Sam’s Club Is Closing One-Tenth of Its Stores and Converting 12 to E-Commerce Hubs: Proof That Store Closures Have Become Respectable?


Walmart did not enjoy the positive headlines for very long this past Thursday. Shortly after the company announced that it will be pushing up its hourly wages, boosting parental leave benefits and handing out bonuses to most store-based staff at… Continue Reading

US Department Stores Look Set for a Better Year

Kohl’s was among the retailers that wowed analysts and commentators this week when it reported a very strong increase in sales for November and December: comparable sales and total sales were both up 6.9%, the retailer’s strongest quarterly comp in… Continue Reading

New Year Preview: 2018 Is Likely to Look a Lot Like 2017

2017 to 2018

Here we are again, at the outset of a brand new year that’s full of promise. Many of us have made New Year’s resolutions to exercise more, save money or make improvements in other areas of our lives and, whether… Continue Reading

Happy Holidays (and Many Happy Returns)!

Winter Shoppers

Although the major holiday shopping days—Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Super Saturday—are now behind us, retail activity is continuing at a healthy pace. Mastercard SpendingPulse reported that holiday sales increased by a healthy 4.9% this year, exceeding most forecasts, and… Continue Reading

Reviewing Retail in 2017, Part 2: Collaborations

Source: istockphoto

As retail’s foundations shifted in 2017, legacy retailers sought out collaborations designed to drive shopper traffic, build their appeal to demographics such as millennials and maximize the value of their real estate holdings. This trend was particularly apparent in the… Continue Reading

Reviewing Retail in 2017, Part 1: Mergers, Acquisitions and Investments

Source: Istockphoto

2017 was a more eventful year in retail than many probably expected. This week and next, we will review the year, and consider what its developments tell us about the state of the sector and the strategies retailers are adopting… Continue Reading

“Will that Be Cash, Credit, WeChat Pay or Alipay?”

Mobile commerce

Some 40 years ago, American Express told its credit card holders, “Don’t leave home without it.” If that famous ad campaign were created today, it would likely refer to users’ smartphones, not their credit cards. That is because electronic payment… Continue Reading

Channel Swaps: Walmart Online vs. Amazon Offline

Walmart Truck

Walmart versus Amazon is perhaps the biggest retail battle of our times—and Amazon’s encroachment into brick-and-mortar grocery retailing with its Whole Foods Market acquisition has only heightened the competition. Coincidentally, both of these retail giants have recently made the unusual… Continue Reading

The Holiday 2017 Shopping Season: Approaching the Finish Line

Black Friday Header

At the time of writing, we are only a couple of days away from stores opening early on Thanksgiving and then welcoming crowds of shoppers over the weekend that includes Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Super Sunday and the big… Continue Reading

Alibaba Shattered Singles’ Day Records Again in 2017—Here’s How

Alibaba’s 11.11 Countdown Gala in Shanghai, China
Source: FGRT

Singles’ Day, November 11, is the biggest online shopping day in the world. The holiday was originally created in the 1990s by Chinese college students who wanted to celebrate their single status. In 2009, Alibaba used the idea to market… Continue Reading