Ode to Retail: Death of the Traditional Mall

A demographic bellwether, the city of Columbus, Ohio, has long been a favored test market for brands. When restaurants tweak ingredients for a new breakfast sandwich, or a retail chain tests a new store format, it’s often this Midwestern city, the nation’s 15th largest, where they do the fine-tuning. In this way, Columbus makes an...

The Drive-Thru of the Future

In lieu of a crystal ball, the next best thing is sometimes simply a patent search. In recent years, a veritable flood of patent applications has re-imaged the decades-old and staid format of the drive-thru lane. Read through a few dozen patent applications as I did recently, and only one conclusion is possible: The traditional...

The North Face

The North Face, maker of one of the country’s most popular lines of performance apparel, equipment, footwear and related sportswear, is all about pushing the limits, as captured in its mantra “Never Stop Exploring.” The company wanted to find ways to improve customer experience in their owned-stores and create an omni-channel strategy, so it turned...