Friday, January 19, 2018

Travel retail market reaches new heights

Travel retail sales are poised to exceed $1 billion with five years amid surging growth in fragrances and beauty.

The global travel retail market, valued at $69.5 billion in 2016, is projected to reach $125.1 billion by 2023, growing at a compound annual growth rate of 8.9%, according to a report by Allied Market. The largest segment of the market is perfumes and cosmetics, which enjoys a strong customer base.. . . more

Amazon’s apparel investment paying off

More and more shoppers are turning to Amazon to buy clothing.

That’s according to a survey by CPC Strategy in which 52.1% of online shoppers said they bought clothing from Amazon in the last six months, while 46.7% cited a retailer’s website. Nearly 14% (13.9%) said eBay, and 10. 8% said search engines. (All respondents were screened with the question “Have you ever purchased clothing online?” and only those who responded “yes” participated.)

Other key takeaways from the “U.S. Apparel Shopping Trends Forecast: How Shoppers Will Browse and Buy Clothing in 2018” report include:. . . more

Amazon is raising the price of Prime monthly memberships by nearly 20 percent

Amazon Prime memberships are getting more expensive — for those customers who want the flexibility to pay for the speedy shipping and media streaming program on a monthly basis.

The company is announcing on Friday that the Amazon Prime monthly fee is increasing from $10.99 to $12.99 in the U.S., an increase of 18 percent. The new price works out to nearly $156 a year.. . . more

Starbucks to Test a Cashier-Free Store at Its Headquarters

Paper cup in a Starbucks coffee shop.Starbucks will open a dedicated mobile order and pay store next week in its Seattle headquarters building as it tests how to best serve convenience-oriented customers, the company said in a letter to employees on Thursday.

The coffee chain has been looking for ways to ease bottlenecks at cafe drink delivery stations, which suffered peak-hour backups due to a pileup of mobile drink orders.. . . more

With A Flawed Strategy, J.C. Penney's Future Is Uncertain

The recent Christmas 2017 sales report for J.C. Penney implies that improved sales should be a balm for optimists.  Hard times are looming for the company.

Very high debt. The company has about $7.5 billion in total debt if you take total liabilities minus cash minus receivables. J.C.Penney calculates outstanding long-term debt to be about $4.06 Billions.
. . . more

Landlords speed store openings by streamlining lease process

Image result for retail lease documentInternet retailers and other merchants new to the physical space tend to get bewildered by the length of the modern lease process. In a session at ICSC’s New York Deal Making last December, Kyle Ashley, director of retail innovation for eyewear vendor Warby Parker, urged landlords to make the process quicker, easier and more transparent. “Why does it take five months to negotiate a lease?” Ashley asked.

One of the surest ways to speed the process is to use in-house leasing personnel, says Gerald Crump, a Weingarten Realty senior vice president who oversees the central region. “This gives us the ability to make quick decisions and coordinate immediately with our legal group, all of which takes time off the lease-negotiation process.”. . . more

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Simon Settles Suit With Starbucks Over Teavana Closures

In November, an Indiana judge ordered Starbucks to halt from closing Teavana stores in 77 retail locations owned by Simon Property. A Starbucks Teavana store in the Queens Center Mall in Queens, N.Y. Simon Property Group and Starbucks Corp. have reached a settlement over a lawsuit by the mall owner that had sought to prevent Starbucks from closing Teavana stores in its shopping centers.

In November, an Indiana judge ordered the coffee giant to halt from closing Teavana stores in 77 retail locations owned by Simon. Starbucks filed an appeal against the preliminary injunction.. . . more

Retail With Purpose and the New Customer Loyalty Equation

Millennials are loyal to brands that connect them to experiences.Not so long ago, retail was all about offering the right products at the right price at the right time. But in today’s integrated consumer-driven marketplace that’s no longer enough. Now it’s about persuading customers to buy into your brand by showing them who you are, what you stand for and why you exist.

In short, it’s about going back to your roots and offering a clear and renewed sense of purpose.. . . more

Developer abandons plans for Town of Newburgh retail project

The developer proposing to build a 700,000-square-foot retail, dining and entertainment complex on Route 300 in the Town of Newburgh officially announced it is abandoning the project, two months after the Newburgh school board rejected a 20-year tax-break deal.

Needham, Mass.-based Waterstone Properties said Wednesday in a press release that it is considering non-retail uses for the 122-acre property, which sits across from the Newburgh Mall where Route 300 intersects with Interstate 84.

Named The Ridge Hudson Valley, the project was to include an 85,000-square-foot BJ’s Wholesale Club, a 50,000-square-foot Dick’s Sporting Goods and a 78,000- square-foot ShopRite, which would have relocated from North Plank Road.. . . more

Burlington opening in Somerville this spring

Image result for burlington new somerville ma storeAs Burlington Stores prepares to open a new outlet in Somerville, the national retail chain is holding a two-day community jobs fair for area residents interested in applying for the 75 positions that will be available at the facility.

