retail news in context, analysis with attitude

...with brief, occasional, italicized and sometimes gratuitous commentary…

• The Wall Street Journal this morning reports that Coca Cola, in order to smooth out the supply chain in six small countries including Vietnam and Chile, has is "encouraging mom-and-pop stores to use a mobile app to replenish shelves with cans and cases on demand.

"Proprietors can send a request for, say, two cases of Coke and one case of Fanta, to local distributors, which bid on the deal. They promise a price and certain time period for delivery and then enlist help from gig workers with motorbikes to bring the products to the stores."

According to the story, "The technology, which came out of a startup incubation program Coke started in 2014, has helped the beverage giant address an out-of-stock problem that cuts into sales for stores and suppliers."

To me, it is the last graf from this story that is most important - the use of an incubator program to develop new solutions to old problems. Very smart.

• The Wall Street Journal reports that "RadioShack’s owner is preparing to seek bankruptcy protection for the second time in as many years, according to people familiar with the matter, as the 1,500-store chain looks to further shrink to survive.

"Parent company General Wireless Operations Inc. is in discussions with partner Sprint Corp. and potential strategic investors about reducing the chain’s footprint and could file for chapter 11 protection as soon as Tuesday."

Dead company walking.
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