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Dick Seesel

Principal
Retailing In Focus LLC

Working in a large office for many years, I recall Girl Scouts' moms and dads bringing sign-sheets and posting them on their office doors (or cubicle walls). They were enabling their daughters to drive more cookie sales without the sort of door-to-door personal interaction that the program was probably...

BOPIS is less risky only if the brick-and-mortar store has the item that the customer wants. It's likely that online shoppers will start to see limited availability in stores as assortments start to break before Christmas. This puts the expectation back onto the e-commerce fulfillment capacity, so there is...

Yes, it's true that chains are on the "pop-up" sidelines, but probably with good reason. Most big chains would probably admit that they have more square footage than they need, and too many physical locations to begin with. At a point in their evolution where the big chains are...

Even the older shoppers in this survey did not prefer traditional Christmas carols—37 percent is not a ringing (or bell-ringing) endorsement. The results probably depend on the setting, too: Is the music being played on your car radio, where you have some control over the type of music, or...

There are many issues at play here. First, it comes down to merchandise content: The mall-based junior retailers have been too slow to move to the "fast fashion" model of competitors like Forever 21, so their long lead-time product development can put too much of the wrong product into...

Starbucks has rebounded from an unsuccessful push into breakfast sandwiches a few years back. (At the time, Howard Schultz complained that the place smelled like eggs instead of coffee, and he was right.) It's worth exploring how to get more productivity out of lunch and even dinner hours, but...

The Kohl's ad is similar to a recent Subaru ad, in which a father takes his disengaged son for a ride and they have a "moment" when a bison walks up to the car. The Kohl's spot does a fine job adding some warmth to the brand association but...

Retailers who are locked into a specific sale price for a specific event will find themselves increasingly at the mercy of the "empowered consumer" who can easily find a better price elsewhere for the same item. Some stores will develop tools to provide the same kind of fast reaction...

It can't come as a surprise that sales on Friday itself fell in brick-and-mortar stores, although the size of the decrease was bigger than I expected. Every year that sales are pulled forward by earlier openings—first from 6 a.m. to 4 a.m. to midnight on Friday and now to...

I can't help wondering whether this move was related to the leaked memo about management of the produce area—which was probably more of an operations issue than a merchandising problem. Until Walmart gets its arms around these kinds of execution problems, it's probably unfair to expect a chief merchant...

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