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Supply Chain by the Numbers

- Dec. 14, 2023


Supply Chain by the Numbers for December 14, 2023


Walmart Bets on Store Fulfillment; Consumer Confidence is Weak; Language Change in Final UN COP28 Agreement on Fossil Fuels; Unlimited Grocery Deliveries from Amazon



That is the share of on-line orders received by Target that are picked and shipped from its stores. That figure was cited this week in an article by Business Insider on Walmart’s view that it can finally gain some ground (and not just figuratively) on Amazon by emulating its other rival Target and do more fulfillment in-store, a strategy it has embraced for several years but has been advancing slowly. "The most expensive part of delivery is the last mile," Walmart CFO John David Rainey said at a Morgan Stanley retail conference last week, adding "That's where our physical footprint of 4,700 stores in the United States that are within ten miles of 90% of Americans gives us an enormous advantage." Walmart says its "store of the future" designs now feature more space than ever before devoted to the sorting and shipping of on-line orders.




That is the targeted increase in renewable energy capacity globally by 2030 coming out of the United Nations COP28 conference, which just wound down this week in Dubai. In what is at one level seen as the most important aspect of the agreement, the pact for the first time called for “transitioning away from fossil fuels in energy systems.” This is significantly stronger than language used in past years’ agreements, which simply called for reducing the use of coal and did not call for reductions in oil and gas at all. However, some climate proponents are saying the language finally agreed to is ambiguous, because it’s not totally clear whether a “transition away” means ending use of fossil fuels entirely or just partially. On the other hand, Jean Su, energy justice director at the Center for Biological Diversity, said that the “big process win” of COP28 is that negotiators finally have an accord “that signals that the fossil fuel era at some point has to end.” SCDigest will just note that despite many of these UN conclaves and agreements, CO2 emissions globally continue to rise, though are declining modestly in the US.





That is the percent of people who expect a recession before the end of 2024. That according to the monthly consumer confidence onsurvey conducted by The Conference Board, a business research group, as released this week. And while the shorter term (next six months) expectations of Americans rose in November after three months of declines, the score of 77.8 (from 72.7 in October) nonetheless was the third straight reading below 80, which historically signals a recession within a year. Consumer spending accounts for about 70% of the total US economy, so leading economists pay close attention to consumer behavior in making their forecasts.




That is the new monthly fee from Amazon for unlimited grocery deliveries in three test markets from its Whole Foods and Amazon Fresh chains, as long as the orders are for at least $35.00. For consumers that could or do do a lot of on-line grocery ordering, that looks like a pretty good deal, but you have to be an Amazon Prime member to get the free deliveries. The program also includes rapid 30-minute pickup on orders of any size. Amazon has continued to tweak its grocery delivery program. For example, in October the company lowered its free grocery delivery threshold to $100 (previously $150) and changed the fee structure. Currently, Prime subscribers pay $6.95 for each order of $50 to $100 and $9.95 for those under $50.The three test markets for this latest program are Denver, Sacramento, and Columbus, Ohio.

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