P&G to buy Billie. It may work, but not for the reason you think

In early January, P&G announced plans to buy Billie, a subscription-based, direct-to-consumer brand focused on women razors. Female razors have long been a consistent revenue generator for CPG companies—not due to product quality—but because of a strange mix of sexism, product development and market concentration. The US female razor market is a $1 billion industry… Continue reading

Counterfeit products on Amazon is harming CPG innovation

Combatting counterfeit products on Amazon is one of the most significant issues facing brands today. According to a Gartner-L2 study, 1/3 of all reviews for products listed by third-party sellers contain the words “fake” or “counterfeit.” Marker recently ran an interesting article on S’well, the fashionable water bottle company. The company, which reached sales of… Continue reading

Fair Trade: The arcane reason small retailers can’t compete with chains

If you want to understand why small retailers struggle in modern America, you need to understand one thing: fair trade laws. Today, fair trade is typically presented in the context of international trade. Essentially, a regulation that allows producers in the developing world to compete with large multinational conglomerates who have massive scale and purchasing… Continue reading

Consumer Packaged Goods and Quality Issues on Amazon

In 2020, one of the most significant issues facing consumer packaged goods manufacturers is what they should do about Amazon. Amazon controls about 50 percent of the American online market. That means that a brand’s Amazon strategy often becomes their overall e-commerce strategy. At first glance, consumer packaged goods and Amazon seem like they should… Continue reading

Reengineering Retail by Doug Stephens - A  review

Reengineering Retail isn’t a bad book. It’s just…whatever. Written by Doug Stephens, Reengineering Retail tries to lay out a theory that encompasses the future of retail. The central idea is this. Digital technology has upended the traditional retail industry. The retail store is no longer a static distribution point for a product. Instead, Stephens, a self-proclaimed “consumer futurist”, sees them as “experiential media channels.” Now, throw in a bunch of business buzzwords, technology-centric case studies, and a weird 20-page diversion into innovation consulting, and you have successfully described Reengineering Retail.

Retailers should look to the past to compete against Amazon

Amazon has engulfed nearly every aspect of retail and is positioned for more. Its North American sales have quintupled since 2010. Between 2015 and 2016, Amazon captured well over a third of all American online retail sales—including 43 percent in 2016. Moves to vertically integrate its supply chain by solidifying an ocean freight license, marketing in-home deliver, and… Continue reading