Go Lean Commentary
The retail industry now has a “name for its pain”; they know who-what is undermining their business model. It is not just the Internet; it is …
In a previous blog-commentary by the movement behind the book Go Lean … Caribbean, it was asserted that the industry is being threatened by the Retail Apocalypse. That was just generalizing the threat as “all things internet”, but now we see that Amazon is attempting to emerge from cyber-space and dominate the retail space.
To the victor go the spoils.
A lot is being spoiled, as shopping malls have suffered a dire disposition. See the full story here:
Title: What venture will Amazon tackle next?
People were shocked by Amazon’s announcement to buy Whole Foods Market for $13.7 billion, prompting many to wonder what the future of grocery and clothes shopping might look like as the online retailer attempts to dominate. NBC’s Jo Ling Kent has the report for TODAY.
VIDEO – American Giant Shopping Shift – http://www.today.com/video/what-venture-will-amazon-tackle-next-972676675883
This is the reality of Big Tech. There are 4 anchor companies in the Internet & Communications Technologies (ICT) industry that continue to impact the modern world and disrupt the legacies of commercial enterprises:
- Google (Market capitalization: $600 Billion)
- Apple (Market capitalization: $776.6 Billion)
- Facebook (Market capitalization: $446 Billion)
- Amazon (Market capitalization: $479 Billion)
These companies have the treasuries, talent and temperament (culture, values and commitment) to change the world, for good and for bad. Amazon and its Founder-CEO Jeff Bezos are “talking the talk and walking the walk”; they put their “money where the mouth is”. They’ve just agreed to spend $13.7 Billion to acquire brick-and-mortar grocery store chain Whole Foods. This is a big deal!
Amazon and Bezos are disruptive role-players. They have disrupted the business model of so many industries and companies. This is the Retail Apocalypse … personified.
Amazon and this Retail Apocalypse are germane issues for the movement behind the book Go Lean…Caribbean. The book posits that there are “Agents of Change” that are impacting the economic, security and governing engines in Caribbean society; these “Agents of Change” include:
Monitoring these “Agents of Change” is part-and-parcel of the roadmap this book presents for the introduction and implementation of the technocratic Caribbean Union Trade Federation (CU). The quest of this Go Lean/CU roadmap is to elevate the Caribbean’s societal engines starting first with economics (jobs, industrial development and entrepreneurial opportunities). In fact, the following 3 statements are identified as the prime directives of the CU:
- Optimization of the economic engines in order to grow the regional economy to $800 Billion & create 2.2 million new jobs.
- Establishment of a security apparatus to protect the resultant economic.
- Improve Caribbean governance – as e-Commerce alters sales & border taxes – to support these engines.
According to the foregoing VIDEO, Amazon and Internet & Communications Technologies disrupting retail commerce is not all good and not all bad:
- Good: Prices with internet commerce are cheaper than at retail stores.
- Bad: Retail stores and jobs are endangered.
- Good: Greater variety and product options.
- Bad: Mall closures undermines local communities (tax base of neighboring properties).
- Good: Technological innovations create economic opportunities in the ICT industry space.
- Bad: State government revenue reductions based on prohibitions on internet taxes.
- Good: Delivery options create logistical jobs.
- Bad: Family businesses/Main Streets cannot compete.
The future matches forward.
Whether its Amazon or no Amazon, Jeff Bezos or someone else, change will come to the Retail Economy. This applies in the US or in the Caribbean. The point is to prepare for the change, to position regional institutions to explore all the opportunities that change brings. According to the Go Lean book …
‘Luck is the destination where opportunity meets preparation’ – Page 252.
What are Main Streets to do?
