As it turns out, reports of Toys ‘R’ Us’ death may have been greatly exaggerated. The iconic toy retailer—which filed for bankruptcy in 2017 after piling up more than $5 billion in debt—closed its more than 800 U.S. doors and seemed destined for the retail graveyard. Yet last week, Toys ‘R’ Us’ new parent company (Tru … Continue reading The toys are back in town: A reimagined Toys ‘R’ Us returns
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
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
Last week, Shopko, the long-beleaguered department store chain, announced it would begin a complete liquidation. It now joins a growing list of once-prominent retail brands (Payless Shoes, Toys "R" Us, Gymboree) that first tried to shrink to prosperity, only to finally admit that the real issue was lack of customer relevance and that no turnaround was possible. An … Continue reading Another store bites the dust: Why retailers like Shopko fail
As the middle continues to collapse—and many well established retailers struggle to move from boring to remarkable—brands must continually seek new ways to become unique, more intensely relevant and truly memorable. One strategy that seems to be picking up steam involves so-called digitally native brands creating alliances with much larger legacy retail companies. Earlier this month, as … Continue reading Strange bedfellows? Legacy retailer and disruptive brand partnerships are on the rise.