Joe Keenan is the executive editor of Total Retail. Joe has more than 10 years experience covering the retail industry, and enjoys profiling innovative companies and people in the space.

In his keynote presentation yesterday at the National Retail Federation's Big Show in New York City, Tim Belk, chairman and CEO of Belk, spoke of the company's transition from a department store chain in the Southeast into an omnichannel business that's growing beyond its 16-state store footprint.

_ GLENWILLOW, Ohio, Aug. 15, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Nido R. Qubein, president of High Point University, has been elected to the board of directors of Cleveland-based Dots, LLC, a fashion apparel retailer with 420 stores in 28 states. Qubein also serves on the boards of BB&T and La-Z-Boy corporations and chairs the board of Great Harvest Bread Co, which has 230 stores in 40 states. (Photo: ) (Logo: ) "We are proud to attract the experience and talent of Dr. Qubein to our growing company," said Rick Bunka, Chief Executive Officer of Dots. "Dr. Qubein brings a

Birmingham, Ala. — Books-A-Million Inc. on Tuesday reported a first-quarter loss as revenue fell 11.1% in the face of growing competition from digital books. The chain posted a first-quarter loss of $3.5 million, compared with net income of $2 million. Quarterly revenue dropped to $104 million from $117 million, a year earlier. Same-store sales fell 13.2%. The company said it was hurt by competition from e-books and by the effect of tornadoes that cut across its home territory in the South near the end of the quarter. It said bargain books, electronics and other categories grew, and it would

Major Branding and Marketing Campaign to Showcase Essence of Belk with New Logo, Tagline, Store Signage, Advertising Charlotte, NC /PRNewswire/ - With its 125th anniversary less than three years away, Belk, Inc. has launched an updated corporate identity that projects the company's restated mission "to satisfy the modern Southern lifestyle like no one else, so that our customers get the fashion they desire and the value they deserve." A new graphics package will refresh the company's visual identity with a new corporate logo, color palette and tagline – Modern. Southern. Style. The new logo and tagline represent the first

A report released Friday by ShopperTrak found that total GAFO (general merchandise, apparel, furniture, sporting goods, electronics, hobby, books and other related store sales) retail sales for back-to-school 2010 -- the month of August -- rose 3.7%, while the company’s Retail Traffic Index reported total U.S. foot traffic was flat for the same period as compared with last year.ShopperTrak’s National Retail Sales Estimate determined that both sales and traffic finished above the its forecast of a 3.5% sales rise and 1.4% traffic decline as pent-up demand and favorable weather boosted sales throughout the back-to-school season.“Retailers should be pleased with

WinterSilks and Venus Swimwear Have Created a Working Solution to the Challenge of Running a Seasonal Business By Alicia Orr Suman Since its inception in 1985, Venus Swimwear has had a long history of growth, with annual sales increases averaging 15 percent to 25 percent. Today, the Jacksonville, FL-based company that was started by a college student and weightlifting enthusiast is the world's largest marketer of junior swimwear. But as Venus grew, founder Daryle Scott realized he had one problem. "We had this business that was doing really well, but it's basically a February-through-June operation and is dead in the winter." Venus Swimwear

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