October 2020 | News | Vertical Focus

Vertical Focus | Retail

Tags: Retail, E-commerce, Technology

Weaving Blockchain into Data Sharing

Blockchain can solve the errors and inefficiencies that exist in data exchange between suppliers, retailers, and other stakeholders in the retail supply chain, according to results from the Chain Integration Project proof of concept.

If retailers want to incorporate blockchain into their supply chain, the study recommends these steps:

1. Capture every touch point. Capture item-level data to get the full story. Integrating every touch point into the blockchain is like taking a photo of an item as it passes from one point to the next and putting it in a photo album. The more photos you take, the more visibility you achieve.

2. Garbage in, garbage out. If your data doesn't reflect the flow of physical goods, then it doesn't matter if that data is on the blockchain or not. To reap any benefits, you must define a baseline level of accuracy and review it regularly for quality and consistency.

3. Use the same language. Once all information systems are identified, a common language must be established within the blockchain network, especially when communicating across organizational borders. Familiarity with EPCIS and GS1's Core Business Vocabulary is imperative in establishing a common language among trade partners.

Grocery Sets Up Shop

U.S. shopping malls keep pace with changing consumer habits by offering destinations such as movie theaters and gyms. Are grocery stores next?

Possibly. Amazon is working with Simon Property Group to open warehouses at some of its closed Sears and J.C. Penney locations, and may consider opening its own grocery stores in the malls, according to CNBC.

The COVID-19 pandemic has left commercial property owners searching for new tenants. However, few retailers are thriving, which is why grocery stores may be a more lucrative option.

Additionally, grocery stores are considered retail spaces and do not require jumping the re-zoning hurdles that industrial spaces face, making them an easier option for filling old department stores, the report says.

Amazon opened its first physical, cashierless grocery store in February 2020 and its first full-service Amazon Fresh grocery store in August.

2020 Retail Imports Fall Short

TEU PROJECTIONS Year over year

  • July: 1.76M down 10.2%
  • August: 1.81M down 7.3%
  • September: 1.69M down 9.5%
  • October: 1.69M down 10.4%
  • November: 1.59M down 5.8%
  • December: 1.56M down 9.6%
  • 2020 total: 19.6% down 9.4%

—National Retail Federation

Retailers On Trend

"The economy is recovering, but retailers are being careful not to import more than they can sell."
—Jonathan Gold, Vice President, National Retail Federation

  • U.S. online grocery retailers reached a record $6.6 billion in sales in May 2020.
  • Food box subscription services gain market share and DIY sales grow as consumers spend time at home.
  • Consumers now prioritize value, increasing market share for bulk retailers.
  • 34% of U.S. consumers spend more on private-label products as the pandemic continues.
  • As consumers continue to spend less time dressing for the office, athleisure brands, such as Lululemon, report an uptick in sales.
  • Shoppers buy more online. The biggest increase is in older demographics.
  • Online orders increased 24% for brick-and-mortar focused retailers from May 31 to June 7, 2020, compared to 2019.
  • Retailers that are only online experienced a 5% order increase in the same period compared to 2019.





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