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’

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

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

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

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