retail news in context, analysis with attitude

• The Buffalo News reports on how Wegmans has closed down its Wkids service in the stores that offered it which allowed parents to “shop without interruption after dropping off their children at Wkids … Wegmans officials say the service, offered for decades, isn't as popular as it used to be, so the chain will put the former Wkids space in its stores to other uses.”

The story says that “Wegmans will encourage families to shop together and focus on programs that parents can do with their kids, such as in-store yoga, cooking classes and movie nights.”

The News writes that “an industry expert isn't surprised by the shift in direction at Wegmans and Tops, saying grocery chains in the United States and around the globe are moving away from offering in-store child care services and children's play areas.

“Stores want to get children out into the aisles with their families, where they can learn lessons about healthy eating and actively participate in the ritual of food shopping, said Burt P. Flickinger III, a Buffalo native and managing director at retail consultant Strategic Resource Group in New York City.”


CNBC has a piece about Best Buy, writing that its turnaround has largely been because of its response to watching “customers walk its floors and test out products they would then buy online for lower prices, often from Amazon.” Best Buy “figured it could offer service and convenience that its online competition could not, and (moved) to work closely with vendors and train employees drew shoppers back into stores again.”

The CNBC story suggests that while the strategy has worked to this point, there are two immediate problems with which it will have to deal.

One is long-term - Amazon’s clear ambitions to be a bigger bricks-and-mortar player. And the other is short-term - “a long list of tariffs could hit Best Buy harder than other retailers, since so much of its inventory is consumer electronics manufactured in Asia.”
KC's View: