The Amazon-Walmart Showdown That Explains the Modern Economy
– The New York Times
With Amazon buying the high-end grocery chain Whole Foods, something retail analysts have known for years is now apparent to everyone: The online retailer is on a collision course with Walmart to try to be the predominant seller of pretty much everything you buy. Their rivalry sheds light on the shifting economics of nearly every major industry, replete with winner-take-all effects and huge advantages that accrue to the biggest and best-run organizations, to the detriment of upstarts and second-fiddle players.
The Decline of the Baronial C.E.O.
– The New York Times
Corporate giants once had all-powerful chiefs with domains to match. But activist investors and technological change are remaking the executive suite. General Electric is just the latest storied name in corporate America to show its leader the door. The American era of the baronial chief executive, sitting atop an industrial dominion with all the attendant privileges, is drawing to a close.
In China, a Store of the Future – No Checkout, No Staff
– MIT Technology Review
Last year, Amazon started testing a bold concept: a grocery store that uses sensing and AI to kill off the checkout. Now, startup Wheelys has gone further in China, using similar tech to build a 24-hour mobile store that can move around the city. Consumers identify themselves using a smartphone, pick up anything from fruit to magazines, log purchases by scanning QR codes, then leave — with security tech keeping a watchful eye all the while. The MIT Technology Review paid a visit to find out how it works.
Labor Groups Say ‘Sham Unions’ Undercut Other Organizations To The Benefit Of Themselves And Employers
– NY Daily News
From the New York Daily News: “At a time when unions are under assault by everything from pension-busting employers to the right-to-work steamroller, they also have to fight off an enemy within – unaffiliated, employer-friendly rivals called “sham unions” by traditional labor organizations.”