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Amazon’s Drone Delivery Grounded

FAA regulation severely clips Amazon’s wings…

In December Amazon announced, with great fanfare, that after nearly a decade of work it had finally launched drone delivery in the U.S.A., in two towns in California and Texas. But by mid-January, Amazon Prime Air had made deliveries to fewer than 10 houses, according to people who worked on the project.

According to Federal records, despite what Amazon has said publicly about regulatory approvals for the drone effort, the Federal Aviation Administration is blocking Amazon’s drones from flying over roads or people without case-by-case permission. That has severely limited the number of homes Amazon can reach in the two towns, Lockeford, California and College Station, Texas.

Amazon had asked the FAA to loosen those safety restrictions, but the agency issued a new set of rules late last year that rejected many of the company’s requests.

ReTec Europe launches innovative new website

New retail technology show offers vendors to retail a new world of opportunity… 

See more…

The Retail Risk Podcast – sponsored by All-Tag

Paul Bessant talks to…

Dean Willemsen, Managing Director at Prime Build

To access this interview click HERE

Three important things everyone in loss prevention should know about the 9th February

Why is the 40th day in the calendar such an auspicious occasion..?

As days of the year go, February the 9th (which is the 40th day of the year) is a good one…

Chocolate lovers will be interested to know that on February 9th 1894, Milton S Hershey founded the Hershey Chocolate company.

For the astronomers amongst us, February 9th 1986 was the last time that Halley’s Comet was visible from Earth – it won’t be back until 2062 so don’t hold your breath!

And in the USA, the 9th February is celebrated every year as National Pizza Day.

But altogether better for the waistline than chocolate and pizza are the Retail Risk – Sydney conference and the Australian Fraud Awards, which take place – you guessed it – on Thursday 9th February at the Accor Stadium in Sydney.

Register today for the Retail Risk – Sydney conference today. And get in touch if you are looking to bag a guest seat at the Australian Fraud Awards 

The register click HERE…

European Union could make tech firms pay for internet bandwidth

Proposal follows years of complaints by phone companies…

The European Union is considering whether tech companies that use the most internet bandwidth, such as Netflix or Google, should have to pay for upgrades to internet infrastructure.

According to Bloomberg the idea is contained in a draft document, although the report said companies have been asked what the threshold should be for tech companies that use bandwidth.

The proposal follows years of complaints by cable operators and phone companies that they pay for internet infrastructure without any contribution from companies that benefit the most.

Requiring tech companies to pay for infrastructure could have a big impact on their profit margins, depending how large a contribution payment was required. Netflix, for example, has relatively small profit margins owing to high programming costs. Google’s ad businesses, by contrast, has relatively high margins.

New study shows fashion forecasting technology can decrease overproduction by up to 15%

AI-informed buying processes are enabling brands to refine their range in line with consumer demand, operate more efficiently, and therefore drive significant value…

Overproduction is a long-lasting, deep-rooted problem in the apparel industry.

As many as 45Bn items of clothing produced every year are wasted, mostly ending up in landfill or incinerated.

OC&C Strategy Consultants’ collaborative study with WGSN reveals how more accurate forecasting data can significantly improve margins and efficiency, and reduce wastage.

The research revealed two key findings:

  • Buying more in line with customer demand can increase contribution margin 1%-3% by product category, as well as increase OTB at the same time as reducing wastage
  • The reduction in overproduction is estimated to be 5%-15% by product category, removing a key source of unnecessary waste. This represents circa 3% reduction in carbon emissions

Fashion brands tend to use planning and buying models with an inherent risk of overbuying to reduce the likelihood of products running out of stock. Even with rising prices due to inflation, practices are yet to evolve.

However, agile, AI-informed buying processes are enabling brands to refine their range in line with consumer demand, operate more efficiently, and therefore drive significant value.

A case study (2022) reveals how a mass-market retailer could have improved margin by £1M-1.5M in its Women’s Skinny Jeans line if more accurate forecasting data was used.

Buying in line with the decline in market demand would have resulted in 10,000-40,000 fewer units of terminal stock.

In buying fewer units, the brand would have gained back £260K-£600K in its Open-to-Buy plan, enabling it to invest more wisely in other categories and therefore deliver further top line growth.

Francesca Muston, VP Fashion of WGSN, commented: “A top priority for our clients revolves around reducing overproduction and creating a more sustainable business. While business practices can’t always evolve as quickly as brands would like, WGSN helps brands focus on improving their bottom line through AI-driven forecasts that influence accurate and effective product planning.”

Mairi Fairley at OC&C Strategy Consultants said: “We speak and work with fashion brands that are under significant pressure as the complexity of business models continues to increase, cost inflation rises, and there is a need to operate more sustainably. Evolving planning and buying to be more demand-led is a practical first step, enabling significant margins to be gained, and unnecessary waste and CO2 emissions to be reduced.”

Findings of the study also reveal five ways in which the fashion industry’s operating model is being disrupted:

  1. The trends landscape is shifting, becoming increasingly complex: Consumers engage and transact across multiple channels from physical to digital to social (e.g.TikTok) and beyond. Understanding consumer influences in a more holistic way is crucial to ensuring stock aligns with customer demand.
  1. Tech supports efficiency and decision-making: Inflating costs and complexity are driving the need for greater efficiency in operations from design / planning through to depot / supply chain. Technology is critical to unlocking ‘doing more with less’.
  1. Shorter supply chains and stock aggregation are enabling flexibility: Greater flexibility to allocate stock in line with demand is becoming increasingly important to drive efficiencies across channels and markets.
  1. Planning needs to be real-time: Shifting to shorter, more frequent buys more directly linked to demand allows better reaction to trend, management of waste, protection of cash flow and reduction in markdowns.
  1. Circularity, rental and resale: Completely different operating models are gaining traction as brands and consumers lean into sustainability. Resale represents approximately 7% of market value and significant innovation in circularity taking place. Brands need to consider range requirements for resale in their planning.

In conducting the research, OC&C utilised WGSN TrendCurve+ data to model the potential for planning and buying improvements. TrendCurve+ is a product from WGSN that combines data sources across social, search, shelf, shows and sentiment, with advanced machine learning that helps fashion brands invest in the most popular products with 90% forecasting accuracy.

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