For the last five years or so much of retail has been obsessed with becoming "omni-channel." As I pointed out in a Forbes piece last year, this ambition sounds good, but is often ill-defined and poorly focused. The point is not to be everywhere, but to eliminate friction and be remarkable and relevant in the places along the customer journey where it… Continue reading Many retailers still need a ‘Chief Silo-busting Officer’
For a couple of years now pundits, analysts, journalists and various other retail observers have been advancing the "retail apocalypse" narrative. A typical story or opinion piece warns of the "death of the mall," points out how "e-commerce is eating the world," and generally suggests that "traditional" retailers are toast. Alas, facts are stubborn things, as I… Continue reading These brands apparently did not get the ‘retail apocalypse’ memo
Please join me next Wednesday February 14th at 1pm US Eastern for a free 30 minute webinar on the future of omni-channel retailing. I'll be joined by Rob Poratti from IBM Watson Commerce. You can pre-register here. In other news, I'll be heading to Melbourne, Australia at the end of the month for InsideRetailLive. I've… Continue reading Upcoming webinar: “Omni-channel is dead. Long live omni-channel.”
This post was co-written by Brent Franson and Steve Dennis Recent retail earnings, as well as various industry reports, continue to support three continuing and profound trends. First, those retailers stuck in the vast and largely undifferentiated middle (think Macy’s, JC Penney, Gap and Sears) continue to struggle and, in some cases, face existential crises.… Continue reading The reinvention of retail demands new metrics
2017 was one of the most transformative years for the retail industry that I can remember. 2018 is likely to be just as wild and woolly, albeit in somewhat different ways. Here's my attempt to go beyond the obvious and go out on the limb just a bit. Physical retail isn't dead. Boring retail is. A… Continue reading A baker’s dozen of provocative retail predictions for 2018
Earlier this year I had the honor of joining Forbes as a retail contributor. As is my tradition, I'll publish my top ten list from my blog right after the New Year. For now, here are my most popular articles on Forbes during 2017. One thing is for sure: folks were interested in hearing me… Continue reading My top ten Forbes posts of the year
Since the Whole Foods deal, more than a few industry analysts and pundits have weighed in on which retailers might be on Amazon's shopping list. Various theories underpin the speculation. Some say Jeff Bezos wants to go deeper in certain categories, so Lululemon or Warby Parker get mentioned. Foursquare (is that still a thing?) crafted its own… Continue reading Here’s who Amazon could buy next, and why it probably won’t be Nordstrom
It's no secret that mobile is becoming increasingly important in consumers' shopping journeys. Retail brands as diverse as Target and Neiman Marcus have alluded to the pivotal role that digital plays in driving both their online and physical store sales. And of course when we say "digital," often we mean mobile. In fact, for many retailers, mobile is becoming the front… Continue reading A very mobile Christmas?
At the recent inaugural ShopTalk Europe event in Copenhagen, Hudson's Bay Company CEO Gerald Storch posited that retailers risk hastening their demise by taking an axe to their store counts. Clearly there are many factors that contribute to a brand's march to the retail graveyard, yet there is mounting evidence that Storch's observation is on the money. As I've… Continue reading Are mass store closings the start of an inevitable downward spiral?
Given the continued rapid growth of online shopping, it might seem crazy to suggest that the era of e-commerce is coming to an end. Yet while we are used to talking about e-commerce as a separate thing — and isolating statistics for digital transactions versus brick-and-mortar same-store sales — it's increasingly clear that these are becoming distinctions… Continue reading The End Of E-Commerce? These Days, It’s All Just Commerce