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Marianne Wilson


Blog posts by this author

October 2019

Sometimes perception gets in the way of reality. Such is the case, I think, with the death of physical retail.

Articles by this author

December 2019

The Beatles are getting on board the pop-up shop express.  


Ollie's Bargain Outlet Holdings has tapped a company veteran as chief executive. 

Stuart Haselden

The chief executive of Away is resigning following a scathing report into the company’s culture. 

Ann Taylor

Ascena Retail Group’s profit rose in its first quarter as the retailer said it is encouraged by “winds” in the business.

GameStop Corp. got no relief in its third quarter with sales and earnings that fell well short of analysts’ expectations. Same-store sales plunged 23.2%.

DSW shopper

Designer Brands Inc. the owner of DSW and other footwear banners, reported third-quarter profit that missed expectations and cut its guidance. 

grocery shopper

The U.S. tariffs imposed on China have already cost the average American household $600 per year.

winter storm

A winter storm in the Northeast took a big bite out of shopping in stores during the holiday weekend.

Lululemon athletica inc.’s COO and executive VP, international, is taking a “leadership position” outside the apparel industry.

Shoppers can buy goods that are made before their eyes in an innovative new retail concept at Industry City, the sprawling 6 million-sq.-ft. mixed-use complex in Brooklyn, New York.

Let’s Pave has announced the hiring of three new employees to help lead its growing sales team and accounting department.

Matt Beall

The great grandson of the founder of Beall’s has taken the reins of the family-owned retail chain.

Anchor Shops

A new startup wants to make it easy for digitally native brands to enter the physical space by significantly lowering the costs associated with customer acquisition, leasing and operating stores, shipping product and handling returns.

Boot Barn sees plenty of room to grow its store count. 

Tropical Smoothie Café

Tropical Smoothie Café has its sights set on Colorado.

Hudson next-gen store concept

Hudson has revamped its retail format.

Lord & Taylor is popping up in Manhattan for the holidays.


Ulta Beauty reported better-than-expected earnings for its third quarter even as its sales fell short of estimates amid ongoing weakness in a core category.

David Yurman has opened an expansive jewelry boutique — and the only family-owned business — on one of Manhattan’s most luxurious blocks. 

H-E-B is expanding its presence in one of the fastest-growing markets in Texas.

Big Lots

Big Lots beat analysts’ expectations in its third-quarter and sounded an optimistic note about the coming year.

The first week of December saw several changes/additions in retail C-suites. Here’s a recap.

New York & Co

RTW Retailwinds is closing some stores as it continues to “actively evaluate” its store portfolio.

As the grocery wars intensify, Walmart is not only focusing on online delivery but also is refreshing the look and feel of its in-store experience in produce.

express exterior

Express managed to beat Street estimates for its top and bottom line as the company continues its turnaround efforts.

Rent the Runway’s latest partner is a hotel giant.

Dollar General storefront

Dollar General Corp. on Thursday reported its best quarterly same-store sales rise in nearly five years along with increases on both its top and bottom lines.

Karl Walsh

J.C. Penney has appointed a dedicated digital officer.


J.Jill is looking for a new chief executive.

Macy’s is partnering with a first-of-its-kind venture capital fund on a new in-store initiative.

Hal Lawton

The nation’s largest rural lifestyle retailer has ended its search for a chief executive.

Target Times Square

Target Corp. is extending its presence in the Big Apple.


The Michaels Companies reported third-quarter earnings and sales that fell below analysts’ estimates and lowered its guidance for the fourth quarter and full year.

Kroger customer

The Kroger Co. is divesting the natural and organic food chain that it has helped grow during the past two years.

Global retail markets will deliver mixed results in 2020. That’s according to a new report from The Economist Intelligence Unit, which found that in volume terms, sales growth will slow in 2020 compared with 2019, but in U.S.

Shopper with smartphone

Digital commerce revenue was up 15% over last year during Cyber Week, ringing in at a record $31 billion.

Ikea U.S. wants to remove waste from its reverse supply chain as part of its commitment to build a circular business. Ikea U.S. is partnering with Optoro, a provider of returns optimization technology.

