Musicnotes.com has figured out how to make sweet music — which translates into revenues — with a lean team. This was the main message from Bill Aicher, chief growth officer for the online sheet music publisher and retailer, during his keynote presentation at eTail East in Philadelphia yesterday.
Rakuten, a Japanese e-commerce company, is leading a $100 million investment in Pinterest, with participation from existing investors Andreessen Horowitz, Bessemer Venture Partners and FirstMark Capital, as well as a number of angel investors. Many people may still be unfamiliar with the Rakuten brand, but it's an international e-commerce powerhouse that sees itself competing with Amazon.com. Rakuten owns Buy.com, Rakuten Ichiba in Japan, PriceMinister in France, Play.com in the U.K., Tradoria in Germany, Rakuten Brazil, Rakuten Taiwan, TARAD in Thailand and Rakuten Belanja Online in Indonesia, as well as e-book publisher Kobo.
Under Armour, a cross-channel retailer of performance apparel, footwear and accessories, announced that Karl-Heinz ("Charlie") Maurath has been named president, Under Armour International, effective September 2012. Maurath brings more than 20 years of executive leadership experience to his new role at Under Armour, which will include driving international growth, leading the brand's strategic expansion into key global markets and overseeing Under Armour's international business in Europe, Asia and the Americas.
Collective Brands' Payless and its partners said that in 2012 they expect six store openings in Korea, as well as five stores each to open in Thailand and Vietnam.
Barnes & Noble has announced that it does not intend to carry books published by Amazon in any of its 703 retail locations. It's a move sure to deepen the wedge between the two companies, and B&N cites Amazon's continued taste for exclusivity as the primary reason for the decision. In a statement to The New York Times, chief merchandising officer Jaime Carey doesn't mince words, claiming Amazon's practices have "undermined the industry as a whole" and "prevented millions of customers from having access to content." While consumers will have access to the works on BN.com, selection there will
H&M recently announced its expansion goals for 2012, with plans to add approximately 275 new stores. The fashion retailer will open the most stores this year in China, the United States and the United Kingdom. In addition, it will enter Bulgaria, Latvia, Malaysia and Thailand for the first time.