Beware The Shopper

Omni-channel has become a dated term. In this age of digital information available anytime and anywhere there are precious few shopping decisions being made without fact based information. A MasterCard report from 2015 shows that 8 out of 10 purchases made by retail shoppers are informed by some kind of digital information. With 80 percent of purchase decisions influenced by shopper research, their decisions about just where to buy is likely to come down to convenience and timing rather than loyalty. Omni-channel shopping is now just plain shopping.

Retailers need to be sure they are focusing on the most important factors driving their customers – information. In fact the source of information needs to begin at the source, and that source should be the manufacturer or supplier. It may be a strange environment for manufacturers but the production and dissemination of product information can’t come from a better place. But capabilities vary widely in terms of the ability of product suppliers to create, produce, and market their products.

Certainly large manufactures have marketing teams that independently create and publish product specifications and full marketing campaigns. These companies produce their own cloud of product information, enlist cadres of consumers as fans and brand representatives, and otherwise get their products known. Their product information is easily found by shoppers performing online searches.

Thumb down: Study shows potential fallout from explosion involving liquefied natural gas

ARE WE PREPARED?: The study by Martin County Fire Rescue should give pause to everyone in our region living or working near the Florida East Coast rail line.

It also should ratchet up safety preparation efforts by Treasure Coast governments.

Recently, Martin County Fire Rescue Chief Dan Wouters told county commissioners an explosion of a railroad tanker car filled with liquefied natural gas could kill 400 people and injure 500 more.

If Florida East Coast Railway is able to obtain permits, it could be transporting up to 3,000 gallons of liquefied natural gas by the end of the month, Wouters said. Eventually, the railroad company may transport hundreds of times that volume.

Are local governments prepared to respond to a disaster of this magnitude?

Taking the Long View on the Ill-Fated Second Avenue Subway

For people who know its history, the Second Avenue Subway is the transportation equivalent of the perennially losing Chicago Cubs.

It’s the Gang that Couldn’t Shoot Straight, or Woody Allen’s hapless thief from Take the Money and Run.

First conceived in 1919, the Second Avenue Subway has been launched, postponed and relaunched multiple times. Last month, the MTA decided to divert $1 billion that was originally slated to go towards building the next segment. (The first segment, on the Upper East Side, is expected to open in a year.)

In an interview with WNYC’s Soterios Johnson, Clifton Hood, a professor of history at Hobart and William Smith Colleges and author of 722 Miles: The Building of the Subways and How They Transformed New York, said the specifics vary but there’s one underlying reason why the line has had such trouble.

“The problem with New York City from 1920 to today is that we’ve never been able to come up with a formula that would provide the subways with the money they need to maintain good shape,” he said.