Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Supermarket giant upgrades wireless network with Verizon

Ahold USA can now boast it has “smarter stores” for its increasingly connected consumers.
 
The supermarket giant has rolled out a new wireless platform from Verizon Enterprise Solutions across its divisions, which include Stop & Shop New England, Stop & Shop New York Metro, Giant Landover, and Giant Carlisle, The platform has resulted in a digitally rich in-store experience for the grocer’s smartphone-using shoppers.. . . more

Walmart in new jobs commitment

Walmart, the nation’s largest private employer with nearly 1.5 million associates, plans to add 10,000 new retail jobs in its upcoming fiscal year, which begins on February 1, 2017.
 
The discounter says the new jobs will be created through the opening of 59 new, expanded and relocated Walmart and Sam’s Club facilities as well as e-commerce services.. . . more

Expert: Macy's may eventually close 'hundreds' of stores

Macy’s Inc. fired the person in charge of in-store growth initiatives last week, prompting one retail expert to predict “hundreds” more store closures could be in the company’s future.

“We’re in the second inning,” said Howard Davidowitz, a New York-based retail consultant. “The fastest growing area of their business is online. What do you do with all these stores?”. . . more

Women's apparel retailer Limited Stores files for bankruptcy


Image result for limited store closingLimited Stores LLC, parent of U.S. women's apparel chain The Limited, said on Tuesday it filed for bankruptcy, the latest brick-and-mortar retailer to reorganize as shoppers shift to fast-fashion retailers and online competitors.

Retailers Aeropostale Inc and Pacific Sunwear of California Inc filed for bankruptcy last year.

Limited Stores said it also agreed to a "stalking horse" bid for its intellectual property and some related assets from an affiliate of private equity firm Sycamore Partners.. . . more

Eyeglass retail giant in $49 billion merger

Luxottica Group, the leading eyeglass retailer with multiple U.S. store banners, has entered into a deal that would create a global giant in the optical industry.
 
Luxottica, whose brands include LensCrafters, Sunglass Hut, Oliver Peoples, and Pearle Vision, will merge with lens-maker Essilor International of France in a deal valued at $49 billion. The merger brings together the industry’s largest manufacturer with its leading retailer. . . . more

$400M Arsenal Mall overhaul gets OK from Watertown planning board

Boston-based real estate development firms Boylston Properties and The Wilder Cos. bought Watertown’s Arsenal Mall in August 2013. Today, they revealed a new name and redevelopment plan for the property.The Watertown Planning Board this week approved a special permit for Arsenal Yards, a 1 million-square-foot mixed-use development planned at the former Arsenal Mall.

Boston-based real estate development firms The Wilder Cos. and Boylston Properties bought Arsenal Mall in August 2013 for $70.5 million.. . . more

Retailers talk hiring, blending in-store and online sales at trade show

Sephora to close store at The Shops at North Bridge on Michigan AvenueWhen the National Retail Federation's annual industry trade show kicked off Sunday, jobs was the first topic on the table.

Not job cuts, despite recent reports of major retailers closing dozens of stores. Instead, the focus was on how to find and keep workers, providing them with the right skills in a changing retail environment.. . . more

Friday, January 13, 2017

Two retail standouts are shaking up a tired piece of the industry

At Home storeThe home decor industry is getting a whole new look.

As sales at furniture and home furnishings stores outperform the broader retail industry, many of the category's legacy brands have struggled to keep pace. That's created an opportunity for Wayfair and At Home, two up-and-coming retailers that are going after a market they say has been underserved.. . . more

As department stores exit, mall makeovers begin

Image result for macy's closingAs big-name retailers prepare to close hundreds of stores this year, many traditional shopping malls and the communities where they reside face a disturbing dilemma: What to do with all that empty space?

For healthier malls, it may come down to cutting deals with new types of retail tenants. But for modest and marginal shopping centers, filling space will require thinking outside the traditional big beige mall and repurposing all or some of these enormous spaces to meet radically different demands.. . . moreMall customersMall customersMall customersMall customers

Ouch...GameStop's holiday sales fell 18.7 percent

Black Friday 2016 at the GameStop in Timber Creek Crossing in Dallas. DMN staffAggressive competition for the video game customer and weak sales of Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare and Titanfall 2 spoiled GameStop's holiday plans. The Grapevine-based retailer said it's planning to close stores without saying how many.  GameStop cited video gaming data released by NPD Group, which showed it lost market share in November, but to a lesser degree in December.
The combined November-December sales decline vs. a year ago was worse in November and improved in December and January, the company said Friday.. . . more

No Buyout Rescues Are Coming for Battered Retailers

Image result for bed bath & beyondAs bad as things have been for struggling retailers, some have had unusually buoyant share prices.

Now one factor keeping them afloat may be fading away. The leveraged buyout, once fairly common for retailers, has become increasingly rare, at least for the larger companies. LBOs for retailers fell in 2016, with deal values totaling only $1.9 billion versus $8 billion in 2015 and $30.5 billion in 2006, according to Dealogic. Last year marked the lowest level by dollar volume since 2009. And while there were 20 retail LBOs in 2016, only one was worth more than $500 million. That compares with seven in 2006.. . . more

Millennials earn 20% less than Boomers did at same stage of life

Image result for millennial salariesBaby Boomers: your millennial children are worse off than you.

With a median household income of $40,581, millennials earn 20 percent less than boomers did at the same stage of life, despite being better educated, according to a new analysis of Federal Reserve data by the advocacy group Young Invincibles. . . more

The first ‘digitally native’ generation shops in stores

Generation Z grew up online, but that doesn’t mean that’s where they do all their shopping. 
 
Sixty-seven percent of Gen Z — the first “digitally native” group to grow up not knowing a world before cellular phones, smartphones and other digital devices — said they shop in a bricks-and-mortar store most of the time, with another 31% shopping in-store sometimes, in a new survey by IBM and the National Retail Federation.. . . more

Thursday, January 12, 2017

In-Store Declines Drag Down Traditional Retailers

Image result for internet salesFirst Data Corp., which tracked credit, debit and other card transactions at one million U.S. merchants, estimates that online sales increased nearly 11% from the previous holiday season, compared with just 2.7% growth at brick-and-mortar stores.

As shoppers moved online, they increasingly went to Amazon.com Inc. The web retailer dominated the holiday season, garnering 38% of online revenue, according to Slice Intelligence, which analyzed digital shopping receipts. The next closest competitor was Best Buy Co., with a 4% share.. . . more