Small Footprint, Big Steps — with Barry Beck of Bluemercury

#83. Bluemercury took cosmetics out of department stores, pioneering small-format beauty retail. We talk with co-founder Barry Beck about starting the company with his wife Marla and navigating through various retail cycles to grow their business to…


Kiddie Cup — with Miki Berardelli of Kidbox

#82. Kidbox personalizes shopping for kids. We talk with CEO Miki Berardelli about how the company is improving kids’ and parents’ lives with its try-before-you-buy model, evolving offerings and social mission. The Loose Threads Podcast features…


The fallacy of ecommerce’s infinite shelf space

There is a common refrain that the beauty of ecommerce is the idea of infinite shelf space—that there can be an unlimited number of products for sale on the internet because there are no limits to the size of the shelf. This premise is one of the…


Netflix will soon sell a majority of its own creations. Will retailers follow suit?

Companies, like people, often experience FOMO—they want to be the opposite of what they are, and sometimes with good reason. One of the most interesting but under-the-radar inversions is between creators (brands or creatives) and distributors…


The Grinds: Toy retailers seek gains from Toys R Us’ bankruptcy, Fraud-detecting services vet online shoppers, The Wing ushers in a new era of retail real estate, Beauty buffs and sneakerheads form social channels

Big toy retailers like Hasbro and Mattel and independent toy stores hope to gain market share from Toys R Us’ bankruptcy, but Amazon and its competitors may beat them to it. What happened In the wake of Toys R Us’ bankruptcy, toy manufacturers…


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 Grinds: Goop expands merchandise, Whole Foods raises rates for sellers, L. L. Bean updates return policy, Secondary sneaker market heats up, Macy’s launches new pop-up

Goop expands and diversifies G. Label merchandise, but questions of scalability loom To-the-point analysis about one of the five important stories from the week.   What happened Goop, which launched in 2008 as Gwyneth Paltrow’s…


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 Gifting and Holiday Shopping Report

Although gift-giving is a global tradition that has been around for centuries, the practice has changed drastically since the 1800s—from a meaningful exchange of valuable goods to a commercially-driven social obligation centered around popular…