business news in context, analysis with attitude

...with brief, occasional, italicized and sometimes gratuitous commentary…

• The Houston Chronicle reports that HEB's Central Market in Houston is about to enjoy a $10 million renovation that will add 10,000 square feet to its sales floor, add an atrium, expand the produce department, enlarge the specialty foods offering, and create a single-lane-access checkout area similar to what one would find at an airport or bank.

All of which will make one of the country's best stores even better.

• The Washington Post reports that Gap "plans to shutter about 75 stores across its Old Navy and Banana Republic brands, a move aimed at helping the company get on stronger footing amid sagging sales." Most of the closures will be overseas, with the total shut-down of all Old Navy stores in Japan.

The story goes on to say that Gap "has largely been attacking its problems by trying to offer better products with a more consistent fit and reliable quality. And yet the work doesn’t seem to be boosting sales. In the quarter, sales sank 3 percent at Gap stores open more than a year and 6 percent at Old Navy. Banana Republic saw the steepest decline in comparable sales, 11 percent ... the strategic moves revealed Thursday indicate that the company believes that revamping its clothes alone will not be enough to gird itself for a retailing climate that is being upended by digital commerce and changing consumer preferences."

There's a line that I remember from an old issue of Fast Company that I always remember, and that seems appropriate her ... that "the companies that fail to reinvent their business models can quickly become vulnerable to commoditization, obsolescence,or business failure.” As Jimmy Malone would say, "Here endeth the lesson."
KC's View: