Retail’s new rush to rent

While the overwhelming majority of retail involves a transfer of ownership from seller to consumer, renting products is hardly a new concept. The so-called rent-to-own industry is large and well-established, led by companies like Rent-A-Center. This market sector mostly focuses on lower income and highly transient populations, while featuring big-ticket items like appliances, home electronics and … Continue reading Retail’s new rush to rent

Retail delivery wars: Smart strategy or an inevitable race to the bottom?

It wasn't so long ago that Amazon's "Prime" two-day delivery benefit was a real game changer. Once a consumer paid the annual fee, the incremental cost of getting what (at the time) seemed like pretty fast delivery became zero. This is a "wow" for the customer, but it also creates adverse selection that's not necessarily … Continue reading Retail delivery wars: Smart strategy or an inevitable race to the bottom?

Ally, bystander or critic?

Once our intention is set toward making change in this world--and we start actually doing the hard, uncomfortable work--it's typically not very long before we encounter resistance. There is the capital R Resistance that Steven Pressfield talks about, where our own fear of failure or looking stupid is the dragon we must slay. Then there … Continue reading Ally, bystander or critic?

The gas or the brake (redux)?

Growing up one of my friend's Dad had an interesting driving strategy. At more or less one minute intervals he would accelerate fairly rapidly, only to step on the brake seconds later to return us to roughly the speed limit. Speed up, slow down. Over and over, until he dropped us off at practice, the … Continue reading The gas or the brake (redux)?

Nordstrom’s ‘Local’ expansion has national implications for retail

Nordstrom just announced plans to expand its service-centered Nordstrom Local concept from three Los Angeles-area locations into New York City. Like their brethren, the two new locations—one at The Greenwich Lane in the West Village, the other on the Upper East Side—will carry no merchandise and are tiny compared with the typical mall-based Nordstrom department store. Yesterday's media coverage … Continue reading Nordstrom’s ‘Local’ expansion has national implications for retail