Gap, J. Crew, Hudson’s Bay and the Unrelenting Collapse of the Middle

It finally seems that most people have caught up to the fact that reports of retail’s death are greatly exaggerated. There is no retail apocalypse. Software is not eating retail. Brick-and-mortar stores are not going away. Traditional retailers are not all doomed. And Mexico is never paying for that wall.  In the United States it’s … Continue reading Gap, J. Crew, Hudson’s Bay and the Unrelenting Collapse of the Middle

Here’s who Amazon could buy next, and why it probably won’t be Nordstrom

Since the Whole Foods deal, more than a few industry analysts and pundits have weighed in on which retailers might be on Amazon's shopping list. Various theories underpin the speculation. Some say Jeff Bezos wants to go deeper in certain categories, so Lululemon or Warby Parker get mentioned. Foursquare (is that still a thing?) crafted its own … Continue reading Here’s who Amazon could buy next, and why it probably won’t be Nordstrom

Is off-price the next retail sector to go off the rails?

Amidst all the pain that most of the retail industry has endured during the past few years, the "off-price" sector has been one of the few shining stars. While most retailers struggle to eke out any top-line growth, the segment's big four--TJX, Ross, Burlington and Nordstrom Rack--have delivered solid growth. While many retailers are closing … Continue reading Is off-price the next retail sector to go off the rails?

‘Same-store sales’ is retail’s increasingly irrelevant metric

The retail industry has used “same-store sales" (or "comparable store sales”) as a key indicator of a retailer's health for decades. From where I sit, its usefulness is rapidly fading, if not bordering on irrelevance. While it remains to be seen whether retail traffic declines will last forever, most traditional retailers will struggle to grow physical store sales … Continue reading ‘Same-store sales’ is retail’s increasingly irrelevant metric

Stop blaming Amazon for department store woes

Given Amazon's staggering growth and willingness to lose money to grab market share it's easy to blame them for everything that is ailing "traditional" retail overall--and the  department store sector in particular. In fact, with announcements last week from Macy's to Kohl's and Sears to JC Penney that could only charitably be called "disappointing" many … Continue reading Stop blaming Amazon for department store woes