Plagued by the realities threatening many retail stores, Sears also faces a unique problem (alternate link): [CEO Eddie] Lampert. Lampert runs Sears like a hedge fund portfolio, with dozens of autonomous businesses competing for his attention and money. An outspoken advocate of free-market economics and fan of the novelist Ayn Rand, he created the model because he expected the invisible hand of the market to drive better results. If the company’s leaders were told to act selfishly, he argued, they would run their divisions in a rational manner, boosting overall performance.
posted by Horace Rumpole
on Jul 12, 2013 -
predicts the end of traditional retail
Retail chains are a fundamentally implausible economic structure if there’s a viable alternative. You combine the fixed cost of real estate with inventory, and it puts every retailer in a highly leveraged position. Few can survive a decline of 20 to 30 percent in revenues. It just doesn’t make any sense for all this stuff to sit on shelves. There is fundamentally a better model.
posted by beagle
on Jan 31, 2013 -
The Death of the American Shopping Mall
"Online retailers are relentlessly gaining share in many retail categories, and offline players are fighting for progressively smaller pieces of the retail pie. A number of physical retailers have already succumbed to online competition including Circuit City, Borders, CompUSA, Tower Records and Blockbuster, and many others are showing signs of serious economic distress. These mall and shopping center stalwarts are closing stores by the thousands, and there are few large physical chains opening stores to take their place. Yet the quantity of commercial real estate targeting retail continues to grow, albeit slowly. Rapidly declining demand for real estate amid growing supply is a recipe for financial disaster."
posted by bookman117
on Dec 29, 2012 -
"Nothing is in a grocery store is where it is by accident. Every item on a shelf has been planned
." Theatrically lit fruits and veggies? Limbic system-triggering flowers up front? Subtle manipulation of the shopping path? Meet Paco Underhill, master of the science of shopping, author, and founder of a consulting firm that specializes in advising companies on how small changes in retail environments can add up to increased sales. Think of him as a tour guide
(YT, from his firm) who explains how these spaces are designed and why we fall for it. [more inside]
posted by MonkeyToes
on Aug 10, 2012 -
Economies of Scale
is a free, web-based multiplayer business/commerce simulation game under development by Scott Rubyton (aka Ratan Joyce). Players use starting capital to build production/wholesale/retail businesses from the ground up in a basic economic model, competing for market share while collaborating through business-to-business trading of goods and materials. It's more fun than getting an MBA! Also much less expensive. [more inside]
posted by cortex
on Apr 3, 2012 -
Last Sunday, Comic Book Men premiered on AMC, sliding right into the time slot right after the comic book-based Walking Dead series. It's a reality show masterminded by filmmaker and occasional comic book writer Kevin Smith that follows four employees at his New Jersey comic book shop, the Secret Stash, as they deal with the world of comics retail. If the intent is to show comic shop employees as anything other than obnoxious walking sterotypes, it's a complete failure. If, however, it's meant to be the most compelling argument I've ever seen for never setting foot in a comic book store, I have to admit that it's a smashing success.
- Chris Sims reviews Comic Book Men
. Remember, no chicks allowed
posted by Artw
on Feb 16, 2012 -
Amazon has recently declared that tomorrow is Price Check day
. If you go into a brick and mortar retail store with Amazon’s new Price Check App
on your smart phone, and scan a barcode with the location settings active, and then report back to Amazon on the price of that product, Amazon will deduct $5 from your online purchase of that product. Amazon claims it’s trying to keep prices low for consumers, but others attribute the move to a less innocuous agenda
. [more inside]
posted by Toekneesan
on Dec 9, 2011 -
A new brand of super shoppers
use coupons and other discounts to get products for absurdly low prices. The Web has turned this group from a series of independent operators into cohesive groups, frustrating retailers.
posted by reenum
on Dec 3, 2010 -
Two articles about successful clothes retailers - Uniqlo
and Abercrombie & Fitch
- that are both full of interesting tidbits ("Uniqlo is a company that prescribes, records, and analyzes every activity undertaken by every employee, from folding technique to the way advisers return charge cards to customers. Japanese style, with two hands and full eye contact").
In addition, the two articles have a lot to say about branding and what companies place importance on - with A&F coming across as a typical fashion retailer, aggressively selling and marketing a very specific look, and Uniqlo seeming to be doing something quite different and contrary to received wisdom. [more inside]
posted by Sifter
on May 15, 2010 -
Ernest Kirschner, a 61-year-old business owner from East Haddam, is among thousands of Connecticut residents who may become the new voice of Walmart.
When the Benton, Ark.-based retailer formed its own "support group," the New England Customer Action Network, Kirschner signed up eagerly.
"I would stick up for Wal-Mart as strong as I can," said Kirschner, a frequent shopper. "I really think they've gotten an unfair shake."
Wal-Mart Forms Customer 'Support Group' To Counter Opponents [more inside]
posted by longsleeves
on Nov 14, 2008 -
There's been much talk about the Supreme's decisions on desegregation
and free speech
, but another ruling with broad consumer impact has gone relatively unnoticed. In a 5-4 decision
[PDF], the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a 96-year-old ban
on minimum pricing agreements between manufacturers and retailers. Dissenting opinion believes that this ruling will hurt consumers, raise prices and keep new retailers out of the marketplace. The 1911 ruling that was overturned was Dr. Miles Medical Co. vs. John D. Park & Sons
which decided that it is always illegal for a supplier to dictate minimum prices to a retailer.
posted by dejah420
on Jun 29, 2007 -
. "Dine, shop, live, work, and be entertained in a unique and alluring environment," says the Time Warner Center
website - all without ever stepping outside your gleaming Manhattan skyscraper. San Jose's Santana Row
, which at first glance seemed no more than a Beverly Center
you can live in, is now being compared favorably to urban European living. And MGM-Mirage
's new, mysterious
and costly ($7 billion!) Project CityCenter
brings the trend to Las Vegas - with gambling, of course. They're not Arcosantis
- and they don't, as yet, require an Oath of Fealty
- but by all accounts they're thriving
. What do they have in common? Wealthy tenants, megacorporate sponsors, and a shared desire to integrate efficient, conspicuous consumption into every aspect of civic life. Paolo Soleri
may have been right after all - maybe he just forgot to account for the effects of capitalism
posted by ikkyu2
on Aug 28, 2006 -
Big Box Juggernauts
are taking control of the landscape across North America. How does it impact how we live, and where we live? [Flash]
posted by benjh
on Feb 21, 2004 -
"Wal-Mart controls a large and rapidly increasing share of the business done by most every major U.S. consumer-products company: 28% of Dial total sales, 24% of Del Monte Foods, 23% of Clorox, 23% of Revlon... Wal-Mart plans to open 1,000 more supercenters in the U.S. alone over the next five years.. giving it control over 35% of U.S. food sales and 25% of drugstore sales...The $12 billion worth of Chinese goods Wal-Mart bought in 2002 represented 10% of all U.S. imports from China." Setting aside questions of monopoly, isn't this a potentially dangerous monoculture
posted by alms
on Oct 15, 2003 -