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.”


So just because there are plenty of guys out there who know who Buckethead is and who define street cred as the ability to master sweep arpeggios, is that enough to keep a business like Guitar Center strumming along in cash? No. But that shouldn’t stop them. For musicians, a brick and mortar music storeContinue reading “BEHOLD THE ROI OF THE POWER CHORD.”

the eight holy s@#t retail trends for 2013

Amazon Will Have Its Carpe Diem Moment: 48 hours free not good enough? $3.99 next day delivery still holding you back? Well get ready for Amazon’s same day delivery which will likely beta bigger in 2013. Hard to believe that Bezos’ behemoth is already taking 10% of all ecomm dollars off the table yet stillContinue reading “the eight holy s@#t retail trends for 2013”

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.”

retail’s top ten brand fortresses

Today’s impenetrable retailers always have two things in common: One, beyond service alone they understand that a brand is a promise wrapped in an experience. And two, that people, whether they be called associates, cast members, employees or even geniuses, remain the single most important variable in brining that retail experience to life. Do theseContinue reading “retail’s top ten brand fortresses”

2012 on the retail richter scale

Presenting retail’s four seismic shifts… dramatic changes that will at once reward and modify our shopping behavior and alter the retail landscape forever.  For retailers, every conversation will continue to start and end with analytics-based e-tailing: How to convert us into loyalty members and digital device shoppers, leverage emotional membership and functional points, earn mobileContinue reading “2012 on the retail richter scale”