NYC Shoppers (Still) Want Walmart

This very interesting article on Forbes.com yesterday reminds those of us who live and work in the shadow of the Walmart Home Office that there are areas where there is no Walmart store.

New York City is one such area – no Walmart exists within the five boroughs.  The mayor and most of the city council oppose Walmart entering NYC.

As the article points out – “25 percent of respondents go to the suburbs to shop Walmart stores. And it is obvious that many New Yorkers go to the burbs to shop other big box stores, discounters and outlet malls.”

The arguments against Walmart remain the same – and each one is Luddite in nature.

  • Walmart pays low wages. There is no denying that Walmart pay and benefits are modest by comparison, especially at the part-time and entry levels.  However, for people who just want jobs Walmart is the perfect place to start and learn retail.  And, Walmart hires from the communities around its stores.  Since the retailer appeals to middle to low income shoppers this means that those who need opportunity the most can find it – with the chance to move up the ladder in position and pay.  Additionally, those opposed to Walmart based on pay fail to look at the comparison of revenue per associate with other “high paying” companies – Walmart is at the low end of that scale.  And the margin of profit is much lower for Walmart, compared to other Fortune 500 companies, so there is a smaller pie to slice.  However, lower margins means lower prices – great for the consumers.
  • Walmart is anti-union. Walmart has worked actively against unionization of its workforce throughout its history.  Advocates of unions fail to demonstrate the benefit to their workforce.  By artificially raising the cost of labor unions in private industry have reduced available jobs so fewer people are working.  When the best hand-out is a hand-up through job opportunities how is limiting the number of jobs available helping the unemployed find skill training through work?
  • Walmart is hurting small, local businesses. On April 1, 1975 Walmart store #85 opened in my hometown.  Before then, only small, family-owned stores were available for items like hardware and clothing.  My mother drove my sister and I over 30 miles to the state capitol to shop at the large retail chains (primarily JCPenny for school clothes since her first job was as a clerk at JCP).  The local department store simply charged prices that were too high for my budget-minded parents.  Yes – after Walmart opened those businesses lost revenue and, over time, most eventually went out business.  What the critics fail to acknowledge is that Walmart has always offered lower prices for the budget minded.  As to the jobs lost through the shutdown of small, local business – Walmart more than made up for that by hiring more people than what was lost – and the part-timer had greater flexibility in the hours worked – the full-timer has opportunity for advancement that were not available through family-owned stores.  When was the last time a store owner promoted a talented, ambitious person over his son?

I have never understood the resistance to a retailer like Walmart, which achieved its success through competing for the hearts, minds and wallets of the consumer.  And it must still compete today or go the way of Sears.  The consumer is always the winner and should always foremost in the minds of the political elite.

Should these elitists have their way and force Walmart to change its model in any or all the points above then the inevitable result will be higher prices to the consumer.  Essentially – a hidden tax to protect constituent groups these politicians depend on for power.

Why is this important to category managers and sales analysts?  When the retailer you partner with is arbitrarily blocked from entering certain “political zones” you have fewer outlets through which to efficiently distribute your product.

The bottom line is – your brand loses – the retailer loses – and most importantly – the consumer loses through higher prices and fewer choices.

And that’s just my opinion.

 

Source:  NYC Shoppers (Still) Want Walmart

#Retailing

#Walmart

#CategoryManagement

post

How GoPro Is Using #BigDataAnalytics in The #CloudComputing to Kick Everyone Else’s Butt

We run around talking about how important analytics is and yet there are few really compelling examples of how well it is working. Part of this is because the vast majority of implementations are still in process and haven’t gotten to value yet, part is because they were done wrong and value wasn’t found, and part because firms don’t like sharing with competitors how they are kicking those competitor’s butts.

GoPro, however, is the perfect example of how analytics are being used competitively to out-execute much larger companies like Sony.

So starts the article on TechSpective.net published on August 3, 2015.  This article is a must read on how to use big data and analytics to out maneuver your competitor.  The challenge is adapting the technology to brick and mortar retail.

Interestingly GoPro implemented the same strategy that we at Vortisieze execute every day.  Data in the cloud, strong big data technology and a top-notch analytics engine.  Like GoPro, Vortisieze partners with Cloudera.  To round it out though, Vortisieze maintains its own data cloud and leverages MicroStrategy (et al.) for the analytics engine.

Contact us today for your complimentary BI consultation.

 

Source: How GoPro is using Amazon, BMC, and Cloudera to kick everyone else’s butt

#Cloudera
#BigDataAnalytics
#BusinessIntelligence
#DataAnalyticsTechnology
#DataAndAnalytics

post

Bigger Is Not Always Better – Why #Amazon Is Worth More Than #Walmart – #Retailing

Over the weekend a lot has been made about Amazon topping Walmart in market value.  This is the second time in two months an online based company has surpassed Walmart.  Last month Facebook moved above Walmart and pushed the retailer out of the Top 10 list of the Forbes 500.

