Reviewing the Landscape of Startups Tackling the Retail Returns Problem

Hand giving credit card and take paper bag from staff cashier in supermarket

As e-commerce continues to grow, so, too, does the range of services designed to tackle returns, one of the biggest headaches that comes with online retail. American consumers returned approximately $351 billion of merchandise bought offline and online last year,… Continue Reading

Tired of Your Old Jeans? Recycle ’Em!

lot of blue jeans isolated on white background

US retailer Target just announced that for a two-week period (March 11–24), customers in the Pacific Northwest can drop off any kind of denim jeans at its stores and receive a coupon good for 20% off a new pair of… 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

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

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

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

The Holidays, Black Friday and the Discounting Spiral

Source: istockphoto

Putting the Holidays in Context Like it or not, the passing of Halloween means that we are now racing toward the holidays. There are a handful of calendar events that each contribute billions to US retail sales throughout the year… Continue Reading

As the World (Re)turns: Returning Stuff Is a Whole Lot Easier than It Used to Be

red mailbox on cartons. 3d illustration

In the ancient days, before e-commerce, when you wanted to return something, you had to go back to the store where you bought it (if you bought it in a store) or wait in line at the post office, if… Continue Reading

Amazon Pushes Further into Fashion in Europe

Stuttgart, Germany - September 23, 2012: Woman receiving a parcel by Amazon.com delivered by the mailman in front of her flat on September 23, 2012 in Stuttgart, Germany. Amazon.com is delivering thousands of parcels every day to German households.

Amazon Pushes Further into Fashion in Europe This week, Amazon officially launched its first fashion private label that is designed in Europe specifically for European shoppers. The Find brand launched with a flurry of press coverage as well as an… Continue Reading

Is Europe Ripe for an Off-Price Boom?

This summer saw the opening of what is only the second major off-price chain in Europe. Hudson’s Bay Company brought its Saks Off 5th off-price format to Europe in June, with the opening of its inaugural store in Düsseldorf. It… Continue Reading