Despite a booming stock price, Wayfair is no Amazon

Wayfair.com, the leading purveyor of home furnishings online, recently delivered what many on Wall Street saw as a blockbuster quarter, reporting sales growth of more than 40%. Of course they also lost $144 million for the quarter, which about doubled the loss from the year earlier. For the entire year they lost a cool half … Continue reading Despite a booming stock price, Wayfair is no Amazon

Sorry, Alexa: Voice shopping is still mostly hype

Voice-activated shopping—and Amazon's anticipated dominance of the platform via Alexa-enabled devices—has been touted as one of the next big things in retail. In fact, a simple Google search with any combination of the relevant keywords reveals a large number of bold predictions about the revolutionary nature of the technology. Go ahead and give it a try. … Continue reading Sorry, Alexa: Voice shopping is still mostly hype

Is Amazon finally getting serious about retail profitability?

There seems little doubt that Amazon.com AMZN -0.27% is crushing it and Macy's is flailing. So who has the best profitability? Well, it's not even close. Macy's operating margin is just over 6%. In recently reporting what was widely seen as a blowout quarter, Amazon is just now approaching a whopping 2% in its non-Amazon Web Services business. By just … Continue reading Is Amazon finally getting serious about retail profitability?

Here’s who Amazon could buy next, and why it probably won’t be Nordstrom

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

Department store quarterly performance: Better isn’t the same as good

Last week we had five major department stores report their quarterly earnings: Macy's, Kohl's, Nordstrom, Dillard's and JCPenney. It was a decidedly mixed bag relative to both expectations and absolute performance. Yet many observers seemed encouraged by the overall improvement in sales trend. Yet the overall sector is still losing market share, just not at quite as fast a rate. Which begs … Continue reading Department store quarterly performance: Better isn’t the same as good