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Macy's Adding More Self-Service Shoe Departments
May 25, 2017 at 10:40 am

Macy's is bringing its new self-service shoe concept to three Chicago-area stores, enabling customers to bypass sales associates and slip on a pair all by themselves. The "help yourself" approach is one piece of a new shoe strategy the department store chain began testing at some stores in California and the southwestern U.S. last fall, focused…

Report: Half of All Retail Jobs Could Be Lost to Automation in 10 Years
May 23, 2017 at 1:28 pm

Between 6 million and 7.5 million retail industry jobs are vulnerable to automation within 10 years, according to a report by Cornerstone Capital Group released this week. The report concluded that the jobs of 47 percent of the 16 million Americans currently working in retail could be made redundant by highly automated e-commerce and other innovations.…

Michigan Wal-Mart Stores Getting Upgrades
May 23, 2017 at 10:48 am

As part of a multimillion-dollar plan to update the chain's U.S. store portfolio, 12 Wal-Mart stores in Michigan will get new looks in 2017. The remodeled stores are capitalizing on building connections for consumers, taking them from traditional in-store shopping to online sales at Wal-Mart's e-commerce site, and finding in-between steps to blend the two. Wal-Mart…

Forever 21 Launching Beauty Store Concept
May 22, 2017 at 12:46 pm

Forever 21's own beauty boutique, Riley Rose, is being rolled out at 13 GGP regional shopping center locations, creating an innovative brick-and-mortar concept, the two companies announced on Friday. Ten Riley Rose stores will open before the end of this year, and three will open in 2018, according to Forever 21 and its real estate landlord.…

Apple Launches Website for Today at Apple Initiative
May 18, 2017 at 10:44 am

“Today at Apple,” Apple’s initiative announced last month that offers an expanded set of educational sessions and more at its brick-and-mortar stores, launched its dedicated website this week. The site enables customers to view the available courses and sign up for classes. Currently, consumers can sign up for more than 4,000 education sessions per day…

DEBUT's Newest Collection Focuses on Philanthropy
May 18, 2017 at 10:13 am

As we've seen lately in the retail industry, companies need to work harder to get shoppers into their stores. Some retailers offer experiences, others sales and discounts. DEBUT, a newly opened store at the Minneapolis-based Mall of America (MOA), offers a revolving collection of products to entice shoppers to walk through its door. “The goal…

Wal-Mart Facing Lawsuits From Former Employees
May 16, 2017 at 10:50 am

Wal-Mart is being sued for both allegedly denying health benefits to same-sex spouses of employees as well as rejecting pregnant employees’ requests to limit heavy lifting, climbing on ladders, and other potentially dangerous tasks. In the former suit, an employee in Massachusetts (where same-sex marriage has been legally recognized since 2004) attempted to add her…

J.C. Penney's Turnaround Hits Stumbling Block With Q1 Sales Miss
May 15, 2017 at 9:47 am

J.C. Penney's stock price closed at a historic low on Friday after it missed its first quarter forecast and said customer traffic was below a year ago. While the department store chain said it can still pull off recently lowered full-year targets for flat sales and improvements in margins, investors pummeled the stock. Penney's stock price closed below $5 a…

Macy's to Aggressively Push Off-Price Strategy
May 12, 2017 at 9:34 am

Macy’s CEO Jeff Gennette, who succeeded Terry Lundgren just last month, announced plans to grow the department store chain's off-price brand, Macy’s Backstage. "We're hoping that by the end of this year, we have a scaleable [off-price] model to aggressively roll out in the future," Gennette said during the company’s earnings call on Thursday. Macy’s has 26…

Retailers' Guide to Navigating Rising Healthcare Costs
May 12, 2017 at 8:13 am

Healthcare costs are on the rise. This has a particularly big impact on the retail industry, as it's comprised primarily of an hourly workforce with limited options when it comes to obtaining affordable healthcare coverage. This presents retail HR executives with an obstacle to cultivating and retaining a healthy, productive group of employees. While employee…

