business news in context, analysis with attitude

Got the following email responding to our stories about how malls are becoming obsolete:

Years ago when the Granite Run Mall in Media PA closed, they took a different approach and began changing to an outdoor format.  Pods of stores.  Look at the stores around Foxborough Stadium.  Look at the locations all throughout the Carolinas.  This format is taking hold.  The younger, 2 income, less time, working from home generation, have populated these multi use locations for years because they prefer the convenience of shops, restaurants and work environments.  I have thought for years that the indoor design is becoming passé.  The property managers of this large facilities need to make that adjustment now or they won’t be around much longer.  Personally, I would not want to be stuck in a mall if “S” hits the fan.


Last week, Jeff Bezos talked in his annual investors letter about consumer value creation - 168 words that I felt were extremely persuasive:

"Customers complete 28% of purchases on Amazon in three minutes or less, and half of all purchases are finished in less than 15 minutes. Compare that to the typical shopping trip to a physical store – driving, parking, searching store aisles, waiting in the checkout line, finding your car, and driving home. Research suggests the typical physical store trip takes about an hour. If you assume that a typical Amazon purchase takes 15 minutes and that it saves you a couple of trips to a physical store a week, that’s more than 75 hours a year saved. That’s important. We’re all busy in the early 21st century.

"So that we can get a dollar figure, let’s value the time savings at $10 per hour, which is conservative. Seventy-five hours multiplied by $10 an hour and subtracting the cost of Prime gives you value creation for each Prime member of about $630. We have 200 million Prime members, for a total in 2020 of $126 billion of value creation."

One MNB reader wrote:

What this does not calculate is that when the store shopper returns home they have all their purchases. With ordering online it may come in 1 day-2 days, whatever. Do you calculate the time waiting for the purchase to arrive in part of the equation?

And another MNB reader wrote:

Hey honey, look at how much I saved from buying all my stuff on Amazon!  Great premise to place a value on time.  Really makes you rethink how much time is wasted standing in check out lines.  Hmmm.  Could getting customers out the door faster be a way to retain foot traffic?  If you couple that with a very positive sensory experience while in your store, then I say yes. 


Finally, responding to my review of Minari, MNB reader Tom Stenzel wrote:

Kevin, glad you saw Minari.  (Director) Isaac Chung is a good friend.  We met 10 years ago when he filmed his second movie using my old family beach cottage in NC.  Lucky Life didn’t make it to the Oscars, but you can see his early style developing.  And, it’s still a hoot to watch the cottage I spent my summers in as a kid on the big screen!

Hope he wins an Oscar!  Or more than one!

I liked Minari, but I'd be surprised if it wins the Oscar next Sunday.  I'll have my Oscar picks on Friday (though, as usual, I'll be picking what I think should win, not what I think will win).