Embrace the blur · Harmonized · Retail

The stores strike back

Amidst all the retail apocalypse nonsense it turns out that physical retail isn't dead after all.  Last year some 3,000 new stores were opened and physical retail continued to have positive growth in most major global markets. One of my 14 predictions for retail in 2019 is the notion that, despite the presumed death of physical retail, quite… Continue reading The stores strike back

Being Remarkable · e-commerce · Growth · The Amazon Effect

With Kenmore Deal Amazon Is A Winner. For Sears, Not So Much.

Investors reacted quite favorably to the news that Kenmore appliances will soon be sold through Amazon. For Amazon, it's clearly an interesting opportunity. While online sales of major appliances are currently comparatively small, being able to offer a leading brand on a semi-exclusive basis gives Amazon a jump start in a large category where they have virtually no… Continue reading With Kenmore Deal Amazon Is A Winner. For Sears, Not So Much.

Winning on Experience

Every Single Retail Store in the US To Close Permanently By Month’s End

In a surprise move that underscores the sweeping changes faced by the retail industry, the National Retail Federation, speaking on behalf of all of its members, announced today that every brick & mortar location of every retailer in the United States would close forever within the next few weeks. For nearly a decade "traditional" retailers have… Continue reading Every Single Retail Store in the US To Close Permanently By Month’s End

Being Remarkable · Retail

The two sides of ‘good enough’

It can be quite dangerous to believe that you are better than the competition when the customer evaluates your product offering in isolation and out of context. When I was at Sears our research regularly told us that our target consumers viewed us as the best provider of appliances and tools. Yet we continued to… Continue reading The two sides of ‘good enough’

Being Remarkable · Customer Growth Strategy · Retail

Sears: The one thing that could have saved them

As much fun as it is to call out Eddie Lampert on his misguided, selfish and seemingly delusional decade-plus leadership of Sears Holdings, when the world's slowest liquidation sale is ultimately complete--I'm guessing, for all intents and purposes, by this time next year--we should acknowledge that Sears fate was probably sealed well over 20 years ago, when Crazy… Continue reading Sears: The one thing that could have saved them

Being Remarkable · Growth · Retail

Slow motion crises

In the world of retail it's pretty rare that brands get into trouble over night--much less over a matter of months or even years. What will turn out to be the deathblow for Sears started with Walmart in the 1980's, and was followed by Home Depot, Lowes and Best Buy chipping away at Sears core… Continue reading Slow motion crises

Growth · Luxury · Omni-channel · Retail

The bullet’s already been fired 

I'm fascinated by our capacity to get stuck, the many ways we craft a narrative in a vain attempt to avoid change, the stories we buy into as we hope to keep above the fray. Far too often, the power of denial seems endemic to individuals and organizations alike. Go back to the 80's and… Continue reading The bullet’s already been fired 

Customer Growth Strategy · Innovation

Small is the new interesting

It's been at least 20 years now that most value creation in retail has been driven by big. Big stores--both physical and digital. Big assortments. Big advertising. Walmart and Target. Home Depot and Lowes. Amazon and eBay. Best Buy, Ikea, Office Depot and on and on. Superstores, category killers and the "endless aisle" online guys have… Continue reading Small is the new interesting

Customer Growth Strategy · Engagement · Growth · Innovation

The upside of denial

Is there any? If your experience is anything like mine, you know how seductive denial can be. Denial is the temptress that helps us avoid pain. Denial keeps us in our comfort zone like a warm bath at the end of a long day. Denial creates the sense that defending the status quo is working… Continue reading The upside of denial

Being Remarkable · Customer-centric · Me-tail · Personalization · Retail

Where everybody knows your name. The “new shopkeepers.”

More and more the retail world is bifurcating. At one end of the spectrum, you have the high-efficiency players. Great prices, endless assortments, super convenience, built for speed. Amazon, Walmart, iTunes, Home Depot. You get the picture. While each go about it slightly differently, their world is mostly a mass market one. Customer segmentation means… Continue reading Where everybody knows your name. The “new shopkeepers.”