Kohl’s and Aldi Enter a Unique Partnership

Indianapolis - Circa June 2017: Aldi Discount Supermarket. Aldi sells a range of grocery items, including produce, meat & dairy, at discount prices IX

Last week, Kohl’s announced that it would be slimming down 12 of its stores and that, as part of a pilot program, 5–10 of those stores will carve out space for separate, adjoining stores that will be leased to grocery… Continue Reading

The State of Artificial Intelligence: Where Are We Now?

Robot holds a finger near the head. 3D illustration

The term “artificial intelligence” (or “AI”) is en vogue and is often incorrectly used to refer to things that do not technically qualify as AI. Processors can add apparent “intelligence” to machines by enabling them to turn thermostats on and… Continue Reading

Fewer Happy Returns in Retail Land as Companies Tighten Generous Return Policies

Vintage leather and rubber winter snow or rain boots. Studio shot on a gray background.

Retailers have finally started to scale back liberal return policies in the face of a litany of abuses by customers. Although there are many legitimate reasons for returns—including receipt of a damaged product, the wrong item or a product that… Continue Reading

Taking a Dive into Amazon’s 2017 Metrics

Chiang Mai, Thailand - April 26, 2016: man hand holding screen shot of Amazon application showing on Asus Zenfone 2 mobile phone. Amazon is an American international electronic commerce company.

Amazon wowed analysts and investors last week with a dramatic earnings beat on the back of remarkable fourth-quarter sales growth of 38%. Amazon provides updates on sales in specific international markets only when it reports its full-year results, as it… Continue Reading

CES 2018 Wrap-Up: Lots of Nice Toys, but No Killer Apps This Year

Volkswagen selects Nvidia to infuse AI into future vehicle lineup

The FGRT team attended this year’s CES trade show in Las Vegas last week. From the preshow press days through the final day of exhibits, it was, as usual, a whirlwind experience. There seemed to be no new killer apps… Continue Reading

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

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

“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