A slightly better version of mediocre will not be Macy’s salvation

On one level, I get the attention paid to retailers’ quarterly reports. So when Macy’s missed on sales expectations and cut its full-year profit outlook recently, it wasn’t surprising that many analysts glommed on to how it was the iconic retailer’s first same-store sales decline in seven quarters, or to CEO Jeff Gennette’s lame weather-related excuses. Yet whether … Continue reading A slightly better version of mediocre will not be Macy’s salvation

Retail apocalypse? Maybe it’s time to worry about a disruptor meltdown?

As much as “retail apocalypse” continues to show up in the headlines, by now most people that take the time to look at the facts know it’s nonsense. The truth is while much of retail is definitely different–in some cases radically–it’s far from dead. Physical retail continues to grow, lots of stores are opening and … Continue reading Retail apocalypse? Maybe it’s time to worry about a disruptor meltdown?

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