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Williams-Sonoma Acquires AR 3-D Imaging Startup
November 17, 2017 at 12:09 pm

Furniture and kitchenware giant Williams-Sonoma, Inc. (WSI) is acquiring augmented reality (AR) startup Outward in an all-cash deal for $112 million. The furniture brand, which operates stores including Williams-Sonoma, Pottery Barn, West Elm and others, will be using the startup’s 3-D imaging tech to “enhance and extend its high-touch customer service platform,” the company says. Outward, founded…

Toys"R"Us Seeks OK for $16M in Executive Bonus Pay
November 16, 2017 at 1:12 pm

Toys”R”Us is seeking approval to pay 17 of its senior executives $16 million in incentive bonuses. Those bonuses could exceed the estimated amount if toys sales are better than expected during the holiday season. The bankrupt retailer is arguing the incentives for the senior-level executives are necessary in order to retain top-level talent through its…

Skechers Names New CFO
November 15, 2017 at 9:38 pm

Skechers USA said Wednesday it has hired John Vandemore to be its chief financial officer, effective within the next few weeks. Vandemore, who recently served as CFO of Mattel Inc., will assume the role from David Weinberg, who assumed the CFO role in 2009 in addition to being chief operating officer since 2006. Vandemore will…

How to Create a Genuine Workplace Culture
November 15, 2017 at 3:58 pm

Turnover is an ever-lingering threat to the retail industry. According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Job Openings and Labor Turnover program, the turnover rate in 2017 is already on a pace for a 10 percent increase over the average annual rate of the past decade. Despite the troubling trend, it’s possible to…

GameStop Names Interim CEO While Paul Raines Recovers From Illness
November 15, 2017 at 12:48 pm

GameStop has appointed an interim CEO, the company announced yesterday. CEO Paul Raines has had "a medical reoccurrence." The Dallas Morning News reports the board of the video game retailer appointed Daniel DeMatteo, GameStop's executive chairman, to be interim CEO. DeMatteo, one of GameStop's co-founders, will continue to serve as executive chairman and director, the…

Retail Metamorphosis: 3 Trends That Will Impact Retail in 2018
November 14, 2017 at 10:24 am

Analysts and conspiracy theorists alike have officially dubbed 2017 as “the year of the retail apocalypse.” Although retail has already undergone and will continue to undergo major shifts as we move into 2018, the doom and gloom picture painted by many actually tells the story of retail metamorphosis rather than the end of retail. Metamorphosis…

A.C. Moore Invests in 2 Online Brands
November 13, 2017 at 10:48 am

A.C. Moore, the arts-and-crafts retailer, announced today that it has acquired e-commerce company Blitsy and invested in handcraft marketplace Zibbet to boost its digital capacity. The two major investments are to boost the company’s online reach and sales, said Anthony Piperno, chief marketing and merchandising officer at A.C. Moore. Piperno said both deals were completed last week.…

Alibaba, Retailers Gearing Up for Successful Singles Day
November 10, 2017 at 10:34 am

This Saturday, Nov. 11, the Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba will hold its annual Singles Day event, which last year grossed $17.8 billion (USD) in sales, up from $14.3 billion in 2015, according to a report from Fung Global Retail & Technology (FGRT). The 24-hour phenomenon has quickly become the world's largest shopping day, consistently surpassing…

Singles Day Tips and Tricks for US Merchants
November 9, 2017 at 1:10 pm

With the holiday season upon us, merchants across the nation have been preparing for one of America’s most busy shopping days: Black Friday. While Black Friday is a key moment in time for merchants to rake in sales, they have the opportunity to kick off their holiday sales even earlier this year thanks to the…

Teen Fashion Retailer Styles for Less Files for Bankruptcy
November 9, 2017 at 10:15 am

Styles for Less filed for bankruptcy protection this week, the latest in a string of retailers to file following declining sales. Reuters reports the teen fashion retailer listed assets and liabilities between $10 million and $50 million in its filing in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Central District of California on Monday. Styles for Less, which…

