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

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

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

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

How Can Brick and Mortar Stores Steal Back Shoppers From Amazon This Holiday Season?

holidays, x-mas, sale and people concept - happy young asian woman in winter clothes with shopping bags over christmas tree lights background

    In the battle against e-commerce—and especially against e-commerce behemoth Amazon—long-standing brick-and-mortar retailers are often urged to differentiate themselves by offering exclusive product and quality experiences. But what will actually drive shoppers to physical stores this coming holiday season?… Continue Reading

Toys “R” Us Files for Bankruptcy: Why? And What Does It Mean?

Toys "R" Us Sign

Retail giant Toys “R” Us filed for voluntary Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the US and Canada this week, and the news furthered the popular narrative of a “retail apocalypse” in the US. The bankruptcy proceedings do not affect the… 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

Amazon Is Playing Its Part in Changing the Back-to-School Shopping Season

high-angle shot of a rustic wooden table with some pencils and markers and a chalkboard with the text back to school written in it, with a filter effect

Economic conditions look good for back-to-school spending this year—unemployment is low, consumer confidence is at a 16-year high, housing prices have risen and gas prices remain low—leading to healthy forecasts for shopping this season. Fung Global Retail & Technology expects… Continue Reading