Archive for the ‘Amazon brick-and-mortar stores’ Category

Round up #187: new Dr. Seuss, Amazon Day

March 6, 2019

Round up #187: new Dr. Seuss, Amazon Day

The ILMK Round ups are short pieces which may or may not be expanded later.

Help the environment and plan your week with Amazon Day

It’s super easy to order things from Amazon with 1-Click. In fact, I’m a little surprised that isn’t a new idiom…instead of “As easy as pie” (and pies are not that easy), things should be described as “As easy as 1-Click”. 😉

We can even order things using an Alexa device…or, um, “No-Click”?

There is a disadvantage to this, though, and I’ve certainly done it.

It means that I tend to just order things when I realize we need them…and that realization may come several times in the same day! It might be spread out over days.

This means I might have placed several orders in a week, and so, we may get Amazon boxes literally every day, with maybe one or two things in them.

Amazon has just introduced

Amazon Day shipping (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

which is only available for

Amazon Prime (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

in the USA currently.

What happens is that you designate a day of the week (say, Saturdays) as your Amazon Day. Unless otherwise instructed (which is easy to do), Amazon will group your orders together and deliver them on that day.

Even before this was officially released, Amazon says it has saved tens of thousands of boxes.

This also has the advantage of you knowing when things will arrive. I will admit to some dismay when a package has arrived a day early: I may have carefully planned the arrival of an item for a day when we would be home (we do have a mail theft issue in our area).

This doesn’t affect the Amazon Lockers (which we use a lot…but some items can’t be shipped there, and sometimes the locker is full).

You can choose to have a specific item arrive on one of the other six days of the week (to get it sooner, presumably), or switch the Amazon Day when you want.

There’s also a parallel here with the Alexa shopping list we use…my Significant Other and I feel very differently about that. I want to add things to the list when I think about it; it might be days before we need it. If my SO sees it, they think they need to go right now! We kid about it, but we know: I don’t like the list to be empty, my SO doesn’t like to have things on it. 🙂 It’s like how I feel about the laundry hamper: it should always have something in it. Otherwise, it feels like it is taking up space for no reason. 🙂

Now, with Amazon Day, we can do it both ways…add things to the Amazon Day shipment (the list equivalent), or have it resolved right away.

Amazon to open another grocery chain

According to this

Business Insider article by Rebecca Ungarino

and other sources, Amazon plans to open a second grocery chain (in addition to Whole Foods) with lower-priced offerings.

That honestly makes more sense to me.

Amazon has done well with lower-priced (but not bargain) items that do the job but aren’t luxury. They haven’t done as well with the high-end items. It’s also an opportunity for Amazon to really innovate, maybe doing checkoutless stores, such as those with which they have already been experimenting.

I don’t picture them as having aisles long enough to land an airplane, like some stores, and a million choices.

My guess is that it will be a lot of Amazon brands, also mainstream brands, but pretty narrow focused. Sort of like the Amazon 4-Star Stores:

My trip to an Amazon 4-Star Store

A smaller selection of high-value items.

It’s reasonable to wonder if that would work for a grocery store: don’t people want to get everything in one store?

Well, we don’t do that…we shop at several stores. Part of that is being vegetarians; no single store has a great selection.

I also think of it kind of like a 7-11, and that’s not meant to be disparaging. It may be the place where you just run in and grab a few things you want (including pre-packaged lunches).

Amazon may also arrange it as a pick-up location: you order maybe ten things, and then they already have it boxed when you get there…

New Dr. Seuss book coming in September 

While it isn’t listed for pre-order yet in a Kindle edition, it can be pre-ordered in hardback:

Dr. Seuss’s Horse Museum (at AmazonSmile*)

Dr. Seuss died in 1991, which is quite some time ago…and this one is, well, interesting. It will be Dr. Seuss’s (I’m adding the terminal “s” the way they did) words, but it will be illustrated by Andrew Joyner. According to this article by Kaitlin Gates

there will also be “cameo” appearances by other Dr. Seuss characters, like The Cat in the Hat. That, honestly, doesn’t encourage me…it seems a bit gimmicky. Still, I’ll have an open mind and be hopeful.

My recovery

I had hip replacement surgery on January 17th, and got back to my day job yesterday. The change has been amazing! I’m walking without a cane for the first time in years…I keep looking for where I put it, when I actually didn’t bring it at all. I can also do stairs again, which means I get to rework my paths.

