PURE-PLAY PROFITABILITY: CUSTOMER ACQUISITION IS NOT THE PROBLEM; FULFILLMENT IS

Warehouse worker using hand scanner in warehouse. (iStock)

For a number of years, commentators have pointed to the unfavorable economics of Internet-only retailing. Higher customer acquisition costs, substantial fulfillment costs and high product return rates have raised alarm bells among commentators and some investors. Yet the hefty valuations… Continue Reading

Is Amazon a Threat to the Off-Pricers?

TJ Maxx store front in Manhattan.

At Coresight Research, we’re often asked some variation of “Could Amazon put an end to the off-pricers’ strong run?” The top three US off-price retailers are TJX Companies (which owns T.J. Maxx and Marshalls, among other banners), Ross Stores (operator of Ross Dress for Less and dd’s Discounts) and Burlington Stores, and all three have enjoyed stellar growth in recent years: between 2013 and 2017, revenues grew… Continue Reading

US Retailers Walmart and Kroger Are Taking the E-Commerce Battle Overseas

Shopping cart icon with lines pointing on different places around the globe, online shopping concept

Over the last couple of weeks, there have been significant announcements of US retailers acquiring and divesting properties in regions outside the US. These actions likely represent the latest moves by the retailers to gain a foothold to compete against… Continue Reading

Hearing from JD.com and Alibaba’s Tmall on the Distinctions of Chinese Retail

WRC Alibaba

This week, the Coresight Research team was at World Retail Congress 2018 in Madrid. There, we heard senior executives from China’s two e-commerce giants—JD.com and Alibaba—speak about what makes Chinese retail unique and what the future of retail could hold.… Continue Reading

Brick-and-Mortar Looks Set to Lead the Battle for Millennial, Multichannel Grocery Shoppers

Groceries on black board with drawn shopping cart

The battle for online grocery shoppers is intensifying. Last week, Jet.com appointed Simon Belsham, a veteran of the UK online grocery industry, as President, signaling a further commitment to grocery by Jet and, in turn, a heightening of competition in… Continue Reading

There Is Much We Can Learn from Retail in China

Shoptalk Image2

Shopping is different in China. There, it’s an integral part of social conversations, and it’s not uncommon for people to show each other what’s in their digital shopping carts at dinners and other gatherings. Online, Chinese retailers offer shoppers a… Continue Reading

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

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