Tuesday, July 14, 2020

WhatsApp introduces QR codes for small businesses

Retail Dive
WhatsApp on Thursday debuted QR codes for small businesses to display on product packaging, receipts or on storefronts that launch customer chats. The messaging platform also now allows sellers to share product catalogs and individual items as links on websites, Facebook, Instagram and other platforms. . . . more

Amazon’s newest smart device – the Dash Cart

CSA
Amazon is providing grocery shoppers another way to skip the checkout line.. . . more

Office Depot parent names former Amazon exec CTO

Retail Dive
The ODP Corporation, which owns OfficeMax, Office Depot, CompuCom and Grand&Toy, recently appointed Terry Leeper as executive vice president and chief technology officer. . . . more

In pandemic era, private equity-owned retail is as vulnerable as ever

Retail Dive
Combine two leveraged buyouts with $5 billion in debt. Add a pandemic. Stir. 
If anyone, for whatever reason, were in need of a recipe for retail bankruptcy, the above is as good as any. It was enough to send Neiman Marcus into court to seek relief. Two private equity buyouts, funded by billions in debt, led to years of distress and ultimately bankruptcy this year. . . . more

The 10 most valuable malls in America before the coronavirus pandemic

CNBC
Before the coronavirus hit, America’s most valuable malls were driving billions of dollars in sales annually, contributing hundreds of millions of dollars to local tax coffers. . . . more

Express: Sales, traffic improving

CSA
Express Inc. is seeing some light at the end of the tunnel after closing its stores due to the pandemic.. . . more

Brooks Brothers gets bankruptcy loan — with zero interest

CSA
Brooks Brothers Group has gotten a loan to help it reorganize through bankruptcy.. . . more

Pier 1 in deal to sell its e-commerce business, intellectual assets

CSA
Pier 1 Imports has accepted a raised offer for its intellectual property, data and  online-related assets.. . . more

Monday, July 13, 2020

Whataburger announces updated design, plans expansion to more states

Plain Vanilla Shell
Whataburger has announced expansion plans and a new restaurant design that will be coming soon.. . . more

7-Eleven Opens 71,100th Store

CStore Decisions
7-Eleven announced its 71,100th store, which opened in Seoul, South Korea.. . . more

REI Reportedly Plans to Lay Off Hundreds of Employees This Week

Footwear News

REI continues to make reductions to its workforce.

The outdoor retailer, which announced widespread furloughs in early April, has reportedly confirmed plans to lay off 400 store employees by Wednesday as the coronavirus pandemic continues to plague its business.. . . more

Parent company of New York & Company files for bankruptcy

CSA
RTW Retailwinds has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection with plans to close many, if not all, of its 378 stores.. . . more

Kelly’s Roast Beef Eyes South Florida for Expansion

Plain Vanilla Shell
Kelly's Roast Beef, a Boston icon with seven decades of history, is looking to expand not only regionally in New England, but also establish a presence in South Florida.. . . more

Muji USA files for bankruptcy

Retail Dive
The U.S. arm of Japanese retailer Muji filed for Chapter 11 on Friday. . . . more

Nike goes big with new ‘Rise’ store concept

CSA
Nike had added yet another store concept to its brick-and-mortar portfolio. . . . more

Friday, July 10, 2020

Primark to open five new stores this year as it names its top-selling products post-lockdown

Plain Vanilla Shell
Primark has announced it will open five new stores this year, as the retailer revealed what people have been buying since it reopened last month.. . . more

DAVIDsTEA to close its retail stores in North America

Plain Vanilla Shell
DAVIDsTEA (DTEA -16.4%) accelerates its transition to online retailing and wholesale distribution in North America through a restructuring plan to return to profitability.  . . . more

How to run a store in a pandemic

Retail Dive
As the United States marked a subdued Independence Day last weekend, the COVID-19 pandemic continued to surge in many places, prompting governors of several states to implement or reinstate strict protocols meant to combat it.. . . more

Meijer expands footprint with five new stores

CSA

Meijer is growing across the Midwest.

