Monday, August 31, 2015

Department stores duke it out over these shoppers

A Sephora store inside a J.C. Penney From the Internet superhighway to the luxury shopping streets, and from low-price drug stores to airport travel shops, it's never been easier for consumers to snatch up beauty products on the go.

But while such an array of choice is good news for shoppers, the outcome hasn't been as positive for department stores, which used their role as a one-stop shop to lure in customers.

Now, after losing market share to a swath of competition over the past 10 years, the department store set is clawing back for a bigger slice of the beauty business.. . . more

Ulta roars ahead in Q2; on track to open 100 stores and launch TV advertising

Fast-growing Ulta Beauty shows no signs of losing its momentum as the specialty retailer reported better than-expected results for the second quarter and raised its guidance.

Same-store sales rose 10.1% (with online sales representing 120 basis points of the total), compared to an increase of 9.6% last year.

As previously announced, Ulta expects to open 100 stores in 2015 and drive comparable sales in the range of 8% to 10%.. . . more

Michaels looking good in Q2

Better timing of distribution expenses, the elimination of operating costs of 40 shuttered stores and an improved merchandising strategy helped drive sales growth at Michaels in the second quarter.

Net sales increased by 4% to $984.3 million, from $948.2 million. Same-store sales increased by 1.6%. The impact of a strong dollar on currency exchange rates negatively affected both results.. . . more

Boston’s booze problem: License limits hurt entrepreneurship, neighborhoods

Image result for liquor licenseB y nearly every assessment, Boston’s restaurant scene is thriving. Great chefs are launching new ventures serving a range of food unprecedented for the city.

But by one measure, the sector has a big problem: Opening a restaurant in the city’s most-prosperous neighborhoods increasingly is an option only for restaurateurs with deep financial backing. That’s because in addition to the cost of ingredients, rent and staff, any restaurant entrepreneur aspiring to operate in most of Boston’s hottest neighborhoods needs to come up with the money to buy a liquor license — an expense that over the past year or so has hovered just shy of $400,000 and has been formidable since the city hit its state-imposed license cap decades ago.. . . more

Friday, August 28, 2015

Burlington Stores swings to profit, plans 25 net new stores

Image result for burlington coat factoryBurlington Stores Inc. swung to a net income of $10.9 million in the second quarter of fiscal 2015 from a net loss of $6.47 million the same quarter of last year.

Net sales rose 10% to $1.14 billion from $1.04 billion, while same-store sales grew 5.6%.
Burlington plans to open a net of 25 new stores by the end of the fiscal year, including 22 store openings and one closing in the third quarter.. . . more

Macy’s dives into discount market

The first Macy’s Backstage store is set to next week in the  Queens borough of New York City. It will  offer such items as children’s shoes and designer women’s clothing at substantial discounts.Macy’s has an answer to T.J. Maxx and other stores that sell deeply discounted designer brands.

The department store chain, which is set to open its ‘‘Macy’s Backstage’’ discount stores this fall in the New York City area, gave the Associated Press an early look at one of the new outlet stores.

The store, opening next week in Queens, is about the size of a T.J. Maxx and offers Calvin Klein, Sunglass Hut, and many of the other designer brands.. . . more

Walgreens Steps Up Retail Clinic Expansion As Demand For Convenient Care Grows

Image result for walgreens clinicAs selling medicines become less profitable, pharmacies have been looking for new avenues for growth. Most of the top pharmacy chains in the U.S. are, therefore, increasing focus on selling beauty products and also remodeling stores in the process. Drug retailers have found another source of growth in retail health clinics, which have been proliferating across the U.S. for the last few years. Walgreens currently has 400 healthcare clinics spread throughout the country. Walgreens currently has 400 healthcare clinics spread throughout the country. CVS Health, on the other hand, is far ahead in the race with about 1,000 clinics and plans to further expand to 1,500 clinics by 2017. In an attempt to narrow this gap down, Walgreens recently announced a collaboration with Providence Health and Services through which new clinics will open at Walgreens stores, but will be owned and operated by Providence and its affiliates.. . . more

GameStop a winner in Q2

GameStop Corp. on Thursday posted a strong second quarter, with profit and revenue that topped analysts’ estimates.

Total global sales rose 2% to $1.76 billion from $1.73 billion, and consolidated global same-store sales increased 8.1% (10.8% in the U.S. and 1.8% internationally).. . . more

Winter is coming: UGG plans Boston pop-up shop

Holiday shoppers line up at an Ugg store on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan.Winter is coming, and footwear retailer UGG is getting ready.