While Walmart has a much larger revenue and profit than these online centric companies, the concern is the slowing revenue and profit growth with the large fixed cost of the huge scale infrastructure.

Below is an interesting article highlighting the shift in retailing by comparing Amazon to Walmart now that the Amazon market value exceeds that of Walmart.

Source:  Bigger Is Not Always Better – Why Amazon Is Worth More Than Walmart

#retailing

#Walmart

post

#Retailing News:  #Walmart Canada Chooses Ottawa For Online Grocery Shopping Launch

The retail giant announced Friday that it has launched its own e-commerce grocery shopping service at all its Ottawa locations and in some outlying stores as well.

 

“For us, when we talk to our customers, we realize that absolutely, people are time-starved today. An hour today is worth way more than it was 10 years ago,” said Simon Rodrigue, Wal-Mart Canada’s senior vice-president, e-commerce.

 

This is Wal-Mart’s first foray into grocery shopping online in Canada. Mr. Rodrigue said the retailer chose Ottawa because it has found the city to be very receptive to previous e-commerce initiatives.

 

“I think second, Ottawa is that perfect blend of education with the universities, it has a high-tech base and from a demographic perspective, there are a lot of families,” he added.

 

Mr. Rodrigue said online shopping is the future of grocery retailing.

 

“Our customers have been telling us they wanted it,” he said. “Wal-Mart is really targeting for our customers to buy what they want, when they want, where they want, and I think the grocery home shopping is a key part of that. It’s one of the key initiatives.”

 

 

#Retailing

#Walmart

#OnlineShopping

 

Source: Wal-Mart Canada chooses Ottawa for online grocery shopping launch

 

post

How #BusinessIntelligence Will Power The Next Industrial Age

Recent article discusses why big data puts us at an economical crossroads nationally – analogous to the crossroads that occurred between the agricultural and industrial eras.
The summary includes three actions that can be taken to get your business going in the right direction.

Steps towards the future of process
Business process leaders can take practical action now to get their digital process train on the right track:

1. Analyze your company at the process level: Review in detail your processes as they exist today (new product/service development, sales and customer relationship management, operations, etc.). Infuse a digital process plan, including the applicability of Code Halos, by re-imagining moments of customer engagement or constituent journeys. Target tangible process metrics: cost-per-claim, clinical trial yield, healthcare unit cost, fraud prevention rates, etc.

2. Perform an automation readiness assessment: Map processes to a level of detail that includes inputs, process and outputs. Scan the market for tested and ready-to-implement technologies that have established tangible proof of success. Apply intelligent process automation technologies that are minimally invasive to operating environments today, but keep your eye on the prize for where digital process transformation makes most sense tomorrow.

3. Help humans evolve toward the work of tomorrow: Start by giving employees access to digital processes and machines that help them do their jobs better, smarter and with more meaningful impact to the business. It’s not about the number of people tied to “doing the process”; it’s about outcomes and making smart people even smarter.

Whether your organization completely digitizes its business processes or takes a one-off approach, advances in foundational information technology, process automation and analytics, as well as machine intelligence, will unleash the potential for more productive and innovative ways of working. Don’t wait to get to the future of process.

Start today, by imagining how the future of work will look tomorrow when digital machines, information and processes help humans do their jobs better, faster and with greater impact.

#BusinessIntelligence
Source: Why smart hands and smart machines will power the next industrial age

post

#Retailing News – Annual Vendors FORE Education Golf Tournament Played July 10th – #Walmart

Relax and enjoy your Saturday coffee.

Golfers from across Northwest Arkansas gathered for the Vendors FORE Education golf tournament to raise money in support of students at the Sam M. Walton College of Business and the University of Arkansas women’s golf program.

The tournament, sponsored by Walmart vendors, was held Friday, July 10th, at Stonebridge Meadows Golf Club in Fayetteville.  Walton College’s Center for Retailing Excellence hosts the tournament each year.

The event raises money for the Razorback women’s golf program and for funding for the Center for Retailing Excellence to provide support for students who may have missed out on other financial aid opportunities.