The retailer has opened new locations in Manitowoc, Wis.; Sycamore, Ill.; Bad Axe, Mich.; and Brimfield and Lorain, Ohio. The 159,000-sq.-ft. stores combine a grocery and a full-service meat department with a pharmacy and a wide range of general merchandise items that include women's apparel and beauty care.. . . more

Survey: Retailers should prepare for a busy holiday shopping season — online

CSA
COVID-19 hasn’t impacted consumers’ holiday spending plans but it has affected how they intend to shop.. . . more

Starbucks will require customers to wear face masks starting July 15

Nation's Restaurant News
Starbucks announced Thursday that starting July 15, customers will be required to wear face masks in all company-owned café locations in the U.S. Customers, however, will not be required to wear facial coverings in the drive-thru or picking up curbside “unless locally mandated,” Starbucks clarified in a tweet announcing the news.. . . more

Ascena preps bankruptcy plan that would close 1,200 stores

Retail Dive
Ascena Retail Group is preparing to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy as soon as this week, according to a Bloomberg report that cited anonymous sources. Ascena did not immediately reply to Retail Dive's request for comment.. . . more

Thursday, July 9, 2020

Levi's to cut 700 non-retail jobs as Q2 revenues plummet

Retail Dive
Levi's on Tuesday said in a press release that this year it will eliminate about 700 global non-retail and non-manufacturing jobs, or 15% of that workforce.. . . more

Square One Mall Sears Closing, Leaving Void North Of Boston

Patch
The Sears that has been part of the Square One Mall for decades is in its final days, soon to be replaced by a massive entertainment complex on Route 1.. . . more

Sur La Table pursues sale of company

Pain Vanilla Shell
Sur La Table has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and is pursuing a sale of the company, subject to court approval, the specialty retailer announced the afternoon.. . . more

Malls in New York can reopen on Friday if their HVAC systems

CSA
Shopping malls in most of New York State can reopen on Friday as long as they meet certain conditions, specifically enhanced air-conditioning filtration systems.. . . more

Bed Bath & Beyond in big store closing move

CSA
Bed Bath & Beyond plans to close about 200 stores during the next two years as it looks to return to profitability.. . . more

Brooks Brothers files for bankruptcy

CSA
The nation's oldest apparel company is looking for a buyer.. . . more

Here’s What the Trouble in Commercial Real Estate Means for You

New York Magazine
San Francisco’s iconic Transamerica building — owned by the insurer of the same name since its construction in the 1970s — is being sold. But these being COVID times, it’s being sold at a discount. A group of investors had struck a deal to buy the property for $711 million back in February, but now the San Francisco Business Journal reports Transamerica has agreed to a 10 percent price cut to keep the deal on track.. . . more

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Sally Beauty sees ‘strong’ demand in reopened stores

CSA
Sally Beauty Holdings is encouraged by initial results for its fiscal third quarter.. . . more

After Warning of ‘Probable’ Bankruptcy, New York & Co. Parent Enters Forbearance

Footwear News
After defaulting on its loan, New York & Co. parent RTW Retailwinds has reached an agreement with lender Wells Fargo to enter forbearance until July 15.. . . more

Double whammy: Protests and pandemic hurt Shake Shack sales

Nation's Restaurant News
Shake Shack, which has started to reboot unit growth, said second quarter same-store sales dropped 49% driven by volatility tied to the coronavirus pandemic and nationwide protests in June.. . . more

Department stores miss out on Fourth of July consumer attention

Retail Dive
Several specialty stores held their own over the Fourth of July holiday week, thanks to aggressive price promotions, according to Wedbush, which used Google Trends search analytics for a Tuesday report that was emailed to Retail Dive. . . . more

Gap in new B2B business: making masks

CSA
Gap Inc. is going national with a new business-to-business division selling face masks.. . . more

J.C. Penney to permanently close two stores in New York City

CSA
J.C. Penney has revealed more details about its store closing plans.. . . more

Report: Walmart to challenge Amazon Prime with subscription service

CSA
Walmart will reportedly introduce a new annual membership program by the end of July.. . . more

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

DTC brands struggled with profitability prior to COVID-19. Now what?

Retail Dive
For certain direct-to-consumer brands, the pandemic invited some of their highest sales as consumers were forced to shop online while physical stores shuttered.  . . . more

Re-open, re-close, re-open: The newest video game in retail real estate

CSA
On July 1, Apple announced it would re-close 30 more stores it had already re-opened during the COVID-19 crisis. That brought the highly trafficked retail division’s list of stores it has re-closed to 77.. . . more

Dunkin’ explores beverage trends with coffee and tea tests in restaurants in the Northeast

Nation's Restaurant News
The quick-service chain is offering new drinks in select stores in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York and Rhode Island. . . more

