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Ripcord is our new weekly newsletter that highlights one timely and important insight about the consumer economy.

Recent Ripcords

The Off-Price Epidemic

While off-price stores like TJ Maxx and Burlington have existed for decades, the 2008 recession—the biggest since the dot-com boom—incited retailers to turn more heavily to the off-price business model. At the time, consumers across all…

The Exclusive Product and Collab Report

In today’s competitive retail landscape, selling the same products as everyone else—and especially Amazon—puts brands and retailers on the path to self-commoditization: the race to the bottom on price that is bankrupting some companies and seriously…

The Full Price Report

Discount-heavy pricing strategies create long-term cycles of dependence that lead to promotion-addicted shoppers and lowered profit-margins—companies end up repeatedly undercutting themselves. Brands and retailers, therefore, are looking for ways to…

The Sales Associate and Stylist Report

Retailers are hurting, especially as shoppers buy more products online. But the role the sales associate plays into this receives less attention. As working in retail has developed from a career to a gig economy job, brands, retailers and customers…

The Loose Threads Podcast features energizing discussions with leaders across the consumer economy.

Recent Podcasts

The Off-Price Epidemic

While off-price stores like TJ Maxx and Burlington have existed for decades, the 2008 recession—the biggest since the dot-com boom—incited retailers to turn more heavily to the off-price business model. At the time, consumers across all…

The Exclusive Product and Collab Report

In today’s competitive retail landscape, selling the same products as everyone else—and especially Amazon—puts brands and retailers on the path to self-commoditization: the race to the bottom on price that is bankrupting some companies and seriously…

The Full Price Report

Discount-heavy pricing strategies create long-term cycles of dependence that lead to promotion-addicted shoppers and lowered profit-margins—companies end up repeatedly undercutting themselves. Brands and retailers, therefore, are looking for ways to…

The Sales Associate and Stylist Report

Retailers are hurting, especially as shoppers buy more products online. But the role the sales associate plays into this receives less attention. As working in retail has developed from a career to a gig economy job, brands, retailers and customers…