Sascha Bopp, Crate & Barrel's CEO, has resigned. Sources confirmed that the announcement was made to employees at the end of the business day yesterday. Bopp, 44, has been CEO since spring of 2012. He joined the company in 2009. He was only the third CEO in the Northbrook, Ill.-based retailer's 52-year history. Gordon Segal, who co-founded the company with his wife, Carole, ran it until 2008. He handed the reins to Barbara Turf, a longtime Crate & Barrel executive who joined the original Crate & Barrel store in Old Town as a part-time sales clerk in 1967.

eBay announced plans to acquire AppTek to help it translate its 650 million individual listings into multiple languages as the company pursues its cross-border strategy. Global expansion is a key priority for eBay, which said 20 percent of its transactions occur across borders, and one of every three new users to eBay comes through a cross-border transaction — a disproportionate share of those new users coming from BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, China) and emerging markets.

Before the advent of the internet, only a discerning group of individuals with large incomes could step into a boutique on Fifth Avenue or the Champs-Élysées to browse and purchase luxury items. All others were too intimidated by the price tags and notoriously arrogant sales personnel. The internet helped democratize the high-end shopping experience.

Internationalizing is a daunting task for a brand looking to expand beyond its domestic territory. Partnering with a local company eases the process of entering a new market and conducting daily operations once established. Regardless of past reputation and assets, multimillion dollar mistakes and losses can occur without a strong local partner. With big investments come huge risks. To mitigate issues that would undermine efforts to expand globally, partnering with a local company can provide the following:

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