Last week the Wall St. Journal featured a story on Tiffany & Co's "midlife crisis." The piece highlighted the jewelry brand's struggle to regain its "cool" and improve recently tepid sales and profits. A few days later they announced the hiring of a new CEO. Yet Tiffany is hardly alone in dealing with what I have coined … Continue reading Tiffany seeks to execute the ‘customer trapeze’
Tuesday morning the Neiman Marcus Group reported another quarter of disappointing financial results and announced that it was going to "explore strategic alternatives." To be sure, some of Neiman's problems are idiosyncratic, largely owing to a botched systems implementation and a now crushing debt load taken on in a 2013 private equity buyout. Yet the brand's continuing … Continue reading Should Hudson Bay Buy Neiman Marcus? The Case For And Against.
For a long time, the conventional wisdom has been that the luxury market was largely impervious to the ups and down of the economy. Yet recent results suggest otherwise and even with an improving macro-economic picture and booming stock market, most U.S.-based luxury retail brands continue to struggle. A little over a week ago, reports … Continue reading Luxury retail hits the wall
Add once soaring--and seemingly invincible--Michael Kors to the list of retail brands to disappoint the market. Last week Kors, the "accessible luxury" fashion brand that has grown from a niche player to a multi-billion dollar global juggernaut in under a decade, reported earnings that actually slightly beat expectations. Yet a miss on sales and lowered … Continue reading Kors is the latest retail highflier to get its wings clipped
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