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jerryking : lululemon   6

Store wars: short sellers expect more pain in US retail
February 26, 2019 | Financial Times | by Alistair Gray in New York.

Short sellers who made big bets against US retailers a couple of years ago had hoped for carnage across the board. No one could compete with the rise and rise of Amazon...which would make life hard for every mall tenant across America.

But after a period in which internet shopping seemed to hit almost every brick-and-mortar retailer, the industry seems to be dividing into winners and losers. Casualties are still piling up: bankruptcies since the turn of the year....Payless Shoes ....Sears, the once dominant department store chain, narrowly avoided outright liquidation.

However, some of the biggest companies e.g. Walmart & Best Buy are reporting their healthiest metrics in years......For short sellers trying to profit from falling share prices, it makes for a perilous environment.

“It’s a slow death by a thousand paper cuts, and not the kind of ‘mall-mageddon’ originally anticipated by that trade,”.....“Retail has been much more volatile than many would have expected. It hasn’t been decidedly one way down.”....an over-reaction in 2017 and that led to pretty nice opportunities [for longs] in 2018,”.....Investors who put money on the demise of retail that summer have lost out in many cases......It was almost as if they [shorts] were acting like no retail real estate space can work,” ....overcapacity doesn’t mean retail real estate is dead.”...Shares in the sector have been volatile in part because investors have had to consider a series of seemingly contradictory data points about the health of both the US consumer and the retail business.....Traditional chains are also trying to take on Amazon by improving their online offerings and making their stores more enticing. Both require hefty investment, although successful examples include Lululemon, which offers yoga lessons in its stores. Shares in the company have tripled since a 2017 low.

“Those who are innovating and investing in ecommerce, marketing and social media tend to be doing well...“The US is still over-stored,” ...Ecommerce meant “more of the store base is not economic. That’s going be a secular pressure for years to come. For those retailers that don’t have a digital strategy, it’s just a matter of time before they fall.”
Amazon  apocalypses  bankruptcies  barbell_effect  bear_markets  bricks-and-mortar  commercial_real_estate  death_by_a_thousand_cuts  department_stores  digital_strategies  e-commerce  innovation  investors  investment_thesis  Lululemon  pain_points  overcapacity  retailers  shopping_malls  short_selling  structural_decline  Wal-Mart 
february 2019 by jerryking
Twilight of the Brands
FEBRUARY 17 & 24, 2014 | - The New Yorker | BY JAMES SUROWIECKI.

It’s a truism of business-book thinking that a company’s brand is its “most important asset,” more valuable than technology or patents or manufacturing prowess. But brands have never been more fragile. The reason is simple: consumers are supremely well informed and far more likely to investigate the real value of products than to rely on logos. “Absolute Value,” a new book by Itamar Simonson, a marketing professor at Stanford, and Emanuel Rosen, a former software executive, shows that, historically, the rise of brands was a response to an information-poor environment. When consumers had to rely on advertisements and their past experience with a company, brands served as proxies for quality; if a car was made by G.M., or a ketchup by Heinz, you assumed that it was pretty good. It was hard to figure out if a new product from an unfamiliar company was reliable or not, so brand loyalty was a way of reducing risk. As recently as the nineteen-eighties, nearly four-fifths of American car buyers stayed loyal to a brand.

Today, consumers can read reams of research about whatever they want to buy. This started back with Consumer Reports, which did objective studies of products, and with J. D. Power’s quality rankings, which revealed what ordinary customers thought of the cars they’d bought. But what’s really weakened the power of brands is the Internet, which has given ordinary consumers easy access to expert reviews, user reviews, and detailed product data, in an array of categories.
James_Surowiecki  brands  Lululemon  books  GM  Heinz  customer_loyalty  J.D._Power  Consumer_Reports  new  Achilles’_heel  decline  information-poor  information-rich  fragility 
february 2016 by jerryking
What You Need to Succeed - Thomas Stemberg - Highland Capital Partners
By Thomas Stemberg | Jan 1, 2007

business plans are interesting chiefly as indications of how an entrepreneur thinks. Here at Highland Capital Partners, the venture capital firm I'm part of now, we spend most of our time talking about what really matters: management and market. If you have the right management team and an exciting market, the rest will take care of itself. I suspected that was true before I came here--it had always been true for me. Now I know it for a fact.

(1) The right people: Folks who have been there and done (something like) that.
(2) The right market: Preferably, it involves an absolute mob scene.
(3) The right answers: Sometimes you need an outside perspective.
Staples  entrepreneur  business_planning  venture_capital  Lululemon  Highland_Capital  fresh_eyes  large_markets  outsiders  the_right_people  what_really_matters 
november 2011 by jerryking
Tweet to Lululemon: Smaller sizes, please
Jun. 11, 2010 | The Globe and Mail | by Marina Strauss
Retailing Reporter. Lululemon has wrestled with a problem that rivals
can only envy: not being able to keep up with heavy demand for its $100
hoodies and yoga pants. The immediate feedback of social media means the
company doesn't have to wait for customer data from the stores' cash
registers....Comments through social media about the chain running out
of women's size 4s and 6s, for example, are helping Lululemon CEO,
Christine Day, adjust her product purchasing to ensure she's in stock
of those sizes rather than forfeiting sales, as has happened in the
past. Identifying the high-demand products to carry for her “guests,” as
the company calls its customers, is crucial for the purveyor of premium
athletic wear...Still, part of Ms. Day's strategy is something she
calls a “scarcity model.” She doesn't want the stores to carry too many
size 4s and 6s, to keep customers coming back.
social_media  Lululemon  twitter  Marina_Strauss  high-demand  customer_feedback  apparel  speed  retailers  yoga  scarcity  customer_risk 
june 2010 by jerryking
Is yoga getting bent out of shape?
May 12, 2007 | The Globe & Mail | by IAN BROWN


Limber nirvana is big business now, as Canadian company Lululemon heads
to an IPO. But 5,000 years of tradition make for flexibility
yoga  commercialization  Ian_Brown  Lululemon 
april 2009 by jerryking

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