It seems that every new day brings more and more news about the ever-changing retail world. Already this week, Amazon launched their new cash-less store and a handful of major retailers announced employee bonuses on the heels of the recent tax overhaul. Here is a look at this week's major headlines that are making the rounds for Issue #8 of Shiftonomics:

πŸ€– As Amazon Go(es)...

πŸŽ‰ Disney Announces Employee Bonuses

🎯 Back to Basics: How Target Associates Tackle the 'Fifth Quarter'

🌑 Betting Big on Mobile: The Rise of Yeti

β›· Outdoor Retailer Carves New Territory in Denver

πŸ” Make it a Double-Double, Animal Style + Side of Full-Time Manager Job

πŸ“š What Independent Bookstores Teach us About In-Store Experience

Join Our Webinar! Be sure to join us next week (Jan. 31, 1 p.m., CST) when our own Taylor Pipes joins Techstars Managing Director Ryan Broshar to talk about the future of retail and how experience and personalization are changing the way consumers shop. You can register for free here.

News ⚑️

Go, Amazon, Go! | Via: New York Times

Amazon ushered in a new era of shopping this week. Amazon Go, the cashier-less convenience store made its debut in Seattle.

Ironically for a store that promises no lines, when the store opened, a line of prospective shoppers queued up out front seeking to become the first shoppers to pass through 'Go.'

Inside is a 1,800-square foot mini-market packed with shelves of food that you can find in a lot of other convenience stores β€” soda, potato chips, and prepared foods. It raises a lot of questions about what will become of the more than 3 million cashiers currently employed in the United States. Amazon has suggested they would like to continue hiring employees for Go stores, who would be used to help cook and prepare the food items sold there.

πŸŽ‰ Disney's Bonus Parade | Via: Seeking Alpha

Bring on the bonus parade.

This week, Disney announced that more than 125,000 employees will receive cash bonuses this year. Fresh on the heels of tax cuts, Disney joined Home Depot in companies that announced employee bonus dispersals this week.

All full and part-time non-executive employees, either hourly or salaried, who have been with The Walt Disney Company since January 1, 2018, and are based in the United States will be paid a one-time $1,000 cash bonus. Employees will receive the bonus in two payments, the first in March and the second in September of this year.

Disney also announced that they would pledge $50 million into education programs designed for helping tuition costs for their hourly employees. Together with the bonus payouts, both programs are projected to cost $175 million.

β›· πŸ‚ Outdoor Retailer Carves New Territory in Denver | Via: Denver Post

As the retail landscape shifts with brands offering direct-to-consumer sales, internet giants dominating e-commerce and the rising tide of click-and-mortar stores forever changing traditional gear shops, the wheeling and dealing on the three-level show floor will be critical. And amidst the shop owners stocking shelves for coming seasons, a surging army of advocates will be rattling their sabers, hoping to galvanize a united movement that protects public lands, water and climate. The show will blend not just the outdoor and winter crowds. This time around, a cavalcade of sociopolitical activity will permeate the show as the outdoor industry vies to sway public policy.

Denver Post looks at what's in store for the arrival of the massive and important retail industry convention that is Outdoor Retailer.

The Big Idea πŸ€”

Back to Basics: How Retailers Tackle the 'Fifth Quarter' | Via: Branch Messenger Blog

Are you ready for the fifth quarter...of retail?

With our headquarters in Minneapolis, Minnesota, we couldn’t help opening with a little football reference. Quite timely given the season and the fact that our hometown franchise Vikings are just one game away from becoming the first home team to host a Super Bowl following one of the greatest plays in NFL postseason history.

After Q4, when the dust settles and retailers look beyond the holiday push, there’s still a variety of important things that need to happen. These include streamlining operations, reorganizing the store and reconfiguring staff, help reset the store for the coming months.

🌑The Rise of Yeti | Via: Retail Dive

2017 brought a cold, harsh reality to many outdoor and sports retailers. Long-established brands like Eastern Outfitters, Gander Mountain, and Sports Authority all went through store closures and bankruptcies.

But, there were some delightful surprises in the world of outdoor retail. Yeti, an Austin-based brand, has seen dividends in their early response to digital shopping. While many brands waited to see how things shook out, Yeti decided to invest in optimizing their online and mobile shopping experiences and simple checkout processes.

Because Yeti has been using a variety of Salesforce products to manage its B2C and B2B shopping experiences (such as Salesforce Sales Cloud, Service Cloud, Marketing Cloud and Community Cloud), they're now able to offer deeply personalized product offerings where consumers can mix-and-match products or even design their own custom orders. Yeti is proving that the next wave of retail is going to be designed and developed around personalization both in-store and via mobile.

Heard Around The Web πŸ’¬

πŸ” Make it a Double-Double, Animal Style and a Full-Time Manager's Position | Via: Thrillist & California Sun

In California, an architect salary pays $112,000. Lawyers and software engineers are paid around $115,000 per year. And, a manager of an In-N-Out will take home approximately $160,000. Who knew fast food could pay so well? Typically, fast food employees are at the opposite end of the pay scale, for both hourly employees and managers.

In-N-Out has long been well ahead of the curve in how it treats and compensates their employees. Still designed and held as a family company, treating employees well is a core part of the cult burger restaurant's mission as well as delivering a quality product.

Despite other fast food establishments being skittish to raise wages, In-N-Out takes a different approach. Their front-line hourly workers are paid at least $13 per hour to start and have the opportunity to quickly rise through the ranks to become managers themselves.

So, why offer their staff more money? In-N-Out cites increased productivity, less frequent turnover, and higher profits in the long-term future. It helps that because they still run the business from the viewpoint of a "family business" that they don't have public shareholders to appease.

β€œOur research shows that companies that take the high road make a profit not in spite of paying their workers better but because they pay their workers better."

🚚 πŸ› Millennials Kill the Warehouse Shop? | Via: Washington Post

Beer. Wine. Marriage. Golf. Cruises. Movies.

The list of things millennials have killed is quite lengthy. Today, the Washington Post reveals another potential candidate: Warehouse retail giants.

πŸ“š Books We're Reading

πŸ“š What Bookstores Can Teach us About In-Store Experience | Via: Post and Courier Newspaper

This week, it's not necessarily the books we're reading, but the bookstores we're inspired to visit.

Advances in mobile technology including smartphones and digital readers, along with Amazon's early conquest of book retailers, nearly delivered a death knell to the vertical. Nearly.

Today, there are still some difficult days ahead for book retailers. Barnes and Noble stock has touched lows not seen since the 1990s, despite a robust holiday shopping season. At the same time, independent bookstores are bouncing back. A few years ago, the notion of opening a bookshop seemed almost crazy. Quietly, some of these independent sellers have not only survived, but they've thrived. The American Booksellers Association, which keeps tabs on the independents, noted that their retailers grew nearly 40 percent between 2009 and 2015.

Sellers that have unique, local product offerings combined with interesting experiences are helping dramatically. The Post and Courier offer a hyper-local view into a handful of bookstores that are creating places -- and experiences that online sellers can't quite compete with: from a bookstore on wheels to a local book-themed supper club.

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