Open Source

Target: Open Source Leads to 'Tighter Control'

America is seeing a retail meltdown, with even stalwart brands like Macy's and Sears in bad shape. Target is looking to open source as a means of weathering the collapse.

Amazon and other online shopping options are, of course, part of retail's difficulties. But there's more to it than that. While overall retail spending is growing steadily but slowly, retailers are hurt by the rise of e-commerce, oversupply of malls and a shift in discretionary spending away from buying and toward acquiring new experiences.

Target is looking to technology as part of the solution to weathering the collapse, seeking to provide shoppers with customized experience across mobile, web and retail; enable in-store pickup of items purchased online; and rationalize its supply chain. And it sees open source as integral to that strategy, as key to keeping "tighter control" over its technology infrastructure, says Lakshmi Sharma, Target vice president of cloud and computing. Visit Enterprise Cloud News for more: Target Looks to Open Source to Hit Bullseye.

And for more on the sad state of retail, see The Atlantic: What in the World Is Causing the Retail Meltdown of 2017?

— Mitch Wagner Follow me on Twitter Visit my LinkedIn profile Visit my blog Friend me on Facebook Editor, Enterprise Cloud News

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mendyk 4/11/2017 | 3:46:24 PM
Re: Sounds of desperation Target and other brick-and-mortar retailers are probably wasting their time with online initiatives that mimic Amazon, as you suggest. And we need to keep in mind that more than 90% of retail business is still conducted in stores -- this after nearly two full decades of "e-commerce." There are some things that make sense, like shooting out specials for same-day pickup and probably at least a dozen more incremental things that play to their core strengths. These would fall more under creative marketing than whether or not the company uses open source, to circle back to Mitch's original post.
brooks7 4/11/2017 | 3:15:06 PM
Re: Sounds of desperation  

There are plenty of disruptions that have worked very well.  The PC disrupted the mainframe.  The auto then the airplane disrupted the passenger train. 

The thing is tha the money in sites like this should come from either Heavy Reading (which is pay for right?) or from advertising.  The more targeted the site the better.  I would say that LR is a good way along that path.

This is the whole point of Capitalism...Creative Destruction.  The problem is that many businesses look at their business as completely stable.  The Taxi business (Uber) predates the automobile.  The Music business was completely distrupted by iTunes and that business had been stable for 50+ years. 

Brick and Mortar Retail is being disrupted.  Target (as an example) has no real competitive advantage as an online marketer.  It has litte to no exclusivity of any premium brands.  So, why would anybody buy from Target over Amazon or Walmart.  They are failing in the online differentiation into the market.

Can they do something different?  Maybe, but they have the big data breach in the recent past.  That will limit Target's ability to get customers to trust them.


mendyk 4/11/2017 | 2:26:44 PM
Re: Sounds of desperation The model for successful disruption now is to destroy an existing and vulnerable market sector without worrying about whether the replacement is sustainable. Then make your billions by selling the unproven business to investors. It's a pretty cynical approach, but one that works out very well for a few people at least. Many of us here at LR were on the disrupted side of the print magazine business, so I wouldn't assume we don't "understand" this. Maybe launching a paid-subscription mobile service would be one way to go.
mendyk 4/11/2017 | 2:21:20 PM
Re: Sounds of desperation Amazon retail is no more profitable than a brick-and-mortar retailer, if that. Almost all of the significant profit is coming from AWS, as we've reported for some time now.
brooks7 4/11/2017 | 2:04:23 PM
Re: Sounds of desperation And whether Uber is profitable or not, it has certainly destroyed many taxi cab companies.  Which is the point here.  Technology disruption is a thing.  Being an online magazine, one might have that understood here. 

And by the way, why the heck don't you have a mobile friendly site?  I mean sheesh this is like 2009 to read on a phone.


Mitch Wagner 4/11/2017 | 12:01:32 PM
Re: Sounds of desperation Open source provides tighter control simply because the user can access the source code and make changes to fit. 
Mitch Wagner 4/11/2017 | 12:01:04 PM
Re: Sounds of desperation Target is not looking to open source to correct its problems. Target is looking to technology as part of a formula to do well, and open source is a component of that strategy. 
Mitch Wagner 4/11/2017 | 12:00:11 PM
Re: Sounds of desperation Amazon is and has been profitable. 
mendyk 4/11/2017 | 11:58:20 AM
Re: Sounds of desperation Uber and Amazon the retailer have one thing in common: They don't make money.
brooks7 4/11/2017 | 11:47:34 AM
Re: Sounds of desperation  

We are ignoring two basic trends:

1 - There is a huge amount of disaggregation of markets and lots of small markets that are being created for specialties (often times niches).

2 - Amazon has become the go to online retailer of the general...if you don't know where else to go to buy from Amazon.

This is the equivalent of what Uber has done to taxis.  I can't tell you how many business owners that I talk to that it can't happen in their market. 


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