Clorox Suspends Ads As Amazon Inventory Runs Scarce; How Services Providers Surpass Product Companies

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Disinfect Ads

The coronavirus has led companies in certain categories to halt advertising, some (such as cruise providers) because demand has evaporated and others because supply has evaporated. “Clorox confirmed that as stores of its cleaning products dry up online, it has pulled back on advertising – an example of how the COVID-19 pandemic can create ripple effects throughout retail, advertising and beyond,” Ad Age reports. The company is also working with Amazon to suppress price gouging during this period of inventory shortage. Lysol, Purell and other cleaning brands are in the same boat. More.

Small-Box Retail

For the first time ever, the number of service-based retailers, such as gyms, spas and restaurants, has surpassed stores that sell goods. As more shopping shifts to the internet, brick-and-mortar stores need to offer something more than inventory or what can be found on a site or in an app, CNBC reports. Some retailers are trying temporary pop-up store formats and other experiential features that can’t be replicated online. The growth in service-based businesses “will plateau at some new percentage,” said James Cook, director of retail research at JLL. “But [retail] is not going to go back to the way it was.” More.

Quant Qualms

Data and “efficiency” obsessions have raised athletic competition. But it’s also sucking the life out of sports, writes The Wall Street Journal. Take bike racing: It’s now standard to carry an onboard computer that knows exactly how far and how fast the cycler can pedal. Instead of racers attacking (the term for an attempt to pass a leader and break away from the group) on gut instinct, races have become “sterile competitions” with moves dictated by computer. There are now fan campaigns to remove onboard computers, because races have lost their impulsive dashes. Basketball has lost panache as well, now that teams understand the statistical advantages of shooting threes instead of longer two-pointers. The famous “small-ball” baseball that excited fans – like base-stealing and moving runners – has been replaced by slow-grind at-bats and home runs. The effect for fans is longer games with fewer hits in play. “A generation of quants have supplanted old-school coaches who relied on gut instinct and vague eye tests, and the revolution is over.” More.

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