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Analysis

September 2020

Sep
17
Many large retailers make the costly assumption that since they have an e-commerce site where consumers can purchase most if not all of their products, they’re good at digital commerce.
Sean Gunduz
Sep
15
Retailers who prioritize customers’ desires for a safe, efficient shopping journey will be the big winners this year.
Sep
14
In the early days of the pandemic, big-box retailers such as Walmart and Target saw an influx of customers, while others deemed non-essential suffered from reduced or halted traffic.
Sep
11
It’s a confusing time for brick-and-mortar retailers as they navigate when and how to go about their daily operations under the looming specter of coronavirus.

August 2020

Aug
31
Due to COVID-19, many physical retailers, especially those located in malls, have concerns around foot traffic during the holiday sales season.
Aug
27
This holiday season will be challenging for CPG manufacturers as pandemic-induced uncertainty is making it difficult for brands to confidently plan seasonal marketing activities.
Aug
26
Accurate demand forecasting in grocery has never been more critical. 
Aug
25
As we approach the end of summer, most retailers have realized that the impact of the pandemic will be long-lasting, especially when it comes to shopping in-store.
Aug
25
The global pandemic has accelerated digital transformation in retail.
shopping cart inside a lightbulb
Aug
24
Amid store closings and reopenings in light of COVID-19, retailers have been successfully adapting to significant shifts in consumer shopping habits as many consumers flock online for most of their purchases. In fact, e-commerce has experienced a
Aug
21
America is re-opening to an uncertain economic environment.
Aug
20
Here are four key areas to focus on to ensure the journey to pricing fluency is a smooth ride. 
Aug
19
Returns have become a thorn in the side for many retailers, and the current state of economics is no exception given today’s uncertain times.
Aug
18
Disruption and innovation are common themes for 2020 as the world struggles to fight against the COVID-19 virus.
Jon Schulz, CMO, Viant
Aug
17
“COVID is not really changing anything fundamentally.
Steven Kramer
Aug
14
The COVID-19 pandemic has forced many Americans to work from home. 
Aug
06
After months’ long shutdowns, questions abound about the best way for businesses preparing to bring back not just their own workers but customers.
Aug
06
The COVID-19 pandemic has upended almost every facet of our society — from the way we work, to the way we live, to the way we shop.
Aug
04
Like most retailers, Tailored Brands and Lord & Taylor were significantly impacted by the lack of foot traffic due to the COVID-19 pandemic and related shelter-in-place orders.

July 2020

July
30
World events are accelerating change in the retail industry.
July
29
As COVID-19 continues to alter the way industries operate, the retail sector remains particularly hard hit.
July
28
As we’ve entered month four of the coronavirus pandemic, it’s safe to say that the retail industry has undergone a series of dramatic changes before our eyes. 
July
27
As the world adjusts to the impacts of COVID-19, online shopping has become a lifeline for consumers and retailers alike.
July
24
With numerous cities and states mandating infection control practices like social distancing, the wearing of masks, and sanitizing of workplace services and tools, many business owners have questions as to how guidance to slow the spread of COVID-19
Woman shopping at retail store with mask on
July
23
In a time defined by uncertainty, one thing is clear for retailers: How they recover from any COVID-induced slump will hinge on what they do in the remaining days of July and August.
July
22
COVID-19 continues to have a far-reaching effect on people’s lives, families and communities as well as the global economy.
July
21
Retail is undergoing the most massive changes it's ever experienced. The pandemic has accelerated long-simmering trends that are radically altering both the landlord and tenant sides of retail real estate.
Gavel striking
July
16
On June 30, 2020—just one day before the most comprehensive privacy law in the United States became enforceable—California Attorney General Xavier Becerra released an alert reminding his state’s residents of their rights under that law, the Californ
Grocery bag of veggies
July
14
Until recently, dark stores have been relatively rare in the U.S., but more common in countries such as the U.K. and France.  Dark stores refer to stores that are closed to the public except for pickup and delivery.
lightbulb with shopping cart inside
July
13
The retail landscape has undergone a dramatic shift in the last decade because of emerging technologies. Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s been brought to light just how important technology’s role is in providing a successful and safe retail ex
July
08
From pharmacy cashiers to delivery drivers to customer service reps, frontline workers are a critical link in the chain that has kept our world turning through the coronavirus pandemic.
Jill Standish
July
06
Several months since the COVID-19 pandemic began, consumers are still coming to terms with their new reality.
July
02
Budget planning—even when the economy is booming—is no simple task.
July
01
The global impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has dominated 2020, with luxury brand retailers taking a particularly hard hit.

