Friday, September 13, 2019

Old Navy to almost double the size of store fleet

Old Navy, which will soon be spun off by parent Gap Inc. as an independent public company, is feeling bullish on brick-and-mortar.. . . more

Walmart going national with ‘unlimited’ grocery delivery subscription program

Walmart is not ceding the lucrative grocery delivery subscription market to Amazon or other rivals.
The discount giant plans to expand its grocery delivery membership program, called “Delivery Unlimited,” to 1,400 stores later this fall. For a fee of $98 per year or $12.95 per month, customers can purchase groceries online and either have them delivered to their home or pick them up at a local Walmart store, with no per-order charge. Customers will continue to have the option to pay a per-delivery fee (typically $9.95), without a membership.. . . more

Gap Inc. to grow Athleta, Janie & Jack globally via franchising

Gap Inc. is expanding its already robust franchise business with the addition of two brands.

The retailer announced it will begin franchising its Athleta and Janie & Jack brands internationally, starting with online and in shop-in-shop formats. Gap Inc. said it will eventually open brick-and-mortar stores with proven partners. . . . more

Tru Kids taps toy industry vet to head joint venture to open Toys ‘R’ Us stores

Plans to revive the Toys “R” Us banner in the U.S. are gaining momentum with the appointment of a veteran from the bankrupt chain to lead the new initiative.. . . more

Beloved Nantucket Restaurant the Nautilus Is Adding a Boston Seaport Location

Boston Magazine
Next summer, Bostonians might not have to board a ferry to get a taste of one of Nantucket’s best restaurants. The Nautilus, which serves up vibrant small plates with a coastal bent on the tiny Massachusetts island, is opening a larger, second location in the Boston Seaport in spring 2020. Called the Nautilus Pier 4, the waterfront outpost will offer a similarly stellar wine and cocktail list and seasonal menu favorites as the Nantucket original. . . . more

Cape Cod Mall Announces Extensive Renovations

Simon announced that Cape Cod Mall will begin an extensive interior and exterior renovation complete with elevated finishes, modern décor, fresh landscaping featuring an outdoor gathering space, a new custom themed play area, and more. . . . more

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Amazon's inventory value up 25% as it begins next-day shipping

Retail Dive
Amazon's inventory value has ballooned over the last year compared to some of its retail competitors, increasing 25% up to nearly $18.6 billion in its latest quarterly report from more than $14.8 billion during the same period a year ago, according to a review by Supply Chain Dive.

The increase in inventory is a result of Amazon's plan to roll out next-day delivery, according to Moody's retail analyst Charles O'Shea. "In order to do next day delivery, you've got to have the stuff in the system," O'Shea said in an interview with Supply Chain Dive. "So you've got to buy more because you don't know how much you need.". . . more

Neighborhood Goods expanding; raises $11 million in funding

Chain Store Age
Neighborhood Goods is expanding its department store of the future concept.

The retail start-up will open its third location, in a new mixed-use development in Austin, Texas. The 10,000-sq.-ft. store is due to open in 2020.

Designed as a modern alternative to the traditional department store, Neighborhood Goods combines an ever-changing line-up of contemporary brands — many of them cult faves and/or digital natives — along with events and services. The company offers a variety of leasing and space options that make it easy for brands to set up shop and rotate in and out.. . . more

Anytime Fitness’ Parent Company Acquires The Bar Method

SGB Media
Self Esteem Brands, the parent company of Anytime Fitness, has purchased The Bar Method – a popular, low-impact fitness franchise with 123 studios across 30 states and Canada. Self Esteem Brands will initially offer new franchise territories throughout North America, while exploring additional franchising opportunities internationally.

“We’re excited to add The Bar Method to our rapidly-expanding portfolio of franchises, which also includes Anytime Fitness, the world’s largest and fastest-growing fitness chain, Basecamp Fitness, a high-intensity class-based fitness concept, and Waxing the City, a franchise devoted to the art of waxing,” said Chuck Runyon, Co-founder and CEO of Self Esteem Brands and Anytime Fitness.. . . more

Bondholders With $1.1 Billion Riding on N.J. Mall Get a Peek

Wall Street has over $1.1 billion riding on the success of New Jersey’s American Dream mega mall, the massive consumer utopia outside New York City that’s been in the works for nearly two decades.