REI Hires Retail Veteran as its New CIO
November 8, 2017 at 6:05 pm

REI has appointed retail veteran Christine Putur as the company’s new chief information officer. GeekWire reports Putur started in her new role this past week. Putur has a rich history in the retail industry. Before she was named CIO of REI, she spent four years as the CIO and executive vice president for high-end fashion brand…

The Importance of Purpose: Value and Volunteerism in the Modern Workplace, Part 2
November 8, 2017 at 6:03 pm

It's not always a foregone conclusion that those who wish to give their time and energy to a cause can find an opportunity to do so. We've recently offered our time to the academic world as “volunteers” to share our corporate experiences with college students, but haven't been able to “sell” the concept with any consistent results. We believe that most colleges are lacking in the ability to prepare students for the true challenges of the business world, and those who have spent the last 20 years or 30 years successfully managing the shifting sands of the work world offer perspective and experience.

FULLBEAUTY Brands Names Emilie Arel as New CEO
November 8, 2017 at 3:48 pm

FULLBEAUTY Brands Inc. has named Emilie Arel the company's new CEO. Arel will join the fashion brand in the next few weeks. Arel brings years of retail experience, having previously served as the CEO of the Amazon.com, Inc. subsidiary Quidsi Inc., a retail technology company with a portfolio of six different e-commerce sites. Before Quidsi, Arel…

Under Armour CMO, Andrew Donkin, Leaves the Company
November 8, 2017 at 3:28 pm

Under Armour's chief marketing officer, Andrew Donkin, has exited the company. Ad Age reports the exit comes at a time of flux for the athletic wear brand, especially since sales have been struggling recently. Just last week Under Armour reported its first quarterly revenue decline since it went public in 2005. Donkin joined Under Armour 15…

The ‘Retail Crisis’ is Only a Crisis to Those That Didn't Evolve
November 8, 2017 at 10:58 am

The world of retail was rocked last month when Toys"R"Us filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Many took it as a bad omen or the proverbial “last gasp” of a dying industry. Headlines of a “Retail Crisis” permeated the news cycle and analysts poured over the reasons why — with most of the blame directed…

Sears Holdings Announces More Store Closures
November 7, 2017 at 11:43 am

Sears Holdings Corp. announced late last week that it will be closing an additional 63 stores early in 2018. The parent company of Sears and Kmart has already closed more than 350 stores this year. An additional 45 Kmart stores and 18 Sears stores will be closing in late January 2018, the company said. The 63…

J.C. Penney Eliminates Chief Merchant Role
November 6, 2017 at 10:51 am

J.C. Penney announced last week that it has eliminated the position of chief merchant. The move was made to streamline decision making and promote greater agility within its merchandise buying teams. John Tighe, current chief merchant, will be leaving the company to pursue other opportunities and will not be replaced. All senior merchandising executives will…

Christopher Bailey to Depart Burberry
November 1, 2017 at 5:57 pm

London-based global luxury brand Burberry announced this week that its president and chief creative officer (CCO) Christopher Bailey will leave the company on March 31, 2018. At that time he will also step down from Burberry's board. Bailey has been with the company for 17 years. He will provide his full support to current CEO…

Wal-Mart CEO Doug McMillon to Be Honored by NRF
November 1, 2017 at 5:24 pm

The National Retail Federation (NRF) announced earlier this week that it will recognize Wal-Mart President and CEO Doug McMillon as “The Visionary,” an award given once a year to an outstanding retail industry leader during the 2018 NRF Foundation Gala on Jan. 14 in New York City. The Visionary is awarded annually to a leader with a long record of spearheading change in the retail industry. Each year, prominent retail executives identify an individual who is a disruptor, dreamer, giver, influencer and power player who has changed…

A Few Thoughts From Costco’s Jim Sinegal
November 1, 2017 at 2:31 pm

It’s not often that you get to hear from retail legends like Jim Sinegal, co-founder and director of Costco Wholesale Corp. That’s why I was so excited to attend his talk at SAP’s Retail Executive Forum, which was held in New York City earlier this month. And he didn't disappoint. Sinegal served as the CEO…