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

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

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

“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

Alibaba Shattered Singles’ Day Records Again in 2017—Here’s How

Alibaba’s 11.11 Countdown Gala in Shanghai, China
Source: FGRT

Singles’ Day, November 11, is the biggest online shopping day in the world. The holiday was originally created in the 1990s by Chinese college students who wanted to celebrate their single status. In 2009, Alibaba used the idea to market… 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

Our Top Digital Retail Trends for the Holiday Season

Woman using smartphone with blank screen, festive trumpery frame. Christmas gift search, online shopping, seasonal discounts and sale concept

This holiday season will see digital channels capture more spending, digital devices play a greater role in the shopping process and digital assistants help more shoppers. Here, we share our top trends in digital retailing for this holiday season. US… Continue Reading

Amazon Is Making Big Changes at Whole Foods Market and Creating Waves in Grocery

Different food in paper bag on wooden background, close up. Grocery shopping concept, top view

On August 28—the day Amazon closed its $13.7 billion acquisition of Whole Foods Market—subtle changes were already evident in Whole Foods stores, where recently installed display pyramids offered Amazon’s Echo and Dot intelligent connected devices. On the closing date, Whole… Continue Reading