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

Kohl’s, JC Penney and the relentless collapse of retail’s boring middle

Kohl's and JC Penney both reported sales and earnings this past week. And while there is always plenty of discussion about how they did relative to Wall Street's expectations, that's all rather beside the point. Whether Kohl's deepening partnership with Amazo will drive incremental traffic or whether Penney's newish CEO will get her arms around the … Continue reading Kohl’s, JC Penney and the relentless collapse of retail’s boring middle

Discordant notes

Earlier this week, after my youngest daughter's college graduation, I had to fly back from Portland. Upon arriving at PDX, as an Executive Platinum member, I was able to check-in quickly and I practically glided through security. When I got to the gate I learned that I had scored a first class upgrade (#winning). Once … Continue reading Discordant notes

Macy’s and JC Penney earnings offer evidence of the stall at the mall

On the basis of early results (and specious or unreliable indicators), many industry observers predicted this would be the best holiday season in a long time. It turns out, eh, not so much. In fact, at least one guy was pretty skeptical all along. But you don't have to be some sort of retail savant (I'm not) … Continue reading Macy’s and JC Penney earnings offer evidence of the stall at the mall

Retail earnings: The best of times, the worst of times

This is a big earnings period for retailers. As the reports roll in, it's increasingly clear that it's both the best of times and the worst of times for retail. While performance overall is, on average, much better than a year ago, what continues to come into sharper relief are three inescapable conclusions. First, as I have been … Continue reading Retail earnings: The best of times, the worst of times