Investors reacted quite favorably to the news that Kenmore appliances will soon be sold through Amazon. For Amazon, it's clearly an interesting opportunity. While online sales of major appliances are currently comparatively small, being able to offer a leading brand on a semi-exclusive basis gives Amazon a jump start in a large category where they have virtually no… Continue reading With Kenmore Deal Amazon Is A Winner. For Sears, Not So Much.
Since I anticipate being labeled a Luddite, a Socialist and a hypocrite by some, let me acknowledge that I firmly believe that Amazon has done a lot of good for consumers by expanding choice, making shopping far more convenient and by delivering extraordinary product value. I recognize that many retailers were long overdue for a swift… Continue reading Assessing The Damage Of ‘The Amazon Effect’
It seems as if major store closing announcements are becoming a nearly daily occurrence. Earlier this week Michael Kors, the once high flying accessible luxury brand, announced it would close at least 100 stores over the next two years. They now join the ranks of Payless Shoes, Macy's, JC Penney and a host of other major… Continue reading Shrinking To Prosperity: Can Store Closings Save Struggling Retailers?
In the world of retail it's pretty rare that brands get into trouble over night--much less over a matter of months or even years. What will turn out to be the deathblow for Sears started with Walmart in the 1980's, and was followed by Home Depot, Lowes and Best Buy chipping away at Sears core… Continue reading Slow motion crises
I'm fascinated by our capacity to get stuck, the many ways we craft a narrative in a vain attempt to avoid change, the stories we buy into as we hope to keep above the fray. Far too often, the power of denial seems endemic to individuals and organizations alike. Go back to the 80's and… Continue reading The bullet’s already been fired
Is there any? If your experience is anything like mine, you know how seductive denial can be. Denial is the temptress that helps us avoid pain. Denial keeps us in our comfort zone like a warm bath at the end of a long day. Denial creates the sense that defending the status quo is working… Continue reading The upside of denial
We spend so much time, energy and money searching for new customers. Yet, in case you haven't noticed, in many cases acquisition costs are rising--often substantially--and often to the point where these efforts are cash negative. Once we've acquired a new customer, we hit them with an never-ending stream of emails, free shipping offers and… Continue reading The world’s best growth hack
What do your customers really think of you? Do they have a compelling story to tell about your brand? Have they had experiences that deeply resonate with them? Do they proactively advocate on your behalf? Can they easily justify the premium they choose to pay? Would they give you another chance if you screwed up? Or,… Continue reading A place to buy things
Do you know companies that say they are all about growth and innovation, yet completely lack any semblance of a process or a modicum of dedicated funding and resources to support these efforts? Do they even possess a culture that not only celebrates taking risk, but that actually knows how to fail better? Have you… Continue reading Pure unicorn dust
Walk through most shopping malls today and much of what you'll encounter looks pretty similar. Average products for average people. Undifferentiated sale banners screaming at us from storefront windows. Copy cat promotional signs atop virtually identical racks. A sea of sameness. Go online and not much is different. Navigation and shopping carts across most websites feel quite… Continue reading On average, you’re out of business