Last month, Chico's announced it plans to close 250 stores. Recently, H&M decided to shutter 160 locations. Last week, Charlotte Russe said it will close nearly 100. Of course, this is hardly a new phenomenon. In recent years, dozens of chains have concluded that a meaningful percentage of their stores are suddenly superfluous. I'm not talking about the… Continue reading Why are some retailers only now realizing they have way too many stores?
One of the recurring themes in my consulting, writing and speaking is that the distinction between online and physical shopping is increasingly a distinction without a difference. The key for most brands is to deploy a well harmonized, one brand, many channels strategy and to embrace the blur. Central to this notion is realizing that a physical… Continue reading Retail’s ‘halo effect’: New stores boost a brand’s website traffic by 37%, study finds
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
For the last five years or so much of retail has been obsessed with becoming "omni-channel." As I pointed out in a Forbes piece last year, this ambition sounds good, but is often ill-defined and poorly focused. The point is not to be everywhere, but to eliminate friction and be remarkable and relevant in the places along the customer journey where it… Continue reading Many retailers still need a ‘Chief Silo-busting Officer’
I have a little confession to make. Despite my including "omni-channel" liberally in speeches I give, in the hashtags of my tweets and in my often shameless self-promotion of my alleged retail strategy and marketing expertise, I kind of hate the term. Here's why. First, it's hardly a new concept or a revelatory insight. I… Continue reading An end to omni-channel?
Let me be clear: I'm pretty into all things omni-channel. Get me started talking about creating a single view of the customer, silo-busting, frictionless commerce, creating a seamless experience, etc. you might want to order a pizza. We could be here for a while. I was named the VP of Multi-channel Integration at Sears way back… Continue reading Omni-channel: Myths, distortions and, yeah, that’s just silly
The first wave of digital retail was either about brands with a history in catalog merchandising putting up a basic e-commerce site (Williams-Sonoma, Lands' End) or pure-plays picking off products categories that early adopters could readily embrace (Amazon). The market dealt harshly with models that could not execute a basic direct-to-consumer formula, targeted a product… Continue reading Let’s get digital…digital