Last week Macy's announced it had acquired Story, a New York-based concept store, and appointed founder Rachel Shechtman to be its new "brand experience officer." And, for the most part, enthusiastic gushing ensued. Let's simmer down, people. As I regularly write and speak on retailers' need to innovate and embrace a culture of experimentation, I would be a complete hypocrite if … Continue reading Macy’s acquires Story: Game changer or much ado about nothing?
Late last month, Wayfair, the leading online-only furniture brand, reported dramatic sales growth and yet year-over-year profits fell significantly. Unsurprisingly the stock took a steep hit. In its most recent earnings announcement, Stitch Fix, the online styling subscription service, reported sales up over 25%, yet profits were essentially flat. When they signaled that profits were expected to get worse as they … Continue reading Wayfair, StitchFix And Pure-Play E-commerce’s Scaling Problem
2017 was one of the most transformative years for the retail industry that I can remember. 2018 is likely to be just as wild and woolly, albeit in somewhat different ways. Here's my attempt to go beyond the obvious and go out on the limb just a bit. Physical retail isn't dead. Boring retail is. A … Continue reading A baker’s dozen of provocative retail predictions for 2018
By all accounts this holiday shopping season looks to be pretty solid overall--perhaps the best since 2010. Aggregate sales will likely be up between 3.5% and 4.0%. E-commerce year-over-year growth will come in around 17%. Retailers' inventories seem to be generally in good shape, which should allow most to deliver strong gross margin performance. And despite the silly … Continue reading Holiday 2017: The fault in our stores
While Amazon is often falsely blamed for all of retail's woes, the "Amazon Effect" is both profound and well-documented. While the company's overall market share is relatively low (under 5%), Amazon now accounts for nearly half of all e-commerce sales and its pricing and supply chain supremacy continues to put margin pressure across many categories of retail. … Continue reading Going private: Here comes Amazon’s next big wave of disruption and dismantling