The future of retail will not be evenly distributed

If you follow retail at all you've no doubt read multiple recent stories claiming that we are in the midst of a "retail apocalypse." Like Chicken Little, these journalists and pundits see the sky falling on physical stores and a veritable tsunami of store closings, mall foreclosures and bankruptcies. I imagine they also expect a … Continue reading The future of retail will not be evenly distributed

Walmart’s E-commerce Strategy: Pure Genius Or Venture Capitalist Bailout Fund?

Some believe Walmart should be pilloried for its laggard status in e-commerce. Many of these same folks are now cheering the company's decision to put all e-commerce under internet wunderkind Mark Lore, as well as its new aggressive strategy to acquire online brands (Jet, ModCloth, ShoeBuy, MooseJaw and--apparently any minute--Bonobos). At last, they say, the company … Continue reading Walmart’s E-commerce Strategy: Pure Genius Or Venture Capitalist Bailout Fund?

An inconvenient truth about e-commerce: It’s largely unprofitable

The disruptive nature of e-commerce is undeniable. Entirely new business models are revolutionizing the way we buy. The transformative transparency created by all things digital has revolutionized product access, redefined convenience and lowered prices across a wide spectrum of merchandise and service categories. The radical shift of spending from brick & mortar stores to online … Continue reading An inconvenient truth about e-commerce: It’s largely unprofitable

The fault in our stores

Last week Target became the latest retailer to report weak earnings and shrinking physical store sales. They certainly won't be the last. As more retail brands disappoint on both the top and bottom lines--and announce scores of store closings--many may conclude that brick-and-mortar retail is going they way of the horse-drawn carriage. Unfortunately this ignores the … Continue reading The fault in our stores

Pure play e-commerce’s fantastic (and unsustainable) consumer wealth transfer

"Retail disruption" has been a popular buzz phrase for several years now. In fact, most of the retail brands that have received out-sized mentions in the business press--and commanded the adoring attention of industry conference attendees--for the past 5 years or so are somehow or other leveraging digital innovation to fundamentally re-work the consumer experience, … Continue reading Pure play e-commerce’s fantastic (and unsustainable) consumer wealth transfer