So on Thursday, bondholders will get a sneak peek at the retail and entertainment hub to see what their investments helped create. . . . more

Hudson’s Bay Co losses widen on lower sales and heavy discounts

Ottawa Citizen
Canadian department store operator Hudson’s Bay Co reported a wider second-quarter loss on Thursday, hurt by several shuttered stores, heavy discounting and declining sales at the retailer’s namesake brand.

The Toronto-based company has been fighting a tough retail environment as e-commerce behemoth Inc and other department stores such as Macy’s and Nordstrom Inc continue to swoop up more customers with discounts.. . . more

At Home Rethinks Its No-E-commerce Strategy

After At Home Group Inc. lost half its market value in one day this June, its CEO Lee Bird decided to reconsider everything at the home decor chain of 200 stores across 40 states.

In response, the home-goods retailer has slowed its ambitious addition of 400 more stores, which now will gradually open over the next decade. The chain will also revamp marketing to tout what it claims are the lowest prices in the industry. And, crucially, after staying out of the e-commerce fray because the cost of implementation and shipping could hamper profit, the company now plans a full online offering by 2022.. . . more

Forever 21 says reports are wrong, company is 'not planning to file for bankruptcy Sunday'

USA Today
While reports are circulating that Forever 21 Inc. could file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection as early as Sunday, the fashion retailer told USA TODAY that's not the case.

"The reports are inaccurate; Forever 21 is not planning to file for bankruptcy on Sunday," the company said in a statement. "Our stores are open and it is our intention to continue to operate the vast majority of U.S. stores, as well as a smaller amount of international stores.". . . more

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

New Tenant Mixes Drive Retail Redevelopments

A persistent need for a tenant mix that is resistant to e-commerce and which facilitates a unique, authentic experience is prompting owners of older retail centers and malls to assume high levels of risk and redevelop their properties.

While there can be a plethora of non-tenant-related factors that spur redevelopment projects — the basic need to charge higher rents, the structural and aesthetic deterioration over time, a desire to restore a public perception of vibrancy — the ultimate success of almost every retail redevelopment project hinges on the tenancy. . . . more

Millennials, Gen X are the most activist shoppers

Retail Dive
Aligning shopping with values is emerging as a hallmark of U.S. consumerism, with millennials aged 25 to 34 dominating that trend, according to a report emailed to Retail Dive from consumer intelligence platform Resonate.

Gen Xers also make their mark in what Resonate calls activist shopping, especially when it comes to a brand’s ethics. Those shoppers, mostly Gen X women with older children, favor companies "that treat their employees fairly, are honest and trustworthy, have truthful advertising and price products fairly," and are the largest segment Resonate found.. . . more

Francesca's shares rise on profit surge

Retail Dive
Francesca's on Tuesday said that second quarter net sales fell 6% to $106 million from $113 million in the year-ago quarter.

Comparable sales fell 5%, due to lower average unit prices from "deeper markdowns on legacy product," partially offset by higher conversion rates and average units per transaction, according to a press release.

Gross profit as a percent of net sales fell to 38.2% from 39% a year ago because the deeper markdowns lowered margins. Net income rose to $1.8 million from $0.5 million in the prior-year quarter. The company opened one store and closed five during the period for a total of 718.. . . more

GameStop to close up to 200 stores

Just two months after GameStop announced ambitious plans to breathe new life into its stores, the company has announced that between 180 and 200 stores around the world will be closing their doors for good before the year is out -- and more closures are coming.

The company's balance sheet has not looked healthy in recent times -- its second quarter global sales decreased 14.3 percent, marking an adjusted net loss of $32 million. As such, GameStop CFO James Bell announced that up to 200 "underperforming" stores will be closed between now and the end of the year. . . . more

L Brands promises an ‘evolution’ is ahead for Victoria’s Secret brand

If there was one clear theme at Tuesday’s L Brands’ investor day, it was that it was time to move beyond past mistakes — both personal and corporate — that have lopped off nearly a third of the company’s value over the past year.

“There’s a big belief in the company that we need to evolve,” said John Mehas, head of Victoria’s Secret Lingerie, speaking at the Hilton Columbus at Easton.. . . more

Amazon Probed by U.S. Antitrust Officials Over Marketplace

A team of Federal Trade Commission investigators has begun interviewing small businesses that sell products on Inc. to determine whether the e-commerce giant is using its market power to hurt competition.

