Walmart is the Roman Empire of retail, says Burt Flickinger, Managing Director of SRG Insights. Walmart announced an impressive earnings and revenue beat that told the story investors want to hear. Walmart is winning the retail wars, especially against arch-rival Amazon.
Direct to Consumer, or DTC, is a fundamental platform shift, according to former AOL and Verizon digital properties CEO Tim Armstrong. “There have been a couple times in my career where there has been what is basically a fundamental platform shift,” noted Armstrong. “I felt like direct-to-consumer was something that was going to be a platform shift.”
The recent USPS shipping structure changes will increase retailers shipping costs, says Rakuten CEO Mike Manzione. What Rakuten does is help retailers offset by utilizing a network of order fulfillment centers, thereby controlling shipping costs while decreasing shipping times.
With the future of retail we have crossed over the demarcation line, says Walter Robb, the former co-CEO of Whole Foods. “We’re not going back to the old retail,” said Robb. “It’s just not going to happen. That’s the combination of digital and physical.
Yum Brands which owns Taco Bell, KFC, Pizza Hut and other restaurant brands are at the forefront of technological innovation. Yum also isn’t afraid to experiment with seemingly outlandish ideas either such as their announcement of the Toyota Tundra Pie Pro which makes pizza on the go.
There is nothing short of a revolution happening in the food marketplace today and it is not a quiet one, says Walter Robb, the former co-CEO of Whole Foods. “It is disrupting things left and right, all the way up the value chain back into the farmer’s field,” says Robb.
Digitizing Unilever is one of my top priorities, says Unilever’s new CEO Alan Jope. “How we digitize marketing. How we digitize working with our customers. Digitizing our supply chain. Digitizing our people processes. You are going to see a strong digital emphasis in my agenda for Unilever.”
Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson isn’t worried about competitors in the fast-growing coffee market in China. Starbucks has nearly 3,700 stores in China already and is generating double-digit transaction growth. For Starbucks, their growth in China continues to be driven by providing a unique customer experience that is like no other in their industry.
Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson says that cannabis-infused beverages are not on the roadmap. However, he seems open to that possibility in the future. “You can’t get a cannabis triple venti today. There are a lot of issues that we would have to think through on that. Right now that’s not on the roadmap. But we are mindful of the trends.”