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Disruption is Inevitable, Essential & Painful

America has too many stores, too much inventory, and too few shoppers. Macy’sJC PenneySearsJ. Crew and other major retailers have already announced that they will be closing stores because in the new retail landscape they cannot justify the return on these expensive fixed assets – and because customers no longer choose to spend their money in old-model retail stores. The market capitalization of American department stores dropped nearly $80 Billion since 1999, according to Census data. The cost of disruption is more than store closings and diminished market caps, it's people and jobs. Macy's and JC Penney, alone, will be closing over 200 stores and eliminating over 12,000 jobs. You can not shrink your way to success. However, you can buy yourself more runway.
Recent posts

The End of Mass Marketing: Go Small, or Go Home

Once upon a time… business success was based on providing a narrow segment of consumers with a narrow segment of products, uniquely suited to their needs, sourced and advertised locally, and sold at a local store. Over time, the spread of mass media - TV, national newspapers and magazines - along with the expansion of national retail stores, and the growth of a global and highly efficient supply chain, led to a world of mass marketing, mass production, and massive retailers. The retail world moved from personalized products for localized, niche markets to mass-produced products for mass markets. Mass marketers thrive on "must-have" items - huge volumes of single styles, sold across many market segments to an audience of consumers eager to have the item they saw advertised in mass media, and which, in turn are produced in great scale and efficiency. This strategy worked. Until it didn’t.

Australia & Amazon: The Battle Down Under

Geographically separated from most of the world, Australia has long retained a sense of independence and individuality. However, the rapid spread technology and ubiquity of readily-available information has made the world a much smaller place. On the Internet, Australia is one small click away from Seattle.

What if Amazon is Retail's Only Hope?

What if Amazon is not the brick-and-mortar store killer? What if Amazon is retail’s champion? "Retail Apocalypse." The term has its own Wikipedia entry. This transformation, of "biblical" proportions, is often blamed on Amazon.

Discounts, Discovery & Delight: 3Ds for Retail Success

In fashion and retail, Dopamine is the drug of choice. Technically, Dopamine is the neurotransmitter of “desire.” Dopamine leaps across synapses in our brain to control our reward and pleasure centers. It enables craving. It induces repeat behaviors. It makes us want more. Therefore, it is in our best interest to create products and experiences which induce the release of dopamine in our consumers. We could use some dopamine for ourselves, too. In our fashion and retail world, there are three primary stimuli, "3Ds," we can control to deliver hits of dopamine: Discounts, Discovery and Delight.

What I Should Have Said, But Didn't

Last week in Las Vegas, during the largest fashion industry trade show, MAGIC/PROJECT, I delivered the keynote presentation for the YMA Fashion Scholarship Fund and UBM Advanstar. It was entitled, “Disruption is the Mother of Invention.”  At the end of my presentation a woman stood up to ask a question. Actually, she made a statement.
I own a fashion retail store, she exclaimed. 

I’m a good merchant, it’s a good store. It’s been in business a long time. Customers shop my store with their smartphone in their hand… and then they buy the item on Amazon Prime. 
She cried out, 

It’s not right. It’s not fair. 
And then she said,

What do I do? My answer was “textbook,” when the last thing needed was a textbook.

Surreal Dream Like photos @ Burning Man

Burning Man is an annual gathering that takes place at Black Rock City—a temporary community erected in the Black Rock Desert in Nevada. The event is described as an experiment in community and art, influenced by 10 main principles, including "radical" inclusion, self-reliance and self-expression, as well as community cooperation, civic responsibility, gifting, decommodification, participation, immediacy and leaving no trace.

Just thought these images were incredibly interesting especially since they are not photoshopped!