Several attorneys and at least one economist have been conducting interviews that typically last about 90 minutes and cover a range of topics, according to three merchants. All were asked what percentage of revenue their businesses derive from Amazon versus other online marketplaces like Walmart Inc. and EBay Inc., suggesting regulators are skeptical about Amazon’s claims that shoppers and suppliers have real alternatives to the Seattle-based company. . . . more

J.C. Penney looks to outdoor sports enthusiasts to reel in more consumer spending

The Dallas Morning News
Plano-based J.C. Penney will be going up against sporting goods retailers such as Bass Pro Shops and Academy Sports + Outdoors for a piece of the men's outdoor lifestyle category.

Penney is expanding into the more rugged clothing with its own St. John's Bay brand, both online and in about 600 of its 830 stores starting Thursday. The new merchandise, which Penney's in-house product development and designers created, includes shirts, sweaters, jackets and pants in functional and durable styles.. . . more

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Lululemon’s first new brand, 10 years in the making, is here

Fast Company
For the last decade, Lululemon has been quietly tinkering with a luxury streetwear label called Lab. The $3.8 billion sportswear giant first piloted the concept in 2009, opening a store in Vancouver. Then, over the last three years, it opened two more Lab stores in New York. Until now, these were the only places to catch a peek at the project and buy a few limited-edition pieces. But today, Lab hits prime time: The newest 44-piece collection will be available online and at 45 stores across North America, Europe, and Asia.

Lab will exist as a separate brand from Lululemon, one that is both more expensive—items range from $80 to more than $500, prices that run approximately 30% higher than existing Lululemon products—and more exclusive, given that it will only be available at about 10% of Lululemon stores. . . . more

Kohl's president departs

Retail Dive
Kohl's on Friday said that President Sona Chawla will step down from that role in mid-October "to pursue new opportunities." The company didn't name a replacement, according to its press release.

Chawla's departure likely won't surprise many — in fact, some analysts have been more surprised that she stayed at Kohl's for as long as she did, considering that she was once viewed as taking over as chief executive herself.. . . more

Wendy's is launching breakfast nationwide in 2020 and will hire 20,000 new employees

USA Today
Wendy's is taking its breakfast menu nationwide in 2020 and will hire 20,000 new employees to support the morning meal, the company announced Monday.

The fast-food chain, which has been a holdout in the breakfast area among major national chains, currently has breakfast in 300-plus restaurants . . . more

Dollar Tree CEO on mitigating tariffs on Chinese imports: ‘We play hardball’

Dollar Tree
It might look easy, but Dollar Tree has used “a lot of discipline” over the past year to mitigate the impact of tariffs on the products the company sells, CEO Gary Philbin told CNBC on Monday.

He said the discount retailer has worked with vendors to adjust its approach to shipping products from China, where the U.S. earlier this month imposed a fresh round of duties on imports. Dollar Tree negotiated prices, canceled orders and diversified vendors in order to mitigate costs, Philbin said, and is keeping a watch on the impact of new tariffs.. . . more

Christmas Tree Shops exits a major sales channel

Chain Store Age
Christmas Tree Shops is making a significant change to its e-commerce strategy.

In an undated statement on its FAQ page, the retailer, best known for its bargain-priced home décor and seasonal items, says it is no longer selling products on its site. However, customers can still browse the site to find items sold in stores, as well as content such as product previews, trends and tips.

According to Christmas Tree Shops, customer desire for an exciting, unpredictable shopping experience led to its decision to curtail online sales.. . . more

Target to hire 130,000-plus workers for holidays to handle more online orders

While job growth has been slowing nationwide, Target Corp. is planning to once again boost its holiday hiring this year.

The Minneapolis-based retailer, one of the largest employers in the U.S., said Tuesday it will hire more than 130,000 seasonal workers in stores and distribution centers to help it stay on top of what it expects to be a busier holiday shopping season, especially when it comes to online orders.. . . more

Tractor Supply hits a store milestone

Chain Store Age
Tractor Supply Company’s expansion remains on track.

The rural lifestyle retailer has opened its 1,800 store, in Berkshire Township (Sunbury), Ohio. It is the 93rd Tractor Supply store in Ohio.

The company opened 80 new stores in 2018 and is continuing its strategic expansion in 2019, with 80 new store openings planned.. . . more

Monday, September 9, 2019

Amazon tops 53,500 local employees as it begins nationwide hiring push

Seattle Times
After a decade of torrid growth, Amazon now has more than 53,500 employees in its original headquarters region. It paid its local employees $9 billion last year.

