We’ve created a monster: Retail’s growing returns problem

At the beginning of the year I published "A Baker's Dozen Of Provocative Retail Predictions For 2018." In No. 11, I opined that the industry's problem with returns would soon start to get the attention it deserves. For awhile now I have seen the growing rate of costly product returns as a ticking time bomb—particularly as e-commerce garners greater share. … Continue reading We’ve created a monster: Retail’s growing returns problem

Your mileage will vary

We're told to pray to the god of omni-channel retail and all will be well. Yet after diving into a world of complexity and huge cash outlays, sales and profits remain lackluster. We're advised to study best practices and creatively "steal" the ones that resonate the most. Yet, despite reading all the books and hiring … Continue reading Your mileage will vary

E-commerce’s pesky little profitability problem

Online-only retailers have attracted huge amounts of investment capital during the past decade. Flash-sales sites such as Gilt and RueLaLa have collectively raised hundreds of millions of dollars. Rather small, but rapidly growing, specialty players like Bonobo's, Warby Parker, One Kings Lane and Birchbox have all recently raised tens of millions of dollars and now … Continue reading E-commerce’s pesky little profitability problem

Different, not dead: The future of brick & mortar retail

“Reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated.”  - Mark Twain* Media reports highlight the dramatic shift of spending from traditional stores to e-commerce. Industry analysts and pundits predict the demise of brands with substantial investments in retail real estate. We live in an increasingly virtual world, they say, and those with deep roots in … Continue reading Different, not dead: The future of brick & mortar retail