Pier 1 enters agreement to sell off IP, other assets for $20M

Retail Dive
Pier 1 Imports, Inc. on July 1 entered into an agreement with Retail Ecommerce Ventures LLC and Pier 1 Imports Online, Inc. to sell all of its owned intellectual property, data and other e-commerce-related assets to Pier 1 Imports Online. Retail Ecommerce Ventures will serve as guarantor.. . . more

Amazon expanding grocery store footprint

CSA
Amazon is making more inroads into physical retail.. . . more

CVS thanks loyalty members with summer promotion

CSA
CVS is providing a little extra for participants in its ExtraCare loyalty program.. . . more

Thinking they’re undervalued, investors are snapping up REIT stocks

CSA
Big real estate investment firms the likes of Blackstone and Starwood are actively buying securities backed by real estate, the financial underpinnings of mall owners like Simon, PREIT, Kimco, and National Retail Properties, said a report in the Wall Street Journal.. . . more

Monday, July 6, 2020

With department stores disappearing, malls could be next

BBJ
The directory map for the Northfield Square Mall in Bourbonnais, Illinois, has three glaring spaces where large department stores once stood. Soon there will be a fourth vacancy, now that J.C. Penney is liquidating stores after filing for bankruptcy. . . . more

Lucky Brand files for bankruptcy with plan to sell itself

CSA
Lucky Brand Dungarees is hoping that a new owner will help revive its sagging fortunes. . . . more

Foot Locker CEO Dick Johnson Talks Inevitable Retail Changes and Hope In Post-Coronavirus Era

Footwear News
As the coronavirus crisis ravages the footwear business, top executives have had to make many tough decisions — from closing stores to staff layoffs.. . . more

CITGO Still Going Strong

CStore Decisions
Not many retail brands survive for 110 years, but CITGO has not only weathered the competition, it is refreshing its brand image to meet the challenges of a new generation. Today, the Texas-based oil company operates more than 4,600 stores coast-to-coast and has its sights sets on growing its marketer program over the next 12-24 months.. . . more

Men's Wearhouse misses $6.1M interest payment on bonds

Retail Dive
Tailored Brands subsidiary Men's Wearhouse skipped a $6.1 million interest payment that was due July 1 on a group of bonds, the apparel retailer said in a securities filing.. . . more

Nordstrom tells landlords to expect just half their rent until January 2021

Retail Dive
Nordstrom June 3 notified landlords of its full-line and off-price Rack stores that it will pay only half the occupancy costs for the remainder of the year, according to a letter from President of Stores Jamie Nordstrom to property owners, which was obtained by Retail Dive. A Nordstrom spokesperson didn't immediately respond to Retail Dive's request for more information or comment.. . . more

Crate & Barrel to name new CEO—again

CSA

The chief executive of Crate & Barrel is moving on.  . . . more

Bob’s Discount Furniture puts premium on safe reopening

CSA
Bob’s Discount Furniture is going beyond government guidelines for its comprehensive COVID-19 store reopening strategy. . . . more

Thursday, July 2, 2020

Is a New Mobile App Enough to Save Francesca’s From Bankruptcy?

Footwear News
After warning last month that it could go bankrupt, Francesca’s is moving forward with plans to launch its first mobile app. . . . more

McDonald's halts dining room reopenings ahead of July 4 holiday

Nation's Restaurant News
Citing a rise in coronavirus cases across the United States, McDonald’s Corp. is halting the reopening of more dining rooms in the U.S. “Keeping with our thoughtful approach to reopening, effective today, we are pausing all dine-in reopening plans for 21 days,” company leaders wrote in a letter viewed by Nation’s Restaurant News. . . . more

Bollé unleashes sunglass try-on experience on Instagram

Retail Dive
Bollé released an augmented reality (AR) experience to let Instagram users virtually try on its Phantom model of sunglasses. To activate the AR view, mobile users can either scan a QR code included in Bollé marketing materials or visit a link attached to its @bolle_eyewear account on the photo-sharing app, per an announcement shared with sister publication Mobile Marketer. . . . more

Denny’s Corporation and its Franchisees Hiring 10,000 Restaurant Employees Nationwide

Restaurant News
Today, Denny’s announced its plans to hire 10,000 restaurant-level employees at both company and franchise operated restaurants across the United States by the end of 2020. The COVID-19 pandemic has caused unemployment to rise, impacting countless Americans, and Denny’s is committed to helping people get back to work. Denny’s Corporation and its franchisees are helping to jumpstart hiring across the U.S., by providing job opportunities to future employees. . . . more

