A Chat With Beth Guastella, giggle’s New President and COO, Part 1
July 30, 2013

I had the opportunity to chat recently with Beth Guastella, the recently named president and chief operating officer of giggle, an omnichannel specialty retailer of upscale baby products and resources. In part one of this two-part blog post, we discuss what attracted Guastella to giggle; what specialty retail is; and how giggle’s catalog business works. 

5 Steps Toward Omnichannel Success
June 12, 2013

“Omnichannel” is one of the hottest buzzwords in the retail industry. Yet while everyone is talking omnichannel, relatively few brands

Observations From NRF
February 25, 2013

Retailers of all types — brick-and-mortar, internet, catalog and multichannel variations of the three — are facing the same inventory challenges, yet still view their issues from the bias of their primary channel. I was reminded of this while attending the recent National Retail Federation (NRF) Convention. Three observations that the Direct Tech contingent brought back from NRF seem to support this view: 

The New Reality of Inventory Management
October 26, 2012

For 30 years I've advocated for more detail in the planning process. Now, however, I believe the best response to this overwhelming new reality is "less." Less data, less complexity, less time planning insignificant details. It's time to focus on the right planning, to free up your time and brain so you can make sound decisions that affect sales, profits and cash flow. 

4 Multichannel Inventory Planning Best Practices
April 17, 2012

It seems every retailer I've spoken with recently is scrambling to gain control of their inventory planning, regardless of channel. It's not just the cross-channel marketers fighting it; even pure-play internet retailers are struggling to support their "minichannels" — search engine optimization, search engine marketing, email marketing, Amazon stores and more.

How to Manage Nonproductive Inventory, Part 2
March 8, 2012

Left unaddressed, nonproductive inventory can be a major financial drag on your business. But you can reduce its negative impact and even create some positive outcomes by following the simple guidelines laid out here.

How to Manage Nonproductive Inventory, Part 1
February 23, 2012

An inherent fact in retailing is nonproductive inventory — i.e., inventory that's sitting idle in stores or distribution centers with no immediate sales plan for moving it. Nonproductive inventory can be overstocks (inventory you own that exceeds projected future sales, primarily for discontinued and soon-to-be-discontinued items) and too-much-too-soon inventory, for which you have a future sales plan but your weeks-of-inventory ownership is far greater than needed. Both can have a substantial negative impact on your company's bottom line.