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The Quick and the Dead



November 18, 2009 – Comments (5) | RELATED TICKERS: BLOKA.DL

Today on I took a look at another struggling retailer (poll at the end): Is Blockbuster The Next Circuit City?

I'm also trying my hand at spotting some trends out there that may say a lot about opportunities or threats for certain companies and industries. My first attempt at this is on retail pop up stores, which I found very interesting: What's Next: Hunting Killer Trends. I'm hoping these will spur some ideas or conversations.

5 Comments – Post Your Own

#1) On November 19, 2009 at 12:28 AM, Tastylunch (28.72) wrote:

would that be ironic since they tried to be circuit city? Or Just Alanis Morisette "irony"?

I admit my understading of the literary definition of irony is weak.

Blockbuster is dead if you ask me. Their business model is no longer relevant. They only way they can stay in business is to change their entire business. I doubt they can pull it off.

I do like their CEO, but  think he has bitten off more than he chew here.

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#2) On November 19, 2009 at 12:53 AM, Tastylunch (28.72) wrote:

Tried to be circuit city=tried to buy circuit city

my bad on that. I make lots of typos.

Hmmm ideas I forgot to include those.

I think the pop-up craze is pretty much maxxed out as to its potential. Fashion/Media is about it's only applicable use (maybe food service as well). It doesn't make sense for say a pop up convenience store or a pop up grocery.

Consumers do want some reliability, they hate wasted trips.Especially for necessity shopping.

Landlords too I think will tire of this and will eventually repurpose the spaces if they can't land retailers.

 as for other trends you might see I think you will see the reversal of the hypermarket trend as boomers age. Smaller grocery stores devoted to old people who dislike gigantic boxes (as it makes them tired) .

The continued decline of the suburban box mall and continued shift to "town centers". 

Possibly another Kohl's like clothier that's freestanding. eventually good companies like the Buckle may get concerned about their exposure to a dieing format like the box mall. Already Gamespot is shifting to strip centers.

more urban stacked big box stores in select markets. It's the last untapped US market for them. Modern shopping cart escalators are game changers.

International retailers like Uniqlo continuing to come into america. I think we'll see more foreign retailers push into the US instead of vice versa.

perhaps more thrift/reuse stores like Carmax, pawn shops, second hand stores.

Green general stores, like Greendepot.

Etailers crossing over into brick and mortar. I think it's conceivable a major etailer like amazon may something like buy a Border's...

that's what I can think of off the pop of my head of possible and existing trends.

Alyce don't know if you peruse the fool boards much but CaptainCCs has a board here at the fool called Emerging Retail and Apparel

Might be of interest to you. 

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#3) On November 19, 2009 at 9:56 AM, TMFLomax (86.97) wrote:


Oh my gosh! I totally forgot they tried to buy Circuit City! I lost the huge opportunity for irony in my article, indeed. Holy cow! (Maybe I forgot because it was so weird that it messed with my head, I remember at the time thinking it was, in a word, just BIZARRE. Maybe my brain just jettisoned it for that reason. Ha!)

I do like Blockbuster's CEO too, there was the thought that crossed my mind when he first got hired that he mght be innovative enough to save them, but... yeah, dunno, I think it's too late and they can't pull it off and the financial problems and competitive problems.. some battles are truly uphill ones.

Thanks for the trend ideas! I love these.

I am also high on the "town centers" or "new urbanism" centers that are being built/designed as an important and lasting trend. I wrote about that a few years ago as a trend I thought was interesting and could have legs.

There's really a Greendepot? Wow, that is interesting...

Point well taken on the pop-ups (and their limited potential in other types of retailing). And true.... I get excited that people might want newness (and people are a little ADD these days) but at the same time yeah, a lot of people are also fond of reliability. I guess there is something to be said about going into a Wal-Mart anywhere and knowing what to expect...

And it's true that there is a point where a lot of boxy shopping malls might actually just get the wrecking ball, I know there are struggling ones and the truth is, we probably don't need the high number of ones we have. That whole sector could contract and have to evolve in a big way and that's another "moving piece" in all this.

And thanks for the heads up on CaptainCCs Emerging Retail and Apparel board, that's cool! I definitely need to check that out... sounds like it's up my alley...  

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#4) On November 19, 2009 at 2:56 PM, Tastylunch (28.72) wrote:

sure np.Wanted to expound a little if that's cool.

The other thing about Pop-ups is I think they are likely limited regionally as well. LA and NYC are well known for their pop up nightclubs (they almost need pop up stuff to grabd consumers attention there they ahve so many entertainmnet choices in those places) but other cities in the US aren't that hyper trend conscious and find the chaos fatiguing...I think pop up retail might be something only a Global City could really support.

So I don't think Pop-up retail would work nearly as well in say a Des Moines or Birmingham, as opposed to say a Chicago...


yup only in manhattan, but every major city in the US you are starting to see versions of the same thing. Greendepot tends to be more home improvement oriented than typical

Park and Ivy (name?) in Cincinnati is another. Can't remember the Washington DC one it might be the most nationally prominent one at the moment.

Basically a store 100% dedicated to "green" everyday products (hate the label so so vague, apparently many retailers do too as many creat their own proprietary rating systems to judge how "green"the proudct is). Some push the kid safety angle (green products=less sick babies basically is the marketig angle) to expand their reach add urgency.

Let's face it people only want to save the cute animals (let me the next time you hera of the public getting concerned about a species of mosquito going extinct), Thus you have to give them a second reason to shop green (it isn't going to be cost as the consumer will never believe that). Quality could be one,efficacy is probably a wash (early green products have a reputation for not being as easy to use), safety is a better one.

I call 'em green general stores. We'll see if that's the name that ends up being adopted by consumers.

And it's true that there is a point where a lot of boxy shopping malls might actually just get the wrecking ball

even if they don't (well i know they will,since three have been torn in columbus here in the past 5 years-The once famous City Center just got imploded this month despite only being 20 years old) or if only some of them do, top rising stars like The Buckle have to be concerned at some level that their upside might be limited by the fact there isn't new malls to grow into...If they expand to every worthwhile mall and no new malls are being built what then?

I think there's a reason local retail legend Les Wexner (Limited Brands)has been quietly liquidating his brands last 5 years or so.... Dude ain't dumb if you know what I mean.

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#5) On November 25, 2009 at 4:48 PM, TMFLomax (86.97) wrote:


Funny, I had no idea about pop-up night clubs... and another point well taken, that the pop ups would do better in urban environments for obvious reasons...

Excellent feedback of course... I love the term you're using, "green general stores." Green is definitely another big trend that needs to be examined and I will probably give that one a shot in another iteration of this series. (The Nau pop-up was my favorite example in the article...) 

Malls, oh yeah, I seriously do think there are too many. And you're right, the mall-based retailers are going to have to be aware of the risks there. (I haven't looked at Limited Brands in a long time.... "dude ain't dumb," ha! Yeah there seriously might be something to that, eh....)

Thanks again! I definitely like the green trend as food for thought along these lines. I do think that'll be a big one.

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