Set to open this spring, the 45,000-square-foot store will be located at 133 Middlesex Ave., near the Assembly Row development. Formerly known as Burlington Coat Factory, Burlington has 632 stores in 45 states and Puerto Rico.. . . more

Fashion is getting personal as brands battle for shoppers

A shopper looks at Michael Kors handbags at Macy's flagship store in New York.The idea that shoppers won't buy their clothes online has been more than proven to be a myth.

And with growth in the clothing category slower than the overall retail sector, those retailers need to fight for every sale on every platform.

Industry experts recommend a strategy that provides customized products and personalized services both online and in stores.. . . more

'Entire aisles are empty': Whole Foods employees reveal why stores are facing a crisis of food shortages

Whole FoodsWhole Foods is facing a crush of food shortages in stores that's leading to empty shelves, furious customers, and frustrated employees.

Many customers are blaming Amazon, which bought Whole Foods in August for $13.7 billion. Analysts have speculated that the shortages could be due to a spike in shopper traffic in the wake of the acquisition.

But Whole Foods employees say the problems began before the acquisition. They blame the shortages on a buying system called order-to-shelf that Whole Foods implemented across its stores early last year.. . . more

Jeweler sparkles in holiday season

Tiffany & Co. on Wednesday reported a robust holiday season and raised its annual earnings outlook.

The company reported that its total net sales rose 8% to $1.05 billion during the combined November and December period.. . . more

Amazon takes on Wish with an “Under $10” selection of products that ship for free

Amazon has quietly launched a new feature that’s seemingly aimed at helping the retailer better compete with discount shopping apps such as Wish and others. In the Amazon iOS app and on the web, Amazon recently added a new section offering products under $10 that ship for free. Some of the products are also available on Prime, but the feature doesn’t appear to be limited to Prime subscribers.

Called “$10 & Under,” the selection can be found under “All Programs” in the Amazon’s app main navigation. This is the area where Amazon regularly trials its newer experiments, like its shoppable Instagram clone Spark or outfit compare feature, for example.. . . more

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Crunch Fitness Franchisee Fitness Holdings LLC Acquires Boost Fitness, Expands Across Massachusetts

Image result for crunch fitness CTCrunch Fitness Franchise announced today that its Connecticut-based franchisee, Fitness Holdings LLC, has acquired Boost Fitness, the largest independent fitness chain in Central Massachusetts. The acquisition increases the number of Crunch locations in Massachusetts five-fold, growing the club base from two clubs to ten in the Boston area.

The eight Boost fitness centers, located in Auburn, Oxford, Fitchburg, Franklin, Hudson, Tewksbury, Westford and Worcester, were converted to Crunch Fitness clubs and began operating under the Crunch brand on January 1, 2018.. . . more

Beauty retailer Kiko USA files for bankruptcy

Kiko USA, the U.S. subsidiary of an Italian makeup retailer, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy last week with plans to close all but five of its domestic retail locations.

The retailer wants to close 24 of its 29 domestic locations in bankruptcy. This, together with a 25th closure, could reduce annual operating losses by $7.1 million a year, and leave $3.9 million in real estate costs going forward, according to Kiko USA CEO Frank Furlan. He added that the retailer hopes to be completely moved out of those locations by Feb. 28.. . . more

The top three U.S. grocery retailers are…

Three diverse retailers came out on top in a new consumer study.

Trader Joe’s, Costco and Amazon took the top three positions in a survey by customer data science company dunnhumby. H-E-B and Walmart rounded out the top five.. . . more

Wegmans announces opening date for Natick Mall location

Image result for wegmans natick mallWegmans Food Markets officials said the company plans to open its new store at Natick Mall on April 29.

Wegmans is moving into the former JCPenney space. The company is creating a two-floor, 146,500-square-foot supermarket that includes more than 100 seats for in-store café dining and two restaurants. The store will feature escalators for shoppers and carts as well as elevators to help customers move between the floors.. . . more

Retail sales to grow 3% annually through 2021; store openings to outpace closures

SalesRetail industry sales are expected to remain on the upswing for the next several years and so are store openings.

A new report by Zebra Technologies, conducted with IHL Group, projects that retail industry sales in North America and EMEA regions (Europe, the Middle East and Africa) will rise 3% annually through 2021, led by a shift to greater e-commerce/omnichannel sales volume. 

The year 2017 saw more retail store openings than closures and store openings are expected to outpace closures through 2021, according to Zebra’s 2017 Retail Transformation Study. . . . more

Dunkin' opens its first next-generation store in Mass.

Exterior of Dunkin' Donut's new location in Quincy, Massachusetts.This isn't your father's Dunkin' Donuts. The Canton-based company's first next-generation store in the country — simply called Dunkin' — opened today in Quincy.

