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

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

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

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

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 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

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

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 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