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A SAMPLING of my recent commentary on RetailWire.com:

  • J.C. Penney is feeling merry about its Christmas performance

    While I'm glad to see JCP drove some top-line growth this past holiday season, I'll hold back my ebullience until it releases some profit reporting. Here's why: During two store visits last month I noted brisk traffic, but also some very deep discounting going on. Men's suit separates at 60% off,...

  • Will retail be woven into the fabric of the new, walkable suburb?

    Mr. Layman, thank you for chiming in on this discussion with an informed perspective. As you imply, chain retail organizations were not designed to thrive in these new mixed-use developments. They will need to adapt to succeed in smaller footprints that draw from a more localized customer base. I...

  • Is ‘brick mining’ valuable enough to justify physical stores?

    Physical stores are much more than behavioral research stations for online merchants. You are so right about this, Peter. The accumulated experience accrued since the Web went worldwide repeatedly demonstrates that bricks and clicks can and should be symbiotic. Each addresses different need state...

  • Hershey and Campbell splurge big on better-for-you acquisitions

    I re-checked the oxymoron dictionary and found that "healthy snack" was still up there with "jumbo shrimp" and "unbiased opinion." The Hershey and Campbell acquisitions are good business moves, no doubt, but they are really about maintaining shelf presence and distri...

  • Are on-the-road shopping apps helpful or hazardous?

    Lee - You're on to something regarding a voice app. "Hey Chevy" might be an acceptable mode of interaction for drivers, but touchscreen interactions are asking for trouble....

  • Are smart homes smart enough to foil package thieves?

    Secure rooftop delivery boxes? Love the concept! But please don't drop my new flat-screen down a chute. A possibly relevant anecdote: Shortly after launching VStoreNews in 1998 I met a sharp entrepreneur from the dry cleaning business who devised a home locker for pick-up and drop-off. Like an...

  • Target to make same-day delivery push with Shipt acquisition

    Target's decision to buy Shipt may amount to putting the delivery cart before the fulfillment horse. While it's a bold step, rapid store fulfillment and delivery is not without peril. Will shoppers be willing to pay the tab for this costly form of service? Will in-store fulfillment allow for a...

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