Brad Van De Sompele, president at Frontier Electric Supply in Bensenville, Ill., is one long-time member of the National Association of electrical Distributors who's not afraid of Amazon's advances into the electrical industry.
If any company has a proven formula for success, it's Walmart. The Bentonville, Ark.-based behemoth is the world's largest retailer, with nearly half a trillion dollars in annual sales and 2.2 million employees conducting business in 27 countries. Through its more than 11,000 stores and Sam's Club warehouses, Walmart rakes in more revenue than Costco, Kroger, Amazon, Home Depot, and Target - combined.
Businesses are continuing to shift resources from brick-and-mortar and other traditional sales channels to an e-commerce environment. What began primarily for business-to-consumer shopping is being emulated by merchants in the business-to-business sector, and has thus far been successful.
European retailers are increasingly adopting multi-carrier delivery strategies in response to the growing importance of delivery as the final and most critical mile in the consumer journey, according to a Forrester Research survey conducted for MetaPack Group, which provides ecommerce and multichannel delivery technology to retailers.
Whole Foods Market moves into the fast-growing same-day grocery-delivery space with the news that it is partnering with one-hour grocery delivery start-up Instacart to have products delivered to customers' homes in as little as one hour. Customers will soon also have the option to place orders via Instacart and pick up their order at a local Whole Foods store.
Big-box electronics giant Best Buy reported sagging second-quarter sales Tuesday amid increasingly intense competition from rival retailers.
The company's comparable sales dipped 2 percent in the U.S., though it still managed to post $146m in profit, largely thanks to a long-term cost-cutting program. But with few new electronics products to capture consumers' attention, the rest of 2014 isn't looking any sunnier.
Retailers generally have a reputation for being slow to embrace the latest innovations in technology. According to data from the U.S. Census Bureau, the retail industry as a whole spends far less on technology than nearly all other service sectors.
Retail space isn't what it used to be. More people are browsing and buying online. Stores can get products faster from manufacturers, so they don't need as much space to warehouse inventory. Small businesses are thus moving to smaller storefronts to lower costs.