Despite defying the ‘retail apocalypse,’ At Home reportedly puts itself up for sale

Amid all the doom and gloom about physical retail, there are quite a few unsung stories of robust growth and solid profitability. At Home Group, the Plano, Texas-based chain of home decor superstores, is one of them. Despite the brand's relative success, reports emerged late last week that because of poor stock performance the company … Continue reading Despite defying the ‘retail apocalypse,’ At Home reportedly puts itself up for sale

Retail earnings: The best of times, the worst of times

This is a big earnings period for retailers. As the reports roll in, it's increasingly clear that it's both the best of times and the worst of times for retail. While performance overall is, on average, much better than a year ago, what continues to come into sharper relief are three inescapable conclusions. First, as I have been … Continue reading Retail earnings: The best of times, the worst of times

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

The store closing panacea

There has been a strong and growing narrative that the single smartest thing a struggling retailer can do is to close stores and, in some cases, a lot of them. I first touched on this nearly three years ago in my post "Shrinking to prosperity: The store closing delusion." There is no question that, in … Continue reading The store closing panacea