Is Square Footage the Issue?

Over the last 2+ years, Wall Street analysts have pounded BestBuy on the size of their big box store fronts.  Best Buy recently announced another 42 store closures – bring to 50 the total stores that will shutter in 2012.  Best Buy has also worked over the last year to shrink their footprints.  In some…

Why the Kindle Fire and the Barnes & Noble Nook Tablet are Good for Traditional Retail

This month Amazon’s new tablet the Kindle Fire and Barnes & Noble’s Nook Tablet go on-sale this month.  While both products are technically the house brand of competing retails, they’ll be widely available  in a variety of retail channels.  One would typically presume that a consumer interested in the Kindle Fire would just go to Amazon.com to…

Why Don’t Retail Sales Show More Seasonality?

My title is a bit deceiving – retail sales definitely do show strong seasonal trends driving by year-end holiday buying. As the chart makes evident, retail sales are very seasonal.  For GAFO, which represents stores that specialize in department store types of merchandise (furniture & home furnishings, electronics and appliances, clothing & accessories, sporting goods, hobby, book,…

Further Confirmation of CEA Holiday Research – Shoppers Pushing Shopping later in the Season

For the last 18 years, CEA has conducted and published a holiday outlook. This research has revealed that overtime consumers are starting (and likely ultimately finishing) their holiday shopping later in the year.  Over time fewer are starting their holiday shopping in September and October and more are beginning in November and December. I credit this shift to shoppers waiting on deals and…

Black Friday Predictions

Each year I predict the lowest pricing we’ll see for a variety of tech products during Black Friday.  Last year I predicted we’d see notebook computers selling for as low $299.  In fact Walmart sold a notebook for $198 on Black Friday.  This year I’m predicting the lowest prices we’ll see for notebook computers will be $250 – actually higher than…

on Amazon’s Digital Book Lending Service

Amazon is now a library – sorta. Last week, Amazon launched the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library which gives Kindle users who own an actual Kindle device (and not just use the Kindle app on other devices) AND are Amazon Prime subscribers access to 5,000+ books they can “borrow.” A few things worth noting: 1) this is probably the first example of a subscription service for digital books. …

Retail News Around the Horn

A few thoughts on retail: Black Friday has Moved to Thursday:  As I predicted last year, stores are opening earlier for Black Friday this year.  ToysRUs jumped the gun in 2010 and opened at 10PM on Thursday.  Each ToysRUs store landed 1,000+ shoppers – the largest crowds of any retailer largely because there was nothing else open.  I predicted then that stores would open…