Subway is pulling back on its $5 Footlong offer

Restaurant Business
Subway is pulling back on its latest $5 Footlong promotion, making it digital-only this week after the deal didn’t generate the traffic the company hoped.. . . more

Sephora enables direct purchase via Instagram

CSA
A beauty giant is taking a big step in social shopping.
Sephora is opening a digital storefront on the Instagram social platform with the Instagram Checkout feature. Initially released in closed beta in March 2019, Instagram Checkout enables customers to shop, make purchases and receive shipment and delivery notifications within Instagram.
. . . more

First Look: Walmart's new self-checkout store

CSA
Walmart is testing a store design that takes the self-checkout experience to a new level.
The discount giant is officially confirming mid-June media reports that it opened a pilot supercenter format in Fayetteville, Ark. that replaces traditional, in-person checkout lanes with self-checkout kiosks. Instead of arranging POS terminals in lanes, the store has a front-end layout in which 34 registers line the edges of a wide-open area
. . . more

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Macy’s swings to Q1 loss; not expecting another full COVID-19 shutdown

CSA
With nearly all its stores reopened, Macy’s expects a gradual recovery after posting a big loss for the first quarter when its stores went dark due to the COVID-19 pandemic.. . . more

Tanger Outlets debuts virtual shopping service

Retail Dive
Tanger Factory Outlet Centers on Wednesday introduced a virtual shopping concierge service that allows consumers to shop remotely across various retailers and brands, the company announced in a press release. . . . more

Guitar Center gets some breathing room with $56M debt exchange

Retail Dive
Guitar Center exchanged about $56.4 million in bonds due in 2022, representing 90.7% of the aggregate principal on the bond group, the company said in a press release Monday.. . . more

Wingstop Opens 1st U.S. Ghost Kitchen

Restaurant Business
Chicken wing chain Wingstop opened its first ghost kitchen in the U.S. on Wednesday, the latest step in the brand’s plan to go 100% digital.  . . . more

Giant Food merges e-commerce services into updated platform

Retail Dive
Giant Food has launched a new e-commerce platform that includes its former Peapod.com and Giantfood.com online shopping sites and the Giant Food app, according to a company press release. The new platform will operate under the Giantfood.com name.. . . more

Gap, Kanye West announce Yeezy collaboration

Retail Dive
Gap Inc. on Friday announced a collaboration between its namesake brand and Kanye West's Yeezy apparel label. The Yeezy studio will design "basics for men, women and kids at accessible price points," the company said. . . . more

Walgreens tests new store format highlighting health, wellness

CSA
Walgreens is testing a smaller store concept that is focused on pharmacy. . . . more

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Chipotle continues heating up digital sales with delivery partnership

CSA
Chipotle Mexican Grill is expanding its U.S. on-demand delivery footprint with a major third-party platform.. . . more

What's next for bankrupt GNC?

Retail Dive
GNC is no stranger to economic turbulence. The retailer traces its history to the middle of the Great Depression, when, in 1935, David Shakarian opened a health food store in Pittsburgh. The store, Lackzoom, specialized in yogurt (still fairly new to the U.S. at the time) and other health foods.  . . . more

Gov. Cuomo: ‘Large’ malls in New York will need high-quality air systems to reopen

CSA
Malls in New York will need high-quality air systems that can filter out COVID-19 before they will be allowed to reopen.  . . . more

Papa John’s and Shaquille O’Neal Launch New Shaq-a-Roni Pizza

Restaurant News
Papa John’s announced today the launch of the new Shaq-a-Roni pizza in collaboration with board member and restaurant owner Shaquille O’Neal. Designed to deliver a bigger pizza experience, Papa John’s will donate one dollar from every Shaq-a-Roni sold through August 23, 2020 to The Papa John’s Foundation for Building Community, which supports communities as they work together for equality, fairness, respect and opportunity for all. . . . more

How CBL's journey to the brink lays bare the risks to malls

Retail Dive
On March 9, CBL & Associates Properties filed its annual report with the SEC that included a word that wasn't there the year before: "pandemic." . . . more

Lululemon to acquire start-up for $500 million

CSA
Lululemon athletica inc. is making a major play in the fast-growing area of personalized at-home fitness. The fitness apparel retailer has agreed to acquire an-home fitness start-up Mirror for $500 million.  . . . more

Ann & Hope to permanently close all Curtain & Bath Outlets

South Coast Today

Many of the last vestiges of the once-mighty Ann & Hope discount-store chain will close within four months, the company’s founding founding family announced Monday. . . . more