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Neil Stern

Senior Partner

Neil Stern is a senior partner at Chicago-based consulting firm McMillan Doolittle, where he spent the past 25 years specializing in strategic planning and the development of new retail concepts. His clients have included Wal-Mart Stores, McDonald’s Corp., Publix Supermarkets, Harris Teeter Supermarkets, CVS Pharmacy and T-Mobile, among others. Neil is also a sought-after speaker on the topic of retail trends in the U.S. and has co-authored two books, Winning at Retail and Greentailing and Other Revolutions in Retail.

Could a PetSmart/Petco Merger Further Thin the Pack?
There are now two very high profile cases occurring that are testing the “two’s a crowd” theory of modern-day retail.
The International Retail Invasion: 5 to Watch
While there seems to be a constant barrage of bad news lately on the retail scene in terms of bankruptcies, liquidations and mass store closures, there are a number of companies poised to grow in the U.S.
Apple Watch: The Start of a New Retail Era at Apple?
On April 29, the long-awaited Apple Watch was released. While there are many opinions on the ultimate impact of this product, there is also equal speculation on the impact that it might have on the Apple stores themselves.
Google Tries its Hand at Retail: A Taste of Things to Come?
Will the future of retail be determined by companies that were once considered pure play technology companies or manufacturers? With the dramatic success of Apple as one of the world’s most successful retailers (and most valuable companies), other brands are exploring direct relationships with the consumer.
Staples and Office Depot: Is Two Becoming a Crowd in Retail Sectors?
The blockbuster news of Staples acquiring Office Depot might be the ultimate consolidation move in an industry that has gone through a whirlwind of mergers.
Target’s Canadian Disaster: What Will it Mean for Future Retail Expansion?
Coming relatively soon after Tesco’s rather disastrous foray into U.S. retailing with Fresh & Easy, the obvious question is why did this happen and what impact will it have on future global expansion plans for retailers.
Those Troubled Teen Retailers
The news in the teen apparel sector has been especially grim of late. We were starkly reminded of this on a recent walkthrough of the Natick Mall, just outside Boston.
Watch Out America, Here Comes Primark
If you’ve never been inside a Primark store, they are truly a force of nature. Extremely low prices and extremely fast fashion create a shopping frenzy among European consumers.
Will Amazon Be The Future of Brick-and-Mortar Retail? 3
Amazon’s announcement of opening up a store on 34th Street in New York City will be one of the most carefully watched stories in retail. No word yet on the size of the store, or more importantly, its purpose. What will happen in an Amazon store?
Is It Mall Over? 
There are definitely mall have and have-nots and the situation seems to only be getting more dire. While these trends certainly represent a dramatic shift in the retail landscape, don’t push the panic button quite yet.
Dollar Tree And Family Dollar: What Does This Mega Deal Mean For Retail? 
While both chains operate boxes that are around 7,000 to 10,000 sq. ft., their real estate strategies have been markedly different.
Urban Outfitters Flagship: Is This the New Breed of Retail? 
Urban Outfitters refers to the new location as a “cultured commerce and community project.”
Up a Creek Without a Paddle: Coldwater Creek and Other Retailers See Widespread Closures 
In a distressing trend, Coldwater Creek recently announced that it will be liquidating its stores entirely.
Brick-and-Mortar Retail: A Zero-Sum Game? 
Have we reached a zero-sum game, where future brick-and-mortar sales share must be taken from somewhere else?
The Closure of Dominick’s: Reshaping the Food Landscape 
The supermarket industry norm has typically been to have other grocers absorb closed locations. In the past few years, this trend started to change.
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