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”


It always, ALWAYS, comes down to three ingredients: Marketing, Ops, and People. The category’s definitive three-legged stool. Marketing’s responsibility has never been more complex or carried a heavier load. The competition is unrelenting and communication channels insanely diverse. And yet if you’re not driving traffic, you’re dead. Period. People: Ray Kroc’s famous quote says it all:Continue reading “REVENUE IS SERVED”


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.”


When a brand uses a marketing tactic so salacious, so outrageous, that the first thing you ask your self is “am I missing something”, you know that brand has pushed the boundaries too far. And so, today, Philadelphia’s Urban Outfitters is forced to apologize and defend itself in the face of an egregious miscalculation. ConsiderContinue reading “URBAN OUTFITTERS MISS THE TARGET AND STRIKE A NERVE.”

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”

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”

good better best goes bad

Before Amazon, before the big box, before the mall and even before main street USA, America’s sales engine was defined by the traveling salesmen… the walking talking vaudeville acts that sold Fuller brushes or Electrolux vacuums door to door. It was an era when selling was an art form, and nobody sold the blouse withoutContinue reading “good better best goes bad”

If you build it, they will cuddle

Howard Schultz didn’t open coffee bars. He envisioned the 3rd place. Apple’s retail lead Ron Johnson didn’t want you being educated by experts, so he hired geniuses. Warren Buffett’s team didn’t want you driving to insurance agents, so they opened a portal online and de-commoditized the industry. And Build-A-Bear didn’t think furry friends should beContinue reading “If you build it, they will cuddle”

Nowhere to hide: Bounties on your data, your privacy, your soul.

We’re only 24 months away. That’s it. 730 more days until greater than 50% of all our purchases will be digital, mobile, san cash, sans secrets. Google’s search analytics are already in the tell tale business, alerting retailers as to what you’re shopping for, while at the same time your phone’s GPS is telling retailersContinue reading “Nowhere to hide: Bounties on your data, your privacy, your soul.”