Camping World to Keep at Least 70 Gander Mountain Stores Open
May 9, 2017 at 12:38 pm

While it was widely reported over the weekend that outdoor goods retail chain Gander Mountain would be closing all of its 126 stores, the chain's new owner, Camping World Holdings, said it will keep at least 70 of the chain's stores open. Camping World won a bankruptcy auction of Gander Mountain’s assets — including the company's…

How Hyperlocal Shopping Experiences Can Increase Engagement
May 8, 2017 at 10:01 am

With e-commerce now a normal part of everyday life, the number and frequency of in-person interactions is decreasing, and sometimes disappearing altogether. However, even as online shopping pervades, brands are finding important value connecting with customers face-to-face, whether through local pop-up shops, brand-sponsored community events or new brick-and-mortar locations. In-person experiences are often the best…

Gymboree May Close Hundreds of Stores
May 5, 2017 at 10:57 am

It was announced this week that Gymboree is looking to close a sizable percentage of its stores as part of restructuring under bankruptcy court protection. MarketWatch reports the children's clothing retailer has reached out to firms known for liquidating companies’ inventories and other assets to help with the closure of up to 350 stores. Discussions around…

Consumers Plan for Record-High Spending on Mother's Day
May 3, 2017 at 9:54 am

Shoppers plan to spend more on mom this Mother's Day than they have in the past 14 years. According to an annual survey of 7,406 consumers by the National Retail Federation (NRF), spending for Mother’s Day will be higher than in any other year in the survey’s 14-year history, with experiential gifts like spa days and restaurant…

Kit and Ace Closing Stores, Laying Off Staff
April 28, 2017 at 7:20 am

Kit and Ace, started by lululemon founder Chip Wilson, is laying off staff in its headquarters and closing stores in the U.S., U.K. and Australia. In a statement, Wilson said the company is shifting focus to its Canadian locations and global e-commerce platform. It isn’t clear how many staff members have been laid off, however.…

J.C. Penney Expands Sephora Partnership, Adds Jobs
April 26, 2017 at 1:01 pm

J.C. Penney will launch Sephora beauty shops in 70 stores as it expands 32 existing locations, bringing Sephora to 650 of its 1,000-plus stores by the end of 2017. The beauty push comes as J.C. Penney de-emphasizes apparel, a weak link for merchants these days, save for off-price chains and Amazon.com, which have been gobbling up…

3 Experiences That Will Get (and Keep) Customers In-Store
April 24, 2017 at 11:29 am

Today's retail landscape begs for more than just affordably priced products and lightening-fast shipping. The modern customer requires more in-depth forethought from brands to win his or her business. For brick-and-mortar retailers especially, the battle to stay competitive with their digital counterparts comes along with the demand to deliver or exceed customer expectations — i.e., to…

Bebe to Shutter All Stores by May 9
April 24, 2017 at 10:52 am

Fashion retailer Bebe is planning to close all of its 175 stores by May 9, according to a regulatory brief filed by the company on Friday. The retail chain had previously said it was committed to closing 21 locations, which represented roughly 12 percent of its total outlets. This news came as Bebe explained it was in the…

Jimmy Choo Up for Sale
April 24, 2017 at 10:36 am

British fashion chain Jimmy Choo said Monday that it had put itself up for sale, saying it would consider "various strategic options," including a sale of the company. Jimmy Choo's largest shareholder, JAB Luxury, which owns 66.7 percent of the company's shares, said it "is supportive of this process." The seller of high-end shoes, handbags…

CVS Health to Renovate Stores
April 21, 2017 at 12:07 pm

Three years after abolishing tobacco sales, CVS Health, the nation’s largest drugstore chain, said earlier this week it plans to accelerate a store renovation project that devotes more floor space to nutritious food and health products. CVS Health executives said that at several hundred stores they would reorient 100 feet of aisle space toward products such…