Publix Greenwise interior

Publix Super Markets is expanding its revamped organic and natural foods concept, GreenWise Market.  GreenWise Market has opened a new store in Lexington, South Carolina, at the Lexington Marketplace. It is the fifth GreenWise

Yankee Candle storefront

The Yankee Candle Company wants to be known as a leader in home fragrance, not just a candle company. The iconic candle brand debuted a new store concept at Natick Mall, Natick, Mass., that features an untraditional merchandising strategy and an

Not all customers are keen on loyalty programs. Thirty-eight percent of customers generally avoid participating in retail loyalty programs, according to a report by CFI Group and Radial.  Of that group, 53% say they don’t sign up becaus

Glossier sign

A direct-to-consumer beauty brand with a cult following is going offline — at least for  a while. Glossier will open seven pop-ups at select Nordstrom stores, including its new flagship in New York, CNBC reported. The tie

Canada Goose has taken experiential retailing to new heights.

albert heijn cashierless store

Ahold Delhaize is testing grab-and-go technology. The supermarket giant opened a “digital” store under its Albert Heijn banner at Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam.

The Catalyst Capital Group Inc.’s unsolicited bid for Hudson’s Bay Co. has been turned down.

J.Crew Group is proceeding with its plan to spin-off its fast-growing denim brand as a public company.

Cyber Monday tablet screen

A late-night spending spree gave a big boost to Cyber Monday sales.  Based on data from Adobe Analytics, a record $9.4 billion was spent online by the end of Cyber Monday, an increase of 19.7% over last year, making it th

A record 189.6 million U.S. consumers shopped (combined, in stores and online) from Thanksgiving Day through Cyber Monday this year, according to a report by National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights & Analytics.

Luxury health club operator Life Time has opened a massive complex that includes a three-story “athletic resort” at Simon’s Southdale Center.

Casper delivery box

Casper has made two important hires amid its ongoing expansion across channels, including brick and mortar.  The digitally native mattress retailer has appointed Emilie Arel as president and chief commercial officer.

The online giant said that Cyber Monday was the single biggest shopping day in its history, based on the number of items ordered worldwide.

New Look Vision logo

 The largest retail optical company in Canada is expanding its market reach. New Look Vision Group has entered into an agreement to acquire substantially all of the assets of Miami-based Coco Lunette Holding, which does   busi

order online button with cart

Shoppers made history shopping online on Black Friday. Black Friday shoppers spent $7.4 billion online, the second largest online shopping day ever, according to Adobe Analytics.

holiday mall shoppers

There is more evidence that Black Friday is losing its attraction — among store shoppers, that is. Shopper visits to brick-and-mortar stores and shopping centers dropped 6.2% on Black Friday versus last year, according to data from ShopperTrak (p

holiday shoppers

More than half of Black Friday purchases were with brands shoppers had never previously purchased from. That’s according to data from retail marketing tech company Bluecore, which found that 54% Black Friday purchases were made by first time-buye

The Kroger Co. is entering the meal-delivery business via a fast-growing new trend. The nation’s largest supermarket retailer launched a partnership with ClusterTruck, a software platform that powers delivery-only kitchens.

Consumers were in a spending mood for the official kick-off of the holiday shopping season. Beginning on Thanksgiving Day, consumers spent an estimated average of $504, with 50$ spending more than last year, setting the stage for a strong season,

destination maternity storefront

A brand acquisition and licensing firm has made an offer to buy the brand name, online business and other intellectual assets of Destination Maternity for approximately $50 million.  The bankrupt retailer announced it has made a motion to ap

Cyber Monday tablet screen

Cyber Monday is on its way to keeping its title as the biggest online shopping day of the year.

November 2019

Citi Trends

Citi Trends is accelerating its move away from apparel. And it’s still looking for a CEO.

Toys “R” Us store format

A reborn and reimagined Toys “R” Us has returned to the retail arena just in time for the holiday shopping season.


Chico’s FAS saw top- and bottom-line losses in its third quarter but still managed to beat Street estimates.

Outdoor Voices continues to expand in brick-and-mortar with the opening of its 10th store.

Hudson Bay co.

A new firm wants to take Hudson’s Bay Co. private.

Dicks Sporting Goods

Dick’s Sporting Goods raised its full-year profit outlook on the heels of a strong quarter with better-than-expected earnings and sales.

Best Buy store

Best Buy is entering the holiday selling season with reasons to celebrate.

Target shoppers on black Friday

Two industry experts share insights as retailers head into Black Friday. 

Abercrombie & Fitch store

Abercrombie & Fitch reported mixed results for its third quarter as a “complicated” global environment offset U.S. same-store gains in its namesake and Hollister brands.

shopper with bags

Confidence declined in November, but holiday spending still looks “solid.”

Everlane Store in Williamsburg, Brooklyn

A clothing brand known for its "radical transparency" is expanding in the brick-and-mortar space.

Dollar Tree store

Dollar Tree warned that its fourth-quarter earnings will take a hit due to the ongoing trade war between the U.S. and China.

