Reynolds Weekly: June 17, 2019

by June 17, 2019

Last week was big in business news. We’ve compiled some story angles to help you get started in your local coverage. (Photo courtesy of Pexels.)
Groceries and retail store roll out same-day delivery

Target announced last week that they’re now offering same day delivery for orders $35 and order for about $10. In the last few months both Walmart and Amazon announced faster delivery options, and  according to the National Retail Federation, an estimated 65% of retailers will offer same day delivery by the end of the year.

How to start your reporting:

How is a shift from traditional shopping to e-commerce disrupting the retail and grocery industries? Are we nearing a future where brick and mortar stores simply won’t exist as we know them? How will local businesses without the capacity to implement same day shipping compete with the big box stores? These are all questions to consider in your local coverage of same-day delivery. When Target began offering same day shipping to members, the company saw a big boost in e-commerce sales. Check and see how companies are doing by checking their SEC filings. Are they seeing a boost from same-day shipping?

Green shaming

A Canadian grocery store was tired of people forgetting their reusable bags. So they decided to use shame as a motivator, creating plastic bags with embarrassing slogans like, “Into the Weird Adult Video Emporium” and “Wart Ointment Wholesale.” This strategy is so outrageous it’s news-grabbing. But it actually marks a wider trend of plastic bag bans which have cropped up around the U.S. and globally. Environmentalists toute bag bans, or bag taxes as eco-friendly, while critics claim they’re ineffective at stopping plastic pollution and an additional burden on the poor.

How to start your reporting:

Has a plastic bag or perhaps a straw ban cropped up in your city? Are grocery stores charging a fee for plastic bags? If so, talk to patrons and business owners about it. Talk to a local environmental group as well as a dissenting voice for some variety in your coverage.

Amazon’s ‘Alexa’ may be facing class action lawsuit

An angry parent is suing Amazon for using the popular Echo smart speaker to record her child’s voice. The lawsuit claims that Amazon is developing a database of “voice prints” of millions of people, including children, without consent, and a class-action lawsuit may be in the works.

How to start your reporting:

Privacy and big data are on consumers minds. But after renewed privacy concerns regarding Facebook made news last year, the majority of people stuck with the social media site. Alexa may be different, since the data it’s allegedly collecting is everything you say in your own home. Find out if people are throwing away their smart speakers, or are turned off from buying them in the first place.