Target zeroing in on e-commerce and food supply chains
Target’s offering has expanded over time, moving beyond their staples of clothing and housewares. This expansion has included the introduction of fresh food to their stores. Target is trying to keep up with the healthy food trend and integrate organics, fat free yogurts and other trendy foods into their product portfolio. The problem: recurring shortages and empty store shelves. The lack of reliability in the company’s food supply chain has Chief Operating Officer, John Mulligan, looking for answers outside of company walls. Referring to Target’s food supply chain as “Frankenstein”, Mulligan sees great potential in building partnerships with outside firms to optimize the company’s current patchwork system.
At the same time, Target is looking to gain a bigger market share in the online grocery industry. The company has been lagging behind competitors Wal-Mart and Amazon. In order to boost sales and improve delivery times, Target recently signed a deal with Instacart, an online delivery service that picks up grocery orders and brings them to consumers. This is, however, only offered in select cities.
To read more on Target’s recent food supply chain efforts, click here.
Amazon crossing borders for free
The Swiss e-commerce market may have just become a little more competitive. At the end of last week, Amazon announced it will be offering free delivery to shoppers in Switzerland when they place an order in the German, French or Italian shops. The catch: the order must total more than 49 Euros (approx.. 53 U.S. dollars). An interesting point to note is that 64% of Swiss online shoppers buy from foreign sites on a regular basis. NetComm Suisse, Switzerland’s e-commerce association, reacted positively to this announcement and believes many shoppers will make use of this new service.
What does this mean for Swiss e-commerce sites? Shoppers will likely continue to see expanded support and improved offerings from local shops and shippers as a result of Amazon’s move.
Click here to read more on this announcement.
3D-Printing coming to an App near you?
Imagine being able to open an App on your smart phone, scan an object, manipulate it on a computer and print it in 3D. This is the exact technology that was presented this week at the K-ICT 3D Printing Conference in South Korea. The handheld 3D scanner, developed by South Korea’s Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute (ETRI), aims to make 3D printing more mainstream through the use of familiar graphical user interfaces. The scanners are also being integrated into a low-cost version on mobile devices for personal use.
The global 3D printing market, which includes printers, scanners and materials, is expected to grow 320% over the next four years to $16.2 billion. ETRI seems to be on the right track to contributing to this growth by making it easier for the general public to get involved. This technology will of course come in handy within many supply chain operations, especially in the management of spare parts.
Click here to read more about this new 3D printing technology.
Have a great weekend!