November 2009 Archives


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Timely Demise met its own timely demise on November 30, 2009, following the roughest recession in a generation and unprecedented changes in the retail marketplace.

Over the sixteen months of its run, the Timely Demise weblog, tracking changes in retail from a consumer-interest angle, delivered the news of 19 acquisitions, 108 Chapter 11 filings, 16 chapter 7s, 13 liquidations and dozens of noteworthy trends.

Despite its brusque title, Timely Demise delivered more than half a million page views to the curious, and received coverage from media outlets such as All Things D and CNN. As it closes the site maintains steady traffic.

We hope the site was seen as interesting, objective and honest, and we wish everyone in retail a prosperous economic recovery. (Read more closing thoughts.)


Luxury stores finding success in scarcity

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The New York Times reports today on Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus's newfound success with intentionally low inventory. The retailers cut order sizes to manage cash flow and expectation; they then spun this as a "get it or it's gone" angle that has led to full sell-through on numerous high-ticket items.

Scarcity as a luxury concept is not new, of course; just days ago the Economist reported on Jean-Claude Biver's success selling watches in the same manner. (Story headline: "Salesman of the irrational.") The retail industry will be watching closely whether this trend holds through Christmas, and if Saks and Neiman can lead a sea change away from deep discounting as the recession starts to ebb.


October retail sales creating optimism

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Retailers are finalizing October sales reports, and the buzzword around them is momentum. Shoppers appear to be regaining an interest in spending, and aggressive cost-cutting tactics by retailers have given way to pop-up stores and healthier vendor agreements.

Timely Demise is sensing, rather pleasantly, that perhaps its moment has passed.


Stanley, Black & Decker merging

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Tool manufacturers Stanley and Black & Decker have agreed to a merger. The companies have been discussing such a move for decades, and recent economic trends made the deal a reality. Stanley, which manufactures hand tools and construction equipment, is buying Black & Decker, whose focus is on power tools; the merger was friendly and well thought out. Consumers will see little difference in products as the two companies' lines are not directly competitive.


Timely Demise tracks the retail industry as it changes with our unprecedented economic environment. Published by David Wertheimer. Did I miss something? Drop me a line.

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from November 2009 listed from newest to oldest.

October 2009 is the previous archive.

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