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Marc Lore Discusses Why He Sold Jet.com to Wal-Mart
March 23, 2017 at 1:12 pm

Many in the retail industry were surprised when online startup Jet.com, billed as a potential competitor to Amazon.com for e-commerce supremacy, was sold to Wal-Mart last August for $3.3 billion. The pairing of a cutting-edge digital brand like Jet and a legacy brick-and-mortar retailer like Wal-Mart didn't seem to be the perfect match. Yet seven…

Rumored Payless Bankruptcy Filing, Up to 500 Store Closings
March 23, 2017 at 12:25 pm

Discount shoe store Payless is struggling. USA Today reports the retailer has been rumored to be seeking bankruptcy court protection and may close as many as 500 stores. Payless plans to shut down the stores as part of its reorganization strategy. While 500 stores closing is a lot, it's less than the original estimate of 1,000 stores.…

Amazon to Buy Middle Eastern Online Retailer Souq.com
March 23, 2017 at 11:40 am

Amazon.com has acquired another online retailer. Reports say Amazon has agreed in principle to buy Dubai-based Souq.com, one of the best-known names in the Middle East's online shopping market. Souq.com sells consumer electronics, fashion, household items and other goods, and on its website claims to be the largest e-commerce site to the Arab world. Since its founding…

Costco Adds Technology Exec to Board
March 22, 2017 at 4:01 pm

Costco Wholesale announced this week that Kenneth Denman will be the newest addition to its board of directors. Denman was most recently CEO of Emotient, which built an artificial intelligence-based platform for measuring facial expressions to predict emotions. Although online only makes up 4 percent of Costco’s overall sales, the wholesale retailer has been working…

Wal-Mart Announces New Investment Arm
March 22, 2017 at 11:59 am

Wal-Mart has launched a new internal venture — Store No. 8 — meant to create new online business. Store No. 8 will help Wal-Mart build new startups within the company, fostering relationships with entrepreneurs, particularly those in the fields of artificial intelligence, autonomous vehicles and other emerging technologies. This will, in turn, help the retailer…

Bebe Closing All Stores, Concentrating on E-Commerce
March 22, 2017 at 11:46 am

Bebe Stores Inc. is planning to shut down its stores and become an online-only brand, according to sources close to the situation. The company is trying to close the locations without filing for bankruptcy, however, Chapter 11 may be required if enough landlords aren't willing to negotiate. Bebe has 170 stores in its fleet, including…

Does Job Title Impact Your Financial Benefits as a Retail Professional?
March 22, 2017 at 10:57 am

As a part of our continuing coverage of Total Retail’s Salary Benchmark Report, this week we take a look at how your job title may affect the financial benefits that you receive. The first annual Salary Benchmark Report was produced after an online survey was sent to the Total Retail audience over a two-week time period.…

Target Taps Kroger Exec for Grocery Business
March 21, 2017 at 5:41 pm

Target has poached Jeff Burt, the head of Kroger’s Fred Meyer division, to take over its grocery business. Target’s grocery business has been struggling amid price competition and Wal-Mart and Amazon.com's push into the category. Target is hoping Burt’s experience at Fred Meyer will help jumpstart its grocery business. Burt spent 30 years at Kroger,…

Ivanka Trump Brand Sued by San Francisco Fashion Retailer Over Unfair Competition
March 21, 2017 at 11:55 am

San Francisco fashion boutique Modern Appealing Clothing has sued Ivanka Trump's company over unfair competition. The class action lawsuit was filed in San Francisco Superior Court last Thursday. The lawsuit claims Ivanka Trump Marks, LLC, has gained an unfair advantage in the marketplace "from Donald J. Trump being the President of the United States and from Ivanka…

PVH Corp. to Acquire True&Co.
March 21, 2017 at 10:36 am

PVH Corp., parent company of brands such as Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger, Van Heusen and more, has entered into an agreement to acquire True&Co., a direct-to-consumer intimate apparel e-commerce retailer. True&Co. is changing the way women shop online by redesigning the art of bra shopping. It uses a proprietary fit quiz to recommend bras and other…

