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Convinced Even More That Wal-Mart Should Be The Winner v. Amazon

I have written many times about the idea of Walmart v. Amazon in the battle of retailing and e-commerce.  My basic thesis has always been this:  Walmart can do everything Amazon can do but Amazon CANNOT do everything Walmart can do.  And, yes, it revolves around the stores.  

One of my first posts on this topic was back in March of 2013 when I posted “The Battle for Retail Sales is Really the Battle of Supply Chains“.  In that article I concluded:

In the end I believe Walmart and the other big retailers can and should be able to beat Amazon.  Just like Dell could have and should have beaten Asus and just like Sears could have and should have beaten Walmart.”

I concluded because of the huge logistics and retail head start Walmart had they could beat Amazon at their own game.  I also, however, posited the problem Walmart would have – the ability to innovate and brand.  Here I said:

The problem for companies like Wal-Mart and other retailers is they are losing the “branding” war.  The name “Amazon” is becoming synonymous with on line shopping.  People I talk to really do not “shop” on line they just go to Amazon to buy what they want.  It is becoming what Marissa Mayer (New CEO of Yahoo) calls a “daily habit”.  As a consumer, you decide whether you are going to go to a store or buy on line.  If you decide to buy on line you go directly to Amazon.  I am sure Wal-Mart has all sorts of statistics that try to pat themselves on their backs but reality is Amazon is building a brand which equates to on line shopping – The Amazon brand is to on line shopping what the term “Xerox” is to copiers.  If this hole gets too deep, Wal-Mart may not be able to dig out. “

Then, it appeared Walmart “awakened” and I wrote a post titled: “Welcome Back Wal-Mart:  We Missed You Over The Last 5 Years“.  In this article I discussed how I went to a Walmart and also used their on-line e-commerce system.  Both experiences were extraordinary and this posting was written about 1 year ago.

Today, I have seen the future and it is, in fact, in Walmart.  I am more convinced then ever they will win this as long as they stay hungry, scrappy and focused on the customer.  In my local Walmart they recently added the giant “Pick up Tower” which essentially is an automated way for you to buy products, have them brought to the store and have a very seamless and frictionless way of getting them.   A picture of this is to the left.  Because just about everyone in America goes past a Walmart just about every day, ordering on line and picking up in the store is essentially a no-brainer.  Can Amazon do that?  Sure in the few Whole Foods stores, maybe, but not at the scale a Walmart can do it in. 

So, think of this scenario.  You “shop” on line at night after work and in front of your T.V.  You set to pick it up tomorrow at the local Walmart.  On your way home from work you swing past, you pick it up and voila.. it is at home.  So, why is this so intriguing to me?  Well, it is because there are a few external events occurring in the retail / e-commerce space which are converging and making the pure e-commerce play more difficult.   They are:

1. Rising Cost of Transportation:  Who does not know about this topic?  The way to mitigate high costs of transportation is to keep trucks “fullest the furthest” and don’t break them down until you absolutely have to.  This allows for far more efficiencies when delivering to stores than to people’s homes.

2. The Rise of “Porch Pirates”:  This is a very interesting phenomena where people just go around to houses and steal delivered goods.  If you live in an apartment complex, it is like the wild wild west.  Between people stealing and boxes being left at wrong buildings and doors, it is a true mess.  Many companies are trying to solve this with “lockers”, ability to go into your home, delivery to trunks etc. but net net, it all adds cost and complexity to the delivery system. The simple solution already exists – deliver it to a store.

3. Infrastructure Costs: Without a store network, the cost of building out a really good e-commerce infrastructure are astronomical.  The Home Depot, which already has one of the best supply chains in retail and has 2200 stores is about to spend over $1bl to build out what they believe they need for same day / next day service.  Imagine if you are starting from scratch?

4. Inability of Small Package Carriers to Deal With “Surge” Periods:  Finally, we hear this every Christmas season – one of the two major players will have “guessed” wrong and either they lose their shirt in terms of cost or they have not nearly the capacity needed to service the boxes. 

In the end, this is Walmart’s game to lose and it appears they have no intention of losing.  I personally use both and am a “Prime Member” however when that comes up for renewal I think I will be rethinking that automatic sign up.  From a supply chain perspective, I believe Walmart is better situated than any other retailer in the business for the following reasons:

1. A very mature small box, big box and cold chain distribution network already in place.  They have a huge head start.

2. The ability to service an “endless aisle”.  With this mechanism you could buy anything from them even if they never stock in the store.