On Monday, the commerce and technology giant is rolling out a new hiring push to fill some 10,000 openings in the Seattle area by 2020 — the majority for new positions rather than to backfill for attrition — as part of a larger national hiring initiative that includes job fairs next week here and in five other cities. . . . more

L Brands Investors Poised to Demand Answers After 35% Hammering

Many apparel retailers are having a rough go of it in 2019, but few have had as much trouble as L Brands Inc., the parent of embattled lingerie purveyor Victoria’s Secret.

From its outdated imagery to its stagnant sales, Victoria’s Secret was already in the hot seat with shareholders, culminating in a brief activist battle earlier this year -- and that was before founder Les Wexner’s ties to Jeffrey Epstein came under scrutiny.. . . more

Fred’s Bankruptcy Could Boost CVS, Walgreens Pharmacies

News Fred’s Inc. will sell its remaining pharmacy assets as part of its bankruptcy filing could benefit drugstore giants CVS Health, Walgreens Boots Alliance and potentially other retail pharmacy chains.

Fred’s Monday announced it has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and will soon begin liquidating assets and selling off its pharmacies and related operations. The troubled Memphis retailer struggled to engineer a turnaround and failed to recover from an effort to expand deeper into personal healthcare under earlier management.. . . more

Macy's bets on 'Growth' stores

Retail Dive
Less than a month after reporting a bruising second quarter, Macy's said that it expects to fully complete the planned expansion of its Growth50 store remodels to an additional 100 locations this fall. CEO Jeff Gennette, speaking to analysts last month per a Motley Fool transcript, had promised the completion ahead of the holidays, noting that, all told, those 150 stores cough up half of the company's brick-and-mortar revenue.

The effort is part of the company's store strategy announced last year, a triad of concepts — flagships including its Herald Square icon, smaller neighborhood stores and the Growth "magnet" stores. . . . more

Target's back-to-school traffic hit 'torrid' pace in August

Retail Dive
Target's customer traffic is off to a "torrid" pace in the third quarter with sharp year-over-year spikes in the back-to-school season, according to research released this week by foot traffic analytics firm

The firm found that customer visits to Target the week of Aug. 12 jumped 27.5% above the retailer's baseline, well over the previous year's back-to-school bump.. . . more

The downside of tradition at Dillard's

Retail Dive
Dillard's, a relatively youthful department store at 81 years old compared to many of its peers founded in the 19th century, is a Southern institution with a support system that includes a loyal customer base, firm family control and a whole lot of real estate.

The Arkansas-based company runs 260 full-line stores and 29 clearance centers spanning 29 states, mostly in the South and Southwest. Like rival Nordstrom, Dillard family members (who have the added advantage of control through Class B stock) run the C-suite, with eight in key positions, including chief executive. Like Macy's and Hudson's Bay Co., it's a major property holder, owning some 44.3 million square feet out of the 49 million in its operations, according to its most recent annual report.. . . more

Neiman Marcus dreams up new e-commerce venture

Chain Store Age
Neiman Marcus Group is reportedly partnering with four luxury mattress brands for online sales.

According to the Dallas Morning News, the upscale department store chain is now selling exclusive selections from Aireloom, Royal-Pedic, Sferra, and Shifman via and its specialty furniture and décor site. Offerings include mattresses, which customers can also pair with complementary products such as pillows and pajamas. Mattress prices range from $2,000 to almost $20,000.. . . more

Friday, September 6, 2019

Ruby Tuesday closes more restaurants

Restaurant Business
At least nine Ruby Tuesday restaurants have closed in the past week, indicating the chain is still pruning weak stores from the system.

Most of the shuttered stores are located along the East Coast, from Massachusetts down to Delaware. Five are in New York. . . . more

Genesco’s Q2 earnings crush Street as Journeys continues to gain momentum

Chain Store Age
Footwear retailer Genesco Inc. reported second-quarter earnings and same-store sales that topped Street estimates, fueled by strong back-to-school sales at its teen-fave brand, Journeys.

The company, whose divisions include Journeys, Johnston & Murphy and Schuh, reported net income or $577,000 for the quarter ended Aug. 3, compared to a loss of $15,000 in the year-ago period.

Sales slipped to $486.6 million from $487.0 million, below estimates of $489.2 million. Same-store sales rose 3% ahead of Street expectations. Same-store sales increased 4% at Journeys and 1% at Johnston & Murphy. . . . more

Bed Bath & Beyond to refresh 160 stores in time for holiday; to announce new CEO soon

Chain Store Age
Bed Bath & Beyond detailed several short- and long-term initiatives as part of ongoing efforts to transform its namesake brand.

