Joe Keenan

Joe Keenan

Joe Keenan is the executive editor of Total Retail.

Confidence Drives Build-A-Bear Workshop's CEO's Success

In a keynote presentation yesterday at the Women in Retail Leadership Summit in Miami, sponsored by Synchrony, Sharon Price John, CEO of Build-A-Bear Workshop, gave an inspiring speech that ended with attendees giving her a standing ovation. John described her unlikely path to success in the world of advertising and retail, and offered insights from her experiences to help other women reach the full potential of their careers.

Ikea App TaskRabbit Reveals Security Breach

Ikea's odd jobs marketplace TaskRabbit is investigating a "cybersecurity incident," the company has announced. The app and website let people find freelance workers to complete household tasks such as cleaning, gardening or assembling flat-pack furniture. TaskRabbit hasn't revealed the nature of the incident, but said it was working with law enforcement and a cybersecurity firm…

Starbucks to Close 8,000 Stores for Racial Bias Training

Starbucks will close its 8,000 company-owned stores in the United States for one afternoon to educate employees about racial bias. The announcement follows an uproar over the arrest of two black men who were waiting for a friend at a Philadelphia Starbucks last week. The store manager called the police. The racial bias training will be provided…

UGG Earns No. 1 Spot in List of Top 100 Omnichannel Retailers

UGG, a Deckers Brand company, earned the No. 1 ranking in Total Retail’s analysis of 100 publicly traded retailers based on its omnichannel capabilities/programs offered and the execution of said programs. UGG was part of a three-way tie for first place, joined by DSW and LIDS. The full rankings can be found in Total Retail’s 2018…

Learning and Teaching Defines Paula Bennett’s Career

In a keynote presentation yesterday at the Women in Retail Leadership Summit in Miami, Paula Bennett, the recently retired (as of this week) CEO of J.Jill, discussed her career journey and the principles that shaped it along the way. (Synchrony, a consumer financial services company delivering customized financing programs across retail and other industries, is…

Jet.com Sees Sharp Decline in Traffic

Walmart Inc., Jet.com's owner, has increased marketing of its primary website while scaling back promotion for Jet. While the shift may help maintain the retailer’s declining profit margins, the impact has been felt on Jet’s website, where traffic declined about 60 percent in March compared with a year earlier. Walmart.com’s traffic, meanwhile, was up 5 percent…

Bon-Ton Appears Headed for Liquidation

The only two bids at the start of a bankruptcy auction for department store chain Bon-Ton Stores Inc. were from liquidators, signaling the end for the company, according to reports Tuesday morning. Reuters said Bon-Ton will go out of business without a bid from a going-concern bidder. The New York research firm Reorg Research, also…

U.S. Retail Sales Increase 0.6% in March

U.S. retail sales rebounded in March after three straight monthly declines as households boosted purchases of motor vehicles and other big-ticket items, suggesting consumer spending was heading into the second quarter with momentum. The Commerce Department said on Monday retail sales increased 0.6 percent last month after an unrevised 0.1 percent dip in February. January data…

Ex-Best Buy CEO Resigns From 5 Boards in Donations Flap

Former Best Buy CEO Brad Anderson has resigned from the boards of five organizations following a report that he contributed to a nonprofit organization that distributed inflammatory anti-Muslim videos on social media. Minnesota Public Radio says Anderson resigned from its board of directors, as well as General Mills, Waste Management, Carlson and Mayo Clinic. Anderson contributed $25,000…

Kroger to Hire 11,000 Workers, Raise Wages

Supermarket giant Kroger announced plans this week to hire about 11,000 workers even as it faces heated competition from Walmart and Amazon.com. It's the latest wave of hires for Kroger, which has created 22,000 positions in the past two years. Kroger operates more than 2,700 groceries in 35 states under a variety of names, including Smith's, Fred…

DSW Tied Atop List of Top 100 Omnichannel Retailers

For the second time in as many years, DSW earned the No. 1 ranking in Total Retail’s analysis of 100 publicly traded retailers based on their omnichannel capabilities/programs offered and the execution of said programs. DSW was part of a three-way tie for first place, joined by UGG and LIDS. The full rankings can be…

2 Mall Owners in Bid to Save Bon-Ton From Closing its Stores

U.S. mall owners Washington Prime Group and Namdar Realty Group will bid together to save department store chain Bon-Ton from liquidation, according to court documents filed Monday that were reviewed by CNBC. Alternative asset manager DW Partners will also be working with them. It was reported last week that the two landlords would attempt to acquire…

Data Platform Gives Build-A-Bear Workshop Better Insights Into Business Metrics

In episode 139 of Total Retail Talks, recorded earlier this year at the National Retail Federation's Big Show in New York City, Mike Early, senior managing director, head of information technology, Build-A-Bear Workshop, talks about the company's shift to Microsoft's Dynamics 365 ERP platform and the impact it has had. Early addresses how the single…

Nine West to File for Bankruptcy, Sell Intellectual Property

Footwear retailer Nine West is preparing to file for bankruptcy by as early as this week, according to a report Thursday. Aside from the bankruptcy filing, the White Plains, New York, company is planning to sell its intellectual property to Authentic Brands Group, a licensing firm that recently said it would purchase clothing brand Nautica, Reuters…

Target Settles Claims it Discriminated Against Blacks, Hispanics in Hiring Practices

Target Corp has agreed to review its policies for screening job applicants and pay $3.74 million to settle a lawsuit claiming its use of criminal background checks kept thousands of blacks and Hispanics from obtaining employment. The preliminary settlement filed on Thursday with the U.S. District Court in Manhattan requires a judge’s approval. It resolves claims that…