Late to the e-commerce party: What Marshalls, At Home and others got wrong

At a time when many believe that e-commerce is eating the world and brick-and-mortar retail is dying a slow death, it may be hard to believe that some rather large retailers are just now exploring this new-fangled thing we call online shopping. Recently, Marshall’s finally launched e-commerce. The off-price retailer is but one of the brands … Continue reading Late to the e-commerce party: What Marshalls, At Home and others got wrong

Pure-play e-commerce’s scaling woes continue

Just a couple of years ago the conventional wisdom was that e-commerce was going to wreak havoc with every aspect of physical retail. This "e-commerce will eat the world" hypothesis continues to drive the "retail apocalypse" nonsense. It has even caused some normally level-headed analysts (and some maybe not so much) to suggest that brick & … Continue reading Pure-play e-commerce’s scaling woes continue

We’ve created a monster: Retail’s growing returns problem

At the beginning of the year I published "A Baker's Dozen Of Provocative Retail Predictions For 2018." In No. 11, I opined that the industry's problem with returns would soon start to get the attention it deserves. For awhile now I have seen the growing rate of costly product returns as a ticking time bomb—particularly as e-commerce garners greater share. … Continue reading We’ve created a monster: Retail’s growing returns problem

The de-schlepping of retail

Millard "Mickey" Drexler, the former CEO of J. Crew Group and Gap, is many things. Shy and retiring is not among them. To be sure, Drexler's had his ups and downs, his victories and defeats. But he's always interesting. In my only conversation with him (by phone when I was a responsible for strategy and … Continue reading The de-schlepping of retail

Amazon Prime Day: Don’t fall for the hype

It would be hard to calculate the crazy amount of media and analyst time spent anticipating, covering and then trying to dissect the implications of this year's Amazon Prime Day event. In fact, each year it seems like the breathless coverage moves closer and closer to the media frenzy that surrounds Black Friday. It's mostly a … Continue reading Amazon Prime Day: Don’t fall for the hype