#Retailing

#Walmart

post

#DataWrangling – How #CPG #CategoryManagers Lasso Their Data Without Getting Gored

If you are a category manager or captain in the Walmart supplier arena, chances are you have become an expert in Excel. Without knowing it you have been data wrangling, and why not, what other tool enables you to combine data from such disparate data sources any easier? Granted, it’s work you have to do on a regular basis, and if these awesome spreadsheets and dashboards become popular in your organization, you get to refresh them on a regular basis, but that’s just the cost of doing business. If you have been lucky enough to get to use a BI tool like Tableau or MicroStrategy 9, then some of this work has been streamlined for you. Now, once you get your data refreshed, the visualizations can fall in line very easily. Getting the data refreshed is not always so easy though. MicroStrategy has traditionally been IT focused, with enterprise grade everything, focusing on data governance by the IT organization, while Tableau has focused in on the business department or user, that needs cool visualizations, but may not be the best at getting data into the tool in an automated fashion, but you can just whip up an excel spreadsheet and link it in. Viola – presto magic dashboards. In essence, you had to trade enterprise for ease of use.

2015-06-17 11_22_27-ReadyTalk Conferencing -Any data, quickly and easily

With MicroStrategy 10, that is no longer a problem. MicroStrategy effortlessly blends structured warehouse data (read IT generated and governed data) with data from your own pocket. Build something popular they want refreshed on a regular basis? Fire it off to the Administrator, and they can recreate what you built to auto-refresh with each data load. A lot of what you build is a one-off to answer a buyer question about on-shelf availability, or you’ve got some market basket data that is driving a question. It’s not necessarily something that needs to be built, refreshed, and maintained as a corporate dashboard or report. But, you do want to blend this data that is loaded each week in your enterprise data warehouse, like your POS sales or your historical inventory. But what if the data is not formatted correctly to report against?

You could make the argument that you need to load everything into the data warehouse, but why would you do that if you have a one-off analysis and you may never need that data again. Only one DSR makes it pretty easy to add data like it’s tissue paper for integration with the rest of the demand signal data for use in MicroStrategy, and that is the Vortisieze DSDH (Demand Signal Data Hub) – mostly because we are using Cloudera as the backend. If you knew you were going to run these reports on a regular basis, or needed them refreshed – then by all means add them to the data warehouse, but now the choice to not add data to the data warehouse does not default you back to Excel – you can do this in MicroStrategy Desktop, blend it with the enterprise data you have come to trust, and refresh this on a weekly basis with a few mouse clicks.

What enables this is the Data Wrangling feature that is new with MicroStrategy 10 that is not available in any other tool I have seen. See, one of the benefits of utilizing ETL (Extract, Transform, and Load) to load data into your data warehouse, is that your ETL team will cleanse and harmonize your data so that it lines up correctly with the rest of your data. States won’t be a mish-mash of two letter abbreviations or full state names. Data won’t be mixed formats – that is the whole point of ETL. So, when you skip the ETL team, you are on your own to cleanse and harmonize your data. Traditionally this meant dropping your data to excel and spending a few hours searching and cleaning it up so that the reports made sense. MicroStrategy 10’s new data wrangling feature will do some minor cleanup of local data sources for you without the need for an ETL team.

Now, you can have the best of both worlds. MicroStrategy 10 has been designed to give the business user the most flexibility in data sources, and not rely on your ETL or IT team to cleanup local dirty data, but still be able to leverage corporate data sources that have been cleaned and vetted. Got a marketing data set direct from twitter? Want to marry that with POS sales or weather? I can’t imagine these tasks can get much easier now, and you have more flexibility than ever to bring in your ETL team when they are truly needed. With the ability to go and buy a single license of MicroStrategy 10 for $600, there is not much standing in your way of being the organizational rock star of analytics. Plus, now you get to add the cool title of “Data Wrangler” to your credentials.

 

#DataWrangling

#CPG

#CategoryManagers

post

#Walmart #POS #WeatherData Analysis in MicroStrategy


There are lots of ways to analyze your POS sales against weather, but it might be good to first determine if there is even a correlation between the two. If you’ve got weather data and POS data in your DWH, you can achieve this relatively quickly by using a weighted trend graph in MicroStrategy’s Visual Insights. As you can see in the screenshot above, we created a data set with Walmart week, some POS metrics, and some weather metrics – the one we are interested in for this set of products is Average Temperature. With WM Week as the x-Axis and POS sales as the y-Axis, we then have the ability to color the line by Average Temperature, and we weight the line with precipitation. As the line moves from red to blue the temps get cooler, and as the line gets thicker we see more total precipitation across the country for that week.

At a high level, this graph doesn’t give us anything we can action directly on. However, it does seem that as the country cools off we sell substantially more product. With a little more work we can add some drill downs to state or store and look at temps down to store level to see if each store exhibits the same behavior or if they seem unaffected.

Not all products have a correlation to weather, but these seem to, so next post we will dive deeper into how weather seems to affect sales, and we will try to add some more interesting metrics to help identify outliers or patterns we can predict. Feel free to comment or send suggestions on how you would like to see this dashboard evolve to marketing@vortisieze.com and we will see if we can incorporate your suggestions into the dashboard.

#Walmart

#POS

#WeatherData