According to Dunkin' executive Dave Hoffmann in an interview with the Business Journal, the new 2,200-square-foot location uses the latest technology in an attempt to attract on-the-go millennials. For instance, the store has a separate drive-through for those customers who use the Dunkin' app to order and pick-up their food. The chain, which opened its very first store in Quincy 68 years ago, says its the first national restaurant brand to offer this type of drive-through innovation.. . . more

A shift in strategy at Rent the Runway

Rent the RunwayRent the Runway is shifting its stores' strategy to focus on subscribers to its monthly Unlimited program, and technology is playing a big role.

The company is transforming its stores from showrooms for rental items to locations where Unlimited subscribers can return and pick up clothing using self-service tablets, Glossy reported. Rent the Runway has partnered with technology company Aila on the changes.. . . more

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

15 companies that are defying the retail meltdown by opening hundreds of new stores

Dollar GeneralWhile many retailers are closing stores, some are rapidly building new locations, with at least one — Dollar General — adding as many as 900 stores this year.
A large majority of the retailers that are opening new stores this year are discounters, including Dollar General, Dollar Tree, Family Dollar, Aldi, Lidl, Five Below, and Hobby Lobby. . . . more

Supreme Court to revisit Internet sales tax ruling

In a decision cheered by traditional retailers and many states, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to revisit a 1992 decision in which it ruled that states could only require remote sellers to collect sales taxes if they had a physical presence in the state.

The Court said it would hear an appeal from South Dakota (South Dakota vs. Wayfair) that the current “physical presence” rule is outdated and unfair in a time when Americans do much of their shopping online. In 2016, South Dakota passed a law requiring out-of-state sellers to collect and turn over sales tax to the state. The state’s highest court struck down the law, citing previous Supreme Court decisions.. . . more

Discount giant plans to cut thousands of corporate, co-manager positions

Image result for walmart store managerWalmart just announced that it plans to hand out thousands of pink slips across its corporate office, as well as at store-level.

The discount giant is planning to eliminate more than 1,000 corporate jobs, according to CNBC, which cited The Wall Street Journal. (The Wall Street Journal first broke the story.). . . more

Walmart to close last Sam's Club store in Mass., leaving 167 workers jobless

Image result for sam's clubThe Sam's Club in Worcester — the last Sam's Club in the Bay State — will close to the public on Jan. 26, according to a company spokeswoman. A state filing on Thursday further confirmed the company will lay off all of its 167 workers at the store by March 16.

Walmart announced on Thursday that it would close 63 Sam's Club stores across the country. But its initial list of stores didn't contain any Massachusetts locations, including the Worcester one at at 1 Tobias Boland Way.. . . more

Unveiling Dunkin’ of ‘future’

(Quincy, Ma 011218) Workers prepare a new, soon to open Dunkin store at 588 Washington St. January 12, 2018 Staff photo by Chris ChristoDunkin’ Donuts will unveil its next generation concept store next week in Quincy — the city where its first restaurant opened 68 years ago.

The restaurant says the event at its 588 Washington St. location will offer “the first look at the brand’s U.S. store of the future.” New elements include an exclusive On-the-Go drive-thru lane for mobile ordering, a cold beverage tap system and new uniforms designed in partnership with Life is Good.. . . more

Friday, January 12, 2018

Women's fashion retailer A'gaci files for bankruptcy

Women's apparel retailer A'gaci filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection this week after a rapid brick-and-mortar expansion in recent years "spread the organization too thin to effectively respond to the rapidly changing trends in the retail market," the company's chief financial officer said in a court filing.

After building out 21 new stores over the past two years, A'gaci is now looking to close 49 stores — almost 65% of its footprint — in bankruptcy, A'gaci CFO Mark Butterbach said in the filing. Along with the overexpansion, Butterbach said the consumer shift toward online shopping, trouble implementing a new business software system, and major hurricanes last year — which "ravaged" some of the retailer's most profitable stores — forced the company into bankruptcy.. . . more

NH Sam’s Club store to close permanently

Sam's ClubA Sam’s Club store in the Granite State is one of many locations across the country slated to close soon.

The Seabrook location will close on Jan. 26, according to town manager Bill Manzi.. . . more

Kohl's to partner with grocers or convenience stores to fill vacant store space

Kohl's department storeKohl's plans to partner with retailers like grocery stores or convenience stores to lease the white space left by the roughly 300 stores it has "right-sized" over the past several years, CEO Kevin Mansell told CNBC at ICR's conference this week.

The department store has created operationally smaller, more profitable stores within its roughly 87,000-square-foot boxes. That downsizing leaves unused footage, which Mansell said would benefit from traffic-generating retailers like those that sell food.. . . more

In age of retail closings, Boscov's to open another store