/ Weekly Takeaways

Amazon kills its Dash Button, 300 Retail store closures, and Pepsi swaps out humans for robots

Amazon stops selling Dash Buttons

The Dash Button was a piece of hardware that allowed Amazon users to reorder products with one easy press. In recent months - Amazon has watched its usage dwindle as its users have "been using other methods" to achieve the same result. That method being their phones, tablets and laptops. https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-47416440

Key Takeaway

When we first started playing with IoT, we saw every surface as an opportunity to make it easier for humans to interact with data; which in turn interacted with other surfaces or real world objects. What we're now seeing is that we don't really want to worry about other interfaces - just the ones we keep in our pockets. We expect to be able to control our digital world with our phones, and anything outside of that had better have a really good reason for existing. The Dash Button did not have a good enough reason.

JC Penney, Victoria Secret and the Gap announce 300 store closures

On the same day last week, three major retail businesses announced a collective 300 store closings, with the total retail closures for the year coming up to nearly 4,500. These announcements arrive on the heels of poor sales performance from the past holiday season - with a 7% drop seen by The Gap (who also announced their sale of Old Navy this week). https://www.businessinsider.in/more-than-300-store-closures-are-announced-in-a-single-day-as-the-retail-apocalypse-rips-through-jcpenney-gap-and-victorias-secret/amp_articleshow/68210428.cms

Key Takeaway

There are two market forces at play here:

  1. You're either the most exclusive, desirable brand, or you're the cheapest most accessible brand. There's no room for anyone in the middle anymore.
  2. With the arrival of Direct to Consumer brands (like the fashion ads you see on Instagram from companies you've never heard of before) - there is an onslaught of companies that can compete with The Gap, JC Penney or Victoria Secret - with very little to lose and little barrier to entry into the market.

Pepsi Co. lays off 1% of its workforce amidst 'relentless automation'

Pepsi has announced massive severance payouts to 1% of its 110,000 strong workforce - due to the need to become more automated. Much like Uniqlo a few weeks back - Pepsi is automating whatever it can in an effort to find cost savings between now and 2023. This round of layoffs is just the beginning of their four year restructuring plan: https://www.businessinsider.com/pepsico-layoffs-begin-restructuring-plan-kicks-off-2019-2?utm_source=reddit.com

Key Takeaway

More and more companies are following suit in the game of automation. Those who haven't been thinking hard enough about it, or taking action in harnessing their data and mobilizing their supply chain will fall into the same fate as The Gap, JC Penney and Victoria Secret.

Amazon kills its Dash Button, 300 Retail store closures, and Pepsi swaps out humans for robots
Share this

Subscribe to Jon Litwack