Grayfields: The Retail Downtrend

Michael Tchong

The headline is telling: “ Toys ‘R’ Us Is Prepping to Liquidate Its U.S. Operations.” How could a retailer that first opened its doors in 1948 implode so spectacularly? It’s a manifestation of the “Amazon Factor,” which is turning the retail landscape into a gray graveyard. The closures are mounting. Business Insider predicts that 3,600 stores in will close in …

Saks Fifth Avenue ConBody

Michael Tchong

The Amazon Factor will lead to as many as 8,600 store closings in 2017. Retailers have three options: Close up shop, innovate, or change and become a discount retailer, which, as Costco and Ross Stores are proving, could be a viable strategy. Saks Fifth Avenue has decided to fight by reinventing the very concept of retail. Leveraging a growing trend, …

Amazon

Michael Tchong

Amazon has changed the way America shops. In September 2016, Bloomberg reported that more than half of U.S. online consumers begin their product searches on Amazon.com’s site or mobile app. That was an early distant warning. America’s retail establishment was not prepared for what was to happen next. As of Spring 2017, some 2,671 major U.S. retail stores will be …

Tuft & Needle

Michael Tchong

There is no industry in America in need of disruption than the mattress industry. That’s because most mattresses are sold with a time-tested technique that revolves around smoke and mirrors. Phoenix-based upstart Tuft & Needle has taken the call to reinvent the mattress business, and they’re succeeding. The $15 billion U.S. mattress industry is dominated by the four “big S” …

Zenni Optical

Michael Tchong

A conversation about innovation inevitably sparks visions of Apple, AirBnB or Uber. However, there are many unsung heroes who practice the art of efficiency innovation extremely well. In prescription eyewear retailing, Zenni Optical has carved a sterling reputation for itself. While many think of Warby Parker when discussing eyeglasses innovation, if you want to save a bundle and receive your …

Tony Hsieh’s Big Las Vegas Vision

Michael Tchong

When it comes to big ideas, it’s not surprising to find Zappos.com co-founder and CEO, Tony Hsieh, outlining Las Vegas’ innovative future. Where others see emptiness amid a 1.5-square mile stretch of land, Hsieh sees innovation. In fact, he’s so certain of his vision that he plans to invigorate the startup culture to the tune of $350 million. His idea …