retail news in context, analysis with attitude

We had a story on Friday about how Target, unable to get itself out of the rut that has affected its sales and traffic, now wants to get back to fundamentals and core values that it hopes can re-energize the company.

My comment:

The problem is that while Target is retrenching, everybody else is going to be innovating. Nobody is going to wait for Target to catch up. I think it is important to do both. To do otherwise is to concede a kind of defeat.

Just in general, I hate it when companies start to talk about getting back to fundamentals. For the most part, fundamentals are table stakes. If you're not doing all the basic, core stuff right, it is a little late to get back to them.


MNB reader John Phillips responded:

Totally agree with your POV on Target. At the current time they are really not a threat to anyone but themselves. By not continuing to innovate they are falling farther and farther behind the organizations like Amazon that continue to push the envelope. Unfortunately Target has lost their way on the fundamentals which they are no where near best in class at ( In Stock, Customer Service, Merchandising, Point of Purchase Presentation of their Product, Diversity of Portfolio etc…) .One man’s opinion but it seems to me that they more headed the way of a Kmart/Sears versus being the disrupting force they used to be in the Marketplace.

And MNB reader Tom Murphy wrote:

The real problem: Target is a slave to Wall Street which means selling things.  Digital companies, including Amazon, tend to focus more on meeting the demands for customer experience…which may not always make Wall Street happy.  First order of business for a retailer is to pick your master!




And, following up on my piece last week about the Moxy hotel format created by Marriott, MNB reader Marty Salerno wrote:

I agree with what you are saying about this new concept hotel.  While I haven’t stayed in the one in Scottsdale, I’ve stayed at the first one at the Milan Airport in Italy.  The large community space in the lobby I also found worked very well.  With bean bag chairs, a library style area with desks that were comfortable.  Additionally, they offered food and beverages that were good but not great and not too expensive.  The room itself while not large was comfortable and was wired with USB ports for both charging and as an input for the TV.  Overall it was a great place for a one night stay before catching a flight back to the U.S. the next morning.  I would highly recommend it.

Me, too.
KC's View: