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

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

Another store bites the dust: Why retailers like Shopko fail

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

Strange bedfellows? Legacy retailer and disruptive brand partnerships are on the rise.

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.

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