3. Prime real estate for retail.  Any chance you do not drive past one?

4. Walmart Pay:  I have not mentioned this but the ease of paying using Wal-Mart pay is truly incredible. Also, it does not use NFC but rather QR codes which means all phones essentially can use it (Google Pay and Apple Pay require NFC which is in higher end phones). 

The battle continues but right now, due to the maturity of the supply chain, I am leaning to Walmart.

 

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I have written many times about the idea of Walmart v. Amazon in the battle of retailing and e-commerce.  My basic thesis has always been this:  Walmart can do everything Amazon can do but Amazon CANNOT do everything Walmart can do.  And, yes, it revolves around the stores.  

One of my first posts on this topic was back in March of 2013 when I posted “The Battle for Retail Sales is Really the Battle of Supply Chains“.  In that article I concluded:

In the end I believe Walmart and the other big retailers can and should be able to beat Amazon.  Just like Dell could have and should have beaten Asus and just like Sears could have and should have beaten Walmart.”

I concluded because of the huge logistics and retail head start Walmart had they could beat Amazon at their own game.  I also, however, posited the problem Walmart would have – the ability to innovate and brand.  Here I said:

The problem for companies like Wal-Mart and other retailers is they are losing the “branding” war.  The name “Amazon” is becoming synonymous with on line shopping.  People I talk to really do not “shop” on line they just go to Amazon to buy what they want.  It is becoming what Marissa Mayer (New CEO of Yahoo) calls a “daily habit”.  As a consumer, you decide whether you are going to go to a store or buy on line.  If you decide to buy on line you go directly to Amazon.  I am sure Wal-Mart has all sorts of statistics that try to pat themselves on their backs but reality is Amazon is building a brand which equates to on line shopping – The Amazon brand is to on line shopping what the term “Xerox” is to copiers.  If this hole gets too deep, Wal-Mart may not be able to dig out. “

Then, it appeared Walmart “awakened” and I wrote a post titled: “Welcome Back Wal-Mart:  We Missed You Over The Last 5 Years“.  In this article I discussed how I went to a Walmart and also used their on-line e-commerce system.  Both experiences were extraordinary and this posting was written about 1 year ago.

Today, I have seen the future and it is, in fact, in Walmart.  I am more convinced then ever they will win this as long as they stay hungry, scrappy and focused on the customer.  In my local Walmart they recently added the giant “Pick up Tower” which essentially is an automated way for you to buy products, have them brought to the store and have a very seamless and frictionless way of getting them.   A picture of this is to the left.  Because just about everyone in America goes past a Walmart just about every day, ordering on line and picking up in the store is essentially a no-brainer.  Can Amazon do that?  Sure in the few Whole Foods stores, maybe, but not at the scale a Walmart can do it in. 

So, think of this scenario.  You “shop” on line at night after work and in front of your T.V.  You set to pick it up tomorrow at the local Walmart.  On your way home from work you swing past, you pick it up and voila.. it is at home.  So, why is this so intriguing to me?  Well, it is because there are a few external events occurring in the retail / e-commerce space which are converging and making the pure e-commerce play more difficult.   They are:

1. Rising Cost of Transportation:  Who does not know about this topic?  The way to mitigate high costs of transportation is to keep trucks “fullest the furthest” and don’t break them down until you absolutely have to.  This allows for far more efficiencies when delivering to stores than to people’s homes.

2. The Rise of “Porch Pirates”:  This is a very interesting phenomena where people just go around to houses and steal delivered goods.  If you live in an apartment complex, it is like the wild wild west.  Between people stealing and boxes being left at wrong buildings and doors, it is a true mess.  Many companies are trying to solve this with “lockers”, ability to go into your home, delivery to trunks etc. but net net, it all adds cost and complexity to the delivery system. The simple solution already exists – deliver it to a store.

3. Infrastructure Costs: Without a store network, the cost of building out a really good e-commerce infrastructure are astronomical.  The Home Depot, which already has one of the best supply chains in retail and has 2200 stores is about to spend over $1bl to build out what they believe they need for same day / next day service.  Imagine if you are starting from scratch?

4. Inability of Small Package Carriers to Deal With “Surge” Periods:  Finally, we hear this every Christmas season – one of the two major players will have “guessed” wrong and either they lose their shirt in terms of cost or they have not nearly the capacity needed to service the boxes. 

