Personal and household care products manufacturer Modere is responding to the coronavirus pandemic by communicating often with employees working from home, enacting safety protocols for factory workers, ramping up production of cleaning products and offering product discounts for customers. CEO Asma Ishaq has emphasized visibility, accessibility and communication.
Manufacturers' "attack surface" that can be targeted by cybercriminals has significantly grown with the adoption of internet of things technology and external systems, writes Stephen Gold, president and CEO of the Manufacturers Alliance for Productivity and Innovation. However, the majority of manufacturers are working to prevent attacks and respond to breaches, he writes.
5G internet will have a substantial impact on connected factories, furthering the use of artificial intelligence, robots and augmented and virtual reality, as well as digital twins, analytics and remote operations, writes Luke Durcan of Schneider Electric. Different divisions within manufacturers will have to work together to "identify the unique business value 5G can bring," he writes.
Initiatives such as the National Association of Manufacturers' "Creators Wanted" tour are essential to inform young people about the meaningful job opportunities available in manufacturing, Paul Donnelly writes. He recommends that manufacturers pursue educational partnerships and highlight digital modernization and sustainability efforts to potential workers.
The pandemic has inspired tech companies to partner, as Amazon Care and the Gates Foundation-funded Seattle Coronavirus Assessment Network have done with the delivery and pickup of coronavirus testing kits. Companies such as IBM, Google and Yext are partnering with the US government on initiatives including researching treatments and creating informative resources.
Target reported a more-than-20% jump in same-store sales thus far this month as consumers stocked up on groceries and household goods, but it expects profits to dip as shoppers eschew apparel and other high-margin items and labor costs rise. The retailer will put some planned projects on hold, including store remodels, new location openings and the addition of alcohol and fresh food to curbside pickup.
Village Super Markets emerged as the winner in the auction for the assets of Fairway Markets, which is now in Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Village will get five Fairway stores and its distribution center in Harlem, while Amazon secured leases for two stores in New Jersey -- which the company says it will not operate right away -- and Seven Seas Georgetowne came away with a store in Brooklyn, which it plans to continue operating.
Target, which like other retailers saw massive sales of essential goods and grocery items this month, says it will adjust its ambitious 2020 growth plans to deal with the new realities caused by the coronavirus outbreak. CEO Brian Cornell said Target would finish close to 130 store-remodeling projects this year, down from the 300 it planned, and also would open 15 to 20 smaller-format stores, as opposed to the 36 it had envisioned, with much of the work on both projects being shifted to 2021.
After seeing robust growth in 2019, Grocery Outlet's leaders praised the work of associates in coping with surging demand caused by the coronavirus pandemic, saying the chain will be well-positioned for growth once the crisis passes. CEO Eric Lindberg said the grocer, which offers independent operators inventory on consignment, has "seen a lot of new customers in the last few weeks" and "we think we'll keep them just because of the simplicity of the model, the hard-hitting values that we have."
Tabletops can shine with the addition of eye-catching flatware. Several styles have captured attention on Instagram, including Borrowed Blu's Prism in rosewater and gold set and Ishela Europe's natural bamboo flatware with silver or gold.