Friday in 5 – interesting news bits from around the supply chain horn, served up in one spot to keep you up to date.
This week: Big warehouses get even bigger thanks to direct-to-consumer shipping trends, and Trader Joe’s gets some new competition. Also, Fast Company names Amazon and Home Depot as two of the Most Innovative Companies of 2017.
Ship-to-consumer means bigger warehouses
As e-commerce has become the preferred shopping method, warehouses have increased in size to accommodate the larger volume needed to ship directly to consumers. These warehouses require two to three times more space than traditional warehouses due to the increased inventory which requires more labor and automation. Read more in the Material Handling & Logistics article, Big Warehouses Are Getting Even Bigger.
A new competitor for Trader Joe’s
German supermarket chain Lidl will make its US debut by opening dozens of stores along the East Coast. According to Hayley Peterson’s Business Insider article, A Trader Joe’s competitor is opening 100 stores in the US — see if it’s coming to your hometown, Lidl will open its first 20 stores this summer in Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina, with plans to open 100 stores over the next year.
Fast Company magazine names Most Innovative Companies of 2017
Why The Home Depot is One of the Most Innovative Companies of 2017: In 2016, the Home Depot delivered an estimated $90 billion in annual revenue—and it did it without opening a new U.S. big-box store in the past three years. As written in Fast Company’s 1-Minute Read, Home Depot shifted away from the “new square footage” model of growth by integrating digital and in-store shopping, paying particular attention to products that tend to be unfriendly for e-commerce.
Why Amazon is the World’s Most Innovative Company of 2017: Unlike other companies, Amazon is not fixated on a tightly designed ecosystem of interlocking apps and services. It instead emphasizes platforms that each serves its own customers in the best and fastest possible way. According to Noah Robischon’s article, Amazon invested millions in startups that will build voice-control apps for the intelligent assistant Alexa and give her thousands of new skills. The company opened two dozen new fulfillment centers, became the largest online store in India, and made its first delivery by autonomous drone in the United Kingdom.
Made in the USA hard to guarantee
Even though President Donald Trump is pressuring businesses to ramp up their American-based production, experts agree that the “Made in the USA” movement is unlikely to take hold in the luxury sector anytime soon. According to Krystina Gustafson’s CNBC article ‘Made in the USA’ is a tough promise for luxury brands to make, designer labels face several major headwinds when it comes to producing goods here, including inadequate infrastructure and a shortage of raw materials.