Columns

“Bay-zos,” not “Bee-zos”

Duke_Ratliff

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

Duke_Ratliff

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 »

JCP, RB, NYC

Duke_Ratliff

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 »