UGG will open a “pop-up” store in Boston’s Faneuil Hall through February 2016. The 1,764-square-foot temporary sales space will be located at 4 South Market Building in space 2045. It will offer up to 550 purchasable items, including footwear, loungewear, handbags and accessories.. . . more

Filene’s Basement to return as website

Image result for filene's basementFilene’s Basement, the off-price retailer that went bankrupt four years ago, will be back in business late next month with a website offering designer goods at steep discounts.

FilenesBasement.com will offer men’s, women’s and children’s clothing, shoes, accessories, jewelry, beauty, home goods and other overruns and unsold merchandise from retailers, designers and vendors, at discounts of up to 70 percent.. . . more

Consumer spending rises in July; inflation muted

People shop at Citadel Outlets in Los Angeles, California December 26, 2014. REUTERS/Jonathan AlcornU.S. consumer spending picked up a bit in July as households bought more automobiles, offering further evidence of strength in the economy that could keep the door open to a Federal Reserve interest rate hike this year.

The Commerce Department said on Friday consumer spending increased 0.3 percent after an upwardly revised 0.3 percent rise in June. Consumer spending, which accounts for more than two-thirds of U.S. economic activity, was previously reported to have gained 0.2 percent in June.. . . more

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Perennial fave continues to take top spot in overall customer service

L.L. Bean continues to win top marks in overall customer service.

According to the latest quarterly Stella Service benchmarks, perennial high finisher L.L. Bean took top customer service honors in second quarter 2015. Following L.L. Bean were Mr. Porter, Shopbop, David Yuman and Net-a-Porter.. . . more

Ahold To Launch bfresh Food Store Soon

Bfresh, a new kind of natural, organic fresh food store developed by Ahold, will be launched soon in Allston, Massachusetts. The store is being launched by Ahold’s Fresh Format team. . . more

7-Eleven has completed the acquisition of this Mass. convenience store chain

7-Eleven, Inc. said that it had acquired Tedeschi Food Shops Inc.'s approximately 180 convenience stores in the Boston and New Hampshire areas.7-Eleven Inc. said Monday that it closed on the acquisition of approximately 180 Tedeschi Food Shops.

The acquisition of the Rockland, Mass.-based convenience store chain adds to 7-Eleven’s existing 150 7-Eleven stores in the greater Boston and southern New Hampshire area, the company said. Financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.. . . more

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Versa Capital Is Said to Seek Buyers for Avenue Clothing Chain

Three years after buying it out of bankruptcy, Versa Capital Management is seeking a new owner for the Avenue Stores LLC plus-size clothing chain, according to people familiar with the matter.

Versa, a buyout firm in Philadelphia, turned around the once-struggling Avenue chain and is looking to capitalize on growing demand for plus-size clothing. Sales of the apparel totaled about $18 billion during the 12-month period ending in June, according to NPD Group. The market’s potential has attracted retailers like Target Corp., which rolled out a larger-size clothing line, Ava & Viv, this year.. . . more

Target plans alcohol service in small-format store

Target debuted its small-format stores in Minneapolis.Target will serve alcohol in its first small-format store in Chicago, assuming it gets city approval. The store would be Target's first to sell liquor on-site.

The 24,000-square-foot store was supposed to be a TargetExpress but the company dropped the TargetExpress and CityTarget monikers in favor of just calling them Target stores.. . . more

Amazon getting boozy — but only in Seattle

Not only is Amazon.com launching its one-hour Prime Now delivery service in its hometown of Seattle, but it's also adding a whole new category of deliverable products.

The retailer announced Tuesday it will add wine, beer and spirits to its assortment of eligible products for Prime Now delivery.

With the launch of Prime Now in Seattle, it's the first U.S. city to include alcohol in the assortment of products eligible for the quick-delivery service.. . . more

Target: SEC won't penalize it over 2013 data breach

Image result for targetThe Securities and Exchange Commission decided not to penalize Target Corp. for the 2013 cyberattack that led to the exposure of millions of customers’ data, the company said Tuesday.

The agency was one of several governmental entities to investigate the retailer in the wake of the attack, one of the largest against a U.S. company.. . . more

Wall Street concerned with The Fresh Market results

Image result for the fresh marketWall Street analysts expressed concerns with The Fresh Market a day after the chain reported flat earnings per share and negative comparable-store sales.

“Results were even more disappointing than we thought and suggest the company is not moving fast enough to address the challenges of a fast-changing food retail landscape,” Kelly Bania, an analyst with BMO Capital Markets, New York, said.. . . more