Tag Archives: retail

Apple stores saw 300 million visits last year, there are 311 million in the United States

From Jim Dalrymple of The Loop:

According to Apple, the company has seen almost 300 million worldwide visitors so far in its fiscal 2012…To give you some type of comparison, by July 2011, the population of the United States was estimated to be 311 million people.

There is also an interesting data point from Apple’s retail Genius Bar. According to the company, 50,000 people get serviced at a Genius Bar around the world, every single day.

 

That’s no joke. Stand outside an Apple store for a few minutes and you will see hordes of people, of all ages and types, looking for help.

It’s actually quite impressive that they haven’t had any major problems with customer service.

 

Continue reading

GameStop makes a huge pivot to Apple retailer – as retail video game industry dies

One of the last holdouts retail, video games, looks like it too will disappear. The biggest player, GameStop, who controls nearly two-thirds of the market, has been able to stay alive by pushing used games and devices. Last year the company earned $9.55 billion, 46% of which came from used items.

Unfortunately, that cannot sustain the company as more games go online, available for download. Which makes paying $60 for a cartridge much less appetizing for gamers, and takes away the bulk of GameStop’s earnings. This presents the company with a challenge…what to do next?

Believe it or not, become an Apple retailer. The company has opened an expansive new refurbishment factory for iPhones, iPads, iPod Touches. They hope to apply all that used experience to the booming world of the touchscreen.

Two articles cover this, the first is a summary and the second is a full behind-the-scenes feature:

In an effort to avoid the fate of Blockbuster, Circuit City and others in the remainder bin of failed retailers, GameStop has embarked on a daring, if inglorious, strategy: refashioning itself from a console-game purveyor into a repairer and reseller of Apple gadgets, betting that its retail visibility will prove an advantage. - Summary – SF Gate

 

“If you want to understand GameStop, you must understand refurbishment,” says GameStop CEO Paul Raines. Behind the tall executive lies a 182,000-square-foot facility filled with workers who are polishing discs, piecing together video game consoles, and rigorously testing pre-owned iPads, iPhones, iPods and Android tablets. It’s called the Refurbishment Operations Center, or ROC for short, and GameStop is giving us a first-hand tour of the $7 million facility. - Behind-the-scenes – The Verge

 

 

Continue reading

Amazon’s ambitious new plan for same-day delivery – and how it will destroy retail

But now Amazon has a new game. Now that it has agreed to collect sales taxes, the company can legally set up warehouses right inside some of the largest metropolitan areas in the nation. Why would it want to do that? Because Amazon’s new goal is to get stuff to you immediately—as soon as a few hours after you hit Buy.

It’s hard to overstate how thoroughly this move will shake up the retail industry. Same-day delivery has long been the holy grail of Internet retailers, something that dozens of startups have tried and failed to accomplish. (Remember Kozmo.com?) But Amazon is investing billions to make next-day delivery standard, and same-day delivery an option for lots of customers. If it can pull that off, the company will permanently alter how we shop. To put it more bluntly: Physical retailers will be hosed.

Can Amazon pull it off? It’s sure spending a lot of money to try…Amazon is investing $130 million in new facilities in New Jersey that will bring it into the backyard of New York City; another $135 million to build two centers in Virginia that will allow it to service much of the mid-Atlantic; $200 million in Texas; and more than $150 million in Tennessee and $150 million in Indiana to serve the middle of the country. Its plans for California are the grandest of all. This year, Amazon will open two huge distribution centers near Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay Area, and over the next three years it might open as many as 10 more in the state. In total, Amazon will spend $500 million and hire 10,000 people at its new California warehouses.

 

Source: Slate - I Want It Today: How Amazon’s ambitious new push for same-day delivery will destroy local retail

 

 

Continue reading

Apple goes on hiring spree in Israel, Ireland (to start domination of Europe?)

Apple is to hire 500 people in Ireland.

The consumer electronics giant will increase the headcount at its European headquarters in the southern city of Cork over the next 18 months from 2,800 at present, a spokesman for the company said.

He said the jobs would “support our growing business across Europe.” The Cork operation provides distribution, supply chain management and back office functions.

While workers are still being laid off as consumer spending continues to shrink, Dublin has succeeded in attracting Google and Facebook thanks to its low corporate tax rates and educated, English-speaking workforce within the eurozone.

via Reuters

And, in Israel:

The “major hiring campaign” by Apple will kick off in the next few weeks, according to Israel’s Ynetnews. The new positions will work at Apple’s R&D center in Haifa.

The company is expected to rely on the assistance of a “headhunter” who will handle the hiring of “dozens of candidates simultaneously.”

The new employees will join the roughly 200 personnel at Anobit, a flash memory company that Apple purchased in late 2011 for a rumored $490 million price. That strategic acquisition is expected to help Apple secure capacity of flash memory for devices like the iPhone, iPad, and MacBook lineup.

Apple’s new hires will be located in Haifa’s Scientific Industries Center, an international technology center known as Matam. Other companies with operations there include Google, Intel, IBM, Microsoft, and Yahoo.

via Apple Insider

 

// Photo – eriwst

Amazon has more than tripled it’s workforce since the recession began (and ended)

Amazon.com added 9,400 employees to its payroll in the quarter ended March 31. That’s the biggest single quarter of headcount growth in Amazon’s history.