In the end, this is Walmart’s game to lose and it appears they have no intention of losing.  I personally use both and am a “Prime Member” however when that comes up for renewal I think I will be rethinking that automatic sign up.  From a supply chain perspective, I believe Walmart is better situated than any other retailer in the business for the following reasons:

1. A very mature small box, big box and cold chain distribution network already in place.  They have a huge head start.

2. The ability to service an “endless aisle”.  With this mechanism you could buy anything from them even if they never stock in the store.

3. Prime real estate for retail.  Any chance you do not drive past one?

4. Walmart Pay:  I have not mentioned this but the ease of paying using Wal-Mart pay is truly incredible. Also, it does not use NFC but rather QR codes which means all phones essentially can use it (Google Pay and Apple Pay require NFC which is in higher end phones). 

The battle continues but right now, due to the maturity of the supply chain, I am leaning to Walmart.

Source: http://10xlogistics.blogspot.com/2018/06/convinced-even-more-that-wal-mart.html

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Commodity strategist predicts Bitcoin ETF could get the nod in US next month

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Bloomberg Intelligence Commodity Strategist Mike McGlone believes it is only a matter of time before the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) approves the country’s first Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF).

In an interview with Stansberry Investor host Daniela Cambone on Sept. 21, McGlone asserted that Canada is extending a competitive lead over the United States after approving Bitcoin ETFs from 3iQ and Coinshares in April.

He emphasized that capital is flowing from the U.S. to Canada’s institutional crypto products, including from Cathie Wood’s Ark Invest. However, he believes that lawmakers in the United States will not want to miss out for much longer.

When asked about a timeframe on potential U.S. Bitcoin ETF approval, McGlone said it could happen “potentially by the end of October.” He maintained that it was likely to be a futures-backed product first, adding that it would open a “legitimization window for a massive amount of money inflow.”

McGlone also reiterated the latest report from Bloomberg Intelligence that stated Bitcoin prices hitting $100,000 was a possibility this year, and this would be driven by the approval of an ETF.

Crypto YouTuber Lark Davis shares McGlone’s price targets, observing that in previous bull markets in 2013 and 2017, the latter quarters saw huge price rallies.

Related: Canadian Bitcoin ETFs quickly hit $1.3B in AUM while US acceptance lags

The SEC is currently yet to approve a crypto ETF despite the number of applications it has received from prospective issuers continuing to mount.

Earlier this month, multinational financial services firm Fidelity Investments, lobbied the SEC to approve an ETP arguing that Bitcoin markets have already reached maturity under the regulator’s own standards.


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Source: https://cointelegraph.com/news/commodity-strategist-predicts-bitcoin-etf-could-get-the-nod-in-us-next-month

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TA: Ethereum Topside Bias Vulnerable If It Struggles Below $3K

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Source: https://www.newsbtc.com/analysis/eth/ethereum-struggles-below-3k/

Ethereum settled below the $3,000 support zone against the US Dollar. ETH price could resume its decline unless there is a clear break above the $3,000 resistance zone.

  • Ethereum started a fresh decline below the $3,100 and $3,000 support levels.
  • The price is now trading below $3,000 and the 100 hourly simple moving average.
  • There is a major bearish trend line forming with resistance near $3,000 on the hourly chart of ETH/USD (data feed via Kraken).
  • The pair could resume its decline unless there is a clear break above the $3,000 resistance zone.

Ethereum Price Remains At Risk

Ethereum started another decline from the $3,100 resistance zone. ETH traded below many important support zones near $3,000 and the 100 hourly simple moving average, similar to bitcoin.

The price even broke the $2,800 support level to move further into a bearish zone. A low is formed near $2,651 and the price is now correcting losses. There was a break above the $2,800 and $2,850 resistance levels.

The price recovered above the 23.6% Fib retracement level of the recent drop from the $3,105 swing high to $2,651 low. An immediate resistance on the upside is near the $2,880 level. There is also a major bearish trend line forming with resistance near $3,000 on the hourly chart of ETH/USD.

Ethereum Price

Source: ETHUSD on TradingView.com

The trend line is close to the 50% Fib retracement level of the recent drop from the $3,105 swing high to $2,651 low. A close above the $3,000 resistance could start a decent recovery. The next major resistance might be near the $3,105 level. A clear break and close above the $3,105 level could start a steady increase. The next major resistance sits near $3,135 and the 100 hourly SMA.

More Losses in ETH?

If ethereum fails to correct higher above the $2,880 and $3,000 resistance levels, it could start another decline. An initial support on the downside is near the $2,800 level.

The next major support seems to be forming near the $2,650 level. A downside break below the $2,650 support zone could lead the price towards the $2,550 zone. The next major support is near the $2,500 level, below which ether price might decline towards the $2,420 support zone.

