Raise the Bar

08/02/2017 | By John Cumbelich

A friend recently called and asked me to meet after work at a bar. I was pleased to comply, because there’s a great bar in a nice restaurant right across the street from our office. Such a request used to be so straightforward. No thinking ...

Read More

Winner Take All

06/26/2017 | By John Cumbelich

The internet has been described as The Great Disruptor – a name that those of us in retail have no trouble appreciating. And it’s true that retail sales have been moving away from traditional stores and toward online shopping at an increasing pace. Yet ...

Read More

Same Time Next Year

05/02/2017 | By John Cumbelich

Imagine spending exactly 48 hours with the same group of 500 people, once a year for thirty years. Imagine that in your first year you are twenty two years old, single, broke, fresh out of college and ready to take on the world.  You’re frightened ...

Read More

Short the Stock

03/20/2017 | By John Cumbelich

The Department Store business model is dead. Macy’s and JC Penney are closing stores by the hundreds. Sears is on the verge of extinction. Mervyns and Gottschalks are bankrupt. Lest we think that these travails are only affecting the mid-tier brands, let us consider the ...

Read More

The Pursuit of Happiness

02/27/2017 | By John Cumbelich

The world of retail is a mirror in which our culture sees itself. Like the image in your mirror at home, the changes that we see in the marketplace occur almost imperceptibly over the short term, yet the changes are inexorable. As tastes evolve about ...

Read More

Be Prepared

10/31/2016 | By John Cumbelich

I was a Boy Scout, and now my boys are Scouts.  You have most likely heard their timeless motto, “Be Prepared”.  It’s not just wise advice for a camping trip, but a life lesson that applies to everyone, everywhere.  As uncertainty in the business ...

Read More

Leaving California

09/13/2016 | By John Cumbelich

Kent and I grew up together in the 1970s and 1980s. Same neighborhood. Same school. Same church. My dad was our little league coach and his dad owned the restaurant where we all went after games or birthdays or boy scouts for pizza. Kent ...

Read More

Sign Calls

07/14/2016 | By John Cumbelich

Commercial real estate brokerage firms spend thousands of dollars annually on signs. Paper and vinyl signs, wooden signs and banners. Window signs and monument signs. For Lease signs. For Sale signs. Coming Soon signs. Signs in a variety of shapes and sizes. And what exactly ...

Read More