The company now employs 65,600 full- and part-time workers worldwide.

With its current trajectory, Amazon is rapidly approaching Microsoft in size. Microsoft employs more than 93,000 but hasn’t been growing as quickly as in the past. More than 40,000 of Microsoft’s employees are in the Seattle region; Amazon doesn’t break down its employment by region.

via Geek Wire

 

Seattle from Alki Beach, by Bala

In February, 2012, Amazon purchased 3 million square feet of office space in Seattle, that would more than double their existing office space of 2 million square feet:

In one of Seattle’s biggest real-estate deals in years, fast-growing Amazon.com has agreed to buy three blocks in Seattle’s Denny Triangle — and preliminary paperwork has been filed with the city to build a 1 million-square-foot office tower on each of them.

The deal includes options for Amazon to buy even more of Denny Triangle holdings.

“In terms of economic development and new jobs for Seattle, this is off the charts,” Al Clise said.

via Seattle Times

So, why is Amazon dominating the recession and post-recession?

With physical retail in a continued decade-long slump, it’s a no-brainer that they are “eating their lunch.”

Though, it’s possible that Amazon is ramping up in another area, secretly, as they have been known to do.

* * *

On another note, I tried to find perspective on the size of these companies. I found that, according to reports (pdf), the total size of the tech industry in United States is 4.15 million. Which is an all-time high for the industry bouncing back from 2008, the last time numbers were this good.

I also found that Foxconn and it’s parent company employ 836,000 workers, third largest in the world, and IBM employs 427,000, tenth largest in the world.

 

// Photo – Bala

Newspapers lose $25 billion in revenue – where did it go?

US newspaper publishers’ hopes that advertising revenues might be about to stabilise have been dashed by several pieces of research.

An analysis of data predicts that newspapers will achieve a new low in ad sales for 2011, with revenues expected to come in at about $24 billion this year (2011) – down from the record $49.4 billion achieved in 2005.

The last time newspaper revenues were this low was 1984.

via Greenslade

 

Although this was the year many publishers hoped the business would stabilize, sales continued to deteriorate alarmingly in almost every category in the first nine months:

  • Retail advertising dropped 8.8%.
  • Classifieds plunged 12.9%.
  • National advertising fell by a bit less than 11%.
  • The only bright spot was digital advertising, which climbed 8.3%.

This year was the year that many publishers believed an improving economy would halt, if not reverse, the revenue slide that commenced in the spring of 2006. Technically, the economy did rebound in 2011, but the uptick bypassed newspapers.

via Newsosaur

 

My heart goes out to all those in the industry.

With one question, where did $25 billion in lost revenue go. What multi-billion dollar industry has replaced it?

 

Related Articles:

It’s possible it went to the digital world, where newspapers are completely out of touch with only a few success stories.

The retail recession

A few weeks ago, I wrote about the bankruptcy of Borders Bookstores and the repercussions it could have.

Add in Blockbuster and Tower records and collectively the retail industry for music, movies, and books is disappearing. Well, you might be able to add clothing stores to that list.

A rash of closings here in Orange County, CA, (the OC) has the entire industry on edge. Some say that “so goes Southern California, so goes the industry,” and if that is true then trouble is brewing.

One of the largest and most popular outdoor shopping malls, The Block, is shaking things up. Even though they are ideally located between Disneyland, Anaheim Stadium, and three intersecting freeways, they can’t keep the stores full. In response they are changing their focus and name, now called the The Outlets.

Does this mean that retail is going “off-price”?

The big box stores are in huge slumps. Mervyns is bankrupt and Sears is on the verge, closing all of it’s stores in California. There are many others already gone that most of us have trouble remembering (Linens ‘N’ Things, Circuit City). Guess what is replacing them…gyms. A whole lot of them.

Are gyms the new retail?

Say hello to 6 new gyms in OC shopping centers from LA Fitness, Gold’s Gym, and 24-Hour Fitness. They are taking up space formerly occupied by Gap, Nike, Tower Records, Bristol Farms (supermarket), Mervyns, Circuit City, and Linens ‘N’ Things.

Good for the healthy person inside of us!

Another trend to think about is the Chinese exportation of cheap clothes. Retailers like Forever 21 are booming with four new massive stores in the OC (all occupying those empty department stores).

Take a look at the “Made in…” label and notice how much of your outfit is Made in China.

So far the only response to this Chinese competition are the outlets stores mentioned above and perhaps, double secondhand stores. Ross, “Dress for Less”, is opening a discount store for discount stores.

Is new no longer cool?

For me it is. Long ago I ditched all the retail stores for the high-end thrift stores like Buffalo Exchange. They carry a wide range of sizes (you mean not everyone is a medium or large) and an even wider range of styles. I definitely hope to see more of these stores popping up.

That may happen as another 500 day recession for clothing retailers is starting. Retail is not out of the woods yet. We will see who survives until early 2013.

Photos by: Abdullah (gym), Prayitno (coach), Nicole (Buffalo Exchange)