Why are some retailers only now realizing they have way too many stores?

Last month, Chico's announced it plans to close 250 stores. Recently, H&M decided to shutter 160 locations. Last week, Charlotte Russe said it will close nearly 100. Of course, this is hardly a new phenomenon. In recent years, dozens of chains have concluded that a meaningful percentage of their stores are suddenly superfluous. I'm not talking about the … Continue reading Why are some retailers only now realizing they have way too many stores?

For a growing number of retailers, small is the new black

It's hardly news that the retail industry is going through significant contraction of selling space as an uptick in bankruptcies and outright liquidations forces hundreds of locations to close en masse. In addition, dozens of struggling retailers continue to shutter outlets hoping to improve profitability or avoid a similar fate. In fact, there is a … Continue reading For a growing number of retailers, small is the new black

Nordstrom and retail’s growing urgency to rethink performance metrics

Last week Cowen and Co. retail analyst Oliver Chen downgraded Nordstrom shares, and the stock promptly tumbled. Among the concerns he cited were declining comparable store sales at both Nordstrom's full-line department stores and the Rack off-price division. There's a real risk to misunderstanding what is really going on. One of the things were going to need … Continue reading Nordstrom and retail’s growing urgency to rethink performance metrics

These brands apparently did not get the ‘retail apocalypse’ memo

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

It’s just about time for full-on panic at J.C. Penney

It's been a long sad slog for J.C. Penney. In 2011, after more than a decade of (at best) mediocre performance, the company brought in Ron Johnson from Apple as its new CEO. In what some saw as a bold attempt at transformation — and others saw as a misguided Hail Mary pass — retail's latest savior changed just about everything … Continue reading It’s just about time for full-on panic at J.C. Penney