Newsletter Articles: Brian Kilcourse

What’s Wrong with U.S. Big Box General Merchants?

August 25, 2014

We’ve got a birthday coming up for our little two-year-old granddaughter, who is into all things “Elmo”. If something is red or fuzzy, it’s an “Elmo” this-or-that. And even if she just likes it, it is suddenly and decisively branded an “Elmo” product (no arguing allowed). The good news is, there isn’t a lot of […]

Food for Thought

August 11, 2014

If you’re like me (as in, “not an economist”), the indicators of economic health put out by various organizations can seem contradictory at best. What’s a person to think? There’s an old joke about economists that seems to be relevant in these times: “Economics is the only field in which two people can get a […]

Net Neutrality Update

August 5, 2014

Back in 2005, UK-based future scenario planner and author Eamonn Kelly published Powerful Times: Rising To the Challenge Of Our Uncertain World. The author stated, “…today’s global economy depends heavily on the developed world’s physical infrastructure; its components literally enable the international flow of goods and services. We tend to take this for granted, assuming […]

Facebook: What’s the Value of Reach?

July 29, 2014

An article in the UK Guardian raised a question that has been bugging me for awhile: just what exactly is Facebook’s value? I’m talking about real, tangible value, not the qualitative value that many get from connecting with friends, family, and others. Here’s the question the Guardian raised: “On Thursday, <there was> a surge in […]

Apple & IBM: Looking at the Score and Declaring Victory

July 22, 2014

Last week, in what many are hailing as a breakthrough, Apple and IBM announced a joint partnership to manage Apple iOS devices in the Enterprise. The announcement highlighted four capabilities to be offered: A new class of more than 100 industry-specific enterprise solutions including native apps, developed exclusively from the ground up, for iPhone and […]

Early Signs of Tech Disillusionment?

July 15, 2014

There were several bits of news recently that, although disconnected in their subject matter, had one thing in common: some (perhaps) early indicators that the current mobile technology craze has “jumped the shark”. I’m not sure everyone will agree (especially those who make their livings selling all the latest-and-greatest), but it does seems to me that […]

Investors Don’t Care About Data Breaches?

June 24, 2014

A piece came out in Businessweek on May 21st, entitled, “Investors Couldn’t Care Less About Data Breaches”. The gist of the article is that for two out of three well-publicized data thefts (T.J.Maxx and Ebay), the stock price didn’t seem to suffer any damage beyond a blip at the about the time of the announcements […]

SAPPHIRE: Can Retailers Absorb What SAP Can Enable?

June 10, 2014

My RSR partner Paula and I had the opportunity to attend SAP’s annual SAPPHIRE conference in Orlando Florida last week. The event was held in the cavernous Orange County Convention Center for 25,000+ attendees from every industry that SAP serves, along with assorted partners, analysts, geeks, and pundits. SAP perceives the Retail industry as a […]

In the Moment @ IBM Smarter Commerce

May 20, 2014

One of the more circular arguments in retail through the last 15 years or so has been about the question, “How ‘real time’ does real time data need to be in retail?”  In fact, I think this goes back quite a long ways – I vaguely remember HP trying out some “right time” messaging on […]

The Next Big Thing

May 13, 2014

There’s a big debate in the little world of retail research & analysis about the phrase “omni-channel”. Like any buzz-phrase, it’s been used as an umbrella term for a whole bunch of things. And so (inevitably) the whiplash reaction now goes something like this: “look, ‘retail’ is ‘retail’! Exactly how retailers service consumer needs has […]

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