wardrobes without breaking the bank. While there are a number of subscription-based services such as Rent the Runway, traditional retailers are also entering the new market, including options to rent clothes from Bloomingdales’, Banana Republic, Urban Outfitters, and more. Consumers are not limited to just renting clothing – some retailers rent shoes, jewelry, and handbags, too. And, lest you think this is just for women, a number of companies rent clothing and accessories to men as well.

The clothing rental industry, while still relatively new, is also quite large and still growing. According to research firm GlobalData, the clothing rental industry is roughly $1 billion today, and is projected to grow to $2.5 billion by 2023. Not too shabby (chic).

The sharing economy industry is still establishing itself for consumers who are not interested in owning, but still want access to new brands and services. After all, consumers already rent apartments, homes, cars, bikes, and furniture. Now we can add clothing to the list.

What will you wear?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss the sharing economy. What is it; what drives it; what should we watch?
  2. Show a video overview of clothing rental: https://youtu.be/7OKLqBZoOYY

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