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

Amazon Finally Opens Its Amazon Go Store…in a Changed, Crowded World

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On January 22, Amazon finally opened its unstaffed, cashless Amazon Go retail store to the public, and long lines of consumers queued up to get a glimpse of the future of retail. The store achieves its cashier-free magic by relying… Continue Reading

Lidl Pulls Back on US Openings, Opts for Different Store Formats

Lidl Image

Seven months after launching in the US, Lidl is slowing its store-opening program dramatically. This year, it will open just 20 US new stores, according to a January 18 report by German trade publication Manager Magazin. Klaus Gehrig, the CEO… 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

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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

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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

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