more articles by

Cale Guthrie Weissman

  • JAN 28, 2020

    Blockchain has yet to hit the retail big-time, but there’s still growing interest

    For the last five years blockchain has been hyped as the next technological paradigm. Despite many believing that it could radically change retailers' supply chain, blockchain-based applications have yet to hit the mainstream. Now that the craze has settled, some use-cases may end up quietly being adopted.

  • JAN 27, 2020

    Why grocery stores are all in on pick up

    Both retailers and service providers alike are investing heavily in pickup services. To consumers, it's billed as a way to buy groceries online and have them ready to be picked up while driving home. But for the grocers, it presents heightened costs and new logistical issues. How long will this fad last?

  • JAN 23, 2020

    A ‘unicorn hangover’: Casper’s impending IPO is impacting the wider DTC industry

    All eyes are on Casper and its plans to go public. The company has long been considered a leader in the DTC space, but now that things don't look great for its public market debut, the question remains how its performance will impact other digitally native brands.

  • JAN 22, 2020

    Despite losses, Walmart’s e-commerce strategy is taking shape

    Over the last six months, Walmart has made many changes to its leadership. While some of these changes are natural to growing multinational businesses, they also hint at the retailer's evolving and more cohesive online strategy.

  • JAN 20, 2020

    As Payless tries to re-open in the US, it faces an uphill battle

    Payless ShoeSource has come out of its latest bankruptcy proceedings with big plans to relaunch in the U.S. It's provided scant details about what that would look like. But with all of its U.S. locations closed, a large brand and business overhaul will be necessary to keep the retailer alive.

  • JAN 17, 2020

    Surreal cuisine: Why investors and entrepreneurs are intrigued by ghost kitchens

    A new type of restaurant is becoming popular, and you can't sit down in it. Called "ghost kitchens," these delivery only establishments are catching entrepreneurs' eyes and investors' capital.

  • JAN 16, 2020

    As Amazon lifts FedEx shipping ban, questions about reliability and logistics remain

    During the Holiday season, Amazon abruptly announced that it wouldn't let merchants use FedEx to fulfill Prime orders. Now, the e-commerce giant has made an about face and let the parcel service back in. What's behind these moves is a complicated ecosystem of logistics competition and customer expectations.

  • JAN 14, 2020

    At NRF, Alibaba pitches itself as the anti-Amazon

    Alibaba is making a big push to U.S. retailers. While much of its pitch is focused on entering the large Chinese market, Alibaba is also making one thing crystal clear: It is not Amazon has no plans to become like it. At a recent panel with Allbirds, the e-commerce company talked about this. Christina Fontana, Alibaba's Tmall's head of fashion and luxury, said the company is "building technology platforms and services that allow brands to speak directly to their consumers." She highlighted the data the company shares with companies selling on the platform, as well as the various opportunities to promote products -- be it via live-streaming or during events like Singles Day. Her pitch was clear: China is "the largest retail market in the world," she said, and Alibaba is an obvious way to access that population. It currently exceeds 755 million active users.

  • JAN 13, 2020

    Why Starbucks will never get rid of human labor

    Starbucks is investing in new technology to make ordering and pickup faster. But, the company maintains that it's not trying to eliminate the need for human help. At a recent retail event, the coffee giant's president and CEO, Kevin Johnson, explained why.

  • JAN 13, 2020

    Robots are changing retail, but not where you can see them

    Robotics has been considered a disruptor for years now. But we haven't quite seen how the automated technology will transform the retail industry. While a number of well-funded robotics startups crash and burn, a few others operating in the background have shown a growing demand for retail robotics.

  • JAN 10, 2020

    ‘A mishmash of products’: What went wrong at Pier 1 Imports

    Pier 1 is planning on shutting down nearly half of its stores. It's a drastic measure for a floundering retail brand. How did it get here? Due to years of ignoring the competitive landscape and being unable to rebuild a modern brand.

  • JAN 08, 2020

    Why wine retailers are fearful of a proposed European product tariff, explained

    The Trump administration has proposed a 100% tariff on all European wines. This has caused the wine industry to go into panic mode. While importers would be on the front lines of this change, a whole slew of wine-adjacent businesses stand to be adversely impacted by these new duties.

  • JAN 07, 2020

    Pitch deck: How Target is pitching its advertising network to retailers

    Large national retailers are all trying to grow out their own advertising businesses. Part of that is convincing brands that they have a unique platform that will lead to more sales. Modern Retail obtained Target's pitch deck, which shows how the retailers is positioning itself as a treasure trove of customer data.

  • JAN 06, 2020

    How FedEx and UPS’s battle against Amazon is changing online retail

    FedEx and UPS are imposing new fees for heavy items. For the time being, this impacts individuals and companies that ship their own items. Overall, it's part of a changing shipping ecosystem where parcel carriers are trying to increase margins and rely less on Amazon. Online retailers, as a result, aren't sure how big the changes will be or when they will stop.

  • JAN 02, 2020

    In 2020, DTC brands will hit a revenue wall

    As CAC costs continue to rise, DTC brands may begin to feel the stress of business reality. The question remains: what comes next for businesses that grew online and are expected to scale beyond $50 million. While some may be able to build solid omnichannel businesses, others may be in the midst of a reckoning.

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