Walmart incompetence?

Walmart has a reputation of being one of the best run companies in the world, but that reputation may be in jeopardy. This article details how Walmart’s obsession with cost-cutting and reducing employee headcount is destroying the customer experience. The company literally doesn’t have enough employees to get products loaded onto the shelves. Product is sitting in storage at the stores while customers can’t find that product on the shelves.

Walmart may be the poster child of companies that have been obsessed with cost-cutting since the recession began. It’s a tough balance, but perhaps some executives will read this an realize that sufficient investment in employees is critical for success.


Will Windows 8 change the office environment?

Microsoft is making a huge push today to promote the new Windows 8 operating system along with the Surface tablet. It’s a huge bet for Microsoft, as the try to take on Apple directly and get into the game in the tablet market, while still retaining its stranglehold on the corporate PC market.

We’ll see what happens. Radical upgrades often don’t work well for Microsoft. Remember Vista? I do. It was a complete disaster. Then Microsoft righted the ship with Windows 7, where execution was more important than bells and whistles. So we’ll see how consumers react, and then we’ll see how businesspeople react. The tablet revolution does have the potential to shake things up a bit in the workplace.

Still, we’ve reached a point where the changes affect how we use computing services and devices, but does it change other areas of business much? So much has already changed in the past 30 years that there might be areas immune to advances in the devices we use. Businesses still use brochures for some types of promotion despite PowerPoint, though they might use online printing and ordering brochures at UPrinting in order to save money. Even at the Microsoft event, you can be sure they have printed posters and displays to go along with the big tech screens.

We just seem to have reached a point where these upgrades make a big difference in some areas, but others just stay the same.


Groupon’s evolution – is it a good thing?

What’s going on with Groupon? The stock has been battered recently. Listen to this video and learn how Groupon’s decision to take on inventory and sell its own products has radically affected its financials along with its stock price.


Luxury sales are rebounding

Here’s some interesting news regarding the retail sector and the luxury goods market. Luxury sales are rebounding, which probably means consumer sentiment is ticking back up.

The luxury sector is rebounding better-than-expected this year thanks in large part to wealthy Americans replenishing their wardrobes after a year of self-denial and nouveau riche Chinese indulging in a worldwide spending spree, according to a new study released Monday.

Sales of designer clothes, fine leather goods, jewelry, watches and other indulgences around the globe is forecast to surge 10 percent to euro168 billion ($236.7 billion) in 2010, recovering from a disastrous 2009 when sales declined 8 percent to euro153 billion, Bain & Co. said in its annual review of the sector commissioned by Italy’s Fondazione Altagamma association of high-end producers.

Let’s see what happens this holiday season. If double-dip recession concerns are fading away, retailers might be in for a pleasant surprise.


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