In a letter to shareholders, the struggling retailer said a “rapid refresh” of nearly 160 Bed Bath & Beyond stores is underway in advance of the upcoming holiday season. The company expect the “multi-million-dollar investment” to favorably impact the in-store shopping experience over the short term.

Bed Bath & Beyond also promised to close underperforming stores during the next couple of years to take advantage of its heavy lease expiration cadence.. . . more

For Many Retailers, Single Women Will Become the Make or Break Demographic, Morgan Stanley Study Finds

Single women might just single-handedly boost the success of retailers like Lululemon, Nike, TJ Maxx and Ulta Beauty, according to a new study by investment bank and financial services company Morgan Stanley. The study is called the “Rise of the SHEconomy.”

Morgan Stanley forecasts that by 2030, 45 percent, or 20.9 million, of U.S. women of prime working age (those between the ages of 25 and 44) will be single—the largest-ever share in history and up from 41 percent in 2018. . . . more

Macy's sees savings of up to $550 million from targeted promotions, better pricing

Macy’s Inc said on Thursday it aimed to save $400 million to $550 million annually in the next two to four years, as the department store chain cuts back on discounts, sending its shares up 5% in mid-day trading.

The 160-year-old company, which has been spending heavily on remodeling its stores and building off-price and online businesses, has relied on discounting to clear inventory, a move that has hurt its earnings. . . . more

Economy added disappointing 130,000 jobs in August, giving Fed another reason to cut rates

USA Today
Hiring slowed in August as employers added 130,000 jobs, further stoking recession fears and strengthening the Federal Reserve’s argument for another cut in interest rates this month.

The unemployment rate was unchanged at 3.7%, just above a 50-year low, the Labor Department said Friday.

Economists surveyed by Bloomberg expected 160,000 job gains.. . . more

Lululemon shares rise as growth in men's sales drives earnings beat

Lululemon on Thursday reported second quarter earnings that topped analysts’ expectations, sending the athletic apparel retailer’s shares up as much as 5% in after-hours trading.

The company also hiked its full-year outlook. CEO Calvin McDonald said in a statement he sees “significant runway” ahead, as Lululemon continues to push into new categories. . . . more

Thursday, September 5, 2019

Sears and Kmart keep shrinking. Here's what's left

CNN Business
Sears, the 133-year-old company that was once the jewel of American retail, continues its slow and precipitous decline. It keeps shuttering Sears and Kmart stores, even after emerging from a bankruptcy designed to salvage the company.

So far this year, Kmart has closed, or plans to close, about 60 stores, leaving fewer than 100 open. Sears has closed, or will close, more than 30 stores this year, reducing the number to fewer than 200. . . . more

American Eagle Outfitters’ Q2 beats Street amid strong Aerie sales

Chain Store Age
American Eagle Outfitters Inc. topped analysts’ estimates as its intimates brand Aerie marked its 19th consecutive quarter of double-digit growth.

The apparel retailer overcame a slow start to finish strong, but its same-store growth still came in below expectations and it offered weak guidance.. . . more

The Michaels Companies Announces Second Quarter 2019 Results

Yahoo Finance
Michaels net sales were $1,033.7 million compared to $1,053.3 million in the second quarter of fiscal 2018. The decrease in net sales was primarily due to the closure of the Pat Catan’s stores in fiscal 2018, partially offset by a 0.3% increase in comparable store sales and sales from the operation of 11 additional Michaels stores (net of closures) during the quarter. 

During the second quarter, the Company opened four new Michaels stores, closed two Michaels stores, and relocated one Michaels store. At the end of the second quarter of fiscal 2019, the Company operated 1,262 Michaels stores.. . . more

After 'bleak' Q2, prospects dim for department stores

Retail Dive
Moody's cut its forecast for department store profits after a "bleak" second quarter for the sector, according to a report released Tuesday and emailed to Retail Dive. The ratings agency now forecasts a 15% overall drop in operating income for the sector in 2019, after previously predicting a 10% decline.

Perhaps even worse, the sector's bad Q2 and predicted profit decline followed several department stores' "heavy investing to improve inventory efficiency and to build their online capabilities," Moody's analysts led by Christina Boni wrote in the report.. . . more

Apparel has an online returns problem

Chain Store Age
Returns are rampant in online fashion retail, but counterstrategies exist.

