Tuesday, March 20, 2018

KB Toys planning comeback after demise of Toys ‘R’ Us

Image result for kb toy pop upThe defunct KB Toys brand is planning a comeback — after nearly a decade in mothballs.

Hoping to capitalize on the apparent demise of Toys ‘R’ Us, the California company that bought the KB brand in 2016 is in talks with pop-up operators to open stores in malls before Black Friday, it said Monday.. . . more

Has online grocery delivery reached a tipping point?

Image result for grocery deliveryGrocery delivery is a $4.5 billion industry — a small sliver of the $680 billion for grocery overall, according to the Chicago-based food industry consulting firm Pentallect, whose 2017 data excludes sales of pet food, health and beauty aids, flowers and alcohol. That figure is expected to jump 12.5% each year and reach $9 billion out of $735 billion in 2022.

"As more people get used to it, it’s become more popular," said David Livingston, a supermarket consultant with Wisconsin-based DJL Research. "The business model for this has been getting better.". . . more

Amazon Has Considered Buying Some Toys ‘R’ Us Stores

Image result for toys r us storeAmazon.com Inc. has looked at the possibility of expanding its retail footprint by acquiring some locations from bankrupt Toys “R” Us Inc., according to people with knowledge of the situation.

The online giant isn’t interested in maintaining the Toys “R” Us brand, but has considered using the soon-to-be-vacant spaces for its own purposes, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the talks are private.

Such a move would let Amazon quickly expand its brick-and-mortar presence, coming on the heels of buying Whole Foods Market Inc. and its more than 450 locations last year. The Seattle-based company also has opened its own line of bookstores and a convenience-store concept.. . . more

Walmart to bring FedEx shops into 500 of its US stores

Walmart is bringing FedEx shops for printing, packing and shipping into 500 of its U.S. stores, adding to the number of services it offers customers in its race against Amazon.

Walmart and FedEx have been testing the arrangement in roughly 50 locations across North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Arkansas, Texas and Colorado. Following a successful pilot program, the small-format FedEx Office shops will be in 500 Walmart locations within two years, the companies announced Tuesday.. . . more

Whole Foods calls supplier summit amid Amazon angst

Whole Foods will host a summit on Tuesday for up to 200 of its suppliers, amid anxiety about how its ongoing business revamp will play out under new owner Amazon.com.

Amazon's $13.7 billion purchase of Whole Foods last summer shook the grocery industry, spawning worries that the ecommerce giant would disrupt groceries the way it upended books, toys and electronics.. . . more

Independent toy stores move on after Toys ‘R’ Us

Mother and daughter looking at soft toys in toy shopAs Toys ‘R’ Us shuts its doors across the U.S., smaller retailers have an opportunity to capitalize on the in-store customer service and expertise they offer.

Independent toy stores, which often struggled to compete with Toys ‘R’ Us in terms of price and selection, can benefit by emphasizing a personalized shopping experience and comfortable environment, CNN Money reports.. . . more

Monday, March 19, 2018

Brookfield Property submits new offer for mall owner GGP

Image result for natick mallCommercial real estate company Brookfield Property Partners LP has submitted a new offer to take over GGP Inc, one of the largest owners and operators of U.S. shopping centers, people familiar with the matter said on Friday.

The new bid comes more than three months after a special board committee of GGP rejected a $14.8 billion cash-and-stock acquisition offer from Brookfield Property, its largest shareholder, as inadequate.

Brookfield Property’s new offer has a slightly higher cash component and offers GGP shareholders a new security that will trade as a real estate investment trust, according to the sources.. . . more

Macy's to add mobile checkout to all stores by year's end

Image result for macy'sMacy's wants to make checking out at its stores less of a hassle.

The company will roll out a mobile checkout option, powered by its mobile app, to all full-line Macy's stores by the end of 2018, CEO Jeff Gennette said Sunday at the ShopTalk conference in Las Vegas.

The company is also adding an augmented reality shopping experience for furniture to the Macy's app, hitting phones as early as next month for some shoppers. With the upgrade, customers will be able to virtually place Macy's furniture within their own living spaces, seeing how it looks there before they buy.. . . more

Mattress Firm to close more stores than previously announced

Image result for mattress firmMattress Firm plans to close more stores this year than previously announced, but it also intends to open dozens of new locations.

The Houston-based mattress retailer closed 99 stores during the fourth quarter of 2017 and will close another 175 stores in 2018, according the latest quarterly report from its parent company,  Steinhoff International.

The 274 store closures is higher than the 200 closures Mattress Firm officials announced in December 2017.. . . more

Consumers’ favorite value fashion retailer is…

Two discounters came in neck-in-neck in an annual ranking of the nation’s favorite value fashion retailers.

TJ Maxx and Target took top honors in a new retail study from Market Force, which polled more than 10,000 consumers. The study ranks value fashion retailers overall, as well in specific areas such as merchandise selection, customer service and e-commerce.. . . more

Supermarket Bankruptcies Are Beginning to Pile Up

Image result for bi loThis is how the grocery industry lives now.

Regional chains are filing for bankruptcy. European-born discounters are expanding, forcing competitors to keep their own prices low. And Kroger Co. and Walmart Inc., the two largest grocers in the U.S., are investing in technology and expanding delivery as they try to fend off an incursion by Amazon.com Inc.

It’s a bleak outlook for a sector that was supposed to be rebounding this year. A historic bout of food deflation -- which fueled a price war in the past two years -- has ended, but efforts to sell more groceries online are gobbling up investment dollars. And some well-known names are crying uncle.. . . more