A round-up of 2020 insights by industry experts.

employee helping customer

Retail employees are staying put longer.

man holding smartphone and gift

The growth of mobile shopping has an upside for store retailers.

Walgreens storefront

Another health insurance giant is expanding into the retail sector.

The A.C. Moore chain of arts and crafts stores is calling it quits.

Tiffany & Co. ring

Breakfast at Tiffany’s will soon have a French accent.

Massage Envy

Well-known retail veteran Joe Magnacca has resigned as chief executive of Massage Envy.

One in four consumers will spend less due to trade tensions this holiday season.  Despite the current positive outlook for holiday spending, uncertainty around trade tensions, tariffs and an impending economic downturn may curb receipts

Foot Locker storefront

Foot Locker reported stronger-than-expected third quarter earnings amid rising same-store sales. The athletic shoe and accessories retailer reported that its net income fell to $125 million, or $1.16 a share, from $130 million, in the quarter end

Retailers aren’t letting privacy concerns and issues hold them back from Internet of Things adoption. That’s according to a new report from PwC, which revealed the retail industry has the highest percentage of companies with active IoT projects (

Office Depot storefront

The finance head of Office Depot is leaving to join the automotive retail sector. Office Depot announced that Joseph T. Lower, executive VP and CFO, is leaving the company, effective January 10, 2020, to become CFO at AutoNation.

DXL storefront

Destination XL Group widened its loss in the third quarter as new promotional events failed to drive sales.  The nation’s largest men’s big and tall specialty retailer also announced it has appointed Ujjwal Dhoot as chief digital officer, ef

Jet e-commerce warehouse

That didn’t take very long. Walmart’s Jet subsidiary is ending its fresh-food delivery business in New York City about a year after it launched the service, reported Business Insider. The news was first reported by Bloomberg.

The angels have fallen at Victoria’s Secret.

Old Navy storefront

Gap Inc.’s problems continued in the third quarter amid disappointing performances across all three of its divisions.   “This is a pivotal time for the company,” said Robert J.

shopper browsing in-store

An overwhelming majority of direct-to-consumer brands report they are profitable, and looking to expand globally.

Tiffany & Co. ring

LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vitton’s bid to acquire Tiffany & Co. has reached a new stage.

nordstrom exterior

Nordstrom reported earnings that exceeded expectations as sales trends improved across both its full-price and off-price businesses.

BJ’s storefront

BJ’s Wholesale Club Holdings reported mixed results for its third quarter and also announced a stock repurchase program.

teens in mall

Brick-and-mortar stores may get a holiday lift from America's teenagers this shopping season.

Taft SoHo storefront

Another digitally native retailer has made the jump to brick-and-mortar.

MAcy's exterior

The department store sector took another blow as Macy’s Inc. reported a big drop in earnings and its first same-store decline after six straight quarters of comp sales growth.


Another off-price retailer has posted strong results for its third quarter.

Piggy bank wrapped in a string of Christmas lights

The fear of a potential U.S. recession is having a real impact on how consumers will spend their money this season.

holiday shoppers

With Black Friday a week away, more than half of consumers have already started their holiday shopping and nearly a quarter of purchases have already been made.

Urban Outfitters

Urban Outfitters’ reported a steep decline in the third quarter even as its total sales rose. 

Makarios Décor line

Four retailers founded online are expanding their brick-and-mortar footprints.

L Brands reported a steep loss for its Q3 as sales continued to fall at its troubled Victoria's Secret division.

Lowe’s Winnipeg store

Lowe’s Cos. reported third-quarter income that topped Street expectations even as its revenue fell short.

H&M storefront

H&M has entered the Motor City.

target exterior

Target Corp. is charging into the all-important holiday shopping season on the heels of a stellar third quarter that buoyed the industry after disappointing third-quarter results from Kohl’s Corp. and J.C. Penney Co.

grocery cart

Many grocers still see online commerce as the biggest threat to their businesses.

PayPal Holdings has made its largest acquisition to date.

HomeGoods exterior

The TJX Cos. reported a solid set of numbers for its third quarter as shoppers flocked to its stores in search of bargains.

Five Below

Five Below is going above its designated price point for the first time in its 17 year history.


There’s a new player dedicated to a very niche segment of the jewelry market: ear piercing.

Kohl’s shopper

Kohl’s Corp. cut its full-year guidance for the second time this year after falling short of sales and profit estimates.


The Kroger Co. has entered into a first-of-its-kind partnership in the U.S. to grow produce on site.

Chick-fil-A exterior

Chick-fil-A is taking a more “focused giving” approach to its philanthropic initiatives. It also reportedly will stop donations to charities with anti-LGBT views.

