Late to the e-commerce party: What Marshalls, At Home and others got wrong

At a time when many believe that e-commerce is eating the world and brick-and-mortar retail is dying a slow death, it may be hard to believe that some rather large retailers are just now exploring this new-fangled thing we call online shopping. Recently, Marshall’s finally launched e-commerce. The off-price retailer is but one of the brands … Continue reading Late to the e-commerce party: What Marshalls, At Home and others got wrong

Gap, J. Crew, Hudson’s Bay and the Unrelenting Collapse of the Middle

It finally seems that most people have caught up to the fact that reports of retail’s death are greatly exaggerated. There is no retail apocalypse. Software is not eating retail. Brick-and-mortar stores are not going away. Traditional retailers are not all doomed. And Mexico is never paying for that wall.  In the United States it’s … Continue reading Gap, J. Crew, Hudson’s Bay and the Unrelenting Collapse of the Middle

Retail’s new rush to rent

While the overwhelming majority of retail involves a transfer of ownership from seller to consumer, renting products is hardly a new concept. The so-called rent-to-own industry is large and well-established, led by companies like Rent-A-Center. This market sector mostly focuses on lower income and highly transient populations, while featuring big-ticket items like appliances, home electronics and … Continue reading Retail’s new rush to rent

Retail predictions for 2019: A midyear status report

In January I went out on a limb with my 14 Predictions For Retail in 2019. So how are things looking so far? Apocalypse? No. The retail apocalypse narrative continues to be part of the zeitgeist, and it looks like we could see a record number of store closingsthis year. Yet thousands of stores will open, dozens of … Continue reading Retail predictions for 2019: A midyear status report

Has Amazon hit a wall?

At first glance, it might seem like a preposterous question: Has Amazon hit a wall? Even after what most considered a disappointing quarterly earnings report, Amazon's growth and competitive position are the envy of just about every retailer on the planet. But three worrisome trends were revealed in their earnings release. First, Amazon Web Services (historically … Continue reading Has Amazon hit a wall?