It was a lot of work; literally hours every day of PT (physical therapy) and wound care. I’m a very compliant patient…I definitely follow the rules, and I think that helped. I was also in relatively good health for the surgery, and a newer technique was used (the direct anterior approach with the Hana table…don’t look up videos if you are squeamish, but it typically shortens recovery time).

I thought I would get more reading and writing done, but that work was disruptive, as well as taking naps (which they said would happen). I don’t feel chronic pain much, so I (with the agreement of my surgeon) only took a half a pain pill the first night.

I did get some pictures digitized…I’ve been meaning to do that.

Anyway, I’m hoping I can get back into writing more narratives now…

What do you think? Are you looking forward to the new Dr. Seuss book? Do you like character cameos in books? What would get you to go to yet another grocery store? Does Amazon Day sound like something you’ll use? Feel free to let me and my readers know what you think by commenting on this post.

Join thousands of readers and try the free ILMK magazine at Flipboard!

All aboard The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip at The History Project!

Bufo’s Alexa Skills

* I am linking to the same thing at the regular Amazon site, and at AmazonSmile. When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you’ll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change whenever you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get. :) Shop ’til you help! :) 

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog


My trip to an Amazon 4-Star Store

December 14, 2018

My trip to an Amazon 4-Star Store

I’m a former brick-and-mortar bookstore manager, so I was especially interested to see the Amazon Books store:

The new Amazon Books opened in Walnut Creek California today…and I was there!

However, I also did other retail (a game store, a Nature Company type store….my first real job was in a novelty shop), which gives me some insight into other types of stores.

When I went to the new amazon 4-star (that capitalization is how it appears on the building) store in Berkeley (one of three in the country), I was really going more as a customer (holiday shopping)…but I always make some evaluation. I also got my Significant Other to take the not inconsiderable drive by saying I was going to write about it for you. 😉

From the outside, I think many people’s impression would be…this is small! One of Amazon’s main points as an e-tailer has been the depth of the selection, and that definitely isn’t it here. You couldn’t park two buses end to end in this place.

However, they have pretty much maximized the space!

There are items everywhere, and my first thought was that it was like a flea market or garage sale. There were categories on the tightly-packed shelves on the walls (there were also islands, tables in the middle of the room), but no physical separation…signs at the top indicated the sections, as I recall.

There could be a $5 item next to a $300 item. The groupings were loosely defined…it wouldn’t have surprised me to see the same item in more than one place in the store.

That said, it was more like a curiosity shop than a garage sale…there were quite a few fascinating items. It almost seemed like it could be the setting for an anthology TV series, where the Rod Serling-esque host might pick up an item and tell us a story about it. 😉

Speaking of prices, there were quite significant discounts on some items for

Amazon Prime (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

members…not on a lot of things, I think, but definitely worth noting. We saved quite a bit of money, although I didn’t check to see if the same savings were on Amazon at the same time. Unlike the Amazon Books store, prices were clearly displayed.

The flow was…unclear. It wasn’t like a Costco, where people routinely bump into you with carts. More than once, though, I was tempted to say, “Behind!” like they do on those cooking shows when they pass behind another chef.

I was happy I hadn’t brought my wheelchair: I’m sure it is all regulation, but it would have been tough to maneuver.

We were (gently) asked if we wanted help a couple of times…I think twice by the same person, which is a bit of an issue. With my cane, I’m pretty distinctive, and I would think the person would remember having asked me before.

Checking out was quick and easy: we paid with our Amazon Shopping app.

Overall? I don’t think many people would go here looking for a specific item. Yes, they have Amazon devices, but you can get those online or at an Amazon Books store (just to mention a couple of places). It’s more like a place you’d go to browse…and probably come out with a few things. The experience could have been better: the Amazon Books store is quite pleasant, with the appropriate amount of clerk/customer interaction. This one made me feel more like we were on our own. I’d go to the Amazon Books store just because it’s fun…that’s not the case for the amazon 4-star store for me. That’s not a hard thing to adjust, though.

Amazon is at the beginning of its brick-and-mortar journey….and it’s good to see them experimenting.

Have questions or an opinion? Feel free to let me and my readers know by commenting on this post.

Join thousands of readers and try the free ILMK magazine at Flipboard!

All aboard The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip at The History Project!

* I am linking to the same thing at the regular Amazon site, and at AmazonSmile. When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you’ll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change whenever you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get.


Shop ’til you help!


This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog.

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