Tupperware exterior

It took nearly 75 years, but Tupperware has finally entered the brick-and-mortar space — if only temporarily.

police tape

Walmart has once again been caught up in the nation’s gun violence.

Tiny Home display

Cracker Barrel Old Country Store is celebrating its 50th anniversary with a one-time event in the heart of New York City. 

Despite all the hype around customer data platforms, most brands are still struggling to create a unified view of customers.

Amazon is expanding its fast-growing fulfillment center.

target solar panels

Target Corp. is celebrating a sustainability milestone.

workplace injury

Injuries in the workplace are a costly problem for retailers.

J.C. Penney's new store concept

J.C. Penney put a positive spin on another tough quarter and even boosted its full-year profit outlook.

Gap Inc. is looking to capitalize on the synergy of its brands.

Bloomingdale’s has officially opened the doors to its new location in Norwalk, Connecticut.

 woman browsing in store

Retail sales rebounded in October, but the gains were fueled mostly by online and grocery. 

cyber security concept

Online threats facing retailers are becoming more complex and threatening, but many retailers are still unprepared to deal with such attacks.

Kathryn McLay

For the second time in its history, Walmart’s $59 billion warehouse club division has a female CEO.

Mark Cross NYC

America’s oldest luxury leather goods brand has returned to the U.S. retail scene. Upscale handbag and accessories company Mark Cross has opened its first retail location since the 1990s, on Madison Avenue in New York City.


The Michaels Companies has tapped a Dick’s Sporting Goods executive to head up its omnichannel efforts.

clothing on rack

With the fashion rental market growing, an online retail upstart and a heritage department store are combining forces in an ambitious new initiative to “shape the future of retail.”

walmart sign

Walmart Inc.’s remarkable run of quarterly revenue gains continued in its third quarter fueled by strong growth online and in the U.S.

Rebag interior

Rebag continues to capitalize on the resale boom.


Lululemon will open its second-biggest location at the nation’s largest mall.

drive thru

KFC is piloting a new, tech-enhanced format.

Linda Crowder

In today’s disrupted environment, targeting the right shoppers with the right messages is crucial — not only for attracting new shoppers but retaining existing ones as well. 

Honoré model

A rising online player in the size-inclusive luxury fashion market has a new investor.

Marcy Brewington

Two retail giants provided interesting insights into how they are working to improve communications and get more personal with shoppers in a presentation at the 2019 Path to Purchase Expo (P2PX) in Chicago.

sears store

Sears’ store footprint isn’t the only thing that’s shrinking.

shopping at the mall with family

Retailers should get ready for a busy Thanksgiving weekend in stores and at shopping centers.


For the first time in its 81-year history, REI Co-op will open four stores in a single day as it enters two new markets.

Starbucks Coffee Company is opening its largest location ever, a 35,000-sq.-ft. location in Chicago, on Friday. 

Disruptive and innovative technologies will continue to drive digital transformation of the retail industry at a rapid pace for the next five years.

Famous Footwear is opening a flagship in the heart of Midtown Manhattan.


Shoptalk, one of the largest events in the retail industry, will break new ground at its fifth annual show in Las Vegas.

Overall U.S. customer satisfaction is on the decline — and that does not bode well for the economy.

Saks Fifth Avenue’s Manhattan flagship is getting “frozen” this holiday season — inside and out.

True Religion

It’s a homecoming of sorts for the new chief executive of True Religion Apparel.

Neighborhood Goods

Neighborhood Goods is bringing its department store of the future format to the Big Apple.

holiday shoppers

Retailers shouldn’t take anything for granted this holiday season. 

Advance Auto Parts

Advance Auto Parts delivered its sixth straight quarter of new sales growth in its third quarter.


Harrods isn’t generating much holiday love this year.

Nike Long Beach interior

Nike is taking its data-driven, small-store format to the next level.

holiday shoppers in mall

Gen Z is technically savvy, but when it comes to holiday shopping they are more likely to head to the mall than the generation that preceded them. 

Adore Me Interior

Adore Me has gone big in Tennessee.

Walgreens storefront

The rumors that Walgreens Boots Alliance may be going private are heating up.


Maurices announced its first financial results since it sold by Ascena Retail Group.

David’s Bridal exterior

David’s Bridal has a new marketing head.

Ruth Hartman

There’s a new person at the top of Lord & Taylor.

electronics shopping

Black Friday weekend shoppers will be in a tech-buying mood. 


A private equity firm has acquired the assets of bankrupt Sugarfina.

old navy

The very abrupt ouster of Gap Inc. CEO Art Peck has raised questions about the company’s future plans.


