Author Archives: Paula Rosenblum

The Walmart Out-of-Stock Problem: Lessons Learned

22 April 2014, 11:46

Paula Rosenblum

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Since 2010, respondents to our annual Merchandising benchmark survey have cited underperforming inventory as a top-three business challenge more than most any other option, certainly more than “out-of-stocks.” We mostly viewed this as a lasting aftereffect of the Great Recession, when working capital suddenly was at a minimum and every inventory buy mattered. But while […]

What’s Next for the Future of Stores?

16 April 2014, 11:57

Paula Rosenblum

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In spite of every emerging consumer technology, stores can’t go away. In addition to retailers’ massive investments, customers still want to visit stores. The problem is we no longer know why. What may drive one individual to leave their home and visit a store is almost guaranteed to vary – and drastically – from what […]

The Pricing Paradox

15 April 2014, 10:50

Paula Rosenblum

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There’s a reason the newsletter you’re reading is called Retail Paradox. When we started RSR (on June 15 it will be eight years! Time flies!), we observed three essential paradoxes retailers were grappling with: the shift to global supply while trying to satisfy far more local demand, the imperative to improve customer service while also […]

Conscious Capitalist Container Store to Carry Coffins

1 April 2014, 09:15

Paula Rosenblum

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Editor’s Note: This article originally appeared as part of the April 1st, 2014 “April Fool’s Edition” of the Retail Paradox Weekly newsletter. Following closely on Walmart’s announcement that it would be selling KISS caskets, the Container Store announced it too is entering the rapidly expanding coffin space. “Baby Boomers are heading for that last sunset,” […]

Intelligent Inventory and Pricing Must Be Accurate

25 March 2014, 08:48

Paula Rosenblum

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We’re just about ready to launch our 2014 Pricing Benchmark report, and two themes really jumped out at me. Well… in truth, more than two, but let’s say two NEW themes jumped out. First: Our industry has become fixated on competitive prices. Second: retailers are executing all kinds of sophisticated pricing schemes without strong confidence […]

In-store Tracking and Data Security: The FTC Is Getting Involved

11 March 2014, 07:56

Paula Rosenblum

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Retail used to be a simple business, buy stuff, put it in stores, sell it, and tabulate the results. But technology has made our industry more complex. We have new things to think about. In fact, technology has expanded our choices to a point where we have to ask ourselves, “Just because we can do […]

2014 Pricing Benchmark Results: A First Look

3 March 2014, 17:55

Paula Rosenblum

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We’ve begun analyzing your responses to our 2014 Pricing benchmark survey. This year we’ve got a really interesting take on the data, as half our respondents have their retail headquarters in the UK. We have been somewhat surprised by the differences we’ve found. Let’s take a quick look at some of those differences. It will […]

Kickstarter.com Hacked, Why Should Retailers Care

25 February 2014, 11:23

Paula Rosenblum

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Portions of this piece were originally published on Forbes.com, but it seemed important to re-iterate it here. It’s starting to seem like consumers are getting hack notifications almost as often as the Northeast has been getting snowstorms this year. Last Sunday, I found myself the recipient of yet another notification – this one from kickstarter.com. […]

When Co-development Makes Sense

18 February 2014, 10:03

Paula Rosenblum

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Recently we’ve received a fair number of inquiries from both retailers and technology vendors on the value of co-development. In plain English, co-development is a retailer and tech vendor working together to create a new version of a product, or even an entirely new product. Both have the understanding and expectation that the technology will […]

The Payments Industry is Ripe for Disruption

4 February 2014, 08:22

Paula Rosenblum

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Last week I attended two different conferences in Miami Beach related to payments and currency. The first was the Miami Beach Bitcoin Conference, and the second was the Mobile Payments conference. Both events were held in the same venue but that was pretty much the only similarity. As I digested what I’d seen and heard, […]

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