Performance Marketing 2.0

Managing the customer’s journey from awareness, consideration and purchase and then onto loyalty and advocacy is the Holy Grail of retail marketing. To unlock its full potential, the journey must be relevant, engaging and seamless, from end-to-end. The current focus

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Posted in Brand Strategy, Digital strategy, Ecommerce, Growth, Marketing, Retail Trends

Make the Most of Speed — A Nimble Supply Chain is Just the Start

L Brand’s speed-to-market program has delivered a virtuous cycle of positive benefits to the Victoria’s Secret and Bath & Body Works businesses, resulting in lower inventory, faster turns, lower markdowns, higher operating margins and increased sales — extraordinary progress that

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Posted in Brand Strategy, Growth, Merchandising, Profit Model, Promotion Strategy, Retail Trends, Speed, Testing

Five Strategies to Strengthen Stores

We all know it: the Web commodifies the customer shopping experience. Nevertheless, the sheer convenience and unlimited access provided by online shopping continues to draw a greater portion of her spend. So how can mall specialty retailers draw her back

Posted in Brand Strategy, Digital strategy, Growth, Marketing, Merchandising, Retail Trends, Testing

Make Your Ecommerce Channel More Profitable

Vertically integrated fashion retailers have an easy dotcom business model compared to retailers who sell others’ brands. This relative ease comes from having an extra ~15 percentage points of margin to play with, no direct competition, an established supply chain

Posted in Digital strategy, Ecommerce, Profit Model

The Value in Real Estate Analytics

My conversation with Steve Morris, Founder and CEO of Asset Strategies Group, drawing on his 30+ years in the retail industry: Steve, in my January blog post, I characterized the mall-based fashion specialty retail sector as “stagnant.”  What’s your perspective?

Posted in Real Estate

Test for Success

In the popular business book Lean Startup, the author Eric Ries encourages companies to test their way into new businesses – to create a minimally viable product (MVP), get customer reaction, iterate and reiterate, and learn as much as possible

Posted in Growth, Marketing, Merchandising, Testing

On the Mall, A 2013 Few Can Celebrate

2013 was an inflection point for U.S. mall retailing.  The economy warily emerged from its Great Recession doldrums, share prices reclaimed record highs, and online retail ascended to become mall retail’s equal partner (in influence if not in transactions). Nevertheless,

Posted in Brand Strategy, Growth, Retail Trends

Retail Strategy in the Digital Age

After twenty years focused on retail strategy, I took a two-year hiatus in an attempt to make my Internet riches with a software start-up. When I returned to consulting in late 2012 (alas, sans riches), I returned to a significantly changed

Posted in Brand Strategy, Digital strategy, Growth, Marketing, Merchandising

Expand Your Growth Portfolio

In a market environment characterized by scant growth and persistent overcapacity, mature specialty retailers have no choice but to pursue non-core growth initiatives. Most companies wisely consider only “adjacent” opportunities, meaning those that leverage existing corporate competencies and other assets.

Posted in Growth

How to Win in Your Most Strategic Categories (Part I)

Strategic Patterning When I was VP of Brand Planning at Limited Brands, one of my team’s core responsibilities was to help with the merchandising strategies for several key business units. The main thrust was to develop plans and inculcate disciplines

Posted in Growth, Marketing, Merchandising