Content about As I See It ...

July 31, 2012

I’ll say this for Ron Johnson: He has turned staid J.C. Penney into the most talked-about retailer in the nation. The company accounted for five of the 10 most-viewed stories on this website in the first half of 2012 (see story). And industry analysts and consultants can’t stop speculating on the chain’s fortunes, in print, on the web and on television.

July 13, 2012

Retailers can’t seem to get enough of partnerships these days…be it with hot designers, each other or television shows. Below is a quick recap of three new couplings that have the industry buzzing.

Retailers can’t seem to get enough of partnerships these days…be it with hot designers, each other or television shows. Below is a quick recap of three new couplings that have the industry buzzing.

1. Nordstrom and Topshop: Looking to add more fashion sizzle to its offerings, Nordstrom has entered into a joint venture with Topshop, the British fast-fashion giant known for its runway-inspired threads and rock ‘n’ roll attitude.

July 6, 2012

Kudos to The Container Store for considering the human element in the technology it deploys.

Not too long ago, I interviewed Christy Parra, who is the logistics director for The Container Store. The interview was for an article on the company’s deployment of a voice-directed picking system in its distribution center. But what struck me throughout our discussion was the context in which Parra framed the new technology: It had as much to do with the employees as it did efficiencies and cost savings.

July 5, 2012

The following are some insights and observations from a few of the speakers at Oracle Retail CrossTalk 2012.

The customer experience is fueling IT spending like never before. That was my main takeaway from Oracle Retail CrossTalk 2012, which was held June 26 -28, in Chicago. The following are some insights and observations from a few of the speakers at the event.

Gary Penn, VP e-commerce, Quiksilver:
“Handheld traffic is growing exponentially, and so is the revenue. You have to address it. If you don’t, you are leaving a good part of your audience out in the cold.”

July 2, 2012

Here’s a rundown on some of this summer’s hottest new must-sees as chosen by my go-to expert on Big Apple retail happenings Faith Hope Consolo, chairman of the retail division at Prudential Douglas Elliman:

The past few months have seen a flurry of store openings in New York City. Here’s a rundown on some of this summer’s hottest new must-sees as chosen by my go-to expert on Big Apple retail happenings Faith Hope Consolo,  chairman of the retail division at Prudential Douglas Elliman:

May 24, 2012

I’m just back from the retail real estate industry’s annual confab, the International Council of Shopping Centers’ RECon, in Las Vegas.

I’m just back from the retail real estate industry’s annual confab, the International Council of Shopping Centers’ RECon, in Las Vegas. As part of the event, Faith Hope Consolo, chairman, Prudential Douglas Elliman, hosted a panel discussion of retailers at the Women’s Special Industry Group meeting. Here are some of the more notable quotes from the discussion:

- Brenda Godfrey, VP global store development, Starbucks Coffee Co.

May 17, 2012

Does J.C. Penney have time on its side? Or to put it another way: How long will investors wait for J.C. Penney’s transformation? Because, based on the chain’s awful first quarter, it doesn’t appear to have even taken root yet. I’m not surprised.

Does J.C. Penney have time on its side? Or to put it another way: How long will investors wait for J.C. Penney’s transformation? Because, based on the chain’s awful first quarter, it doesn’t appear to have even taken root yet. I’m not surprised.

April 30, 2012

A friend of mine recently called to ask my opinion of the “new” Gap. She had just returned from shopping at The Grove, an upmarket mall in Los Angles, and couldn’t get over how “different” the Gap seemed.

A friend of mine recently called to ask my opinion of the “new” Gap. She had just returned from shopping at The Grove, an upmarket mall in Los Angles, and couldn’t get over how “different” the Gap seemed. It wasn’t just the merchandise as much as the overall environment that had struck her. Everything seemed so “fresh,” she said.

April 2, 2012

J.C. Penney is in the very beginning of its transformation. But the first component of the strategy — a new pricing model that jettisoned hundreds of promotions in favor a three-tier model — in already in place. And not surprisingly, experts are weighing in.

J.C. Penney is in the very beginning of its transformation. But the first component of the strategy — a new pricing model that jettisoned hundreds of promotions in favor a three-tier model — in already in place. And not surprisingly, experts are weighing in.

February 22, 2012

There has been lots of buzz and comment over Wal-Mart Stores’ fourth quarter fiscal results.

