2019 was certainly a big year for retail news. Here's a look at the top news stories published by Total Retail in 2019, ranked by number of page views.
1. May 10: Sears’ New Logo Gets Mixed Reviews
Sears unveiled a new logo on its social media channels in May, and while the company said the new logo was "was created to represent both home and heart, this shape also conveys motion through an infinity loop, reminiscent of one embracing both home and life," others mocked the design' resemblance to online home rental service Airbnb's logo. "Why do I keep thinking AIR BNB when I see the new logo?" a user asked on Facebook. "Air B&B called – said they want their logo back," wrote another.
In April, Sears filed a lawsuit against its former CEO Eddie Lampert and a number of its high-profile past board members, including Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, for allegedly stealing billions of dollars from the retailer. Sears Holdings filed for bankruptcy in October 2018, after years of losses under Lampert, who was then its chairman, CEO and largest shareholder.
In May, Nordstrom cut its forecast for full-year sales and profit after reporting weaker-than-expected first-quarter results that were hurt, in part, by stopping its use of direct mail to promote its new loyalty program. According to Yahoo Finance, co-president Erik Nordstrom said on a post-earnings conference call that the company stopped sending rewards "notes" to its loyalty customers by mail in an attempt to get the program online and reach customers faster. That shift caused a reduction in foot traffic at all of its stores, Nordstom said, as many customers rely on receiving those rewards by mail. "We're making the changes we believe are necessary to drive our top line as we continue our aggressive focus on expenses," Erik Nordstrom said. The company also said trends from the fourth quarter continued into the first quarter and that it had to ramp up promotions in order to clear excess inventory from its winter collection.
Sears announced in April that it would be opening stores again. The department store chain, which had closed hundreds of Sears and Kmart locations over the past few years, announced that it would open three “Sears Home & Life” stores in May.
Upscale candy retailer Sugarfina filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in September and immediately closed six of its 44 boutique stores, reports CandyIndustry.com. The brand cited shifts in the retail sector, uncertainty in its international partnerships, and difficulty in controlling margins as reasons for not being profitable, and reported having $26.65 million in debt.
We here at Total Retail are looking forward to a news-filled 2020! Happy holidays!