Miller’s Monday Morning Message

Andrew MillerMiller’s Monday Morning Message
presented by ACM Consulting Inc.

Andrew Miller on operational excellence, strategy, life balance and everything in between

Toronto – November 4, 2013
Just when you thought the retail and grocery store landscape in Canada couldn’t get any more complicated, Amazon has announced it will start offering groceries online. Loblaws has recently agreed to purchase Shoppers Drug Mart. Sobeys has acquired Safeway Foods. Walmart is constantly growing it’s assortment of grocery items. Target is another player to be reckoned with. And now Amazon. Not to mention Metro and other grocery store chains. Who knew Canadians were so popular?
Here are some questions to consider as Amazon enters the marketplace:
  • How can Amazon compete with other grocery chains without offering fresh and perishable items?
  • Will customers order online knowing that they still need to go to the grocery store for fresh items?
  • Can Amazon replicate the in-store experience of walking up and down the aisles, often selecting items not on a grocery list?
  • Will customers stay away from ordering online because they like their routine of grocery shopping? 
“Amazon is arguably the greatest supply chain company in the world ,” says Andrew Miller, president of ACM Consulting. “So we know they can offer fast and reliable delivery. The question is whether enough Canadian shoppers value the online experience enough to forego their weekly trip to the supermarket.”
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© Andrew Miller. All rights reserved. 2013.

Give HMV Canada an “A” for innovation

I often talk about innovation and how if organizations are not innovating and adapting, the only news we will read about them is that they are bankrupt. So let’s give credit to HMV Canada for being innovative and recognizing that the world of music has changed.

HMV operates more than 100 stores in Canada, selling CDs, DVDs and other audio and video recordings. Today they launched a digital music service called The Vault. Users can sign up for a subscription based service to stream music (and eventually movies) or even download them to a phone or mp3 player. Bravo to HMV Canada for recognizing this changing customer need and doing something about it.

The president of HMV Canada, Nick Williams, said, “We absolutely believe we should provide people with music in any way they choose to experience it, whether that’s (to) download, stream it…or come into stores and buy it physically.” What an enlightened way of thinking.

This is a great example of innovating to meet new customer demands. It’s what Blockbuster should have done with movies (although Netflix is glad they didn’t) and what Indigo and Barnes and Noble should do with books (although Amazon is glad they didn’t).