Ron Ashkenas:

If consumers indeed are looking for a simpler and more focused array of choices, then perhaps the first challenge for companies in 2011 is to resolve to do the same as many of their customers — go on a diet.

Ashkenas presents an interesting argument: consumers like a more curated selection of goods. He uses Trader Joe’s as an example, citing that often they carry “80% fewer items than most large grocery stores”. A rather compelling argument for stores to start carrying less. One important point that he glosses over though: they few items you carry need to be really great. Trader Joe’s is so great because most everything they carry tastes great and is very high quality food. More than just being ‘organic’ Trader Joe’s makes damn sure it is the food their customers want.

A store like Best Buy can’t just decide to halve the amount of computers they sell — they need to get rid of the right computers.


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