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Dick Seesel

Principal
Retailing In Focus LLC

My dad (and my grandfather before him) owned a specialty department store, so I had many exposures to the family business while growing up. (And my retail roots go back five generations.) Superficially, the chance to work all over the store as a teenager and college student caused a...

From my long-ago experience at Kohl's, I found that some vendors pitching to be added to the "matrix" (which can be a tough task in many stores) failed to take the most elemental step: They hadn't shopped any stores and were therefore unprepared to discuss how their brand or...

This is the biggest hit (and miss) since the Missoni introduction a few years ago. Yes, it's good for Target's brand cachet that they are forming successful alliances with wanted brands. But their feet must be held to the fire as far as poor execution and customer service. In...

There is a "lifestyle center" in my neighborhood in suburban Milwaukee called "Bayshore Town Center." It replaced an outdated combination strip and indoor mall (with elements from the '50s and '70s), and has thrived ever since reopening in 2006. Two of its three original anchors (Bon Ton and Kohl's)...

General merchandisers have worked hard on assortment "localization," with Macy's (and its "My Macy's" initiative) leading the pack while its competitors play catch-up. But it's hard to imagine how any grocery retailer—operating on a local, regional or national scale—can succeed without catering to wildly different food preferences from market...

All of the categories mentioned by Mr. Cornell (snacks, coffee, craft beer and so forth) represent a reversal of the "commodity" approach favored by Greg Steinhafel and his team. While a niche approach to the grocery business is more consistent with the Target brand, it may not drive enough...

Aldi has some key competitive advantages that should continue to propel its growth. First, its assortments are tightly-edited and competitively-priced, and its real estate strategy can travel far from the lower-income neighborhoods where it began to build its name to more affluent shopping areas with plenty of development opportunities...

The Forrester report creates a false choice between Millennials and Boomers. Unless your business model is targeted to a specific age and lifestyle demographic, you ignore either one at your own risk.

Yes, Boomers today have more disposable income than their children, after decades in the workforce and building up...

The migration from "old media" to "new media" continues, and with it the need to reach younger consumers where they gather and digest information. Part of the appeal of sites like Facebook and Twitter is the "small bite" format, which in turn presents a challenge to marketers accustomed to...

Uniqlo is being very deliberate, although any acceleration of J.C. Penney or Sears vacancies in malls might speed up the process. Otherwise this will take as long as Forever 21 or H&M needed for a national foothold.

The key will be to maintain the brand position on dominance in casual/basics...

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