June 2020

June
24
In the wake of this pandemic, retail establishments are implementing new ways to create physical barriers between their employees and the public, where six feet of social distance cannot be realistically maintained.
June
24
E-commerce and omnichannel marketing are here to stay, especially in our era, when everything can be done online.
June
23
COVID-19 now joins that list and challenges us to rethink our relationships and decide how we conduct our business for decades to come.
shopper looking at cloud shopping cart logo
June
19
The coronavirus has accelerated the slow demise of Main Street and is shining a spotlight on retailers that have failed to pivot to digital.  J. Crew.
AI design
June
18
Retailing has always been a dynamic industry, turning changes out of their control into moments that redefine the consumer experience. But lately, consumer expectations and behaviors are evolving so fast and deep that they no longer resemble thos
artificial intelligence design
June
16
For the past several years, retailers have been experiencing multiple technological disruptions.  From e-commerce and flexible fulfillment, to warehouse robotics and automation, to retail AI systems that offer accurate and dynamic forecasts,
June
12
Before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, the retail industry was already facing unprecedented volatility and uncertainty.
Kelly Hughes
June
10
As businesses across the country are beginning to reopen and/or are increasing staffing levels as stay-at-home orders are lifted, some retailers are finding that certain employees are refusing or resisting the calls to return to work.
June
09
COVID-19 has forced many U.S. consumers to alter their shopping preferences. Consumers are now finding themselves shopping with what is available versus what is preferred.
June
05
Digital transformation is accelerating in retail environments. 
June
02
Build-A-Bear ended its last fiscal year on a strong note, with improved revenue and a solid balance sheet that was unencumbered with debt.
June
02
With most of its stores closed at some point during the first quarter, Dick’s Sporting Goods' net sales plummeted by 30.6%.
June
01
In less than six months we will be deep into the holidays.

May 2020

May
29
While Nordstrom performed modestly better than many other department stores over the course of the crisis, the overall gap between it and the rest was relatively slight.
May
29
Looking at Williams-Sonoma’s sales figures you’d hardly know that there had been a major health crisis over the past few months.
Ron Lutz
May
29
Brick-and-mortar stores across the country, from Nordstrom to REI, are reopening with limits on customer capacity.
Dollar General store exterior
May
28
Some retailers suffered terribly during the pandemic; others managed to hold their own.
May
27
Everything is changing rapidly. Retailers need financing that allows them to evolve with the circumstances.
Rebecca Goldberg
May
26
In recent years, off-price retailers have successfully gained precious market share from traditional retail channels.  The growing demand for designer trends at deep discounts coupled with shorter-lead times and agile buying within off-price
May
22
The COVID-19 pandemic has thrown the United States into a recession.
May
21
Given that all Best Buy’s physical stores were closed for six weeks of the quarter and that it sells mostly bigger ticket discretionary products, a sales decline of 6.3% is nothing short of a remarkable result.
lowes
May
20
An excellent performance from Lowe’s saw sales increase by 10.9% on a total basis and by 11.2% in comparable terms.
May
20
The economic impact COVID-19 is having on physical stores is unprecedented, as more than 250,000 locations across the U.S. have either temporarily or entirely closed since March.
May
19
As the largest grocer in the U.S. – and one of the handful of retailers that remained open in March and April – many consumers turned to Walmart during the coronavirus crisis, both to stock up pantries and to secure the everyday goods they need.
JC Penney storefront
May
18
After a long period of decline, JC Penney has finally bowed to the inevitable and filed for bankruptcy protection.
May
15
In April, total retail sales plummeted by 20.9% on a year-over-year basis.
Jill Standish
May
14
COVID-19 is altering consumer behaviors and many of these shifts could be permanent.
store
May
13
In early 2020, retail was predictable. 
May
12
COVID-19 has had a profound impact on the ways in which we use (or, more accurately, avoid) public accommodations spaces in recent months.
May
11
The coronavirus pandemic has undoubtedly taken a toll on most industries, and certainly retail has been amongst the hardest hit.
mobile
May
08
Facing the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdown, major retailers have had to depend more heavily on mobile apps to stay connected to customers and keep business moving. 
May
07
Grocery retailers and their employees have fast become some of the most essential service providers during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Nordstrom
May
06
Closing 16 of its full-line stores – around 14% of the total store base – is a significant move by Nordstrom.
May
05
In starting its new fiscal year, Wayfair’s results make it clear that the company has failed to turn over a new leaf.
j crew
May
04
Although J Crew has been making progress in reducing its losses, the company still ended its last fiscal year $78.8 million in the red.
May
01
So many property owners and their tenants are struggling to stay in business, let alone cash-flow positive, through the COVID-19 crisis.

