“Bay-zos,” not “Bee-zos”


By Duke Ratliff It’s interesting how Amazon is easily the most influential retailer since Walmart and most of us don’t even know how to pronounce the founder’s name. Yes, it’s “Bay-zos” instead of “Bee-zos,” according to the recently published book “The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon,” by Brad Stone. The public’sMore »

History in the Making

Duke Ratliff

I have to admit I was struck ever so slightly by a touch of anxiety when Iconix’s Carolyn D’Angelo asked me to address her Introduction to Home Products class at the Fashion Institute of Technology last month. What could I tell a classroom full of young, fashion-savvy New Yorkers? I don’t even know if itsMore »

In the Public Eye

Duke Ratliff

Remember the ’80s song “Somebody’s Watching Me?” The lyrics for the Michael Jackson-like ditty went: “I always feel like somebody’s watching me.” Well, I nominate that almost-forgotten tune to be the song of summer 2013 for decision makers of all shapes and sizes. If recent events are any indication, if it feels like somebody isMore »

Summertime 2013, Livin’s Easy


Has there ever been a better time to be in the home furnishings business? Well, after ignoring the sluggish sales, price-crushing competition and penny-pinching consumers… Let me rephrase that: Has there ever been a better time to be in the home furnishings business, uh, potentially? Although the bottom line for vendors and retailers may notMore »

The Aftermath of DOMA: Sales Boon, HR Burden?

Kristi A. Davidson

The day before I sat down to write this month’s column, the U.S. Supreme Court announced two highly anticipated and hotly debated decisions: Hollingsworth v. Perry and United States v. Windsor. In Hollingsworth, the Supreme Court declined to decide whether to reverse the California courts’ rulings that Proposition 8 is unconstitutional because its proponents lackedMore »



There were two notable home store openings in New York last month, offering an exercise in comparison and contrast for the home business. J.C. Penney finally opened its much-discussed new home shop in Manhattan, featuring exclusive shops from Michael Graves, Bodum, Pantone, Jonathan Adler and Martha Stewart. (Terence Conran’s Design by Conran shop was notMore »