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Dec 8, 2016
Toys

Consumers are Paying the Price for Toys this Holiday

I had to do a double-take when I saw the data for U.S. toy sales during Thanksgiving week. While I predicted last month that higher-priced items would be a growth driver for the industry this holiday ...

Chaos & Technology

As we embark on the holiday season, two distinct dynamics tend to converge: chaos; and new technology. Is your work done? Are you ready to take the week off between Christmas and New Year’s Day? Have ...

Dec 6, 2016
Beauty

New & Now: Find it, Buy it, Try it

A friend recently went on a trip to Asia and before he left he asked if there was anything I wanted him to bring back for me.  Silly question, of course there was.  In fact, I had started research...

Dec 5, 2016
Sports , Footwear

Sneakernomics: It’s All About Retro

The hottest trend in the U.S. athletic shoe market right now is classic, or retro, footwear. The overall classics category is growing at a +29 percent pace for 2016 so far through October, accordi...

Nov 29, 2016
Sports , Footwear

Sneakernomics: Holiday Predictions for the Sports Industry 2016

Last holiday season was a particularly strong one for many major aspects of the sports business. There are several factors making this year’s challenging for the industry, but while this year won’...

Nov 28, 2016
Retail

Stores Saved Black Friday Weekend

That's right. Despite the surge of online and Thanksgiving Day  in-store sales, combined with the less-than-stellar Friday  in-store sales, retailers got the boost they needed from Saturday and ev...

Nov 28, 2016
Beauty

Mass Customization

I might be aging myself here, but I can clearly remember my first trip to a certain Bloomingdale’s counter where a prestige brand custom mixed makeup products. It was the first foundation I ever p...

Nov 25, 2016
Retail

Black Thursday Turns Black Friday Grey

Pre-Black Friday online sales starting earlier than in past years, opening on Thanksgiving night; and ongoing doorbuster deals all proved to work well, but perhaps too well.  As Thanksgiving Day sales...

It’s Time to Change Again

Last year in our Black Friday blog we noted that it appeared most retailers had the holiday figured out. When to open on Thanksgiving, how focused to be on online shopping vs in-store, when to promote...

New Consumer Electronics Products Help Bring Out the Black Friday Crowds

This year my family spent Thanksgiving in Manhattan, making for a memorable post-dinner technology shopping tour in the city. Among the handful of stores I visited Thursday night, a trip to Best Buy o...

Nov 22, 2016
Home , Appliances

Market to the Moment, Not Just to Millennials

I often get asked, should I focus on Millennials or should I focus on Baby Boomers?  My response is, “Why not both?” They are more alike than most people think. Yes, there are differences but the ...

Nov 22, 2016
Apparel

Hello, Fun Socks Season

As I notice the beautiful fall foliage outside my window I’m quickly reminded that boot season is upon us – that means it is time to break out my fun socks. Besides providing me with warmth, socks...

Sneakernomics: The State of the Athletic Footwear and Apparel Businesses Heading into Holiday

U.S. athletic footwear results in Q3 were softer than they were in the first two quarters of the year, with dollar sales growing by only 2 percent for the quarter, compared to the mid-single digits fo...

Nov 18, 2016
Foodservice

From Dubai: An American Perspective on Delivery Tech

I was just at a conference in Dubai.  It was intended to be a global conference and, if you looked at the attendees, it pretty much was; especially from an American point of view.  The content was...

Sneakernomics: Fast is the New Normal

Everything seems faster today. Change is happening more quickly than ever, and nowhere is this need for speed more evident than in the sports industry. Let’s examine the impact. One of the greates...

Perhaps, to be Practical is Madness

We find ourselves among a new generation, one that is redefining the technology that will shape their lives. Not the often publicized Millennials, but their successors, Generation Z. While no date...

Sneakernomics: The Election’s Potential Impact on Footwear Sales

Donald Trump shocked the world on Tuesday night with his presidential win. His victory could have deep implications for the sports industry, and the footwear market in particular. In Trump’s nomi...

Nov 4, 2016
Apparel , Sports

Sneakernomics: Cubs Win! Who Else Does?

Now that the Chicago Cubs’ 108-year winless drought has ended and the curse of the Billy Goat named Murphy has been extinguished, let’s see who the sports winners (besides the Chicago Cubs) are. W...

Generation Alpha Rises

I should go to more conferences. I was just at a global foodservice conference in Dubai (with a distinctly American agenda) and came across the term "Generation Alpha," which covers anyone born after...

Nov 1, 2016
Beauty

Do Consumers Crave Collaborations?

I ignore advertisements. I mute the TV when commercials come on, I opt for Netflix and radio shows that are commercial free, I skip the ads on YouTube every chance I can, and I honestly couldn’t m...

Nov 1, 2016
Foodservice

A Coffee Shop Down Under Defines Authenticity

This little business, Two Penny Blue (the name refers to a stamp), is maybe my favorite business in the world. It's tucked into an arch in the old post office building in Sydney, Australia. Just t...

Oct 31, 2016
Entertainment

I’m a little bit Country – Who knew?

I often catch myself humming a song that’s stuck in my head. Maybe it’s something I heard mixed into the Pandora Top Hits station, or it could be from a video that auto-played on Vevo. Eventually,...

Making Content More Mobile: The AT&T Way

AT&T announced its intent to purchase Time Warner this weekend in a move that is sure to raise a few eyebrows at the FCC and DOJ. In theory, it’s a “vertical” acquisition, meaning that there is (a...

Is it Time for Innovation in the Yogurt Category?

When I’m on vacation I do my best to turn work off in my brain, but since I study food trends for a living that’s often hard to accomplish. Take for example a trip I recently took to Munich, Germa...

How to Boil the Ocean

LeEco unveiled most of its U.S strategy Wednesday, announcing four TVs, two smartphones, a VR headset, a connected bike and the concept car that it previewed at CES earlier this year. The overall ...

Oct 19, 2016
Foodservice

Pizza Roboto

Two articles came across my screens here at the NPD Global Foodservice Blog Mountain Redoubt.  The first is another piece of evidence that living in Mountain View, CA shifts you perceptibly into t...

Oct 17, 2016
Retail

A Political Holiday Split Screen

We’ve heard a lot – and are about to hear more – about how the Democratic and Republican presidential nominees feel on a wealth of issues. But what do their supporters feel about the weighty issue...

Easier Said Than Done- Voice Control Invades the CE Market

In August, Sonos announced that its line of multiroom speakers and soundbars would be compatible with Amazon’s digital voice assistant, Alexa, allowing users to cue up music on their speakers and ...

Breaking Through the Rut

Rut: A habit or pattern of behavior that has become dull and unproductive but is hard to change. The simple, three letter, somewhat crude word has a pervasive impact. I find myself in a rut each O...

Oct 4, 2016
Foodservice

Fly My Pretties, Fly!!

Two blistering hot delivery stories in the news this week: Amazon Food in London and Chipotle/Alphabet delivering burritos at Virginia Tech via drone. I love drones. I love delivery because it account...

Oct 3, 2016
Apparel , Sports

Sneakernomics: Is Activewear Being Stretched Too Thin?

There have been many words written recently about the potential demise of activewear, but nothing could be further from the truth. Let’s take a look at what is really happening in this space. Deni...

Sep 22, 2016
Foodservice

An Etsy-like App for Home Cooked Meals

When my wife and I were new parents, tired and broke, we once vacationed in Minneapolis by staying in her brother's house while he and his wife were away.  It was a small and lovely house near the...