Warby Parker Sees the Future of Retail

I spent more than three months embedded within Warby Parker to try to understand the making of this made-on-the-Internet brand. Among other things, I watched employees decide on frames for their winter season, wrestle with the nuances of their burgeoning retail strategy, and obsessively plan an employee ping-pong tournament. How, I asked—in meetings and during presentations in New York and over martinis in Los Angeles—have … [ Read more ]

How Amazon Innovates in Ways that Google and Apple Can’t

Amazon has shown a remarkable ability to succeed in a wide variety of different product categories. That’s a contrast to most other high-profile tech companies that are really good in one area — Google’s dominant online services or Apple’s extraordinarily profitable hardware — but struggle when the quest for growth pushes them outside their zone of core competency. Amazon has figured out how to combine … [ Read more ]

Andrew Mason On How To Deal: From Founder To Ex-Groupon CEO

Groupon’s journey from world’s hottest startup to most polarizing company in tech is delicious, disgraceful, and just plain weird. Inside its precipitous fall–and its audacious bid for redemption.

Why Walmart Is Like a Forest

Thinking about your company as an ecosystem yields lessons for innovation, growth, and renewal.

How Ikea Reassembled Its Growth Strategy

During the Great Recession, this iconic Swedish furniture company developed a new way to expand: cutting costs while increasing customer loyalty.

Winning Hearts and Minds at Home Depot

Bob Nardelli’s pursuit of perfection, 3 billion human interactions per year.

Wal-Mart’s Way

Heavyweight retailer looks inward to stay innovative in business technology.

Toys “R” Us Battles Back

The giant toy retailer missed the Wal-Mart incursion and the Web discontinuity. But with its bricks-and-mortar advantages, it can still fight the e-tail war.

Editor’s Note: this was written in 2000 when Toys “R” Us was flubbing it’s online efforts and eToys was king – obviously a lot has happened since then but if you are looking for good background material this is worth a … [ Read more ]

Amazon Finally Clicks

Ten years old and profitable at last, it offers a textbook lesson on how to be both focused and flexible.

Sainsbury’s A: Transforming the Supply Chain and Sainsbury’s B: Supply Chain Performance Measurement

The UK retail industry has changed beyond recognition over the last ten years. Sainsbury’s, the leading retailer for so long, has been forced from the top of the pile by rival Tesco and has been unable to grab the top spot back. Would it be possible for Sainsbury’s to redress the situation by taking direct action in its supply chain? Associate Professor Regine Slagmulder and … [ Read more ]

Welcome to Tesco, Your “Glocal” Superstore

How the U.K. retailer won over the world, one market at a time.

The Big Store Goes Global

What retailers can learn from Wal-Mart’s international expansion.

Editor’s Note: the discussion centers on the seven sources of competitive advantage in retail:
– Inputs
– Technology
– Operations
– Offering & Brand
– Access
– Segmentation
– Customers

Taking Tesco global

This is not a traditional academic case, but rather a detailed interview with David Reid, deputy chairman of the United Kingdom’s largest grocer, Tesco. In it he explains the company’s international strategy and their online delivery model among other items.

The Last Mile to Nowhere: Flaws & Fallacies in Internet Home-Delivery Schemes

Investors have risked billions on Webvan, Urbanfetch, and other same-day transporters. The economics, though, show they won’t deliver for long.

REI Climbs Online: A Clicks-and-Mortar Chronicle

How a half-billion-dollar Seattle outdoor-equipment retailer became a virtual merchandiser.