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

Source: istockphoto

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

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

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 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

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