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James Tenser

Principal
VSN Strategies

"Heavens no"? Does Gov. Pence actually want us to believe that signing this bill could possibly have been a non-event? With the Final Four basketball coming up this weekend in Indianapolis, I think we'll see the street protests come to a peak.

Slapping a pseudo-constitutional headline on a law does...

I think too many retailers lose their nerve in the markdown game and wind up ceding margins unnecessarily. Markdown optimization combined with a omnichannel virtual inventory might provide the necessary courage. This creates opportunities to increase sell-through, balance store demand, and take later, shallower closeouts. Shoppers will still find...

Abt looks like a place I'd like to visit. A unique, inviting, upscale shopper experience beats a generic chain format every time. Folding in online sales and a call center are natural ways for a strong mom & pop retailer to widen its reach and reputation without the major...

It's a no-brainer to allocate a small portion of a vast Walmart supercenter parking lot to an order pickup station. The astonishing success of Carrefour and Auchan's click-and-collect concepts in France is a potential game-changer that Walmart might want to emulate.

For me, Walmart's discount incentive is a short-term tactic...

I think the time is ripe for a small-footprint, fresh-oriented, neighborhood food store chain. Just stop calling it a "convenience store" or it will be judged unfairly against that category.

Fresh & Easy is even a pretty good name for such an entity. I think the concept could work as...

Mass adult hide and seek in a cavernous furniture warehouse showroom sounds like some giddy, perilous fun. What could possibly go wrong?

I have a sinking feeling the insurance agents probably have a long list of possibilities, which may have led IKEA to rein in this activity.

Too bad, really, but...

My number one rule in retail—don't make 'em wait to pay!

The checkout is the final chapter in each shopping experience. If it feels miserable, then that's the impression the shopper takes home. Raymond is so right—perception is everything in this regard.

Retail banks typically use the single serpentine queue to...

Beauty Week may get some nice traction with certain core Whole Foods shoppers, but as regulars, my wife and I routinely avoid the personal care aisles, which are so perfumed as to risk respiratory distress.

Putting the "Whole Foodskeeping" seal of approval on personal care formulations is a commendable policy....

TAG Heuer feels like a good prospect for the luxe smartwatch game. It's brand loyalists value form and function but are not too price sensitive.

This announcement signals a lively era for the timepiece-personal electronics (TPE?) category. Apple is certainly the team to beat, but I'll bet some of the...

In #RaceTogether, Starbucks has discovered a way to leverage coffee-cup-as-media that has sent reverberations throughout the media-sphere. It's easy to dismiss this as self-serving, but I don't believe it will sell a single extra cup of coffee.

In fact, if it causes a slowdown in the morning rush, it might...

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