Retail predictions for 2019: A midyear status report

In January I went out on a limb with my 14 Predictions For Retail in 2019. So how are things looking so far? Apocalypse? No. The retail apocalypse narrative continues to be part of the zeitgeist, and it looks like we could see a record number of store closingsthis year. Yet thousands of stores will open, dozens of … Continue reading Retail predictions for 2019: A midyear status report

Has Amazon hit a wall?

At first glance, it might seem like a preposterous question: Has Amazon hit a wall? Even after what most considered a disappointing quarterly earnings report, Amazon's growth and competitive position are the envy of just about every retailer on the planet. But three worrisome trends were revealed in their earnings release. First, Amazon Web Services (historically … Continue reading Has Amazon hit a wall?

Pier 1 Imports: From bad to worse to dire

Pier 1 Imports reported quarterly results last week and—there's just no nice way to say this—they were awful. The company, which only last week completed a 1-for-20 reverse stock split to avoid its shares being delisted, delivered an abysmal 15.5% drop in sales and operating losses that nearly tripled. And in a sign that they have no clue (or … Continue reading Pier 1 Imports: From bad to worse to dire

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?

Despite defying the ‘retail apocalypse,’ At Home reportedly puts itself up for sale

Amid all the doom and gloom about physical retail, there are quite a few unsung stories of robust growth and solid profitability. At Home Group, the Plano, Texas-based chain of home decor superstores, is one of them. Despite the brand's relative success, reports emerged late last week that because of poor stock performance the company … Continue reading Despite defying the ‘retail apocalypse,’ At Home reportedly puts itself up for sale