According to “Fashion Ecommerce Report: Consumer Trends & Strategies for Brands” from e-commerce marketing platform Yotpo, 88% of surveyed fashion shoppers admit to having returned fashion items purchased online in the past year, with 51% returning between 50 and 500 dollars’ worth of online fashion merchandise. Sixty-six percent of respondents say they order more items than they intend on keeping due to the ease of returns.. . . more

Duluth Trading CEO resigns for a top spot at Under Armour

Chain Store Age
There’s been a changing of the guard at Duluth Trading Company.

The men’s and women’s casual clothing and workwear brand announced that Stephanie Pugliese has resigned as president, CEO and board member (effective as of August 29). Less than 24 hours after Duluth Trading revealed that Pugliese had left, Under Armour announced that it had appointed Pugliese as president, North America.. . . more

The world’s largest Starbucks will open soon in Chicago

Chicago Tribune
The highly anticipated Starbucks Reserve Roastery Chicago is scheduled to open Nov. 15 on the Magnificent Mile, marking the last and largest of the chain’s grand coffee palaces.

The Chicago roastery, first announced more than two years ago, will open at 10 a.m. that day in a glassy 43,000-square-foot space formerly occupied by Crate and Barrel, at the corner of North Michigan Avenue and Erie Street.. . . more

Target tells suppliers to bear cost of Donald Trump’s tariffs

Boston Business Journal
Target has set the stage for contentious talks with the US retailer’s suppliers of Chinese goods, telling them it would refuse to “accept any cost increases related to tariffs” imposed by Donald Trump in his trade war with Beijing.

Hundreds of suppliers to the S&P 500 company received the warning in a memo sent last week, shortly before 15 per cent tariffs on $112bn of goods from China went into effect at the weekend.. . . more

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Walmart ending all handgun ammunition sales

Chain Store Age
Walmart has added more restrictions to its gun policy.

The world’s largest retailer announced that, after selling through its current inventory commitments, it will discontinue sales of short-barrel rifle ammunition such as the .223 caliber and 5.56 caliber. The ammunition, which is commonly used in some hunting rifles, can also be used in large capacity clips on military-style weapons.

In addition, Walmart will sell through and discontinue handgun ammunition, and discontinue handgun sales in Alaska, marking its complete exit from handgun sales nationwide.. . . more

Build-A-Bear leans on 2K Walmart stores for annual teddy bear event

Retail Dive
For the first time, Build-A-Bear Workshop will partner with 2,000 Walmart stores across the United States in celebration of its National Teddy Bear Day.

The celebration, which begins Saturday and runs through Monday, will include various activities and entertainment at locations around the globe and the release of a limited-edition plush bear, according to a company press release.. . . more

How quitting tobacco reshaped CVS

USA Today
CVS's move to quit selling tobacco products in September 2014 was the catalyst in a makeover for a corporation known historically as a drugstore chain.

The company has opened more than 1,100 in-store clinics through the MinuteClinic brand, adopted a new concept store model called HealthHUBs after a pilot in Houston and acquired health insurer Aetna.. . . more

Best Buy misses on Q2 sales, beats on earnings, tariffs loom

Chain Store Age
Best Buy had mixed results in the second quarter of fiscal 2020 and is preparing for the impact of upcoming Chinese tariffs.

Quarterly enterprise revenue equaled $9.54 billion, up 2% from $9.37 billion but short of analyst estimates of $9.6 billion. Same-store sales rose 1.6%, missing predictions of 2.1% growth. . . . more

Nearly 100 More Sears & Kmart Stores To Close, Including 2 Mass. Locations

CBS Boston
Nearly 100 additional Kmart and Sears stores could close in December or sooner. The latest round of closures includes two locations in Massachusetts.

The Brockton Enterprise reports that Kmart stores in Brockton and Webster are going out of business. . . . more

Trump said he wanted to save Christmas, but shoppers fear tariffs could ruin the holiday season

Six in 10 people are worried about tariffs impacting their holiday shopping, according to a new study.

President Donald Trump had said he chose to delay part of the taxes on $300 billion worth of Chinese imports from Sept. 1 until Dec. 15 “for the Christmas season ... just in case some of the tariffs would have an impact on U.S. customers. ” But consumers are still anxious.. . . more

Lego to open 160 new stores as other toy retailers suffer

Boston Business Journal
Lego is rapidly increasing the number of its own-brand stores and investing heavily into ecommerce as it seeks to navigate the turmoil in the toy industry.

Niels Christiansen, Lego’s chief executive, said on Tuesday it would open more than 160 new stores this year — an increase of almost 40 per cent, as the Danish toymaker draws the lessons from the collapse of Toys R Us and the Nordic region’s biggest toy retailer Top Toy. . . . more