The parent company of Sears and Kmart is lowering the boom — again.


J.Jill is showing off a new look at its just-opened at Copley Place, in Boston.

A fast-food giant is adding renewable energy to the grid.

Art Peck

Art Peck is out at Gap Inc.

Party City

Party City Holdco Inc. is not in party mood as the retailer cut its full-year outlook amid weak third-quarter and October sales. 

Consumers will be spending more on holiday gifts this year and also doing more of their shopping online. 


Guess is getting a new finance head.

Confidence may be softening, but consumers are approaching the start of the holiday season eager to spend.

Macy’s is celebrating the holidays — with a little help from a cereal giant — in its latest experiential store concept.

office depot

Office Depot announced that it is reviewing the implementation of a holding company reorganization that is expected to be completed by the end of the first quarter of 2020. 


CVS Health Corp. reported third-quarter revenue and earnings that beat expectations, boosted by its acquisition of insurance giant Aetna.


There really aren’t any bargains to be found at Barneys New York — at least not yet. 

new logo

The Kroger Co. is giving itself a new look.


Target Corp. is looking to get a jump on this year’s shortened holiday shopping season.

The parent company of Coach, Kate Spade and Stuart Weitzman reported first-quarter earnings that beat analyst estimates even as sales disappointed due to ongoing weakness at Kate Spade.

David’s Bridal interior

David’s Bridal Inc. has reached a deal with its lenders that takes a big chunk out of its debt.

Walgreens storefront

Walgreens Boots Alliance saw its shares pop on Tuesday after reports that it is exploring going private. 

walmart sign

Walmart has agreed to drop a lawsuit against Tesla Inc.

Joe Nevin

Joe Nevin has joined multidimensional brand experience firm Big Red Rooster.

pier 1

Pier 1 Imports has tapped its finance head to do double duty.

Brilliant Earth Philly showroom

An ethically-sourced, digitally native bridal and fine jewelry has put down roots in Philadelphia. Brilliant Earth opened its eighth physical location, a showroom in the heart of Philly’s Rittenhouse Square. The 2,000-sq.-ft.

Globe on keyboard surrounded by packages

A new forecasts predicts the two busiest days of holiday returns. UPS projects that holiday returns will peak on January 2, 2020, dubbed “National Returns Day” by the shipping giant, with 1.9 million returns taking place.

Under Armour storefront

Under Armour’s better-than-expected third-quarter results were overshadowed by news that the company is the subject of a federal probe of its accounting practices.

Mastercard logo

A just-released holiday survey is not quite as robust as most others.  U.S. retail sales are expected to grow 3.1% (excluding automotive) between November 1 and December 24 this year over last, according to Mastercard SpendingPulse.

Journeys storefront

Genesco Inc. has named the 12th chief executive officer in its 95-year history. The parent company of Journeys, Johnston & Murphy and other footwear brands has appointed its current COO, Mimi Vaughn, as CEO and president, effective Feb.

McDonald’s has lost another top executive. The world’s largest restaurant  company confirmed that chief people officer David Fairhurst has left the company, effective immediately.

Barneys building

Barneys New York has begun its final wind down. Great American Group, a B.

walgreens exterior

Walgreens has named a chief marketing office with a digital background. The drugstore giant has appointed Patrick McLean as chief marketing officer, effective Nov.4.  He replaces Alyssa Raine, who was named acting chief marketing officer in

Petco storefront

Petco is growing its footprint in Mexico. Petco and Petco México announced the opening of the first Petco store in Tijuana.

A format that blends a grocery store with a nutritionally-minded cooking school is adding more locations. Basics Market, which has two stores in Portland, Ore., has opened a location in Tualatin, Ore.

J.C. Penney wants to make its stores more fun and easier to shop.

Hudsons Bay sign

A major shareholder is opposing the deal to take Saks’ parent Hudson’s Bay Co.

U.S. currency in various denominations

Intense competition and digital investments are putting pressure on retailers’ profits.  That’s according to a new report from Moody’s Investors Services which has revised its outlook for U.S. retail from positive to stable from positive.

Speedway gas pumps

Marathon Petroleum Corp. is spinning off its Speedway retail network into an independent, publicly-traded company.  The move follows a review from Marathon’s board of directors and engagement with financial and other advisors.&nbsp

There was no last-minute white knight for beleaguered luxury retailer Barneys New York. Authentic Brands Group announced it has completed the purchase of the intellectual property of Barneys New York. The sale price was $271.4 million.&

Starbucks pickup store interior

Starbucks Coffee Company has unveiled a new format designed for customers on-the-go.

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