There has been lots of buzz and comment over Wal-Mart Stores’ fourth quarter fiscal results. While the chain’s U.S. sales are rebounding, its quarterly profit and sales fell short of Wall Street expectations and its forecasts suggest that results in this quarter and fiscal year may again disappoint analysts.

Here are some interesting comments from Natalie Berg, global research director, Planet Retail, on the chain’s results:

February 21, 2012

Is it any wonder that online giants Google and Amazon are both reportedly planning to test the waters with physical stores?

Is it any wonder that online giants Google and Amazon are both reportedly planning to test the waters with physical stores? Certainly not when you look at some of the retail stats from Apple’s amazing first quarter (ended Dec. 31, 2011). The company had record revenues of $46.3 billion, and its stores continue to astound.

Consider:

February 8, 2012

I love some of the quotes that came out of this year’s Finance Forum, held in late January in Manhattan.

I love some of the quotes that came out of this year’s Finance Forum, held in late January in Manhattan. The annual gathering of retail industry executives, suppliers and consultants has a reputation for lively chatter and it didn’t disappoint this year, thanks largely to J. Crew Group chairman and CEO Millard “Mickey” Drexler. The veteran — and notoriously outspoken — retailer wasn’t on the formal panel, but he had a few choice remarks to say from the audience during a question-and-answer session.

January 13, 2012

I have to admit it: I was shocked when I heard the news this week that Glen Senk, the widely-admired CEO of Urban Outfitters, was resigning.

I have to admit it: I was shocked when I heard the news this week that Glen Senk, the widely-admired CEO of Urban Outfitters, was resigning.  Sure, the company wasn’t coming off the best of years, having battled lackluster sales throughout much of 2011. A series of fashion misses — nothing new in the always dicey world of women’s apparel — had taken their toll on profit as the retailer sought to clear slow-moving merchandise with deep discounts.

January 11, 2012

Looking for a hit list of the hottest new stores outside of the United States? Check out of some of the contenders below.

Looking for a hit list of the hottest new stores outside of the United States? Check out of some of the contenders below. The information comes from the London-based retail consultancy echochamber.com.

November 23, 2011

The new year will see a changing of the guard in the chief executive’s office of several big retailers. Here are four to watch:

The new year will see a changing of the guard in the chief executive’s office of several big retailers. Here are four to watch:

Costco
The torch has been passed at Costco Wholesale Corp., with president and COO Craig Jelinek stepping into the very big shoes of the company’s longtime chief executive and co-founder Jim Sinegal (effective January 1, 2012).

October 12, 2011

Japanese retailer Uniqlo will officially open the doors to its Fifth Avenue global flagship on Friday, Oct. 14.

Japanese retailer Uniqlo will officially open the doors to its Fifth Avenue global flagship on Friday, Oct. 14. But after a sneak peak of the store, all I can say is “Wow!” At 89,000 sq. ft., Uniqlo is massive — with 100 fitting rooms, 45 checkouts, 100 LCD screens, four glass elevators, and three floors of merchandise. It feels more like a high-tech department store than a specialty store. (Click here to see photos.)

September 23, 2011

The fashion blogosphere have been overrun with complaints about how Target botched the launch of its latest and exclusive limited-time collection, Missoni for Target.

The fashion blogosphere have been overrun with complaints about how Target botched the launch of its latest and exclusive limited-time collection, Missoni for Target. And shoppers across the nation have taken to Facebook, Twitter and other sites to share their frustrations. The folks who seem to be the most put-out are those that ordered goods online. After experiencing long delays and going through any number of hurdles before they were even able to place an order, many are now being told that their orders will be delayed or, even worse, cancelled.

September 2, 2011

Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz has never shied away from supporting causes he believes in. But he has really gone on the offensive with his latest passions: political gridlock and the jobs crisis.

August 26, 2011

From Gap and Coach to Best Buy and Starbucks, retailers across the board are looking to high-growth emerging markets to expand their business and increase revenues. Not surprisingly, China is a prime -- if not the No. 1 -- target of many retailers.

From Gap and Coach to Best Buy and Starbucks, retailers across the board are looking to high-growth emerging markets to expand their business and increase revenues. Not surprisingly, China is a prime -- if not the No. 1 -- target of many retailers.

July 22, 2011

Kudos to Borders for not forgetting its most loyal customers as it begins the slow and painful process of shutting down operations.

Kudos to Borders for not forgetting its most loyal customers as it begins the slow and painful process of shutting down operations.