Bed Bath & Beyond Buys One Kings Lane
In an all-cash deal, Bed Bath & Beyond bought One Kings Lane, a flash-sale home decor website. At its peak, One Kings Lane was valued at over $900 million, but Bed Bath & Beyond said the purchase price was “not material.” This marks the end of a rocky road for One Kings Lane — the company has actively been seeking a buyer since January, and has experienced employee layoffs and the loss of a senior executive.
Just as Fab.com, ideeli and Gilt Groupe before it, One Kings Lane is yet another flash-sale website to get acquired for a fraction of its peak value. This dying e-commerce business model can’t offer the on-demand, flexible shopping experience many consumers are looking for. The premise of a flash-sale site — buy now while it’s cheap and available — is limiting to consumers, and this probably won’t be the last one to get swallowed by a mega retailer.
Retailers Take the ‘Equal Pay Pledge’
Yesterday, Oprah Winfrey, Amy Poehler, the Obamas and many more spoke at the United State of Women White House Summit. The day was focused on gender equality, and some big companies took the Equal Pay Pledge, a commitment toward closing the pay gap between men and women. Retailers such as Gap, L’Oreal and Amazon.com all pledged to fight for pay equality by conducting yearly pay analysis, hiring/promotion process reviews and adding procedures to reduce unconscious bias.
Women drive almost 80 percent of all consumer purchasing, but they don’t have equal representation in leadership roles. It’s great to see leading companies come together and take real action on this issue. Not every company will have a female CEO, but women should be able to get the same pay as their male counterparts for doing the same job.
Office Depot to Hire 2,000 in Push for Back to School
Back to school (BTS) is a busy season for office supplies retailers, and once-potential partners Staples and Office Depot are going head-to-head for shoppers’ money. Office Depot announced plans to hire 33 percent more workers — or 2,000 people — for the BTS season. Office Depot officials say the new hires will help with stocking shelves, customer service and checkout. This news comes on the heels of Staples announcing it will begin offering same-day delivery in certain cities.
It didn’t take long for these two retailers to go from possible merger back to fierce competitors. One month ago, a judge ruled the two couldn’t join forces for a possible $6.3 billion merger. Now, both companies have to compete against each other, and other brands like Amazon.com, to stay afloat. Will they survive?
Facebook Ads to Track In-Store Shoppers
On Tuesday, Facebook released an update that will allow advertisers to include an interactive map showing physical store locations in a carousel ad. The social networking site will work with phones’ location services to track how many users saw the ad and then visited the store. Then, this information will be given back to the advertisers to see how well their ads are performing.
This is great news for brick-and-mortar retailers looking for more insight into how their Facebook ads are influencing consumer behavior. While most consumers are still making the majority of their purchases in physical stores, that doesn’t mean Facebook can’t profit from it. As for privacy concerns? No word on if turning a phone’s location services off would keep Facebook from tracking it.