Really interesting article as I love John Lewis – thank you Julia! John Lewis’s aggressive target of 40% of sales online by 2020 is interesting . In the past year John Lewis has injected cash into an easier-to-use website, equipped in-store partners with transactional tablets and tied up with Google to map the inside of its flagship Oxford Street store . Through these investments I believe they can improve their operating model by increasing in-store efficiency through requiring fewer ‘partners’ to help customers navigate the store and shorten the check-out time through Apple-style on-the-shop-floor checkout via the tablets.
Great article – thank you Ryan! I love how Clover are so heavily focused on minimising the time from when the customer orders to when the customer receives the food order. However, I often see a huge queue at the Harvard Square Clover and to date this has put me off going inside. I believe to lower the queue wait time, Clover could further digitise their processes in three ways: invest in instantaneous contactless payment systems such as Applepay, develop an app to allow customers to make ordering decisions prior to arrival in a clover store and expand their app offering to allow customers to order in advance and pick up in-store. Through these three digital mechanisms I believe Clover could both lower the time required to serve a given customers, lower the queues in store, improve existing customer satisfaction and generate new customer numbers.
Wonderful post Jenna – thank you! H&M has made great progress in digitising their supply chain but I can’t help but wonder if more could be done in-store to create an enhanced digital experience for the customer. Specifically, I think investment in self-check outs in fast fashion stores like H&M and Zara could both enhance the customer experience and also lower headcount costs, leading to a more efficient operating model. Unlike supermarkets, fast fashion stores would not have the difficulty of needing to ‘weigh’ various items to check out – one would simply need to scan the tag and bag the items themselves. For millennials, who are increasingly pushed for time and hate to queue for anything, digitising the checkout of bricks and mortar stores could have a measurable positive impact on their H&M customer experience.
Thank you for the wonderful post Kimmy! While many of the digital initiatives Macy’s has deployed in-store have improved and digitised elements of the customer experience, I have concerns and questions about if Macy’s encountered accompanying challenges in their operating model through implementing these changes? Did these lead to measurable uplift in revenue or did customers just see them as ‘gimmicky’? I would imagine the investments required for ‘smart fitting rooms’ and ‘magic mirrors’ are substantial and my concern would be the financial viability of these investments and the ROI of them in the long run? As mentioned in the Forbes article below, retailers across the world are investing billions in the ‘Internet of Things’ but will they pay off? 
Fantastic post Roberto – thank you! This post reminded me of Fiji and Evian Water – two products that equip the consumer with information surrounding the origins of the source of the water. In addition, Volvic water educates consumers about the purification and bottling process of their water both on the bottles themselves and online . I believe these CPG companies, in addition to other CPG companies, could also effectively expand into digital passports to enable a more sustainable mindset for their consumers. Global conglomerate Mondelez, owner of brands such as Milka and Cadburys, has been working on a ‘from farm to field to you’ sustainability project  which would be a prime opportunity to incorporate digital passports into to further leverage digital technology to educate their consumers about the origins of the raw materials and the sustainability of the processing practices.
Interesting article – thank you! While I agree with both of your recommendations, I particularly agree that partnering with entities investing in genetically-modified Arabica may help mitigate against the weather-induced effects of climate change in the long run. An excellent example of this is the R&D work that Starbucks has been doing in Costa Rica. In 2013, Starbucks purchased a Costa Rican coffee farm and turned it into a laboratory for testing innovative coffee-growing practices and developing disease-resistant coffee beans capable of thriving in warmer temperatures . Nonetheless, both Starbucks and other key players have more work to do in this space as current examples of disease-resistant coffee beans are slower-growing and lower-yielding than usual beans.
Interesting article – thank you! In addition to the suggestions above, I believe Macy’s could further diversify the risk of weather-related variations in sales by promoting their online operations as an alternative to shopping in-store on a rainy day. Through effective marketing and advertising to build awareness of Macy’s online platform, customers who had an intent to shop in a ‘brick and mortar’ Macy’s store could achieve their shopping desire online. In addition, promotional offers such as free-delivery or ‘click and collect’ could be employed to allow customers to make their purchases online with no additional expense. In the U.K., John Lewis department stores  effectively deployed an omnichannel strategy, significantly investing in an online platform with ‘click and collect’ functionality , with huge success .
Interesting article – thank you Fangfang! An additional concern I have for Mars chocolate would be the extent to which climate change may impact the prevalence of diseases and pests to cocoa plantations in Ghana and the wider horn of Africa region. Climate changes related changes in rainfall patterns have the potential to increase the incidences of pests and diseases in Ghanian cocoa plantations, significantly increasing the risk of poor cocoa harvests . Therefore, in a similar manner to how Starbucks is investing in R&D to leaf rust disease-resistant coffee beans in Costa Rica , I would suggest Mars invest in R&D of disease-resistant coffee beans to hedge against the risk of supply shock that may occur if a disease epidemic were to ensue in their core coffee-plantation regions.
 Assessment of Climate Change Impacts on Cocoa Production and Approaches to Adaptation and Mitigation: A Contextual View of Ghana and Costa Rica https://elliott.gwu.edu/sites/elliott.gwu.edu/files/World%20Cocoa%20Foundation.pdf
 “To Stop the Coffee Apocalypse, Starbucks Buys a Farm”, Bloomberg, 2014
Interesting post – thank you! I completely agree that Starbucks as a company is part of the problem itself – it is such a behemoth in the industry and it will take considerable effort to lower their greenhouse gas emissions. One measure that Starbucks has taken to become more eco-conscious is the introduction of ‘Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®)’ Certified Stores . These stores use recycled coffee grounds in table tops, low emitting materials for adhesives, sealants, paints, coatings and flooring, 10%+ of materials extracted locally and save over 45% in lighting power through efficient LED fixtures. Starbucks now has more than 750 LEED®-certified stores in 19 countries . This is more than any other retailer . Hopefully, as Starbucks continues to expand it will focus on reducing greenhouse gas emissions partially through ensuring new stores are LEED®-certified.
Great post! In addition to the suggestions made above I believe the accountability to reduce the impact of climate change in resorts can also be shared by both the resort owners and the individual skiers themselves. For example, in the Three Valleys ski area in France (Meribel, Courchevel and Val Thorens), publicity campaigns urge skiers to cut their own carbon footprints by travelling to the resorts by lower emission trains versus higher emission planes and turning off their lights at night in the resort. Similarly, in the Portes du Soleil, Switzerland, skiers are encouraged to use ‘Alpine Pearls’ which are a form of ‘clean mobility’ transportation.