April 2020

David Holme
Apr
24
Chain Store Age recently spoke with David Holme, founder and CEO of Exigent Group, about how retailers can adapt — online and in store — to the changes and challenges being wrought by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Apr
24
News that J.C. Penney is in advanced talks with lenders about its bankruptcy options comes as no surprise.
coronavirus concept
Apr
24
Many borrowers already have drawn down much or all of their available credit line in order to have the liquidity to ride out the COVID19 pandemic. Other borrowers are contemplating doing the same.
Apr
23
Setting the right price has always been a complex question for fashion retailers. 
Apr
23
With the rise of COVID-19, the grocery shopping experience was radically and abruptly disrupted.
Apr
22
The retail industry was in trouble before the virus. Online retail and e-commerce sites changed consumer spending habits and the high costs of running a brick-and-mortar retail had a negative impact on the industry.
Chad Schumacher
Apr
22
The everyday task of balancing supply and demand is an enormous challenge at the heart of every thriving business. 
Apr
21
If you operate a retail business, your world just changed forever. 
Lindsey Mazza
Apr
15
In our technology-driven global economy, the race is on for retailers to find new ways to become more central in their customers’ lives.  This requires rethinking every touchpoint across the retailer-consumer relationship, now more than
Closed sign
Apr
13
The Covid-19 pandemic has shut down most of the economy and retailers are among the businesses that could be closed for months.
scan & go alcohol
Apr
13
What shoppers are looking for when they step foot in a convenience store is in the name: convenience.  They’re looking for an easy, quick experience – whether that’s filling up their tank, grabbing a few items they need, or both.
Apr
10
Coronavirus is unsettling every aspect of our lives, including our retail experiences. 
supply chain
Apr
07
While people’s health is the number one concern during the COVID-19 pandemic, supply chain disruptions are near the top of the list of business risks.
Apr
06
Since March 1, the entire retail sector has undergone a huge sea change, with several major sectors seeing severe declines in business, even before virtually all specialty apparel and department stores closed the week of March 15, along with many other specialty stores.
Apr
06
Anyone with an email address or Facebook account can see how hard brands are working to get their attention. 
Apr
03
As the coronavirus pandemic sweeps America and shelter-in-place orders drag on, online shopping, once a convenience, is now a necessity. 
Manuel Fishman
Apr
02
Chain store retailers are a diverse group and cross product lines – food, furniture, apparel, eyewear, entertainment, in line, end cap and interior mall access and direct access.

March 2020

covid-19 image
Mar
31
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to dominate headlines worldwide, businesses in nearly every industry face fresh challenges each day, many of which will impact operations in the weeks and months to come.
Mar
25
We are in the midst of unprecedented times. Work, family, social, health, and emotional well-being have all instantaneously changed.
Mar
17
Consumer buying behaviors are changing dramatically as a result of COVID-19 – what people buy, where they buy, how they buy, how much they buy, and how often. This places great strain and uncertainty on a complex and already over
Abercrombie & Fitch store
Mar
04
Unlike many apparel retailers, Abercrombie & Fitch bucked the negative trends in its final quarter and produced a solid set of results.
target checkout
Mar
03
When looked at in isolation, Target’s final quarter numbers do not make for terrible reading.
Mar
02
Successful Chapter 11s for retailers have become few and far between.

February 2020

Bobby Marhamat
Feb
28
Sixty-nine percent of consumers believe a good in-store experience is important, according to the “State of Consumer Behavior Report” by Raydiant. 
Feb
28
The year 2019 was another record-breaking year for Federal ADA Title III lawsuits.
wayfair warehouse
Feb
28
Wayfair ends its fiscal year on a downbeat note, proving once again that it is incapable of operating its business profitably. 
Feb
27
With many still focused on new year's resolutions, retailers were already busy making future plans.
Feb
27
There’s no nice way of saying it: J.C. Penney was one of the losers over the holidays.
Feb
26
After a dismal set of results from many clothing retailers over the holiday period, some may be wondering whether consumers were buying much apparel at all.
Feb
25
Worries that the consumer economy is running out of steam have been put to rest by today’s results from Home Depot.
macy's
Feb
25
The best thing that can be said about Macy’s fourth-quarter results is that they won’t be as bad as some other players in the department store segment.
Feb
21
Google’s recent revamp of its product discovery tool is designed to fend off competition in the U.S. from Amazon in the $55 billion search advertising market. 
Victoria’s Secret
Feb
20
That L Brands has opted to sell a majority stake in Victoria’s Secret is a tacit recognition that the brand was on the road to nowhere under its previous leadership.
shopping cart
Feb
19
Regional grocers have a target on their back.
shopper with bags
Feb
14
The year 2020 has started with modest growth in pure retail, where sales rose by 2.7%.
Feb
13
To better understand the challenges posed by the coronavirus let’s take a closer look at the rippling effect caused by this health crisis and see how it’s disrupting today’s global economy.
nrf show visitors
Feb
07
The NRF 2020 Vision: Retail’s Big Show saw a record-breaking 40,000 attendees last month, including 16,000 retailers, 800 exhibitors and 200 sessions.
gavel
Feb
03
As big retail adjusts to the tax complexities resulting from the Supreme Court’s Wayfair ruling, there is one unintended consequence that is getting little attention, but will likely become a significant risk to the sector in the years to come.

