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Dick Seesel

Principal
Retailing In Focus LLC

The "Millennial problem" is not limited to luxury goods, nor to Macy's (which sells mostly upper moderate product anyway). It's been reported that Generation Y and younger consumers' discretionary purchases have been more focused on "gadgetry" than apparel. It's not just the smartphone—it's the data plan, the apps, the...

I agree that retailers need to do brand-building on the basis of merchandise content, customer service and loyalty marketing (benefit-driven, not price-driven). But I don't see much evidence to back up the Washington Post's premise that stores' promotional cadence is losing any steam. Judging from our mailbox and email...

It's hard to judge the prospects for Fresh & Easy without knowing the competitive landscape.Trader Joe's, Aldi and so forth. It's also critical that the remaining locations lend themselves to c-store business, not just an assortment of fresh foods that can be bought elsewhere.

Sendik's (the leading "upper moderate" grocery...

To Cathy's point, the issue with long checkout lines is almost always inadequate staffing. (In my local Roundy's store the problem is usually lack of baggers, not lack of open lanes.) No queuing system is a substitute for management's eyes on the front of the store, and having enough...

Whole Foods has always been a pioneer in devoting space to beauty products that are treated as HBA commodities in most other food stores. The assortment of merchandise is consistent with the brand positioning of the rest of the store—unique products, often with an "organic" story to tell.

Staging a...

This is similar to an online test of several home brands a few years ago, not much of which made it into the stores. If Target really wants to impact its men's sales, it is gong to have to be bolder about all-store initiatives. And none of this addresses...

I'm not sure Apple has hit a home run yet—the price point is a concern—but there have been doubters before: "Who needs an iPad (and that awful name!) when you already own a laptop and a smartphone?" In that case, Apple created a demand for a product that people...

It's probably valid that too many overlapping promotional strategies only serve to confuse the customer. In the world of general merchandise, Kohl's (for example) is working to simplify its multilayered promotions through its new loyalty program and mobile app. But there's no doubt that "the thrill of the hunt"...

I question the premise that Trader Joe's and Whole Foods are successful because they are merely "organic grocery" retailers. So chains trying to crowd into that space (which also has plenty of competition from the big national grocery stores) need some brand differentiation in order to succeed. Fresh Market...

Of course Kohl's sells clothes to Walmart grocery shoppers. Walmart is the biggest food retailer in the U.S. and cross-shopping is not a new phenomenon. I'm sure Walgreens customers shop at Kohl's too, just as Target HBA shoppers buy their paint at Home Depot.

My point? I'm not sure the...

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