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How Shopping has Changed

12 August 2019

That's the big nickel and my family standing under it during a trip last week.We made our way to a family cottage, Santa's Village (yes, Christmas in July! and breakfast with Santa and Mrs. Claus), then Science North, the nickel, and Killbear provincial park.But it's the nickel that stood out for me.I had no idea that it's not actually nickel. Maybe that would be too valuable?There's nothing nickel-like to it.

It's stainless steel. With some tiny amount of nickel as part of the steel.

The picture on the nickel has never been used on a real nickel coin. It came out of a design contest for the big nickel 'sculpture'.

The nickel mine underneath the ground there? It was purpose built for tourists. While it's really neat to see, this has never been a real working mine.

It all made me think about what money really is.

It's just an idea that this metal, paper, and virtual number in a bank computer has value if we exchange it.

We see what it can do for us. We get to use it to make memories. Have fun. Travel. But it's really all up to each of us to do something with it.

Money is just this agreement we believe everyone will keep when we go to use it.

Like the imagination its built on, money needs to be put to work to bring value.

Before summer is over, let's take a minute to figure out what we value, and what we are working towards.


It should be no surprise that FedEx is pulling away from working with Amazon.

The two companies had increasingly worked together the past year, after UPS made changes to their ownership responsibilities of Amazon shipments.

But now with the retailer getting into shipping from every angle, and being more vocal about it, this is a logical step for FedEx to back out.

Expect to see a constant stream of Amazon shipping related news over the next few years as they ramp up their air freight, airport, last mile delivery, and possibly even sea shipping.

FedEx is ending its ground-shipping contract with Amazon


This may affect how money is moved for every business and consumer.

The privately held federal reserve is creating their own payment system.

After the big banks spent a billion dollars launching their own payment system in 2017, it did not have the reach needed to make any real difference.

Chinese companies Alibaba and Tencent are mentioned in the article as leaders in instant payment systems.

We've been highlighting for a while how far behind we are in moving money and online systems.

It looks like western companies are waking up to the threat of Chinese companies dominating payment systems here as well.

The Fed is going to revamp how Americans pay for things


Another one bites the dust.High end retailer Barneys filed for bankruptcy protection this week.

Until retailers accept that consumer buying habits have changed, closures of the old stores and brands will continue at a rapid pace.

Barneys has filed for bankruptcy


Malls are so desperate to keep retailers paying rent in their malls that they're willing to lend money to the retailers to help them out.

But it's like the government bailouts of the banks and car companies. This is very short term thinking.

In some cases, mall owners have even gone into partnerships and bought out retailers to keep the stores open!

What is going on here?!

Complete delusion about the world changing around them.

People are buying more stuff. Just not in malls.

These mall owners need a quick pivot into digital before they become a distant memory.

I'm not sure my kids even know what a mall is.  But they sure do understand online shopping, my credit card, and Sunday package delivery!

Mall landlords weigh becoming lenders to blunt retail apocalypse