Stories by Tige Savage

Expert Voices

How brick-and-mortar retailers can adapt to the age of e-commerce

A Bonobos 'guideshop' stands in lower Manhattan on April 18, 2017 in New York City.
A Bonobos in lower Manhattan on April 18, 2017, in New York City. The high-end men's clothing retailer is in talks with Walmart for an approximately $300-million sale. Photo: Spencer Platt via Getty Images

Last month, Sears announced its plan to close another 72 stores and identified 100 as unprofitable, after its 26th consecutive quarter with diminishing sales. Sears and similar retailers have suffered largely because of changing consumer behavior and market dominance of Amazon, which was responsible for 44% of all U.S. e-commerce sales last year. 

But, but, but: While sales have declined the past six years for Sears, brick-and-mortar sales overall have increased each of the past four, driven by retailers who blend online and offline commerce and deliver memorable experiences. Companies such as Amazon and Apple built on consumer-first retail DNA, while other leaders such as Walmart and Target have acquired that DNA through aggressive acquisitions of next-generation brands such as Jet.com, Bonobos and Shipt.

Expert Voices

Next-wave convenience stores to upend traditional brands and jobs

A shopper walks out the the Amazon Go store, on January 22, 2018 in Seattle, Washington. After more than a year in beta Amazon opened the cashier-less store to the public.
A shopper walks out the the Amazon Go store on January 22, 2018, in Seattle, Washington. Photo: Stephen Brashear via Getty Images

The corner convenience store is being disrupted, driven by the increasingly familiar consumer desires for technology-driven convenience and healthier products.

Why it matters: Global, national and even regional brands need to plan accordingly as the next generation of convenience stores starts to gain traction with millennial consumers and investors. This could prove yet another example of technology hollowing out working-class jobs, as convenience store clerks go the way of gas station attendants.

Expert Voices

What Amazon’s expansion into shipping means for FedEx and UPS

Prime Air–branded airplane
An Amazon-branded Boeing 767 freighter, nicknamed Amazon One. Photo: Stephen Brashear / Getty Images

Amazon's move to provide shipping services to its business customers extends a trend at the e-commerce giant of subsidizing its operations by converting a cost center to a revenue source. For the first time, it puts Amazon in direct competition with key logistics providers FedEx, UPS and the U.S. Postal Service.

Why it Matters: Amazon has a history of disrupting incumbents’ billion-dollar categories (think: Amazon Web Services). Expect Delivery-as-a-Service (DAAS) to enter the e-commerce lexicon and shipping expenses to reduce their drain on the company’s earnings.

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