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Brian Kelly

  • Posted on: 06/09/2022

    Is Franchise Group’s plan for Kohl’s a retail disaster in the making?

    Two sides to this ancient and reoccurring saga. One: investors. Two: shoppers. Investors expect a return on investment, aka money. Shoppers expect problem resolution and ego satisfaction aka a good deal. Investors come first. Looking across the last 10 years of department or apparel stores, we see most of them are gone or radically changed. All have given their investors their due. Now it's Kohl's turn. Whomever buys KSS, shoppers will not get what it expects, however, investors will.
  • Posted on: 06/07/2022

    Why did Nordstrom close Trunk Club?

    Love the swing of the pendulum. Subscriptions. Online push, a curated box of stuff -- less of a brilliant idea than an unguided missile. And with all things online, the cost of doing business was misunderstood.
  • Posted on: 06/07/2022

    Target isn’t wasting any time in cutting the glut from its inventory

    The clock is ticking. BTS is weeks away. BTS sets up Holiday. How to decide what goes beneath the tree is already being decided, perhaps not an item, but the resource to solve the problem. Clear out those goods in the way of putting their best foot forward with the rolling start of school across the country. TGT knew this three weeks ago.
  • Posted on: 05/27/2022

    Is Macy’s for real?

    While I was encouraged by Gennette's discussion of customer segment performance, his comments about the short-term future were classic garmento blah-blah-blah. And I find the bobbing and weaving between corporate and store Macy's numbers annoying. Bloomies and Nordys performance suggests the high end is covered. And below $75,000 will remain covered by dollar stores and discounters. The middle needs a shopping experience that is relevant to the customer. Respecting her matters, as is pointed out by the unforgivable unkempt selling floors. Macy's fails here. KSS doesn't seem much better. And JCP is what again? Returning to work will be a short-term lift. The COVID-19 delayed baby boom suggests life stage activation and a promise for greater spend. Dillard's disproves the "department store demise" -- it benefits from a tight geography? I'm still not convinced that Macy's has its finger on the nationwide shopper's pulse.
  • Posted on: 05/10/2022

    Can Starbucks replicate the ‘third place’ in the metaverse?

    For starters, read the blog post. It is a place used for wondering aloud. What if Starbucks could create a new, global digital community -- a community defined by collaboration, experiences, and shared ownership -- all centered around coffee to start, and then perhaps expanded into the many of the areas Starbucks has played in over the years as a coffeehouse; art, music, books and beyond? "Third Place" reminded me of Taco Bell's "fourth meal." Both ways of reframing their role in a customer's life.
  • Posted on: 04/12/2022

    Does Amazon have an edge in capturing America’s youth?

    For now, Amazon benefits from high levels of awareness, but irrelevance will catch up to them. Just happens. No one wants to be their parents, until they see a Progressive ad.
  • Posted on: 04/08/2022

    What’s the path to becoming a retail industry thought leader?

    Don't make stuff up. There is plenty of hype. Seems to sell tickets to confabs. Show relevant experience that informs observations. Too many grand pronouncements with little humility. Everything must be connected to the consumer/shopper experience.
  • Posted on: 03/31/2022

    Will retail digital media’s growth extend into stores?

    Feels like another "back to the future," as in, this was done before, differently -- but in-store video content is nothing new. For it to be a consideration as an addition to the store environment, it must be relevant to the shopper both strategically and tactically. The metrics that will determine "relevance" will be key.
  • Posted on: 03/29/2022

    Walmart appears ready to quit its cigarette habit

    What's the role of tobacco category? Are the "Dollar" stores selling them? What about booze? Seems that category also over indexes with WMT shoppers. What drives the WMT decision, low sales or public health?
  • Posted on: 03/28/2022

    Has Backstage found its place inside of Macy’s?

    Filene's. And Filene's Basement. It was Selfridge who convinced Field to put a "Bargain Basement" below the street level on State. Outlet stores became the next generation. Nordstrom and Nordstrom Rack. As the consumer situation shifted and the desire for a "treasure hunt" arose TJX became dominant. I think Macy's has to sort out the relationship between master brand Macy's and sub brand Macy's Backstage. Backstage adds to Macy's value proposition confusion just as calls for spinning off its "online" presence. This is no time to declare victory. The relevance of the master brand is further challenged.
  • Posted on: 03/03/2022

    Amazon is closing all its Books, 4-Star and pop-up stores

    Where are the opportunities? Convenience, apparel and grocery. Learnings will migrate. The best chances for success, in order of likelihood, are:
    1. Convenience. "4-Star" ought to apply, the sector is open for success, "Dollar" stores seem wobbly.
    2. Grocery. Whole Foods extension.
    3. Apparel. Good luck! That's the La Brea Tar Pits of retail. It seems too crowded at this time, but in confusion there is profit.
    At least they aren't looking at furniture. Of course, there are other Amazon businesses that will benefit; the store operational technology and shopper behavior data.
  • Posted on: 03/02/2022

    Will Target keep its winning streak going for five more years?

    Everything comes and goes Marked by lovers and styles of clothes Things that you held high And told yourself were true Lost or changing as the days come down to you. Per Joni Mitchell, everything comes and goes. We are all old enough to remember 2013, the end of Target's foray north. But Target's woes extended beyond international expansion. And that can happen again. It probably will, in different situations with different leaders. It's retail. It's always changing. Few really get it right. That's why we love it.
  • Posted on: 02/01/2022

    Are Super Bowl ads worth it?

    it depends upon how one is using the event. Is it an ad buy or more? Is it investor relations, consumer promotion, internal motivation, or hometown strategy? There are lots of ways to increase the ROI based upon how the investment is measured.
  • Posted on: 01/28/2022

    Walmart shoppers find time is well spent in new incubator store

    Walmart has ~10,500 stores globally and 4,743 in the US. Lab stores (incubator, pilot or whatever they are called) are great. Not sure if Springdale, fourth largest city in AR with a pop of 80K, is on my shopping list, but I'd love to see what WMT is thinking. Just as long as my store maintains its housekeeping standards, is in stock and folks on the floor recognize me as a valued customer.
  • Posted on: 01/27/2022

    Will Americans go to Lowe’s to buy dog food?

    Once upon a time, even Sears had a pet department, same with Meier's. Tractor Supply has a fully kitted animal washing stations. But as they say, it's all fun and games until someone ends up with a cone around their neck. There is a crazy Venn diagram showing an overlap in pet ownership, home ownership and DIY behavior. But that doesn't mean customers give you permission to have dogs in the aisle while you are finding straight 2X4s or selecting paint or plumbing hardware. Maybe at Ace, but in a big box where Pros are eager to get to the job? Next idea, please.
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