Here we go again. Can Barneys survive in luxury’s new world?

Last week, reports emerged that Barneys New York might again be headed toward bankruptcy. Many observers, including a fellow Forbes contributor, wonder whether the iconic Manhattan-based luxury retailer might be destined for the retail graveyard. I have some history with the brand (aside from having bought a suit there eons ago to look good for post-business-school job … Continue reading Here we go again. Can Barneys survive in luxury’s new world?

A tough agenda faces Neiman Marcus’ new CEO

Late last week the Neiman Marcus Group named former Ralph Lauren executive Geoffroy van Raemdonck as their new CEO, replacing company veteran Karen Katz (full disclosure: once my boss). While not terribly surprising given the company's struggles under a mountain of debt, extremely rocky "NMG One" systems implementation and largely stagnant growth, the move does come at a critical … Continue reading A tough agenda faces Neiman Marcus’ new CEO

Should Hudson Bay Buy Neiman Marcus? The Case For And Against.

Tuesday morning the Neiman Marcus Group reported another quarter of disappointing financial results and announced that it was going to "explore strategic alternatives." To be sure, some of Neiman's problems are idiosyncratic, largely owing to a botched systems implementation and a now crushing debt load taken on in a 2013 private equity buyout. Yet the brand's continuing … Continue reading Should Hudson Bay Buy Neiman Marcus? The Case For And Against.

Luxury retail hits the wall

For a long time, the conventional wisdom has been that the luxury market was largely impervious to the ups and down of the economy. Yet recent results suggest otherwise and even with an improving macro-economic picture and booming stock market, most U.S.-based luxury retail brands continue to struggle. A little over a week ago, reports … Continue reading Luxury retail hits the wall

No new stores ever!

What if your company could never open another store? I'm not talking about relocations. I mean a truly new unit that adds top-line growth for your brand. That's pretty much the case in the US department store sector. Macy's, JC Penney, Dillard's and Sears (obviously) are closing far more full-line stores than they will open. … Continue reading No new stores ever!