As I finished writing the second edition of my new book late last year, the predominant retail narrative was the so-called great acceleration of all things e-commerce. More recently, ebullient stories portend the resurrection of the mall and suggest that department stores are back (narrator’s voice: “Let’s not confuse better…


With so much uncertainty and volatility in the economy, it may be foolhardy to go out on a limb with any predictions. My crystal ball has certainly been faulty more than a few times. …


The reports that Hudson’s Bay Co. is planning to split its online and brick-and-mortar operations into two companies, and then take Saks.com public, immediately strikes me as one of the dumbest strategic decisions I have heard in a long, long time.

If we have learned anything from the past two…


“Great brands don’t chase customers; customers chase great brands.”

Gary Friedman, CEO Restoration Hardware

If we learned anything during the past couple of decades of digital disruption it should have been this: Even very good is no longer good enough.

In a world where media, information, product choice, distribution access…


There are a few different ways people approach the ocean.

Some dive right in.

Others inch in slowly, testing the temperature of the water until they feel comfortable to wade in all the way.

A few like to stand there and get pummeled by the water’s force.

And of course…


“Vulnerability is the birthplace of innovation, creativity and change” — Brene Brown

I hope you are familiar with the work of Brene Brown. Brene is a shame researcher and the author of several fantastic bestselling books on the power of vulnerability, the gifts of imperfection and daring greatly. She’s delivered…


“To my mind the old masters are not art; their value is in their scarcity.”

- Thomas A. Edison

Before the age of digital disruption, scarcity played in a big role in determining retail’s winner and losers. Sure, having a compelling value proposition was helpful, but in many cases sheer…


Did you immediately spot this old-and not especially good-joke?

Or did you briefly stop to wonder if it could possibly be true, finally coming to your own conclusion that I must just be goofing around (as I am often wont to do)?

Or did you say, hmm, that doesn’t sound…


(Photo by Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

In true Dickensian fashion, this retail holiday shopping season looks to be a tale of two cities. The idea that retail has been bifurcating-that companies, particular product sectors and consumers alike are experiencing increasingly polarized outcomes-is hardly…


Wabi-sabi is a Japanese aesthetic concept that finds beauty in imperfection and the universe’s natural cycle of growth, decay, and death.

Practicing wabi-sabi means eschewing the unnecessary, getting rid of the clutter, and valuing authenticity above all else. Wabi-sabi requires us to accept the reality that nothing lasts, nothing is…

Steve Dennis

Keynote speaker & strategic advisor on retail innovation. Top 10 retail influencer. Senior Forbes contributor. Best selling author of “Remarkable Retail.”

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store