January 2020

Tom Schneider
Jan
27
The number of Americans living in multigenerational households is at a record high and stretches across all ages.
bytes and line graph
Jan
24
Retail industry analysts will look back at 2020 as a pivotal year for consumers and brands alike, as major shifts in technology and shopping behavior converge.
CCPA graphic
Jan
21
With the California Consumer Privacy Act now in effect, it’s a must that merchants and retailers get fully compliant or face consequences in the form of steep fines and damaged reputations.
laptop with data breach icon
Jan
20
“Shrink” is something that most in the retail industry have come to accept.  Preventing 100% of theft, fraud, and other crimes is a daunting task, and although retailers do the best they can to limit their losses, the numbers remain upsettin
target shopper getting help from employee
Jan
15
There is no doubt that Target’s holiday revenue has missed the mark.
CCPA graphic
Jan
09
On the heels of shifting consumer preferences, global policy changes and a steady flow of cyber-attacks, the state of California has put into motion the most comprehensive consumer data protection to date.
macy's
Jan
08
Macy’s Inc.’s November and December comparable sales fell by 0.7% on an owned basis and by 0.6% on an owned plus licensed basis.
insurance paperwork
Jan
06
Insured catastrophe losses hit a staggering $150 billion in 2017, making it the worst year on record.
Jan
03
Millions of Americans have disabilities that affect how they use the Internet.
cash
Jan
03
The answer to the headline — probably not.
Jan
02
The face of retail continues to evolve and retailers have a tremendous opportunity to enhance customer connections and stand out in an increasingly competitive landscape.
Jan
02
In recent years, many retailers have made significant efforts to ensure that their physical locations, websites, and mobile applications are accessible to customers with disabilities in compliance with Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”). 

December 2019

we're open sign
Dec
23
Ever since the dawn of the big-box store, smaller local businesses have struggled to compete.
Lori Ann LaRocco
Dec
20
The contentious trade war between the United States and China has been filled with mountains of rhetoric and promises.
Steve Kramer
Dec
18
Anyone who has managed a business has probably experienced that familiar jolt of panic that hits when an employee still hasn’t arrived 30 minutes after their shift was set to begin.
Wade Scheel
Dec
17
From a single store to a large brand with a national presence, retailers face many unique challenges. Few of these challenges, however, have as much potential impact to a retailer’s brand and financial status as environmental and waste regulation
lululemon
Dec
12
Although some retailers lost momentum in the third quarter, Lululemon firmly bucked the trend and continued its run of strong growth unabated.
Dec
12
The skilled worker shortage, or “skills gap,” is a trend affecting a number of industries and business verticals, and it doesn’t appear to be slowing down anytime soon.
David Crist
Dec
11
The news on retail store openings and closings continues to make headlines. 
Dec
11
It’s no secret that retail supply chain and warehousing face a shortage of talent in the near future. 
Anne Mastin
Dec
09
Anne Mastin looks back on nearly four decades in retail real estate with the likes of L Brands and Easton Town Center and finds that the more things change, the more they stay the same.
Dec
06
The holidays are right around the corner, and as we see the adoption of new modes of retail becoming mainstream, we also expect to see consumer fulfillment preferences evolve.
Dec
05
Against a backdrop of a more difficult demand environment and the challenge of cost increases, including tariffs, it would have been reasonable for Dollar General’s results to have softened.
lightbulb with shopping cart inside
Dec
03
Retail technology will see innovations in areas including sustainability, mobile shopping, and automation in the coming year.
female holiday shopper
Dec
02
Black Friday showed up this year, but it was clearly different – and it needs to be measured differently.  Some will talk about how Black Friday fell short. But did it? Add in all the selling that was done as early as Nov.
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