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On December 13, 2015, AP commented on Le Tote – “Netflix for clothing” :

Very interesting business model and I would love to know more about their operating model. Does the company own the inventory or it collaborates with third party retailers? How many SKUs are made available to end consumers? Logistics sound extremely complex – how are monthly delivery and returns managed? Is it possible to actually purchase rented items?
Regarding the business model, I would be very interested in knowing whether there are different price points depending on whether customers select specific items rather than just a style and if there are “premium” subscription fees for higher end items.
Thanks for sharing!

On December 13, 2015, AP commented on Instacart: Changing the game for groceries :

A very interesting business model that I just recently came across as a user. Operational challenges faced by Instacart are numerous: from feeding the app real-time with all the products and price points available at each retailer store (I am guessing through back-end IT system integration and with a store by-store mechanism given that the service is based on proximity), to ensuring a right sizing and availability of labor force. Furthermore, although removing mark-ups on products was necessary to remain competitive and gain scale, Instacart’s margins are currently very thin and this business model is still subject to the threat of new entrants, which would be most likely welcomed by both retailers and customers. As such, key questions to be answered are: how can operational processes be further optimized (e.g. shopping bags removed) to increase margins? Is there any further automation that could take place? And how can Instacart protect its relationships with retailers to prevent new players from entering this space? Is there any additional revenue stream that could be included with reaching a certain scale (e.g. advertisement)?

On December 13, 2015, AP commented on Rent the Runway: A Successful Fashion Forward Business :

An incredibly interesting business model that I just recently came across. The operational challenges that RTR faces are fascinating. First among all, the choice of internalizing the dry cleaning processes given its strategic criticality to allow for better control over the quality of the outcome but also on the throughput time, which has to be minimized to reduce the very costly downtime of a garment. Secondly, I would be interested in knowing more about the SKUs selection process and what type of data feeds that decision as well as what type of data is available and with what granularity for performance analysis. The key questions I have around this model, however, is related to its scalability and / or replicability outside of the USA: would it make sense to extend this service to men’s fashion? Would it be feasible to replicate this operating model in Europe or Asia?