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Nordstrom Puts Plans to Go Private on Hold
October 17, 2017 at 9:55 am

The family behind the 116-year-old Nordstrom retail chain is shelving its efforts to go private until after the holiday season, the company said Monday. The high-end Seattle-based brand, which has 360 stores across North America, is facing the same economic pressures and competition from e-commerce as other brick-and-mortar retailers. Although family members have been tight-lipped about…

Retailer Digital Disruption: Why an Organizational Shift is Needed Now
October 16, 2017 at 4:06 pm

Currently there are two types of retailers selling online: digital natives such as and Warby Parker, and traditional brick-and-mortar retailers that expanded their operations into this channel. The DNA of digital natives is often designed to build, test, learn and analyze, and then adapt and change. At these types of companies, this behavior is…

50 Best Tips of 2017
October 16, 2017 at 3:59 pm

A collection of the top tips featured in Total Retail’s magazine and e-newsletters this year, from content marketing to inventory management to merchandising, and much more.

The Empire is Striking Back
October 16, 2017 at 3:49 pm

I wrote an article last month for our Total Retail Report e-newsletter that quickly went viral within the retail community. The article received thousands of views on social media and became the most-opened article at NAPCO Media, Total Retail’s parent company, on the day it was published. Since the article generated so much interest,  I…

How to Effectively Sell Cross-Border in 2018
October 13, 2017 at 5:18 pm

According to Ipsos PayPal Insights 2016, $6.7 billion was spent in global cross-border sales in 2016. As the U.S. continues to be the top export country for consumers from all over the world, it's important for U.S. merchants to make selling overseas a top priority for 2018. Despite the tremendous growth opportunities in the global…

HSN Execs to Be Out Once QVC Acquisition Closes
October 13, 2017 at 10:09 am

The top three executives at HSN Inc. will step down after the retailer is acquired by Liberty Interactive Group, the parent company of HSN rival QVC. Bill Brand, Rod Little and Judy Schmeling, who served as co-CEOs at HSN for the past several months, won’t be staying on after the $2.1 billion stock deal closes, according…

Estée Lauder Names Michael Smith SVP and CIO
October 11, 2017 at 5:37 pm

The Estée Lauder Companies has a new senior vice president and chief information officer. The company recently named Michael Smith to the role. He reports to Estée Lauder Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Tracey Travis. Smith brings a mix of IT, commercial and functional experience to this leadership role. Using his experience, Smith…

The Never-Ending Relevance of ‘The Nordstrom Way’
October 11, 2017 at 3:20 pm

In 1995, when my original book, “The Nordstrom Way: Inside America’s Number One Customer Service Company,” was published, I never imagined that more than two decades later I’d still be chronicling and speaking to corporate groups about this iconic Seattle retailer. But the book became a best-seller, I became an international speaker, and my life…

Sephora Names Mary Beth Laughton EVP, US Omni Retail
October 11, 2017 at 2:13 pm

Beauty retailer Sephora has promoted Mary Beth Laughton to executive vice president of U.S. omni retail. Previously, Laughton was senior vice president of digital. “Mary Beth is a visionary and strategist with a deep understanding of how customers are evolving,” said Calvin McDonald, chief executive officer and president of Sephora Americas. “During her time at…

Blue Nile Appoints Former Tiffany & Co. CEO to its Board
October 11, 2017 at 1:50 pm

Diamond and fine jewelry retailer Blue Nile has announced the appointment of Frédéric Cumenal, the former chief executive officer of Tiffany & Co., to its board of directors. Cumenal held various executive positions of increasing responsibility at Tiffany and served on the company’s board of directors. Prior to his work with Tiffany & Co., Cumenal…

L.L.Bean Sued Over ‘Outsider’ Ad Campaign
October 10, 2017 at 10:04 am

A Utah-based retailer of outdoor and mountaineering gear has filed a federal lawsuit against L.L.Bean, alleging that its recent marketing campaign slogan, “Be an Outsider,” infringes on a trademark registered in August. Alfwear, which sells outdoor clothing under the name KÜHL, claimed in its Oct. 2 lawsuit that it has been using the phrase “the outsider”…

