The continuing goal of "The Innovation Conversation" is to explore some facet of the fast-changing, technology-driven retail landscape and how it affects businesses and consumers. It is, we think, fertile territory ... and one that Tom Furphy - a former Amazon executive, the originator of Amazon Fresh, and currently CEO and Managing Director of Consumer Equity Partners (CEP), a venture capital and venture development firm in Seattle, WA, that works with many top retailers and manufacturers - is uniquely positioned to address.
Today, in the last Innovation Conversation of 2021, Tom and KC look forward to the coming year, focusing on two stories that could help reshape the retail landscape.
First, they discuss Amazon's reported plan, in both the US and UK, to become a major player in the grocery-delivery market, which in the U.S. means competing with Instacart. How retailers will - and should - react to this development is a major focus of their conversation. Spoiler alert: The term "Trojan Horse" comes up. A lot.
Second, Tom and KC talk about Albertsons' launch of a new consumer auto-replenishment program, dubbed Schedule & Save, which is reported below on MNB. Tom has a unique perspective on this development since he is the CEO of Replenium, which is powering Schedule & Save - and he led the team that developed Subscribe & Save for Amazon. But the conversation focuses on how auto-replenishment has the potential of reshaping the conventional store format and help retailers put a greater emphasis on the elements that truly differentiate them.
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