Technical Indicators

Hourly MACDThe MACD for ETH/USD is slowly losing pace in the bullish zone.

Hourly RSIThe RSI for ETH/USD is still below the 50 level.

Major Support Level – $2,650

Major Resistance Level – $3,000

Source: https://www.newsbtc.com/analysis/eth/ethereum-struggles-below-3k/

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Evergrande crisis: Buy the dip or bail? Pundits weigh in

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As the prospect of Chinese property giant Evergrande defaulting on $305 billion worth of debt looms, pundits are weighing in on how the firm’s bankruptcy could impact the legacy and crypto markets.

Speculation as to whether the real estate investment giant will default has coincided with a downturn across the crypto and stock markets, leaving many analysts divided on whether traders should be buying the dip or looking to take profits in preparation of further bearish momentum.

At the time of writing, Bitcoin (BTC) is down by around 13% since the downturn started on Sept. 18, while the S&P 500 is down by 1.7% and the Hang Seng has dipped 2.8% within the same time frame.

Some are asserting that Evergande’s possible default could represent another Lehman Brothers moment — citing the major investment bank’s 2008 declaration of bankruptcy on $600 billion worth of debt that kicked off the Global Financial Cris.

However, speaking at the Greenwich Economic Forum on Sept. 22, Bridgewater Associates co-chairman and co-CIO Ray Dalio downplayed the significance of an Evergrande default and suggested that the debt is “manageable.”

Dalio admits that while investors will be stung, he thinks that Evergrande’s debt won’t cause structural damage, as the Chinese government may swoop in to restructure the firm and strike deals with the company. He said:

“[The] Lehman moment produced pervasive structural damage through the system that wasn’t rectified until the Treasury came across in terms of its borrowing and then the Fed came across with quantitative easing, but this is not that kind of a shake-up.”

Ming Tan, a director at the credit rating agency Standard & Poor’s (S&P) predicts the Chinese state will intervene to restructure Evergrande.

Speaking to Financial Times on Sept. 20, Tan speculated that said restructuring is likely to see the “profitable parts of [Evergrande’s] business bought up by rivals,” with its debt obligations likely to be underwritten by either a consortium of commercial Chinese banks or the local central bank directly.

Influencer Lark Davis also isn’t too concerned:

Not everyone is so optimistic. The host of CNBC’s Mad Money show, Jim Cramer asserted Evergrande’s debt issues will likely impact the crypto market because nearly half of the reserves backing the leading stablecoin Tether (USDT) are held in commercial paper

Cramer urged for investor caution while Evergrande awaits a verdict on a potential government bailout, stating:

“I know the crypto-lovers never want to hear me say sell, but if you’ve got a big gain as I did, well, I’m begging you: Don’t let it become a loss. Sell some, stay long the rest, then let’s wait and see if China changes its attitude toward an Evergrande bailout.”

While Tether has denied holding any commercial paper issued by Evergrande, analysts have warned that the fallout from an Evergrande restructuring could have significant impacts on the broader commercial paper markets.

“Tons of Chinese businesses stand to get crushed by this fiasco, and they have Evergrande exposure, and that could spell real trouble,” said Cramer.

Marty Bent, a podcaster and the co-founder of Great American Mining, also sounded alarm bells in his Sept. 20 newsletter.

Bent suggested that an Evergrande default will unveil how “exposed the Western world is to China’s economy” via investments in the large real estate players, their debt instruments, and the debt issued by the Chinese Community Party (CCP).

“Evergrande is going under and it is dragging other large real estate developers in China down with it. The world is witnessing another Lehman moment,” he said.

Bent questioned the assertion that Evergrande is likely to be bailed out by the government, noting the party’s recent push to rein in Chinese capitalism and tighten regulations on the real estate market.

“The CCP has come out and stated that they do not plan on backstopping the real estate developers who are currently plummeting toward bankruptcy. It will be interesting to see if they keep this posturing as things get worse,” he said.

The podcaster also noted that while he unsure how the fallout from Evergrande will impact Bitcoin in the short to medium term, he is “thankful” he can hold Bitcoin as a hedge against the fiat-backed global financial system.

Related: ‘Extreme fear’ as Bitcoin falls below $40K … and then bounces

The share price of Evergrande has been steadily declining during 2021 as its credit woes have mounted. After opening the year at roughly $14, the price sits now at $2.20 — a loss of more than 84%.


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Source: https://cointelegraph.com/news/evergrande-buy-the-dip-or-bail-pundits-weigh-in

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