As most U.S. department stores reported earnings recently, a certain level of ebullience took hold. Macy's, Kohl's and even Dillard's, for crying out loud, beat Wall Street expectations, sending their respective shares higher. J.C. Penney, which has failed to gain any real traction despite Sears' flagging fortunes, continued to disappoint, suggesting that I probably need to revisit my somewhat hopeful… Continue reading Better is not the same as good for department stores stuck in the middle
Please join me next Wednesday February 14th at 1pm US Eastern for a free 30 minute webinar on the future of omni-channel retailing. I'll be joined by Rob Poratti from IBM Watson Commerce. You can pre-register here. In other news, I'll be heading to Melbourne, Australia at the end of the month for InsideRetailLive. I've… Continue reading Upcoming webinar: “Omni-channel is dead. Long live omni-channel.”
There is some dispute over whether more stores opened during 2017 than were closed. IHL says yes. Fung Retail Tech says no. Mostly I say "who cares"? Either way, it's clear that the retail landscape is changing rapidly, causing some retailers to prune their store counts, shutter locations en masse or liquidate entirely. What's unfortunate--and not the least… Continue reading Retail 2018: Now Comes The Real Reckoning
I'll be traveling quite a bit over the next few months attending major industry conferences and (often) delivering my latest keynote "A Really Bad Time To Be Boring: Reinventing Retail In The Age Of Amazon." January 14-16 New York NRF's Big Show February 6 Boston MITX e-Commerce Summit February 13 Dallas FEI Dallas February 28 Melbourne, Australia Inside Retail Live March 18-21 Las… Continue reading Where in the world is Steve?
Amidst reports that holiday spending was up nearly 4.9%, some optimism about the American moderate department store sector has started to creep back in. In fact, right after these reports shares of Macys, Dillards, Kohls and JC Penney spiked. It's all a bit baffling. On the one hand, if I were a betting person, I expect… Continue reading Department Store Shares Are Up. Your Hopes Shouldn’t Be.
As is my tradition, here's my annual recap of my 2017 posts that got the most traffic. Once again my April Fool's Day one easily grabs the top position . Every single retail store in the US to close permanently by month's end Stop blaming Amazon for department store woes Retail's single biggest disruptor. Spoiler… Continue reading 2017’s most popular blog posts
By all accounts this holiday shopping season looks to be pretty solid overall--perhaps the best since 2010. Aggregate sales will likely be up between 3.5% and 4.0%. E-commerce year-over-year growth will come in around 17%. Retailers' inventories seem to be generally in good shape, which should allow most to deliver strong gross margin performance. And despite the silly… Continue reading Holiday 2017: The fault in our stores
I first pointed to what I called "retail's great bifurcation"literally two years ago today. Though it wasn't the first time that I had observed what I saw as the impending collapse of the middle. I began writing and speaking about that during 2011. As we emerged from the financial crisis it seemed clear to me that retail brands… Continue reading Retail reality: It’s death in the middle