Wal-Mart Granted Drone Patent
March 20, 2017 at 11:33 am

Wal-Mart was granted a patent this week for a system in which drones would shuttle products between different departments inside its stores. This scenario would free customers from having to walk across its stores to find what they want and from having to wait while employees return from far-away storerooms. Ultimately, Wal-Mart believes that drones “can…

HHGregg’s Deal With Proposed Buyer Falls Apart
March 20, 2017 at 11:27 am

HHGregg Inc. disclosed late Thursday that its proposed purchase by an anonymous buyer has fallen through and that it now is considering the sale of some or all the business to other possible suitors. The struggling company, which filed for Chapter 11 reorganization March 6, said at that time that it had reached an agreement to sell the business…

Honest Company Names New CEO
March 20, 2017 at 10:34 am

Honest Company has appointed Nick Vlahos, chief operating officer at Clorox, as CEO of the consumer products company co-founded by Jessica Alba. Vlahos, who has worked at Clorox for 22 years, also joins Honest Company's board of directors and will help steer the baby and personal care products company as it aims to expand distribution…

Guess Closing 60 U.S. Stores, Expanding Abroad
March 17, 2017 at 10:34 am

Guess announced during its fourth quarter earnings call this week that it will be closing 60 underperforming stores this fiscal year. In the past two years, the retailer — which operates about 400 U.S. locations — has closed 62 U.S. stores, including 10 this past quarter. Guess reported fourth quarter total net revenue increases of 3.2…

Foolproof Hacks for Small Marketing Teams, Part 2
March 17, 2017 at 10:30 am

Aside from working an unsustainable 70-hour work week and hiring expensive contractors, there are few additional — somewhat more complex — things managers can do to get the work done, run an efficient department and foster a sane work environment for all.

Coachella Suing Urban Outfitters for Trademark Infringement
March 17, 2017 at 10:29 am

Coachella Music Festival is suing Urban Outfitters in federal court, alleging the retailer has been selling items using the Coachella name without permission. Coachella, a weeklong music festival in Indio, Calif. that attracts hundreds of thousands of people, claims that Urban’s Free People brand is "trading on the goodwill and fame" of the Coachella brand. Free…

NRF Welcomes Obamacare Replacement Plan
March 17, 2017 at 10:23 am

The National Retail Federation (NRF) welcomed the House Budget Committee’s 19-17 approval of Obamacare repeal-and-replace legislation, which sets the stage for a vote by the full House as soon as next week. It would effectively repeal the Affordable Care Act’s employer mandate by reducing the penalty for noncompliance to zero; repeals the so-called Cadillac tax on…

Vintage-Inspired Apparel Retailer ModCloth to be Acquired by Wal-Mart
March 16, 2017 at 12:52 pm

Changes are happening at ModCloth. Recode reported yesterday that Wal-Mart is acquiring the 15-year-old online retailer. The vintage-inspired clothing brand is being acquired on behalf of Jet.com, Wal-Mart's subsidiary that has been on an acquisition spree over the last 12 months. Over the last decade, ModCloth has gone through many changes. Within the last two years,…

1-800-Flowers.com to Sell 2 Chocolate Brands
March 16, 2017 at 12:31 pm

1-800-Flowers.com Inc. said Wednesday it agreed to sell its Fannie May and Harry London chocolate brands to Italian chocolatier Ferrero International S.A. for $115 million. Newsday reports the deal by Ferrero, one of the world’s largest chocolate confectionery companies, to buy the two brands is subject to regulatory approvals and is expected to close by May…

Russia Finds Apple Guilty of iPhone Price Fixing
March 16, 2017 at 11:51 am

Russia's antitrust watchdog, the Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS), found Apple guilty on Tuesday of iPhone price fixing in the country. The FAS said that Apple's Russian subsidiary forced 16 retailers to fix their pricing on iPhone 5 and iPhone 6 models, according to the Financial Times, which earlier reported on the ruling. The report even stated…