Gap Takes $40 Mil Hit

According to The Wall Street Journal, Gap, of San Francisco, opened 19 Forth & Towne stores over the past 18 months in a bid to tap the baby-boomer market, long considered underserved by women’s clothing stores that tended to focus on teens and young adults. But the move failed, and now Gap is closing the […]

Consumers Speak. Retailers Listen.

BusinessWeek says retailers are learning from social networking sites like MySpace and are now busy weaving the functionality found there into their own sites. Customer reviews have long been part of cutting-edge sites like Amazon.com and Netflix, but the practice is spreading dramatically these days to a broader array of retailers. By the end of […]

The Way To Kill Off Your Brand

1) Sell counterfeit merchandise and threaten customers. 2) Get pissy with a TV investigative reporter. 3) Call back reporter, tell reporter you’ve changed and “witnessed the power of God,” and are willing to talk on camera. 4) Punch, spit, curse, and throw snowballs at the reporter when he returns, all the while being filmed on […]

The Gap Falls Into A Hole

Is it just my clouded memory, or does this seem to happen every few years? The Gap goes along strong, then they try selling trendy clothes and sales drop, then they go back to basics, then they get stronger, then they screw up again, then they go back to basics? I swear I’ve heard this […]

Counting Gators Before They Hatch

News Net 5 in Cleveland, Ohio reports on one retailer’s desire to capitalize on an Ohio State victory (that did not happen) in last night’s championship game. Macy’s made a losing bet on the Buckeyes and now has T-shirts that stores can’t sell, proclaiming Ohio State college football’s national champions. Three of the department stores […]

Lawsuits Are Targeting Target, Claiming Copyright Infringment

If you think your local Target is beginning to resemble a Pottery Barn, it may not be your imagination. The Minneapolis Star-Tribune reports on a new lawsuit, and others over the years, that accuse Target of copying other retailers’ products: Williams-Sonoma, which operates Pottery Barn and other chains, claims in a federal lawsuit filed Tuesday […]

Deer, Pot And Retail

Gawker Media’s The Consumerist is always a good read (thanks to editor Ben Popken). Today, particularly so. Here’s one story from the retail sector: A huge-ass box of pot on its way to a Philadelphia drug dealer was mistakenly rerouted to the local Kmart, Saturday, where it was discovered by an employee in the stock […]

Wal-Mart’s Too Trendy!

Saw this in the New York Times and I had to chuckle: The chief executive of Wal-Mart Stores, H. Lee Scott Jr., said yesterday that the introduction of upscale products, like silk camisoles and 300-thread-count sheets, had proved “choppier than it should be” and that the company had “moved too far too fast” with fashionable […]

Wal-Mart’s Quest To Be More Sophisticated

Uniforms at retail help define a brand. Last week I was at Hotel Monaco in Salt Lake City where the staff wears tie-dyed oxford cloth shirts. It’s easy for me to feel at home in such a place. According to the Houston Chronicle, the world’s largest retailer is now looking to spiff up its outfits. […]

Wal-Mart Goes Shopping For A New Ad Agency

That’s the big news from the ad world today. Ad Age and Adweek have respective articles. Currently, the bulk of the account is split between Austin’s GSD&M and Kansas City’s Bernstein-Rein. And for a long time, too, as Adweek mentions: GSD&M has worked for the retailer for the past 19 years. Bernstein-Rein has been on […]