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

Pier 1 Imports: From bad to worse to dire

Pier 1 Imports reported quarterly results last week and—there's just no nice way to say this—they were awful. The company, which only last week completed a 1-for-20 reverse stock split to avoid its shares being delisted, delivered an abysmal 15.5% drop in sales and operating losses that nearly tripled. And in a sign that they have no clue (or … Continue reading Pier 1 Imports: From bad to worse to dire

Sears’ latest move: Four weddings and a(n) eventual funeral

You've got to hand it to Eddie Lampert; the guy is tenacious. Of course he is also seriously misguided. At least when it comes to Sears. To briefly recap. Act One In 2004 Lampert decides to merge a struggling and decidedly mediocre retailer (that'd be Sears) with a lousy one (that'd be Kmart). Turns out … Continue reading Sears’ latest move: Four weddings and a(n) eventual funeral

The gas or the brake (redux)?

Growing up one of my friend's Dad had an interesting driving strategy. At more or less one minute intervals he would accelerate fairly rapidly, only to step on the brake seconds later to return us to roughly the speed limit. Speed up, slow down. Over and over, until he dropped us off at practice, the … Continue reading The gas or the brake (redux)?

Will Story help Macy’s launch an exciting new chapter?

Macy's just launched Story concept shops in 36 stores across the United States. The new "narrative-driven retail experience" occupies about 1,500 square feet in most stores. The move comes less than a year after Macy's acquired the Story brand and made its founder, Rachel Shechtman, its brand experience officer. This is the latest step in Macy's attempts to become more … Continue reading Will Story help Macy’s launch an exciting new chapter?