I was fortunate enough to spend the beginning of this week at Manhattan Associates’ Momentum user conference. It was great to be back in person at a conference, seeing people face to face. Although virtual conferences do offer convenience, they lack a personal touch and the ability to network with others in person. This conference included a lot of great content and interesting discussions. I was sad to leave. I also had the benefit of attending a beautiful location, The Diplomat Hotel in Hollywood, Florida. What a view. Someday I will actually step foot on that beach. And now on to this week’s news.
Dick’s Sporting Goods Beats Forecast in Q1 But Cautions on Inflation, Supply Chain
Walmart and Symbotic Expand Partnership to Deploy Automation System
Walmart and DroneUp Partner to Bring Drone Delivery to US Households
Amazon Aims to Sublet, End Warehouse Leases as Online Sales Cool
North American Transborder Freight up 23.8% in March 2022 from March 2021
Dick’s Sporting Goods reported its Q1 financials this week, beating expectations but lower its outlook. The more cautious outlook is driven by wage and inflationary pressures, as well as increased freight costs. Diving deeper into the factors behind cost increases, Dick’s management noted the high fuel prices that continue to increase. Dick’s joins a list of retailers that have recently noted the impacts of inflation on customer purchases, with a shift from discretionary to non-discretionary items being a common theme.
Walmart and Symbotic announced an agreement to implement Symbotic’s robotics and software automation platform in all 42 of Walmart’s regional distribution centers over the coming years. This builds upon a prior agreement for 20 regional DCs, some of which have already begun implementing Symbotic’s technology. The joint press release points out the technology’s ability to build palletized loads of department-sorted inventory and its strategic role in supporting Walmart’s goal of modernizing its vast supply chain network and allowing the company to transform its regional distribution centers to provide faster responsiveness to store orders.
Walmart announced it will be expanding its DroneUp delivery network to 34 sites by the end the year, providing the potential to reach 4 million U.S. households across six states – Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Texas, Utah and Virginia. Between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m., customers will be able to order from thousands of eligible items for delivery by air in as little as 30 minutes. Participating stores will house a DroneUp delivery hub inclusive of a team of certified pilots, operating within FAA guidelines, that safely manage flight operations for deliveries. Once a customer places an order, the item is fulfilled from the store, packaged, loaded into the drone and delivered right to their yard using a cable that gently lowers the package.
Amazon is looking to sublet at least 10 million square feet of space and could vacate even more by ending leases with landlords. The excess capacity includes warehouses in New York, New Jersey, Southern California and Atlanta, according to an article in Bloomberg.com that referenced anonymous sources. However, the article does quote spokeswoman Alisa Carroll stating “Subleasing is a very common real estate practice…It allows us to relieve the financial obligations associated with an existing building that no longer meets our needs. Subleasing is something many established corporations do to help manage their real estate portfolio.”
The US Department of Transportation reported that transborder freight between the U.S. and North American countries (Canada and Mexico) in March amounted to $141.9 billion, up 23.8% compared to March 2021. Trucks moved $85.5 billion of freight, up 15.7% compared to March 2021. Railways moved $20.2 billion of freight, up 20.9% compared to March 2021. The top three truck commodities were computers and parts, electrical machinery, and vehicles and parts.
That’s all folks. Have a great weekend. This week’s music video is “We don’t talk about Bruno” from the movie Encanto.