It’s going to be interesting moving forward to see how powerful UA can get with this. When they unveiled their HealthBox Fitness Tracking System, its primary intent was to understand their customer base to make more relevant products moving forward. Somehow or another, the direct result was the Tom Brady Athlete Recovery Portfolio for sleeping that UA believed to be a key differentiator.
Much of this is in response to what Nike has done since the Fuel Band in 2012. After releasing two versions of that band and a GPS watch, Nike made the decision to exit hardware, and focus on their Nike+ while utilizing Apple as their hardware partner. At this point Nike seems like it would have much of the power on information here with the Apple collaboration (Tim Cook being on Nike’s Board), but if UA can make itself loud enough, there’s a potential to disrupt Nike.
Juan Carlos, I think this in-store pickup tower is a game changer as it combines benefits from both in-store pickup and an Amazon Locker into one. The in-store pickup experience traditionally has not added much value when you’re still in a queue to get to an employee to find and give you your stuff. Against an Amazon locker, you’re getting the obvious benefit of Walmart pricing on various goods, including groceries.
There is a great benefit for Walmart and the drones as well. As Christopher Hewlett of PWC mentions in the article below, 70% of the US population lives within 5 miles of a Walmart store . This is contrasted with Amazon’s PrimeAir drone program in which many epi-centers are >100 miles from the nearest metro population. While there are fulfillment centers in-between, we don’t know the frequency of when a two-step process would be required. The one advantage Amazon would ultimately have here though is the payload difference, as we see in-house Amazon drones are a little more robust  than those shown by Walmart’s supplier DJI .
Great read about how climate change is driving sustainability at Nike. At the end of the day this initiative seems like it could reduce costs from Nike’s contract manufacturers and improve brand perception.
Are there risks here though? The only thing I could think of would be interim price hikes as they migrate to renewable energy and transitioning to less wasteful processes. If they find a need to change or supplement existing suppliers, will this make things a bit difficult if folks aren’t up to Nike’s bar? Nike’s size allows them to demand almost anything they want or need from suppliers, but is there a point in which Nike may find a need to vertically integrate the supply chain due to these mandates?
I completely agree that Unilever needs to diversify outside of Europe against the flattening market and the potential barriers being imposed on the UK, especially if there is a hard Brexit. Very quickly, the UK could become an all-or-nothing market for suppliers who choose to source/manufacture within the UK, or choose to just not sell there at all there if sourcing and manufacturing is done outside. A hard Brexit here could very quickly lead to the latter, and prevent the former for many companies that don’t want to just produce in the UK for revenues in that market alone (against the tariffs introduced if shipping from UK to EU).
Great insight here on what is actually contrary to public perception about US labor being so expensive. You mention a recent trend that the disparity in manufacturing costs has reduced to 1%, which begs the question of whether the aggregate cost with shipping could now be higher versus manufacturing in the US. The main exception here would be markets in which GM gets a regulatory advantage for producing locally in respective markets, such as the 25% tariff China charges Tesla and companies alike for importing.