Newsletter Articles: Paula Rosenblum

The Walmart Out-of-Stock Problem: Lessons Learned

April 22, 2014

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 […]

The Pricing Paradox

April 15, 2014

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

April 1, 2014

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

March 25, 2014

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

March 11, 2014

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

March 3, 2014

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 […] Hacked, Why Should Retailers Care

February 25, 2014

Portions of this piece were originally published on, 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 […]

When Co-development Makes Sense

February 18, 2014

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

February 4, 2014

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, […]

Demandware Acquires Mainstreet for Anywhere-Anytime Fulfillment

January 28, 2014

Our data and instincts have been telling us 2014 was going to be a big year for cross-channel order fulfillment. It also is shaping up as a big year for partnerships and acquisitions in the space, because retailers would like a seamless integration between commerce and order management systems as much as their customers would. […]

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