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Director of Retail Studies/Adjunct Professor Columbia Business School
  • Posted on: 06/13/2022

    Should retailers charge for curbside pickup?

    Bold stroke of the obvious, there's nothing in e-commerce retailing that's free. Free shipping, free curbside delivery and free buy online pick-up in-store are all unsustainable expenses. Add to that free returns and the industry is heading toward a bright light at the head of the tunnel they are in that's an oncoming train. At some point the consumer needs to be convinced that the intrinsic value of the goods they are buying is worth the inevitable incremental cost of the transaction they engage in.
  • Posted on: 06/10/2022

    Could better technology have averted the supply chain crisis?

    I don't believe that technology utilization could have in any meaningful way prevented the Covid 19 Supply Chain Crisis that we are still working out from under. Common sense practices, however, might have helped. Endless focus on cost reduction, inventory productivity, production optimization etc. are all well and good until something happens that fundamentally upsets our apple cart. Consider the crisis we faced in managing service and supply issues of simple PPE products like face masks. If there are lessons learned it is focus on technology by all means but take into account as a modicum of common sense and good judgment that major disruptions are by their very nature impossible to predict. Near shoring is not likely a reasonable solution but diversified production and assembly sites and strategic material stockpiles certainly do offer possible viable future solutions.
  • Posted on: 06/09/2022

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

    Retailers acquired by entities with no relevant experience fail. Retailers who are acquired through the use of excessive leverage fail. Retailers who are forced to sell off assets to manage excessive leverage fail. This is the same old/same old movie with the inevitable same old/same old crappy ending.
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