Is Sprouts Doomed?

Delivery can destroy Sprouts because it keeps customers away from Sprouts where they can see its low prices.

Traditional supermarkets depend heavily from all the spur-of-the moment purchases from shoppers in the store. How many times have you walked into a supermarket to “grab a couple of things” and ended up pushing a full shopping cart out the door?

Online shoppers only get what is on their shopping list, because they are not in the supermarket to get tempted by that extra stuff. That is good for customers’ pocketbooks but bad for Sprouts’ bottom line.

The traditional supermarket is a marketing machine cleverly disguised as a food store. Grocers fill their stores with temptations such as endcaps, free samples, delis, and cafes. The online shopper sees none of that stuff.

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Is Ocado the Future of Groceries and does it Make Money?

Ocado claims to process 260,000 orders a week with an order accuracy rate of 99% and an on-time delivery rate of 95%. The company claims to reduce costs with a 0.7% rate of product waste, which sounds hard to believe.

What’s truly interesting is that Ocado might be ahead of Amazon in its use of robots to move groceries. Ocado claims to have 1,100 robots at work in its newest Customer Fulfillment Center (CFC3) in Andover, Hampshire. Pictures online show Ocado robots working in refrigerated warehouses and giant freezers.
Those robots can supposedly pick and pack an order of 50 items in just five minutes. That is amazing because the CFC3 is stocked with 50,000 items, and the center itself is the size of three football fields.

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Who is buying Supervalu?

Even if Supervalu keeps operating the distribution centers its new customer might be Amazon or Instacart.
A strong possibility is that Supervalu will get out of brick and mortar supermarkets and concentrate on selling groceries to delivery services. Its’ network of distribution centers is well-positioned for that eventuality.
Supervalu’s financials explain why Jeff Bezos is so interested in the grocery business. Grocers like Supervalu have a very strong cash flow, and Bezos loves cash.

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The Retail Zombie Apocalypse at JC Penney

A better way for Penney to attract such men would be by adding a food court with eateries like Shake Shack (NYSE: SHAK) and Qboda to its stores. That might get some men to come to JC Penney, although there’s no guarantee they would actually shop there.

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Is it the End of Sears?

The saddest part of the sorry saga of Sears is that nobody but its employees might notice if the brand dies. The customers obviously abandoned Sears long ago, leaving nothing but debt and empty stores behind.

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Amazon Web Services launches Templates for Ethereum and Hyperledger

Amazon wants to attract this business by adding what amounts to a “build your own blockchain network kit” to AWS. There are currently two kits posted on the AWS website.

The Ethereum kit allows the construction of AWS platforms that offer direct contact with the Ethereum network and use Ethereum’s Solidarity Smart Contract language. The Hyperledger Fabric kit allows users to write their own blockchain applications.

Potential uses for such blockchain solutions outlined by AWS include supply chain, healthcare, insurance, the Internet of Things (IoT), financial services, and supply chain. The kit reportedly uses an open-chain blockchain fabric from the Hyperledger Foundation.

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Is Office Depot Making Money?

Like Barnes & Noble (NYSE: BKS), Office Depot is one of those brands that is no longer supposed to exist but somehow keeps hanging on. It seems to generate just enough money to cover expenses and little else.

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Whole Foods and Walmart Expand Online Grocery Delivery

The grocery delivery wars are heating up fast. Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) and Walmart (NYSE: WMT) have expanded their same-day efforts

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What Future Does eBay have?

Does eBay Really Have to Compete with Amazon?
Shrewd value investors will ask the above question because a strong case can be made that eBay does not really compete with Amazon. eBay sells used items through auction and discounts to a select clientele.
eBay has become a true value investment because the company has proved it can survive and perhaps thrive in the age of Amazon. One reason why eBay makes money is by not competing directly with Amazon.

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Walmart wants to bring Grocery Delivery to 40% of Americans

Likely responses to Walmart’s offensive might be Amazon’s acquisition of a traditional grocer like Safeway or Winn-Dixie, or Amazon or Target partnering with traditional grocers such as Publix. Kroger might respond by buying InstaCart and joining Google Shopping Express.

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