This question was fully analyzed in the Go Lean book in its 370-pages of turn-by-turn instructions on “how” to adopt new community ethos, and the the strategies, tactics, implementations and advocacies to execute so as to reboot, reform and transform the societal engines of Caribbean society. Consider this sample advocacy on Page 201:
10 Ways to Impact Main Street
|1||Lean-in for the Caribbean Single Market
This treaty allows for the unification of the region into one market, thereby expanding to an economy of 30 countries, 42 million people and a GDP of over $800 Billion. The mission of the CU is to enhance the economic engines of the region, fostering institutions like capital markets and secondary mortgage funds to facilitate local governments and town-planning efforts for downtown developments and enhancements. The CU’s adoption of electronic funds transfer modes will allow for more card-based transactions in the region. This facilitates Mail-Order / Telephone Order (MOTO), internet and mobile commerce modes – this is the future of retailing, and allows Mom-and-Pops to compete with “Big-Box”.
|2||Repatriated Diaspora – Shopping Habits|
|3||Big-Box Competition: Cooperatives|
|4||Big-Box Competition: e-Commerce
Electronic commerce holds the promise of “leveling the playing field” so that small merchants can compete against larger merchants. To facilitate e-Commerce, purchased merchandise must get to their destinations as efficiently as possible.
The CU’s implementation of the Caribbean Postal Union allows for better logistics for package delivery.
|5||Downtown Wi-Fi – Time and Place
The CU will foster the implementation of more technology solutions, including Wi-Fi for internet connectivity, especially in downtown areas. The emergence of mobile applications allows for the coordination of “time and place” to convert internet browsing to real-time purchasing. This communications service can be advertising based or subscription based.
|7||Downtown Development Authorities|
|8||Magnate and Charter Schools|
|9||The Arts in Public Places|
|10||Cruise Industry Port-side Merchants
In this [Caribbean] region, many tourist destinations for cruise ships are centered on Main Streets and downtowns, i.e. Bay Street in Nassau-Bahamas. The CU will foster more cruise passenger spending at the port-side merchants by facilitating e-Payments and settlement for the proprietary cruise passenger smart cards in Caribbean Dollars (not US$ or Euros).
Though not directly mentioned in the book, Amazon and the Retail Apocalypse is planned for in the Go Lean roadmap. A comprehensive view of the technocratic stewardship for the region’s economic engines is presented early in the book with these opening pronouncements in the Declaration of Interdependence (Page 13 and 14):
xxiv. Whereas a free market economy can be induced and spurred for continuous progress, the Federation must install the controls to better manage aspects of the economy: jobs, inflation, savings rate, investments and other economic principles. Thereby attracting direct foreign investment because of the stability and vibrancy of our economy.
xxvii. Whereas the region has endured a spectator status during the Industrial Revolution, we cannot stand on the sidelines of this new economy, the Information Revolution. Rather, the Federation must embrace all the tenets of Internet Communications Technology (ICT) to serve as an equalizing element in competition with the rest of the world. The Federation must bridge the digital divide and promote the community ethos that research/development is valuable and must be promoted and incentivized for adoption.
The business models of Amazon and similar companies – and competitors – have been further elaborated upon in previous blog/commentaries. Consider this sample:
|http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=11453||Location Matters, Even in a Virtual World|
|http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=9839||Alibaba Cloud stretches global reach with four new facilities|
|http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=9800||Model of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade – By The Numbers|
|http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=7297||Death of the ‘Department Store’: Exaggerated or Eventual|
|http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=7023||Thanksgiving and American Commerce – Past, Present and Amazon|
|http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=2488||Model of an E-Commerce Fulfillment Company: Alibaba|
|http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=1416||Model of an E-Commerce Fulfillment Company: Amazon|
Notice to all retail stakeholders: Amazon is not just your enemy; they are your “Pace Car”, the “target rabbit in a Greyhound race”.
Know your enemy!
Notice to all Caribbean stakeholders: Lean-in for the empowerments for e-Commerce described in the book Go Lean … Caribbean. We can do this; we can elevate our communities and our own retail eco-systems. We can be a better place to live, work and play; and a better place to shop.
Sign the petition to lean-in for the roadmap for the Caribbean Union Trade Federation.