Columns

Physical Graffiti

Warren Shoulberg

There’s a big reason why the Internet has come along and so easily taken 10 – maybe 20 – percent of overall retail sales in many individual product categories, including a whole bunch in home. Because traditional in-store retailers let them. You can offer all sorts of reasons why online has been so successful andMore »

Last updated: December 16, 2014

Raging Bulls

Duke Ratliff

Ladies and gentlemen, in the blue corner, hailing from Seattle—American champion online retailer Jeff Bezos of Amazon. In the red corner, traveling all the way from Hangzhou, China—Jack Ma, founder of Alibaba. This future heavyweight retail contest of epic proportions is not farfetched, at least not for the distant future, as Ma flexes his musclesMore »

Last updated: December 2, 2014

Fourth Quarter Touchdown?

Duke_Ratliff

By Duke Ratliff As I’ve mentioned here before, HFN has an editorial policy prohibiting the phrase “cautiously optimistic.” The phrase is such a perfect description for our recent, cautiously optimistic times that it could’ve been used way too often to describe far too many things: Retailers were cautiously optimistic heading to trade shows; vendors wereMore »

Last updated: November 13, 2014

Houzz’s Study Full of Surprises

Duke_Ratliff

By Duke Ratliff “Trendy” just might be a dirty word when it comes to home furnishings. As retailers head to the New York Tabletop Show and the High Point Market this month for two of the year’s most important product-procuring events, it’s more than a little interesting to note that consumers are not big onMore »

Last updated: October 13, 2014

I Will Survive: The Continued Use of Noncompete Agreements

Kristi A. Davidson

The popularity of noncompete agreements ebbs and flows. Businesses laud them. Employees shirk them. Legislators’ views change depending upon which party is in control. Consider, for example, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, which is one of two states yet to adopt the Uniform Trade Secrets Act (see September 2013 HFN article concerning the federal government’s possibleMore »

Last updated: October 23, 2014

How Can Excellent Customer Service Minimize Liability?

Deborah A. Little

By Deborah A. Little Over the past several years, companies have capitalized on various technological advancements that have routinized customer service and, some may argue, made it more efficient and cost-effective. But these practices should not be a substitute for personalized customer care, nor should they become a substitute for prudent risk management. To leverageMore »

Last updated: September 15, 2014

Great Expectations

Duke_Ratliff

Pity the home furnishings industry exec on a long summer vacation—he or she will return to work with a whole new landscape of retail leaders. For those keeping score at home (along with the imaginary, anachronistic exec who could actually take vacation all summer), here’s a brief rundown on the recent CEO shuffle: Target namedMore »

Last updated: August 28, 2014