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Ryan Mathews

Founder, ceo
Black Monk Consulting

I've been banging the "suburbs will be transformed drum" for 25 years.

My prediction? The suburbs will eventually be occupied by lower income workers and the money will move back to the urban cores.

Why?

There are a lot of reasons most of them associated with aging. Empty nest baby boomers often...

Before we get too excited, let's remember that, at least on the apparel side, many companies require employees to -- quite literally -- wear their brand on their sleeve, and every other part of their bodies.

Forcing part-time or under-paid full-time workers to spend money on a second wardrobe is...

Well, it all depends.

They could move their legal headquarters to Europe and gain the tax advantage while keeping the operational center in America.

In my experience it is less about where multi-national or global corporations are headquartered and more about the nationality of the senior management team. If, for example,...

Well, most of the food courts I've seen could begin by offering ... well ... edible food.

Next, almost all of them could benefit from improved sanitation, general cleanliness (with an eye to specific attention to tables and chairs), etc. In other words -- getting the basics straight.

Now, if a...

There doesn't appear to be any value to the study -- at least as described. You don't, or at least you shouldn't, need a study to tell you that what drives social network is a complex balance of content, speed and scale of network.

Think of it this way. If I...

Improved communication, development of crisis protocols, etc. is generally always good (or at least as good as the quality of those communications and protocols).

On the other hand, some of the breaches in security come from the "allies" in this effort, i.e., the government and law enforcement. There is a...

Clearly it's a function of both labor hours and less-than-effective inventory management.

You can have perfect assortment and even adequate backroom stock but that doesn't do you much good if there is nobody there to move it to the shelf. On the other hand, all the labor in the world...

I think many retailers have been targeting the "refund" market for quite a while, so without hard numbers, I have no opinion as to whether there's been any increase in chasing the refund activity or not.

I think the answer to the second question depends a good deal on what...

I don't really think so, at least not directly. I think the real culprit is the fact that retailing isn't a career for most employes, just a way to pay the bills.

With a workforce that would -- to an alarming degree -- rather be almost anywhere else and management teams...

Yes, it's a quick way to get at those employees you are probably better without. And, I really don't understand why it isn't a company wide policy EXCEPT that it is probably more expensive to remove a deadbeat vice president of marketing than it is a disgruntled selector. Although,...

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