Yes, outdoor centers are critical to the future of retail, but so are indoor malls. And both are going to undergo really significant transformation in terms of the types of tenants and experiences they provide. The either/or debate oversimplifies a much more complex evolution.
Everything Nike does is centered around the brand relationship and that's the genius of the company. Whether the consumer begins their journey online or offline, Nike is able to create an exceptional cross-platform experience. The digital side is "easier," what makes them so impressive is the ability to bring that focus offline as well.
The narrative that this effort failed because it was an attempt to "copy" Apple is ludicrous. Offline stores offer a unique and powerful channel for developing a deeper brand relationship than almost any other channel. The failure, in this case, doesn't mean the channel isn't effective, just that it wasn't utilized effectively. Microsoft will come back offline in the future, and while the specifics will change, the attempt to maximize the value of an offline presence will be the driving force.
Anyone who believes that J.C. Penney needs to be fundamentally reimagined is ignoring the strong brand equity they still have. The key is to build on who they are and to intelligently reimagine their retail footprint. This is a unique opportunity to open the stores that help and close the ones that don't. Even just optimizing their fleet could drive a financial turnaround.
Competitors are closing, they have tremendous brand equity and they've at least proven willing to try things. And the last 12-24 months have not been just doom and gloom. Infusing cash into a business that shows a willingness to innovate -- which almost by definition means trying things that fail -- is one I'd be optimistic about.
The rush to judge earnings without taking the wider context that impacted the holiday season in 2019 is setting the wider retail community up to misjudge strategic decisions. Walmart's consistent growth should not be ignored because of holiday season that was significantly limited by the calendar.
If they are focused on what to cut and what to keep, then yes. The key factor is going beyond simple metrics like store performance. If the perspective takes into account more sophisticated metrics like cannibalization risks, the turnaround could be smooth.