Amazon Ordered by EU to Pay $300M Over ‘Illegal Tax Advantage’
October 6, 2017 at 12:07 pm has been ordered to pay 250 million euros ($294 million) to Luxembourg after the European Commission (EC) found that the online retailer received illegal tax benefits. The EC says Amazon received tax advantages between 2006 and 2014 in the country without any "valid justification." Margrethe Vestager, the EU's commissioner for competition, said in a statement,…

Sears Gets $100M Loan From CEO Eddie Lampert
October 6, 2017 at 11:40 am

Sears Holdings Corp. is getting another cash infusion from CEO Edward Lampert, just in time for the key holiday season. Lampert has agreed to loan Sears $100 million through his ESL Investments fund — if the retailer agrees to pledge more stores or other assets as collateral. The agreement, disclosed in a recent filing with…

Finish Line Appoints Faisal Masud to Board of Directors
October 4, 2017 at 2:48 pm

Finish Line, an athletic retailer focusing on primarily footwear, has appointed Faisal Masud to its board of directors. Masud, chief technology officer for Staples, brings a wealth of knowledge from his past experience in retail and e-commerce companies such as Groupon, Willams-Sonoma, eBay and “With his technology expertise across enterprise systems, Faisal will bring…

Fanatics Appoints President of International Business
October 4, 2017 at 2:37 pm

Fanatics, a leader in licensed sports merchandise, has appointed global e-commerce and brand executive Steve Davis as president of Fanatics International. Davis has over two decades of experience in retail and e-commerce. Most recently, Davis served as the CEO of Rue La La. Reporting to Fanatics CEO, Doug Mack, Davis will be responsible for leading the…

U.S. CPG, Retail CEOs More Optimistic About Growth Than Global Peers, Study Shows
October 4, 2017 at 12:06 pm

An overwhelming majority (95 percent) of U.S. consumer goods and retail CEOs are confident about the growth outlook for the global economy, the industry and their companies over the next three years, despite potential technological risks, according to a recent survey by KPMG LLP, the U.S. audit, tax and advisory firm. In other parts of…

Office Depot Acquires IT Provider CompuCom for $1B
October 4, 2017 at 11:45 am

Office Depot said Tuesday it has agreed to acquire CompuCom, an IT provider for small to midsized businesses. The move gives 8 percent of Office Depot’s shares to Boston-based private equity firm Thomas H. Lee Partners. CompuCom, which is headquartered in Texas, has about $1.1 billion in annual sales. Office Depot will acquire CompuCom from Thomas H.…

Ace Hardware Acquires E-Commerce Startup The Grommet
October 4, 2017 at 10:44 am

Ace Hardware has acquired a majority stake in The Grommet, an e-commerce startup that brings to market products from independent entrepreneurs and emerging companies, officials announced Tuesday. Launched in 2008, The Grommet has worked with more than 2,500 inventors, entrepreneurs and small businesses to launch dozens of household products and brands on its website. FitBit, IdeaPaint,…

The 12 Months of Christmas
October 3, 2017 at 9:38 am

Consumers often decry the early appearance of holiday shopping commercials and decorations. For retailers, however, preparing for the holiday shopping season has become a year-round effort, especially when it comes to fulfillment center staffing. With e-commerce continuing to grow in popularity, much of today’s labor demand has shifted from brick-and-mortar stores to fulfillment centers. As…

JOANN Stores Hiring Thousands for Holiday Season
October 2, 2017 at 11:45 am

JOANN Stores, a leading fabric and craft retailer with 869 stores across 49 states and an active e-commerce business, announced today that it's hiring 12,000 temporary employees across the nation for the upcoming holiday season. Among other duties, seasonal team members will help pull merchandise to accommodate orders from JOANN’s buy online, pick up in-store…