retailers mall interior

Retailers: Evolve Pandemic Innovations for the Long Term

| Jon Reily

As shoppers are back in stores, retailers now need to determine which COVID innovations they will keep and how those measures will mature over the long term. This will help maximize the value of COVID innovations, bringing the benefits of digital to brick-and-mortar and scaling capabilities to accommodate long-term needs.

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Shopify Grows, Amazon Slows: A Bellwether for Ecommerce’s Future

| Matthew Lynch

It’s impossible to ignore the fact that most if not all fundamental features and characteristics of DTC brands are not just different from Amazon, but diametrically opposed to it. While Amazon takes the word “monolithic” to new extremes, platforms like Shopify thrive by staying low to the ground and expanding outward.

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Kohl’s Entertaining Two Takeover Bids

| Mike O'Brien

Amid activist pressure, struggling retailer Kohl’s has been approached by two different private equity firms with buyout offers, the company has acknowledged based on media reports in CNBC and the Associated Press, valuing its stock at up to a 39% premium to Friday’s close.

Macy's

Macy’s Wrestling With Retail-Ecommerce Split

| Mike O'Brien

Breaking up is hard to do, which department store stalwart Macy’s is discovering as it wrestles with how best to split up its store and online businesses, a bit trickier than the same move by Saks Fifth Avenue, according to a report in Reuters.

shoppers on retail queue covid-19

2020 Year in Review: Retail Upended, Reset Continues

| Mike O'Brien

As 2020 comes to a close, it’s time to reflect back on a wild and crazy year in retail, to paraphrase the Festrunk brothers from Saturday Night Live. COVID-19 came in like a wrecking ball in February and March, causing widespread shutdowns that hit retail especially hard, leading to hockey-stick growth in ecommerce.

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Black Friday Hits a Record $9B Online, Stores Down 30%

| Mike O'Brien

As expected, Black Friday 2020 saw tremendous success online but was a bust in stores, as shopper behavior has been altered irrevocably by the ongoing pandemic. Adobe Analytics reported $9 billion in ecommerce sales on Black Friday, up 21.6% from $7.4 billion in 2019. Store traffic meanwhile was down 48% to 52%.

Sizing Matters: How Tech, Standards Are Working to Solve Apparel Returns

| Mike O'Brien

Issues with sizing and color conventions have probably been an issue since the invention of clothes. And with so much shopping now driven online by the pandemic, combined with generally liberal return policies, apparel returns have exploded. New technology solutions and industry standards are both working to solve the problem.

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Frank and Oak First Acquisition of New Retail Investment Group

| Mike O'Brien

A former Macy’s executive and a Wall Street veteran have teamed up to start a retail acquisition and advisory group that’s looking to build up a stable of purpose-driven brands it can help scale and grow globally. The group launched with the acquisition of distressed Canadian apparel brand Frank and Oak, which closed on Oct. 8.

Macy’s Benefiting from Centralized Plan as Ecommerce Grows 53% in Q2

| Mike O'Brien

In a familiar theme for omnichannel retailers who have gotten ahead of the curve in digital transformation, Macy’s reported store sales down 61% in the second quarter, while ecommerce increased 53%. Still brick-and-mortar news was not all bad, as stores reopened stronger than expected and luxury goods outpaced projections.

Amazon Reportedly Weighing J.C. Penney Acquisition Out of Chapter 11

| Mike O'Brien

Shortly after J.C. Penney filed Chapter 11, Amazon reportedly was in talks about possibly picking up the troubled store chain on the cheap. The plan calls closing 242 of 846 stores by 2021, setting up a real estate investment trust (REIT) to handle the balance of its physical assets and receiving $900 million in debtor-in-possession financing.