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.

Denny Hatch is the author of six books on marketing and four novels, and is a direct marketing writer, designer and consultant. His latest book is “Write Everything Right!” Visit him at dennyhatch.com.

Struggling e-commerce site Fab has gone shopping. The once high-flying company, which has recently suffered a series of pitfalls including a round of layoffs last month, announced Wednesday that it's buying One Nordic Furniture Co., a retailer known as the "luxury Ikea" with operations in Finland and Sweden. The deal is the next step in chief executive Jason Goldberg's strategy to design, market and sell private-label goods rather than rely on the products of other brands. 

Cause-based marketing — i.e., attaching your business to a philanthropic endeavor or social cause — has become increasingly popular among retail brands today. Consumers want to know that the brands they're purchasing from are committed to more than just growing their bottom lines. They expect retailers to be involved in the communities where they operate, whether that means donating to the local children's hospital or helping to build a park. Three retailers that are at the forefront of cause-based marketing when it comes to environmental sustainability are Kohl's, Ikea and Staples.

Ikea is being criticized for deleting images of women from the Saudi version of its furniture catalog, a move the company says it regrets. Comparing the Swedish and Saudi versions of the Ikea catalog, Sweden's free newspaper Metro on Monday showed that women had been airbrushed out of otherwise identical pictures showcasing the company's home furnishings. The report raised questions in Sweden about Ikea's commitment to gender equality. The country's Trade Minister Ewa Bjorling didn't criticize Ikea directly but told Metro that you can't delete women from society.

Stockholm, Sweden -- Ikea said Monday that its CEO Mikael Ohlsson will step down effective Sept. 1, 2013, and will be succeeded by Peter Agnefjall, current country manager of Ikea Sweden. To prepare Agnefjall for his new role, Ikea said that he will...

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