There’s a bit of madness in retail marketers’ chase for numerical fortification: A desire to build arguments as impenetrable as Kevlar and as logical as an anal retentive Vulcan. This breakneck chase for certainly presumes that with an infinite data set, sharper algorithms, and predicative analytics, we can totally crack consumer behavior and drive retailContinue reading “WHEN ANALYSTS GO APE”


You would think that 51 Fridays in the red and one in the black isn’t the kind of “high” a retailer could get behind. Yet sacrificing margin for volume and getting myopic about shopper frenzy, most retailers once again placed all their bets on black last week because… hey, isn’t it the busiest shopping dayContinue reading “SUDDENLY RED FRIDAY: WHY RETAILERS ARE ADDICTED TO THE WRONG DAY.”

One Company’s Strong Suit

Long gone are the days of men in suits, sporting grey fedoras and bright white handkerchiefs. But just as they’re out, they’re back in.  Fashion is not static. Never has been, never will be. And with the combined new entity of Men’s Wearhouse and Jos. A. Banks now in place, it’s time to get bullish on thisContinue reading “One Company’s Strong Suit”

Marketing’s 94th Minute Goal

So if the U.S. World Cup team scores a goal to win a game 1-0 with five seconds left on the clock, how much is that goal worth? The easy answer, of course, is that whether it was scored with five seconds left on the clock or 89 minutes, its value remains the same: it’sContinue reading “Marketing’s 94th Minute Goal”

retail’s blood money

There’s something very scary that happens in retail every October. Something more frightening even than Amazon’s impending same day delivery platform. More menacing than the Dollar Store next door, or another dip into the consumer confidence pool. The scariest thing in retail is an $8 billion holiday that’s as misunderstood as the Frankenstein monster (fire….Continue reading “retail’s blood money”

amazing grace and chuck

Amazing grace and Chuck, not to be confused with the 1987 film of the same name is a story about Chuck D. not to be confused with Carlton Douglas Ridenhour, a.k.a Chuck D of Public Enemy. This Chuck D will be henceforth referred to as the more deserving Charles, the most impressive client I’ve everContinue reading “amazing grace and chuck”

blackout: retailers stumbling in the dark on black friday

Black Friday is the second busiest shopping day of the year. A rite of shopping passage that generated $10.6B of retail sales in ’09, including $595MM of online sales (up 11.2% from ’08).  This particular November, the official opening of retail hunting season opens on Friday, November 26th, and once again it’ll be a showdownContinue reading “blackout: retailers stumbling in the dark on black friday”

the business of business is moshing

A pit of colliding bodies, turf wars, capitalists left and right demanding their pound of flesh… welcome to the new world of business, i.e. the mosh pit.  Some collisions will be benevolent enough, but some will saw you off at the knees or knock your head off if you’re not careful, especially if you’re new toContinue reading “the business of business is moshing”

the best defense is a steam’n hot sub

Subway is the largest franchise in the world, and yet its hot subs are nuked, and its cold subs are filled with inferior cuts of meat smothered in as many bland veggies as it takes to mask the processed taste. But they got out in front of the fresh fast trend, and you could argueContinue reading “the best defense is a steam’n hot sub”

a different kind of bankruptcy

Even with piles of data, winning brand cases, and sharp as a razor gut instincts, some companies, some industries just can’t get out of their own way. An easy target would certainly be the automobile industry, but they’ve taken too much of beating lately to be villified once more. In today’s case the problem isn’tContinue reading “a different kind of bankruptcy”