The Buck Stops Here

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The Dollar Store category is seeing some serious new developments as the largest player gets challenged by the investment community while the entire channel faces heightened competition. In the meantime, the backlash against their continuing domination of small town retailing continues.

Dollar stores are a huge factor in the market place, one many people still don’t understand. Is that just plain Stupid….or what?

Read my take on the latest Dealing for Dollars on Forbes.com:

https://www.forbes.com/sites/warrenshoulberg/2019/01/13/the-buck-stops-here-the-dollar-store-dealings-heat-up/#52286f901d5a

Anchors Away

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If you really want to see where physical retailing is most vulnerable, look no further than the B, C and D level malls out there. By the time 2019 is over, there may be close to 1,000 anchor stores gone from these shopping centers, an average of two per mall. Sears, Macy’s, Penney, Bon Ton and others are among the not-so-incredible disappearing department stores.

Read my take on Forbes.com to see for whom the mall tolls: https://www.forbes.com/sites/warrenshoulberg/2019/01/07/anchors-away-why-sears-macys-penney-bon-ton-etc-are-emptying-regional-malls/#fbea55a27b57

Flip of the Penney Coin

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Time continues to run out for JCPenney. Sooner or later — probably sooner — the company will need to decide how it’s going to save itself. The options are pretty limited, as I point out in this Forbes.com posting. Sadly, there is enough Stupidity here to go around for everyone…

https://www.forbes.com/sites/warrenshoulberg/2019/01/02/2019-will-be-the-year-penney-flips-one-way-or-another/#554488a371f7

Gassed

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Forget about Wall Street, tax legislation, unemployment rates and government shutdowns. What really impacts the mood of the American shopper more than any other single thing is the price of gasoline. The strength of consumer spending this holiday season is of course at least partially due to rising wages and fuller employment but it’s the cost of filling up your gas tank that has theĀ  most immediate and important effect on both the psyche and spending levels of most shoppers. With gas prices significantly lower than a year ago — and down at least 10% from even a month ago — people just had more money to spend.

Those other factors matter…but the price at the pump matters more. Anyone who says otherwise is just being stupid.

Sending Out an SOS

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Pier 1 is sinking…fast. Yesterday, it fired its CEO, trashed his slow-moving turnaround plan, secured what could be some last-ditch financing and, most tellingly, hired Credit Suisse to look at “strategic alternatives.” Not a good combination and one that often leads to a bankruptcy filing.

Through a number of leaders and strategies, one thing has remained consistent at Pier 1: Stupid Retailing.

Read more on my Forbes.com posting: https://www.forbes.com/sites/warrenshoulberg/2018/12/20/shipwrecked-pier-1-is-on-its-way-out-to-sea/#6f5b1590181e

Promo-a-go-go?

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Williams Sonoma is in my opinion one of the best home furnishings retailers in the business today. It does so many things right and is the envy of many other companies trying to get their in-store/online balance right.

But I’ve noticed it has been drinking promotional cocktails a little more heavily recently, to the detriment of its margins… if not necessarily its bottom line. Here’s my take on what’s going on from this posting on The Robin Report:

https://www.therobinreport.com/is-williams-sonoma-going-promo-a-go-go/?utm_source=The+Robin+Report&utm_campaign=57da586bba-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2018_12_17_06_03&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_e90268c709-57da586bba-201764105&mc_cid=57da586bba&mc_eid=56dabd8fbd